Saturday, 21 April 2012

Persona 4 finished! And Dead or Alive 5 Alpha thoughts

It's been a long time coming, but i can now safely say that i have finished Persona 4. Yup, i have. Let that sink in for a moment. It's taken me since it's US launch to complete. Why? I honestly don't know, but it has. And i take pride in the fact i finished it as well. I loved the final two dungeons, the feel, the style, everything. The final boss i failed on once, and that was down to that god damned worlds end. If i was smart enough, i'd have caught on to how to avoid any real damage from it sooner, but there we go. IT'S DONE. Now, as for my next title aim. I'm going to a series older than Persona 4, i'm going to .hack. By .Hack, i mean the 4 part game series released in Europe. I'm onto the third title, which i believe is outbreak, so i've got that and game 4 to finish, which i'll zoom ahead with now i have the chance. I can't even remember where i left off with it, which is rare since i normally can vaguely recall what was what. I may even restart all 4, who knows.

In other news, something i've been looking forward to since i saw that amazing trailer for it, and that is Dead or Alive 5. Since i got the Collectors for Ninja Gaiden 3, i got the premium edition of the alpha demo, so i was lucky enough to have 4 characters to latch onto and try out. My first thoughts with it before i started was, what would this charge move do? Would everyone just spam it? Would the camera from the dynamically changing stages cause havoc in the combat? And of course, how much do the characters feel like they should?

Now, i'm a bit of a veteran player with Dead or Alive 4, i played a good 2-3k odd matches in my time, peaked at A+ online, oh so nearly had S rank, so i can safely say i was pretty decent at the game. So i thought i'd approach this with that in mind. I'm not saying i'm going to be giving pro advise here or there, hah, i can honestly say i'm not that spectacular, but i'll give what thoughts i can to you all. Also, this is played on 360, so i will compare to DOA4 controls.

The controls are basically exactly as you are used to if you played DOA4, however the button we used to use for taunting(RB) is now used for your new charge style attack. You'll recognise this as the flashy move you see some of the characters use. Y is punch, B is kick, X is guard/counter, A is grab, you get the idea, nothing new. They also feel pretty tight, nothing feels too uncomfortable to use, this is also considering i use the 360 control, not an arcade stick. I've never used one for the game, and doubt i ever will.

Stages are very well built, ok you only get one to work with, but there is so much to them. bashing into a wall can cause cans/buckets to fall on you disrupting you mid-attack, making you vulnerable. It can happen to both of you as well though. Then you can hit into more destructive elements of the stage and fall victim to everything falling atop of you. Falling of the side two puts you into the attacker/defender situation. If you are the victim of the attack and have to hold onto the ledge, you are given the options of guarding, or dodging. Attackers get attack or grab. Attack beats dodge, Grab beats Guard. Kind of makes sense.Works very well too, and can lengthen a match if the defender successfully guards it. it does no more damage than you would expect from falling in one of the original stages. The camera during all this, needs a little work. I think it works well most of the time, but there is some issues here and there where i think it could do with focusing more on the characters than the destruction around them. Sure, it'll affect both players, but its maybe a little bit unnecessary. I can see what they where going for, however.

Now onto characters. I'll do a more indepth piece on all four available in another post, so i'll just cover them in general for now. Each character feels like they are themselves. By that i mean, they feel familiar. If you used to main Ayane all the time, then you can easily pick this up, start a match with her, and play with very little issue. They do also feel fresh. Some of the attributes for attacks feel a little different. Combos are a little easier to chain up, and can be lengthened if you get a well placed hit into certain sections of the stage.The combat feels like it flows fantastically well, though sometimes the controls feel a tad unresponsive, sluggish you could say. It is Alpha though, so these small things will probably get fine-tuned easily enough.

Finally, that charge move. Fear not, it isn't a game changer. In fact, i think it adds a new element of strategy i'm excited to muck about with. You are able to dodge and guard the move, as well as being able to hit your opponent out of it mid-charge. I should note though, that the chances are, each character will have different attributs allocated to their own unique charge move. Ayane felt to me like she had a grab for hers, so blocking was out of the question, but dodging was still a choice. Everything for this move falls into it being situational. You will probably want to try and get a well timed juggle in to use it, or perhaps get your opponent down on the ground and keep enough distance away so that they can't kick you on getting up. It's got a lot of possibilities attached to it. My only fear though, is how useful it'll be in high ranking matches. I don't see it being used often early days, but later on, i could see it used more. It's way to early to tell, but i'm gonna experiment more with it as i go on.

I hope this has been a little informative, when it comes to Dead or Alive, i can get a bit carried away, hah. But if you have any queries or want me to check something out in regards to DOA5 and the alpha, let me know and i'll check it out for you, and hopefully come up with a good answer for you. All i will say is, look forward to playing it, it's very nice so far.

Until next time.

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