Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Ayane Playthrough

I plan on doing a bit of a series of these, not full-on playthroughs as such but my experiences with using different characters within the fantastic Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. Maybe I'll even branch into other fighting games in time but for now, this is the game I'm playing and enjoying so DOA5 it is. I must stress that I'm no pro so please don't take me to be a fool-proof strategy guide. These are simply the key moves and tricks that I have found useful when using a certain character.

I'm starting today with my favourite Dead or Alive character which is (obviously, as you can see) Ayane. Like all DOA ladies, Ayane is very easy on the eye but I also really dig her big ninja combos, speed and variety of moves. I don't really know why I've always preferred Ayane over Kasumi but perhaps it's just her cocky personality or 'harder' attitude compared to Kasumi who I honestly see as being a bit wimpy and apologetic in the DOA storyline.

Ayane's greatest assets (steady on) are her speed and evasiveness. Playing well as Ayane requires you to know her more advanced movements which keep opponents guessing and allow for various different follow-ups. Staying at safe distance is also a must for some of these manoeuvres to keep Ayane safe and able to attack. The downside is of course being in trouble when cornered or trapped in close quarters combat with a particularly aggressive opponent.

Key Movements
The first of Ayane's useful movements is her spinning backwards twirl initiated by pressing down/back + Punch + Kick. Not only does this move cause Ayane to spin away from the opponent but it also enables two different attacks to be launched mid-spin. Pressing 'P' while spinning will cause Ayane to launch a guard-breaking double palm thrust. This is useful for opening up an opponent's defences and leaving them vulnerable to a follow-up combo. If you press 'K' instead then Ayane will launch a flying forwards kick that hits at mid-height and sends the opponent flying. It's a fast move that can catch an opponent out OR help you get out of trouble and create some space between Ayane and the opponent.

The second important move that I only recently cottoned onto while experimenting is Ayane's back-up + P input. This makes her leap away from the opponent (great for evasion) but also puts Ayane into her back-facing stance. From here, you can unleash a variety of moves. Inputting ">, >" or "<, <" (depending on which direction you are facing) will make Ayane roll towards the opponent at speed. You can follow this up with 'K' for a sort of flip-kick attack or 'P' for a punch. You can also quickly input toward-up to immediately jump over the opponent at the end of Ayane's roll and surprise them with a back attack. Being in Ayane's backwards stance also allows you to use a neat throw with toward, toward + throw which covers a lot of ground as Ayane backflips and grabs the opponent with her legs before throwing them down. All of these follow ups to that initial leap away are great because they a) close up to the opponent quickly b) they keep your opponent guessing as to which one you may go for.

Key Moves
Another useful move is the back/up + K input which is very different from the 'P' version I just spoke about. This move is essentially a high, vertical flip kick that doesn't give Ayane any more distance but can get her out of a corner. It's a quick move that seems to catch opponents out quite frequently and crucially, it floors them, giving you a second or two to create some distance or simply escape a tight spot. It's one of my favourite moves.

The first part of her >, K, K combo is also useful in tight spaces. Essentially a knee to the chest, it seems to have a slight stun effect which is certainly enough to disrupt an opponent's flow and allow you get get back on top of the battle.

Most useful Move
The best of Ayane's regular moves in my opinion is her basic P, P, >, P, P combo purely for the sheer number of follow-ups that you can initiate after the fourth hit which will either stun or launch the opponent. This is usually the move that I opt for to begin a 10+ hit combo. If the opponent is stunned then that leaves them vulnerable for a launcher followed by either the P, P, P, K, K string or shorter P, K, K combo (an awesome upside-down helicopter kick!). I also like to use a single punch to put Ayane into her backward-facing stance so I can then use her back/down + K, K, K spinning kick combo. Usually only one of these hits will actually connect but the third and final blow can either be a low or mid-height strike depending on whether you continue to hold the backward-diagonal down.

Obviously there are many more follow-up possiblities given the sheer number of moves of DOA5 and the fluidity of the game which allows for so many of them to be strung together. I don't want to be a walking, talking strategy guide though! Full movelists and more in-depth, serious guides will be out there but these are just my own personal experiences and recommendations.

I'll finish up with my top three outfits for Ayane because why not?

Nicked from the wardrobe of Darkstalkers' Morrigan. Probably.
Practicality? Defensive qualities? Pah! Who needs 'em?
Like a better version of her 'classic' outfit. Season Pass exclusive though...

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