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Dead or Alive 5 Last Round hits PS4 and Xbox One on Feb. 17

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, the fourth and final iteration of Team Ninja's fighting game Dead or Alive 5, will come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Feb. 17, 2015, publisher Koei Tecmo confirmed today.

The current-generation port of the game will cost $39.99 on disc and $29.99 digitally. As it did with Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, Koei Tecmo will also release a free-to-play version of the game on both PS4 and Xbox One. Called Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters, the free version will include four playable characters: Ayane, Hayate, Kasumi and Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa. Players who download Last Round: Core Fighters will be able to expand the game by purchasing other characters. Strangely, the Xbox One version of Last Round: Core Fighters requires a $4.99 purchase — which adds Hitomi, Tina, Lee and Bass — before players can add other fighters individually.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is largely similar to the most recent release, last year's Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, but adds two new characters and two new stages. While we played the new Last Round characters during a hands-on demo of the game earlier this week, Tecmo Koei is keeping those characters — one male fighter and one female fighter — under wraps for now.

While we agreed not to disclose those new characters, longtime Dead or Alive fans will likely feel right at home with them, in terms of who they are, how they play ... and how much skin they expose.

Last Round will add two refreshed stages to the mix. One is a multi-tiered recreation of the original Danger Zone stage from the first Dead or Alive. Players fight in a flat stage mostly free of obstacles, and if one is unlucky enough to bounce into the Danger Zone, they'll be launched into the air with an explosion. The stage is mostly for effect at this point; it's highly unlikely that it would be used in a competitive or tournament capacity, since the stage's design could easily lead to infinite juggles.

The other stage is a modern remake of a stage called The Crimson from Dead or Alive 2. Here's a look at the new version, with inset comparisons of the original stage.

Beyond the two additional characters and new stages, Last Round feels very much like its predecessor in terms of what it offers. And it offers a lot for the price: 34 fighters, more than 300 costumes and a long list of stages and modes. Players will have access to fighters added in the Ultimate and Plus releases, including characters like Nyotengu, Marie Rose, Phase-4 and others. Some new costumes coming to Last Round are attached to retailer-exclusive pre-order incentives, and players will be able to transfer all their previously purchased DLC from last-gen consoles to the current version.

Team Ninja has plans to continue supporting Last Round with new content, even though it's a final, exhaustive release and something of a send off to this generation of Dead or Alive.

Not too much has changed visually in the current-gen release. There are some minor visual tweaks and polish coming to the fighters in Last Round, says Team Ninja creative director Tom Lee, but nothing too dramatic. And there will be some of the requisite balance tweaks that come with most fighters.

One new addition coming to Last Round is the option to add real-time accessories. These include visual customizations like hairstyles and glasses. Because this is a Dead or Alive game and such things are apparently important, players will even have multiple underwear options.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round feels like a solid last hurrah for this cycle of Team Ninja's 18 year old series, and seems like a good value for anyone looking to jump into the franchise.

Players who have been keeping up with the game's multiple releases might not find many compelling reasons to upgrade, especially if the DOA community is comfortable on PS3 and Xbox 360. But Last Round looks like the definitive version of what has been a great 3D fighting game so far.