I got Dead or Alive 5 off the PSN because I didn't want to wait for my Amazon copies or the Collector's Edition to arrive. It's AMAZING, incredibly good with excellent graphics, sound, music, game modes and all the good shit you would expect from a DOA game. I'm really digging the title system. Basically, the game awards you titles for many things, like using a character for the first time to unlocking all of his/her costumes and you can show two of those in online matches and you profile. I'm currently using "Tina newbie" and "Jann Lee newbie".
The gameplay itself is excellent, a HUGE step forwards in comparison with DOA4. Holds feel completely useless now and spamming them to get lucky damage is definitely not an option anymore, especially with the vast quantity of stuns that don't allow holding in them. There's a very useful sidestep for all characters that works like in Virtua Fighter, avoiding linear and semi-circular strings. Less moves seem to stun in counter-hit and normal-hit. This is specially obvious with characters like Helena.
I'm trying to get used to the system first because I've been in DOA4 for seven years and sometimes I just forget to sidestep and use the new systems in mid match but I'm slowly getting there. My favorite characters so far are Helena, Jann Lee, Tina and Leifang. Helena kinda feels like her DOA4 self but she lost PP2KP, her main juggle ender in that game. But this time 236PKP works much better so that's not a real problem. She has too many mid punches and her unholdable stuns are very difficult to land. She's good but definitely not even close to top tier like she was in DOA4.
Tina is not what I expected. During the development of the game, especially sound E3 she was supposed to be a monster like in DOA3. With many safe moves, good damage output and excellent throws. Now she "feels" like she lost the safety and good damage from strings. Her throws are excellent and she has too many of them, she even got two advanced holds to buff her defense but at least at first she doesn't seem as good as her DOA3 version. I need a lot of time in the lab with her until I reach a final decision.
Jann Lee is a God, simple as that. All the useful-looking strings he got in DOA4 that never worked in that game are now awesome, he got a new stance to increase damage from combos and plays very similar to his DOA3 self, which means that if he gets you to a wall, you're dead. This fucker is AMAZING.
I didn't expect to feel this comfortable with Leifang. She changes so much from one game to another that it's not even funny. She has a new stance that uses sabakis to interrupt enemy strings and deal damage with her own ones, kinda like Aoi in Virtua Fighter. She's fast, not ninja-fast but enough to be able to keep pressure on most of the cast and I'm noticing a great distance and throw game from her. She's very good this time.
Besides those four, I tried Gen Fu, Pai, Eliot, Rig, Mila and Kokoro and they seem very cool as well. Fu's damage is just too big so we can expect to see him a lot in high-level play once more and more people get the game. Eliot appears to be similar to his DOA4 self but three changes made him very viable in the new game like useful parries, a 9-frame palm and the ability to land excellent juggles via refloat. It's very good.
Sadly, I have a very worrying issue with the game: The netcode. I can't play online for shit and all matches I've played have been very laggy. There are tons of people complaining about this especially when games like Soul Calibur V, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and even Virtua Fighter 5:FS have excellent online systems. It's a bit disappointing that I might have to do some serious change to the online connection because of the game. I'll wait for the 360 copy to try it there. I hope there's an improvement.