Now, a more personal take on the day and the DOA5 announcements we’ve been seeing not only at E3 but in the last months, since Hayate and Busa were shown going at it in Shibuya until the three screenshots with Bass on them. I have to say that I haven’t felt this way since 2005, when DOA4 came to the Xbox 360. Dead or Alive is probably my favorite gaming franchise and it’s been like that for many years now. When I was little I used to LOVE Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct, then I went and had Unreal, Banjo-Kazooie and Zelda as preferred but since I met online gaming and understood for real what competing with others in a video game meant, I simply couldn’t turn my eyes away from Dead or Alive.
I understand completely the problems in the franchise, the lack of fame among the so called “Fighting game community” (which are currently kids spamming easy-to-do combos with top tier characters in MvC3), the problems with its mechanics, especially in DOA4 and the jokes on the sex factor in the ladies of the series but for me, DOA has always had a charm and appeal that no other fighting game has delivered to me, to the point that I’ve developed a really close bond to many of the characters like Jann Lee, Helena, Ryu and Leifang (my four favorites). In fact, since I stopped being active in DOA4, around 2009, I’ve went from one game to another, from Soul Calibur and Blazblue to MvC3 and Virtua Fighter looking for that emptiness DOA left when I stopped going online and having people to play it offline with, and I always end up loving DOA even more when I put the discs on my 360.
Each time a new DOA game was about to come out, I’d spend hours looking for info, screenshots, articles, previews and videos and thinking about which characters to use, how to learn, how to meet people to play online with and so on. I bought my original Xbox for DOA3, created my Xbox Live account for DOA2U, bought my Xbox 360 for DOA4, bought my 3DS for Dimensions and am now preparing for DOA5 which from the looks of it, will be a blast and definitely the best of the series. After seeing the new art style, the changes in the gameplay, the invited VF characters (which I always felt needed to take part on DOA) and people talking because of the game just like me, I get even more excited and sure that it will definitely be my main game for the years to come, even if I’ll have to play online for get real challenges and lessons.
Most of my best memories with gaming are with DOA3, DOA2U and DOA4 online. Like that time when a poster from the old DOACentral was mocking Helena for being “too shitty” and I handed his ass to him with her for more than an hour. Or when I got my longest winning streak of 73 matches in DOA4 against high-ranked players, or when I lost more than 30 matches in a row against the guy who was training me and I got really mad until I defeated him. If there’s a game I’ve always felt I’m really good with, is DOA. I like Halo, Uncharted, Virtua Fighter and many other competitive games but I have to admit that I’m simply not very good on them, either for lack of practice or lack of skill. But in DOA, I’ve always been good.
I mention online play a lot because it’s the only way I have of actually playing the game with people. I live in Venezuela and gaming here is either dead or people don’t pay attention to the good games except for very small groups that existed years ago but now went their separate ways. So I feel kind of trapped about developing my skills in Dead or Alive. I completely understand that fighting games online will always have lag no matter what and that offline should be the way to go but where I live, I simply don’t have anyone to play the game with and unless it has a very drastic and unrealistic impact on the industry, my country won’t see the birth of any real DOA players. So the only means I have of playing my favorite game with people are Xbox Live, PSN and plane tickets to another country once or twice a year if I make plans correctly and everything goes right. But I’m willing to do it as many times as my life allows me to because I truly love the game.
With my 26 years of age, I feel like a veteran gamer and I’m not thinking about quitting my hobby anytime soon. But expecting a Dead or Alive game makes me feel like a kid all over again. I haven’t done anything today besides watching the trailers over and over, analyzing the matches in the streams, reading articles and talking to fellow fans on Twitter and the forums. I feel that with my age I can definitely save up and fly to North America and Europe and actually get together with the guys I’ve met over the years and play with them. That’s definitely something I don’t want to die without doing. I’m really excited about the game and I’m buying it for both consoles to both support the series even more and be active in the two online interfaces without losing the opportunity to play with ANYONE who want to fight. Now more than ever the game’s motto is true: I’m a Fighter.