Dead or Alive 5


Key events

UK chart: FIFA 13 sells 1 million copies in a week

UK chart: FIFA 13 sells 1 million copies in a week

Boots Borderland 2 from top spot.

Annual football fiesta FIFA 13 has sold a million copies during its first week on sale in the UK.

It becomes the fourth game in history to do this, following Call of Duty titles Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2 and 3.

Video game sales jumped by 196 per cent in the past seven days. FIFA 13 accounted for 71 per cent of all games sold and 80 per cent of all revenue from game sales - both of these figures are higher than last year.

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Dead or Alive 5 review

If a fighting game sequel is going to be a critical and commercial success, it has to offer tangible progression for a wide variety of players. For dabblers who tend to dismiss the online arena in favour of solo modes and local multiplayer, the new iteration needs to deliver an enticing range of new characters, a cosmetic upgrade and a weighted helping of single-player content that lasts more than an afternoon. For ardent fans, the mechanical changes need to strike an even balance between familiarity and innovation.

This last point is particularly tricky, because if you add something that's redundant, cheap or gimmicky, you risk unbalancing an otherwise stable foundation - but by the same stretch, if you release a fighting game that handles almost identically to its predecessor, you risk a backlash of apathy.

Dead or Alive 5 appears to understand this dilemma without finding a conclusive way to solve it. It doesn't tarnish the series' solid and sassy reputation - far from it - but it falls short of an evolutionary leap in terms of combat mechanics and a substantial expansion in terms of single-player distractions.

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Dead or Alive 5 Preview: Team Ninja Hits Back

FeatureDead or Alive 5 Preview: Team Ninja Hits Back

Can Ryu Hayabusa save face after Ninja Gaiden 3?

As the first fighting game of the seventh console generation, Dead or Alive 4 didn't have to do anything particularly flashy to stand out from the crowd. The recipe for success was little more than looking pretty, offering up a familiar yet robust fighting system and topping everything off with the first Spartan appearance on the Xbox 360. But now that we're (supposedly) reaching the end of round two between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, the genre has pulled itself out of the gutter with a diverse range of excellent fighting games. The question is, can Dead or Alive 5 go toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters on the big screen - or should it stick to the bikinis and volleyballs?

Having spent some time with an expanded demo, it's clear that Team Ninja is sticking it what it does best - crafting a solid fighting framework that marries fast-paced action and executional accessibility with a counter-heavy twist. The basics of combat, as ever, come courtesy of the punch, kick, throw and guard buttons, and by mixing the two attacks with directional inputs, you can recite some satisfying combos that kick off with a well-timed launcher.

What separates Dead or Alive from its fighting game peers is the rock-paper-scissors dynamic that injects a heightened sense of risk into every button you press. A predictable strike can be caught and mangled with a bone-breaking hold, a gutsy throw can be stuffed with a swift strike to the face and an ill-conceived hold can be punished be throwing the opponent like a sack of economy-grade potatoes. This three-way mantra was and remains the cornerstone of the DOA experience. But while Dead or Alive 5 looks and plays very similarly to its numerical predecessor, it also offers a handful of new mechanics and a number of interesting changes.

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Brand new Dead or Alive 5 character announced

Tecmo Koei has announced a brand new character for upcoming fighting game Dead or Alive 5.

Japanese magazine Famitsu (via Kotaku) revealed Rig, a Canadian taekwondo expert. In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Hiroki Tochi, who has worked on Tri-Ace games.

Magazine scans carry images of Rig, who wears a dark hooded jacket. As you'd expect, he has muscles. Lots of muscles. He looks serious, too.

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Dead or Alive 5 Collector's Edition announced

A limited Collector's Edition of Dead or Alive 5 is on its way, publisher Tecmo Koei has announced.

The set includes the game, a hardcover art book, CD soundtrack and full colour poster, all packaged in an embossed metal case.

Oh, and there are "premium swimsuits for the full cast of playable female characters" too, according to the announcement. What? No Speedos for the chaps? For shame.

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Dead or Alive 5 to "push the envelope"

Hayashi on innovation, competition, boobs.

The fighting genre has lacked innovation in recent years, according to Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi, but its just-announced scrapper Dead or Alive 5 will be the game to push things forward.