It's a well-known fact that Dead or Alive, as a series, is famous for its sexy side. It's something we've come to know, and even expect of the series--heck, I made a joke about it late last year in the same article I called Dead or Alive the "amateur-league clown midget jello wrestling" of fighting games.
But as Team Ninja lead Yosuke Hayashi has previously said, they're trying to go in a different direction for Dead or Alive 5, making more realistic and honest-to-God interesting female characters who are interesting for more than just their measurements and how high they can kick.
In an interview with Gamereactor, Hayashi talked about making more believable female leads for Dead or Alive, along with the upcoming demo packed in with Ninja Gaiden III and where Dead or Alive stands in the current SFIV-inspired fighting game boom.
"If you look at sex for example, the Dead or Alive girls have always been known for that. So... okay let me ask you one thing right now: When you look at this concept of sex, when you go and meet a woman, do you go and look at her breasts--do you judge a woman by her breasts? You don't, that's just rude and disgusting. What we really want to do in [Dead or Alive 5], especially because our female characters have been such a huge symbol of the series, what we want to do is redefine that. What we want to do is make a woman who really moves a man's heart. When a man looks at a woman, when he looks at her posture, her manners, when he hears her voice, it's everything that makes up a beautiful woman that can really kind of emotionally move a man."
When asked about why the demo was being released so early, Hayashi mentioned the core fighting game community and how important user feedback is.
"Yes, it is much earlier than you would release a demo, but the reason we released the demo is, as you said, to get feedback from gamers. I think the fighting games are made with the interaction of development and the core kind of fighting game fan. I think that the more feedback we get then the more we can adjust the system--we can adjust the system to make the game much better."
Finally, he talked about Street Fighter IV rejuvenating the popularity of fighting games, and what Team Ninja plans to do with Dead or Alive 5 and "fighting entertainment."
"Well first of all, the evolution of fighting games within the seven years we've been away since [Dead or Alive 4], I think that the biggest evolution was made when Street Fighter IV came out. That was the father of fighting games. I think Street Fighter and bringing it back this generation, redefining the game that way, kind of making it look like it looks and giving it online has obviously made a huge impact on the fighting game genre.
"...Even still, if you look at 2D fighting games, it's a very static thing: You have a backdrop with fighters fighting in one line. Even 3D fighters you have some backdrops but they don't really do much and just sit there and maybe move around a bit - you have your ring outs. So it's a very kind of static experience. What we really want to do with Dead or Alive 5 is kind of push that formula of actually fighting and interacting with stages to kind of blend those in to create a holistic fighting experience.
"What we want to call this is our concept of 'fighting entertainment.' We don't really want to use this 'fighting game' term anymore, because through this 'fighting entertainment' what we really want to do is blend the fight and really kind of make it interactive with the stage and what is really going on.
"For example, let's say you punch and kick your opponent into a certain part of the stage, and the stage is going to start falling apart, cars are going to fly, or metal girders are going to go everywhere. It's just going to be chaos. It's something like a climax scene in a Hollywood movie, so you can imagine it in that way. It's really trying to push that interaction of a fighting game to a brand new level, and we really want to define what fighting games look like in the future."
I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather have this guy's measured, thought-out statements over Tomonobu Itagaki's aggressive rockstar boasts. If anything, it looks like Dead or Alive 5 will not only be aiming to win over casual fans burned by big-name fighters, but also more serious fighting game fans who normally wouldn't give DoA a sideways glance.
While I'm a little sad that DoA is losing some of its cheesy, silly, sexy side, I can truly respect the direction it's going in. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the demo when Ninja Gaiden III hits on March 20th to see if Team Ninja can get it right without Itagaki at the helm. What do you think? Does Hayashi have the right mindset for this series?
via Free Step Dodge