As much work as Team Ninja puts into the Dead or Alive series, much scrutiny usually comes down to the female character models, which have often been criticized as overly sexual. Apparently, fans don’t think so.
In a chat with Gamasutra, series director Yohei Shimbori acknowledges that fans can be scary whenever they feel like their series has taken backsteps, which happened with Ninja Gaiden 3.
Additionally, Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja were surprised to find out that despite critical negativity from corporate partners and the gaming press on the subject, Dead or Alive fans actually expressed a desire for bustier female fighters:
“We actually got a lot of feedback from people who were playing it, saying, ‘We want bigger breasts. Make the characters more like that.’ That was kind of surprising.”
“There’s definitely still room for having sexualized aspects,” Shimbori concludes. “If you have a solid fighting game system there, there’s nothing wrong with having beautiful characters as a layer on top of that — that’s another layer of entertainment that there’s a need for. If there wasn’t a need for it, people wouldn’t have responded to the alpha demo like they did, and send us feedback.”
In EGM’s own review of Dead or Alive 5, we acknowledged that while the fighting engine had some interesting tweaks, the overall game was just too similar to previous installments to feel like a true sequel.
However, I can’t say that bigger breasts is something that would really work for the series, outside of a Dead of Alive Xtreme sequel. If anything, the game needs a reboot, vastly improved graphics, or simply more features in the vein of Soulcalibur‘s character creation system, or Street Fighter‘s extensive online gameplay variety.