Throwback Thursday: Dead or Alive Ultimate

So in an effort to be more active I want to try to make a weekly/semi weekly thing where I talk about old games that I loved when I was younger. Its only right I start with a game that started my love for fighting games Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate.


Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate is my favorite fighting game of all time. I have so many fond memories of this game and it really got me into playing fighting games at a different level. This is the one of the only few games I stayed up all night and did a 24 hour session. Now I did play games like Street Fighter and Tekken before this but something about knocking people off buildings or into explosive walls with flashy moves really got me hooked.

If you have never played a DOA title you probably know it for its breast jiggle physics. Yeah sex does sell but don’t let it distract you from the game and all of its great content. DOA 2 Ultimate featured a story mode, which is an arcade mode with cutscenes. It had survival, time attack, training mode and an online system that featured ranked, lobby and tournament modes. The game’s roster wasn’t huge by any means but every character with the exception of Bayman and Leon felt really different. The gameplay was basic for a 3d fighter but DOA has a counter system that makes it slightly different from similar titles like Tekken. Another difference that it has from Tekken at the time was the ability to switch planes on the stage. If you’re fighting on a building and land a wall throw or a hit strong enough to send them off you will jump down and fight on a new stage basically.  It had offline replayablity for every character to unlock multiple costumes. This was the time before dlc and you had to beat arcade multiple times with a character to unlock their costumes. So my 14 year old self had to beat Kasumi’s story multiple times on hard to get her bikini costumes. To top it all off the game had a great soundtrack too.

These are just two of my favorite songs.


This game featured a ranking system that ranked each player by letters that ranged from F to S. This was the first fighting game I have ever played online so I naturally wanted to get a good rank, but I had two problems. I was terrible at playing other players and I shared an Xbox live account with my brother. I was able to predict the cpu’s moves based on the different spacing and moves that I did but online against other players was a different beast. Even though I was bad online I still played a lot using the lobby system and eventually made friends that were better than me. This lead me to the 24 hour session I mentioned earlier.

One morning I just joined a lobby that had an S player just completely steaming through an 8 player lobby. He was playing multiple characters and never losing a round. When I played him eventually he perfected me. When it was my turn again he perfected me again. I eventually stayed for about 2 hours just to play this guy that was leagues better than anyone I have ever played before. I remember having a conversation with him about how he got so good and he just told me to go into practice mode. So I did and 30 minutes turned into a few hours, which turned into half a day. I practiced every character went through all of their moves and tried to string some combos together. Later that night he invited me into a lobby with some of his friends and the next thing I know the sun was coming up again.

After that day I got really good at the game, or at least in my 14 year old head I did. I performed much better against human opponents eventually getting much better than my brother and achieving an A rank online.  It never lasted because of the second problem I had which was sharing my account with my brother.


My brother wasn’t bad by any means at the game but he didn’t take ranked matches as seriously as I did. My brother is one of the laziest people I know and if his opponent has any sort of lead he would not try as hard.

Dead or Alive really set a standard for fighting games for me. Which has lead to a lot of disappointments in the current fighting game era. How can a fighting game that was release in 2004 have more content than the standard fighters that are played today? Why is it so hard for fighting games today to have a decent quality offline experience as well as online?

I don’t know why fighting games seem to decline the more they age but I did learn quite a few things from playing DOA online. I learned to form a solid work ethic to get better at fighting games, I learned its important to have others to level each other up and as petty or dumb as it may be, I learned that being good enough at a game could get you respect from people so I guess I chased that ever since.


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