I think Kasumi was just to draw people's attention to the game though, y'know she's a fan favorite and all...I'm sort of pissed how Ayane is being made more and more useless and keeps getting overshadowed by Kasumi. I noticed she is more like an antagonist: Has a horrible past, isn't the nicest person around and always gets beaten by the main protagonist. Now with Kasumi being in Ninja Gaiden too, It just get's worse.
True, but it would also be weird for them to put her in the game if they weren't wanting to remove some of the "soft" persona she had during her younger days. Granted it could have just been a excuse to get her in the future Warrior's Orochi games, on top of NG3 promotion, to boost future sales. Well Hayashi has been using Ayane to overshadow Kasumi for years, Kasumi remained the most popular, now he's trying to look good. It's how things go.
TTT2/SFxT: Lili, Julia; BBCSE: Noel, Mu-12; KOFXIII: Mai, Leona, Elisabeth GGXXAC: Dizzy, Jam; DOA5: Sarah, Kasumi, Helena; UMvC3: Morrigan, Trish, Chun
Well, let's just say everybody likes Kasumi, and Ayane will always remain in her shadow. And Kasumi might be in a possible future Warriors Orochi or something like that. She'll most likely be in NG4 though.
They are setting it in the order of Ryu > Kasumi > Hayate > Ayane Since Ryu is main char of NG franchise, their biggest game, thus the biggest and baddest Ninja. Kasumi is 2nd for her being the poster girl and main char of DOA series. Even thou Ayane was in more NG games and seemingly more qualified to be 2nd best ninja, they drop her status with every new game they make, with DOA:D dropping her level the most. Obviously they make it so Hayate is better than her since he is the Leader, i think if Hayate had his own game, he would have been make stronger than Kasumi not just Ayane. So far the "new TeamNINJA" is only better with Eye candies and Graphics than the old one.
Personally i don't like nor acknowledge DOA:D story, if anything its just some crap made to reinvent DOA series while erasing as many marks as possible left by Itagaki, its like saying F*** off you got fired and now we will remake it so its like you never was here. Its why i didn't buy that excuse for a game if anything DOA:D should have been something new, and not a remake of past games, same with movies or TV shows revival / remake. its always different than the original ones and make less sense to its fan base, no matter how good it looks, latest X-men movie, and Transformers 3 had one of the worst stories ever, but alas i diverse.
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In terms of gameplay, I'd give it to Kasumi due to moveset and overall speed and Tina because she's strong enough to get your life bar in the red with just a couple of throws.
If we're talking about DOA5 in general then it has to go to Sarah Bryant. Goddamn her range, strength and speed makes her deadly. I don't remember her being this much of a power house in Virtua Fighter but I suppose that's due to how she doesn't know how to counter in VF.
You can choose or not to like the DOAD story, the main events are pretty much the same, so it doesn't matter who beat who. I'll go with the original story, as it seems better, with DOAD showing all of the ninjas as weak characters that always need help to do something, except Ryu.