During a recent media event in San Francisco, Team Ninja confirmed the not-so-surprising appearances of Ayane and Hitomi in the developer's forthcoming brawler Dead or Alive 5. We've known about Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa and DOA's Hayate being in the roster as well, but this was our first chance to see the newest additions in action.
The more I played Dead or Alive 5 during our session, the more that I became convinced that the last time I've seen these many drastic changes to the series was when Dead or Alive 2 came out. It's with these two gals that you can really see how Team Ninja is consciously shifting away from the doll-like facial features of past DOA character designs. Hitomi for example is showing a more slender face, shedding of some of her baby fat. The changes are very slight, just enough to be noticeable, but still unmistakably Dead or Alive.