A new trailer was released today for Dead or Alive 5 which showed off series regular Kasumi as well as a surprising guest character, Akira from Virtua Fighter. The trailer starts off by giving a quick rundown of a new stage, a wooden river raft area inside of a cave. The raft is initially stationery but once you knock your opponent into one of the walls it causes the raft to move downstream and it eventually goes outside, is broken apart and just hangs short of falling off of a waterfall. Dead or Alive has always been known for its large, multi-tiered stages and knowledge of your surroundings has generally played an important role during high-level matches. Dead or Alive 5 seems to up the ante by not just giving you large, static environments but by making parts of the stage actually break and change in real-time. When the raft reaches its destination at the end of the waterfall, a section of the raft breaks off and lets you knock your opponent out. Kasumi is noted as hanging off of the raft here, in one of the cliffhanger scenarios that are being introduced with DOA5, and her opponent runs toward her in order to knock Kasumi off, presumably into another section of the stage to continue the fight. The trailer has some notable changes from previous builds. For instance, the effects that come up while hitting your opponent have been significantly toned down and don't cover up much of the screen. These effects slightly light up the area being hit as well and blocked attacks now create a slight puff of smoke. In terms of system changes, fortunately, holds don't seem as powerful as they were in previous DOA games and appear to be much shorter in duration and damage. The action tends to quickly get back to normal after a successful hold is completed in comparison to the older games where a hold would tend to break the flow of a match. Unfortunately, to the dismay of much of the fighting game community, it still appears to be possible to hold during critical state, not to be confused with hit-stun for you Street Fighter players out there. The number of moves that actually cause this critical state has been toned down from DOA4 and DOA Dimensions fortunately. Some more good news is that moves appear to track less than in previous iterations and wall hits seem to leave your opponent in a slight juggle state which would mean that it would be possible for you to guarantee a follow-up. Holding "un-holdable" attacks in DOA5 also steps you to your opponents side rather than their back and Kasumi uses this advantage to charge and hit Ayane with her "Power Blow" attack. Other changes include Kasumi's being avoided by Ayane's special position switch jump, Kasumi's returning after missing in action in DOA4 along with what looks like a modified from DOA3. Kasumi has also gained a fair amount of new moves from various teleport situations that weren't previously possible and she's also lost the ground bounce after her . Ayane has gained a new move where she twirls her arms and leaves her back-turned and the animation for this seems very reminiscent of Kasumi's in DOA++. Akira seems to be a faithful representation of his Virtua Fighter 5 self with the added "Power Blow" technique added to his repertoire. Overall, the game is looking very impressive right now but we still don't know nearly enough about the system changes to determine whether or not they'll appease the hardcore Dead or Alive player. For more DOA5 news, be sure to follow FreeStepDodge.com and look foward to a frame-by-frame analysis of the trailer soon.