Dead or Alive 4 (2005)

by Nish
6 minutes read


Dead or Alive 4 is a landmark title in the fighting game genre, offering enhanced gameplay, an expanded character roster, and a deep narrative. Its technical depth and engaging combat system have cemented its legacy as a classic.


Dead or Alive 4, the 2005 masterpiece of the fighting game genre, continues the saga with enhanced gameplay, a tighter counter system, and an expanded roster that deepens its engaging narrative.


“Dead or Alive 4” (DOA4), developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo, is a fighting game that was released exclusively for the Xbox 360 in 2005. It is the fourth main installment of the Dead or Alive franchise. The game was originally slated to be a launch title for the Xbox 360, but was delayed until more than a month after the console debuted.

The game’s plot continues the war between the Dead or Alive Tournament Executive Committee (DOATEC) and the Mugen Tenshin clan. After Ayane successfully defeats DOATEC’s last creation, Omega, Hayate returned to the Mugen Tenshin clan, taking over the leadership. Now leader, he goes on a quest to put an end to DOATEC, for all the suffering it has caused to the world. He is accompanied by Ayane and Ryu Hayabusa; Kasumi, though reluctant, is dragged into the events herself as she follows her brother.

DOA4 introduced three new characters to the main line-up of regular fighters, as well as many multi-tiered and interactive fighting arenas. A gameplay system that, in some ways, differed greatly from previous installments. A sequel to the game, Dead or Alive 5, was released in 2012.

The game’s story mode introduces the player to new characters and opponents via combat which can then be played in the game’s other modes. New features are introduced in the gameplay and the game’s online mode. DOA4 has a number of updates in reference to previous titles. New to DOA4 is the introduction of the “Bounce Combo” system. After knocking an opponent to the ground with a strike attack, players can execute a Bounce Combo to perform further attacks on the opponent when they are bouncing off the ground.

Low attacks and some mid attacks can now be performed on opponents while they are down. Certain stages now have moving obstacles that will cause damage to fighters if they are hit by them, and using a counter hold at the right timing can help players avoid being hit by them. Certain stages now also have obstacles in which fighters can be knocked over them, and when the opponent is on the other side of an obstacle, players can jump over them and they can also perform flying attacks.

New to the game’s Online Mode is the introduction of Avatars and Virtual Environments, making it the first fighting game to include these features. Players can customize their Avatars and the environment and furniture in their Lobby. Players can take part in voice or text-based chat with other players while in the Lobby room. Award points are earned from winning online battles and players can use the points to buy accessories for their Avatars and Lobby rooms.

“Dead or Alive 4” is a significant installment in the Dead or Alive series, introducing new characters, gameplay mechanics, and online features. Its plot continues the ongoing conflict between the Mugen Tenshin clan and DOATEC, adding depth to the game’s narrative. With its innovative features and engaging storyline, DOA4 stands as a landmark title in the fighting game genre.


The game boasts 22 playable characters including series staples like Kasumi and Ryu Hayabusa, along with newcomers such as Kokoro, La Mariposa, Eliot, and Brad Wong. Each character brings unique fighting styles and storylines to the game, enriching the DOA lore.


DOA4 refines its fighting mechanics with updated move lists for each character and a more challenging counter system. The game also features interactive, multi-tiered arenas that add depth and strategy to the combat, making each match a dynamic experience.


Dead or Alive 4 stands as a testament to the evolution of fighting games, offering a rich blend of strategy, skill, and narrative. It solidified its place in video game history with its innovative gameplay and captivating character dynamics.

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