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Speaking of Problematic Favs, Trailer for Dead or Alive 6 Was Released and It Looks Goooood

I love fighting games. My video game collection consists mostly of Fire Emblem, Pokémon, and Fighting Games. Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Injustice 1&2, anything that involved me curb stomping on someone else was my jam. For me, it was a cathartic experience since I was so non-confrontational as a kid (shock I know), but I only ever wanted to play as women in fighting games so I gravitated towards whatever games provided me the most ladies. Enter Dead or Alive.

The Dead or Alive franchise is infamous for it’s “jiggle technology” and hyper sex-appeal of the female characters, especially it’s heroine Kasumi. I was aware of this because of the game shows I watched, but before I had any real concept of sexuality or sex appeal, I appreciated (a) how beautiful the women were and (b) how good they were at kicking ass.

All the female characters have amazing fighting styles that implement good combos and require skill to play. Especially characters like Kasumi and my personal favorite Ayane. The games were also great at creating, an actual countering system that was useful and being able to use the areas to cause damage. Tag mode! Ugh, so good.

Still, the fact that it hung so heavily on the gaze is the reason that … ugh, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and its sequels exist as a form of soft-core porn that is embarrassing fanservice and does double damage of not even being a good volleyball game! It’s been one of my biggest disappointments among all fighting games that despite having some amazing female characters, they all need to have a bathing suit fighting outfit or a fighting outfit where their underwear will be exposed.

I will admit, although it’s unrealistic, I do love fighting in heels and having that not be a barrier to do anything, because in the fighting game world heels are unproblematic to perfom high kicks in. If wishes were dreams.

However, in this trailer for Dead or Alive 6, it looks like they have used their software to create more dynamic facial expressions and now, when characters fight, there will be physical damage that doesn’t go again and they will sweat and bleed. Even though Helena is still sporting her super high, slit dresses there doesn’t seem to be any jiggle going on, which is a good sign that they are leaning away from that.

According to IGN, in addition to these more realistic additions, the game system will also introduce new fighting techniques to make the game accessible to beginners and strategy driver for seasoned players: “DOA6 does try to welcome beginner players by introducing a new combo and special attack system: Fatal Rush and Break Gauge. These powerful attacks use simple commands to allow new players to experience the thrill of fighting games without too much practice. For seasoned players, the timing required to execute them perfectly should add an additional layer of strategy.”

So far it is confirmed that Kasumi, Hayate, Hayabusa, Helena, Jann Lee, and Zack are returning and that the final roster will include some new and old characters. My non-negotiables are Ayane, Hitomi, Tina, and Leifang.

Who are your favorite female fighting game characters?


(via Bandai Namco)

(via IGN, image: Screenshot)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.