A cross between Dead Or Alive 6 and Soulcalibur 6 would be the quintessential fighting game.
Dead Or Alive 6 is out and it’s… good. Granted, I was always expecting it to be more than serviceable as it’s one of my favourite fighting game series, but there are certain aspects that leave me underwhelmed. Although it’s being improved through an update later this month, unlocking costumes through pattern parts is obnoxious as it’s a random lottery that forces you to play through the mundane quests and tutorials, and the story is full of cheesy cut-scenes that I both adore and hate thanks to the terrible lip-syncing and goofiness. While getting annoyed at not unlocking costume parts for my main and pretty much only fighter Kasumi, I randomly started thinking about how a Dead Or Alive and Soulcalibur 6 baby would be the quintessential fighting game.
Now, while I’m merely an admirer of Dead Or Alive, I’m an unapologetic fanboy for Soulcalibur as the second entry was my first fighting game, and it still remains my favourite despite Mortal Kombat 9 and 10 being insanely well polished experiences. Soulcalibur 6 was also one of my favourite titles during 2018 thanks to its shabby visuals, effortless combat, and extensive roster that more than made up for the failed abortion known as Soulcalibur 5. Plus, Geralt was a better guest than Darth Vader, the green gremlin Yoda, and the remarkably forgettable and plain protagonist from the Star Wars Force Awakens series. However, even though it was a return to form for the franchise, both Dead Or Alive 6 and Soulcalibur 6 have components that would have made each other better.
One of the best features for Soulcalibur 6 is its character creation suite as it allows players to invent zany new combatants, while also mixing up outfits for the original and established cast. Although Dead Or Alive 6 doesn’t need a creation suite for players to build unique warriors to add to its roster, it would’ve been neat if we could edit the combatants’ wardrobe, as well as make them wear variations of outfits fitted for other fighters.
As for Dead Or Alive 6, although the lip-syncing is atrocious and the episodes are brief, its cut-scenes are way more flattering and enjoyable than Soulcalibur’s static art and long-winded dialogue. Mortal Kombat 9 and 10 proved that fighting games now need to incorporate cinematic and serviceable story modes, and Dead Or Alive 6 simply emphasises that Soulcalibur 6’s campaign is an outdated and boring relic. Dead Or Alive 6 also has a survival mode that SoulCalibur 6 bizarrely decided to exclude once again, which is really frustrating when considering survival mode keeps me returning to Soulcalibur 2.
Soulcalibur 6 and Dead Or Alive 6 are good games on their own, but if they indulged in some shameless copying they would have been even better. Although there’s a plethora of costumes in Dead Or Alive 6 that you need to work excruciatingly hard to unlock, there’s barely any customisation besides glasses and hairdos, so after a while they inevitably become less striking. Meanwhile, Soulcalibur 6’s campaign remains an outdated and boring relic due to being reliant on static art rather than cut-scenes, and Project Soul again stabbed themselves in the foot by ignoring the genre’s staple survival mode.