Virtua Fighter mainstay Akira Yuki has joined the Dead or Alive 5 cast.
Just like the lede says. Don’t believe me? Watch the newly-released footage at top-right.
Fans of the Dead or Alive games will recall that unexpected guest characters are nothing new to the series. After all, Dead or Alive 4 featured an off-brand Master Chief as some kind of Microsoft/Tecmo cross-promotional effort owing to that game’s Xbox 360 exclusivity.
Since Dead or Alive 5 is not exclusive to the Dreamcast 2 (as far as we know), we’re scratching our heads trying to figure out what Sega gets from this arrangement. That said, the inclusion of Virtua Fighter’s main dude makes a whole lot more sense canonically than Nicole-458 ever did. Likewise, he looks way better in combat than the hulking Spartan ever did.
Actually, I have to hand it to whoever came up with this idea. The inclusion of Akira in DOA5 is the best fighting game fan service mash-up I’ve seen since Capcom vs SNK. Akira looks perfectly suited to the action in this game, and the slightly “floaty” nature of the DOA series’ physics are even somewhat reminiscent of early Virtua Fighter titles. Thus when he starts juggling his opponent with rapid elbow and shoulder strikes, it actually looks like a seamless mashup of the two titles.
This stands in stark contrast to Street Fighter X Tekken. Obviously Pac-Man makes no sense whatsoever, but even that jerk from inFamous, the angsty, generic dude who is ostensibly a human, looks entirely out of place in comparison to Ryu and Kazuya Mishima since his native gameplay style is so disparate from theirs.
So, propers to Tecmo Koei and Sega. Y’all are doing fan service correctly.