Yesterday afternoon a tweet appeared on the official account of Team Ninja, the Tecmo Koei development group responsible for the Dead Or Alive series of fighting games. It reads, “またDOA5を購入頂いた皆さんへの感謝の気持ちとして、本日は無料DLCを準備しています。続報をお待ちください。
#DOA5.” For those of you who can’t read Japanese, Google Translate offers the following English-language version, “As gratitude to everyone who purchased a DOA5, today I have to prepare the DLC free of charge. Please wait for further news. # DOA5.” It’s a bit stiff, but you get the idea: Team Ninja wants to thanks those who’ve supported its latest title with free downloadable content. Great, right?
Unfortunately, neither that tweet nor any of the others that followed it offered any word on what that DLC might be, or when it might appear on either the Xbox Live Marketplace or PlayStation Network Store. At the time we were left to assume that Team Ninja was talking about a future release of downloadable content that we’d have to wait weeks, if not months to actually see for ourselves. That idea didn’t last very long though, as a brand new, totally free pack of downloadable costumes is now available to Xbox 360 owners (and coming to the PlayStation 3 later today).
We just pulled down the nearly 70MB costume pack from the in-game Xbox Live Marketplace browser, and can confirm that it both exists and is free of charge. Likewise, we can also offer this pack’s official description, courtesy Microsoft: “A free pack of 11 costumes for the unique characters of Dead or Alive 5. This pack includes costumes for Kokoro, Zack, Helena, Bayman, Gen Fu, Christie, Tina, Mila, Akira, Sara and Pai.”
That’s great news, right? Who can resist free stuff? Though we are quite happy to see Team Ninja express its affection for fans through downloadable extras, we’re left wondering why the company would release a pack with 11 new costumes. That’s just such a random number. Dead Or Alive 5, it should be noted, includes 23 fighters, so this DLC pack effectively ignores over half the cast. Then again, if you remove Alpha-152 (the unlockable boss character whose aesthetic is best described as “a naked, liquid green Kasumi”), the “First Time Pack” — that’s its official name — covers exactly half of the characters in Dead Or Alive 5. Does that mean that Dead or Alive 5 publisher Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja have plans for a second free pack of costumes for the remaining fighters? Or maybe that the company will use this initial free DLC to draw in customers before offering up that still hypothetical second DLC pack for five to ten dollars? We’ve reached out to Tecmo Koei with these questions and will update this piece as necessary with anything we might hear back.
In the meantime, go download the free DLC costume pack! It’s not every day that a video game developer flouts capitalism by giving stuff away, and as you can see from the above image, these new costumes proudly continue the Dead Or Alive tradition of stuffing pretty ladies into horribly ill-fitting clothing. We called it “spectacle” in our recent review of Dead Or Alive 5, but we’re sure you can imagine a few other words to describe it.
Update: A representative for Tecmo Koei just got back to us concerning the above questions, and unfortunately it looks like the team is currently unable to offer any word on its future DLC plans. However, we have been assured that we’ll be notified just as soon as such information is ready for public release.
Update 2: YouTube user “BloodBurger1″ has created a video showing off each of the costumes available in this DLC pack. It’s embedded below, though if you’re at work you might want to hold off on hitting “play,” as a number of the female costumes tread a fine line between “sexy” and “you’re being fired for sexual harassment.”