Costumes aren’t new to the Dead or Alive series. The game has offered different looks for characters for years, going all the way back to the original game. With Dead or Alive 6, things are a little different. DOA Central has a Wardrobe section that lets you customize a character’s look, right down to glasses and title, providing a means of setting your favorite characters apart and an incentive to keep coming back to the game. However, it isn’t without its initial flaws.
Dead or Alive 6 starts you out with characters’ base looks and initial hairdos. The hairdos and glasses can be purchased with coins, with the average price of a new style being around 5,000 and glasses being around 2,000. With costumes, you first have to unlock parts for each outfit. When you have unlocked all of the bits for a piece, you can then use coins to purchase it. Quest is the best way to earn costume parts, since you could easily acquire about 100 pieces of material needed to unlock a new look, maybe even up to 300. The other Arcade, Survival, and Time Attack modes can also give you more of the items needed to make a costume available, but the amount being given is in flux. When you customize a character before a fight or in the Wardrobe, you choose the costume, hairstyle, glasses, and can combine two unlocked phrases to create a Title.
It is that doling out of materials that can make the Dead or Alive 6 costume acquisition messy and frustrating. Let’s use Quest as an example. Let’s say we complete the Marie Rose “An Angel’s Duty: The Show Must Go On!” series of survival matches and clear every mission. It says 300 patten parts will be doled out as a reward. But, you don’t get to choose which costume those parts go to. You don’t even get to determine which character they are for. When I went through that Marie Rose mission, I ended up getting 300 parts for an Ayane costume instead. Similar things can happen in other modes, albeit in smaller part concentrations. It is frustrating, since you can’t choose whose parts you earn or even which outfit it goes toward. You could end up unlocking recolors of base outfit before getting the pieces needed to get an ensemble for a character you really like and would actually use. This is supposedly going to be addressed in the March 2019 1.02 patch, so we’ll have to wait and see if things get better.
The Arcade, Survival, and Time Attack modes also only provided minimal amounts of costume parts for participating in them initially, which was a problem at launch. Especially since, in Quest, successfully completing a quest can give you hundreds of parts for an outfit. It seems Team Ninja could be working on rebalancing and making it a bit more fair, as the March 4, 2019 maintenance will boost the acquisition of costume parts in those three modes. We’ll have to wait and see how big of an effect this will have on part acquisition and when more tweaks are eventually applied with the March 2019 1.02 patch.
It is a shame, because there are some really great looking outfits for characters in Dead or Alive 6. No matter what style someone has or enjoys seeing, there is probably an included outfit that might catch your eye. Honoka has some especially cute schoolgirl and casual outfits. I loved Hayate and Kasumi’s ninja looks. If I could go ahead and decide where my costume parts went after earning them, I would have unlocked one of the Kokoro pinafore dresses with a sweater under it. (All three options are so cute.) La Mariposa has these great professional luchadora, as well as a professional one alluding to her past life and casual one. There is some disparity there, as male characters like Brad, Eliot and Zack have fewer clothing options. People who want to dress up the men might only find two outfits, each with two recolors, while a woman like La Mariposa has five outfits, with each having two recolors.
There are also some issues with acquiring costume parts in another. The first season pass is the sort of thing that could give people pause, as its $92.99 Season Pass 1 covers only four costume packs, Mai Shiranui and one other character, and these two new characters’ debut costume packs. (A Nyotengu Wrestling Costume and NiCO Technomancer Gear outfits are also included.) This first pack only covers content released until June 2019. It is entirely optional and, aside from the additional characters, is cosmetic. If someone isn’t interested in wedding attire or new costumes, what is included in the base game could be serviceable.
There are Dead or Alive 6 customization sphere that seem sound. Getting to work toward unlocking costumes and making it a major incentive in the Quest mode is a good idea. Especially since a lot of costumes are really great looking. The women in the cast have some great and diverse options available, some really suiting their personalities well. It’s just the execution is flawed. Not knowing which parts you are unlocking or being able to put the parts toward the characters you like most can be frustrating, as can seeing how few bits you get from playing modes other than Quest. It is a shame that getting looks can require some grinding, but there are some outfits out there that can be fun once they’re eventually acquired. It also seems like Team Ninja and Tecmo Koei are working to address players’ feedback, so maybe the costume unlocking system could be less work over time.
Dead or Alive 6 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.