Virtua Fighter 5 Review
- Posted August 7th, 2007 at 15:18 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 19 Comments
- PSU Review Score
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Virtua Fighter 5 is a hardcore fighters dream, whether you’re a fan of the series or not.
- Hundreds of different moves to study.
- Comprehensive, realistic fighting mechanics.
- Lengthy Quest Mode.
- No online functionality.
- Single player feels slightly tame compared to other fighters.
- Definitely not your typical "pick up and play" brawler.
Virtua Fighter’s eponymous debut back in the early 1990s signified one of the most crucial transitions in beat ‘em up history that changed gaming forever; the polygonal leap to 3D. Indeed, despite remaining one of the most venerable series that is still happily chugging along over a decade later, SEGA’s flagship brawler has had to endure gamers shifting their attention away to the voluptuous, dynamic offerings from rivals Namco and Tecmo over the years. The more streamlined, user-friendly approach to 3D combat from games such as Tekken, Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive attracted a whole new legion of followers, and achieved nothing but to fully perpetuate Virtua Fighter 5’s stiff, hardcore image in the minds of causal observers around the globe. As such, its decline in western territories became a slow but inexorable passing in Joe Public’s collection gaming conscience. Bruised but not completely battered, the series has carved out an immensely loyal fan base in its native Japan, where the franchise has continued to prove after each subsequent release why it’s unquestionably one of the most comprehensive, intricate fighters on the market – and fortunately, it's very much apparent with this latest instalment on PlayStation 3.
Virtua Fighter 5 follows on from the events of its last generation predecessor, with international conglomeration J6 having just barely completed development on the latest Dural mode, following the escape of base model combatant, Vanessa Lewis. Thus, the company decides to announce the Fifth World Fighter Tournament to test run Dural and flush out any traitors. The game adds two new characters to the roster, bringing the total number of fighters to 17, including the usual host of familiar faces such as Kage-Maru, Shun-Di, Jeffry McWild and Sarah Bryant.
Unlike other fighters who are bombarded with multiple button set-ups and combinations, Virtua Fighter 5 continues the series tradition of basing its manoeuvres around three buttons; guard, kick and punch. However, this seemingly innocuous offering houses literally hundreds upon hundreds of performance combos, throws, reversals and other assorted attacks spread throughout the games line-up of fighters, all of whom bring a variety of complex, diverse fighting styles which will likely take you weeks, if not months, to properly master. Therein lies the series most extolled values; the array of moves is compelling, and the timing required to execute and ultimately surpass your foes must be mastered down to the last second, requiring what some may find an arduous amount of training ahead. However, the reward comes when you find yourself pulling off a perfectly timed left-punch reversal, or countering your opponent's moves with a precise, thunderous elbow to the gut.
It’s satisfying on a level that quite simply can’t be found in other fighters, where beginner’s luck tends to run rampant. Likewise, the moves themselves look great, and are executed in such a fluidity that at times it coaxes you to wonder whether you’re actually playing a videogame or watching the real thing; indeed, only a few minor flubs are noticeable, but they do nothing to break the immersion factor. It’s nothing short of a testament to developer AM2’s desire bring to life the fluidity and believability of two combatants slugging it out in the ring, and watching it unfold before your very eyes. Of course, there’s still plenty of over-the-top juggles to experience, which, while not quite as ostentatious as those found in Tekken or Dead or Alive, are still equally complicated to pull off, and ultimately just as satisfying. It should come as no surprise that the key to winning a lot of matches lies in your ability to keep your opponent air-based for as long as possible, allowing you to pummel them into submission with a string of intricate, time-based combos as they lie helplessly at your mercy.
The standard Arcade mode is pretty basic by all accounts; you fight your way through eight stages, battling against somewhat tame computer-controlled opponents in a bid to claim victory. There’s virtually no narrative content here whatsoever, a factor that has proved to become a welcoming addition in incentivizing the majority of post-arcade releases over last few years. Subsequently, it’s doubtful you’ll spend much time in the mode, though increasing the AI difficulty can provide you with a decent challenge if you feel like it. Indeed, ... (continued on next page)
- 10:21am EDT - August 7th, 2007
- 10:42am EDT - August 7th, 2007
- 10:44am EDT - August 7th, 2007
Never really liked VF games. Maybe I'll rent it.
- 10:52am EDT - August 7th, 2007
I have to disagree. even if you are a fighting game fan, you will find this game needlessly complicated.
- 11:08am EDT - August 7th, 2007
Love this game, the creativity and fluidity of the movesets, the customisation options and the graphics combine to make it a totally sublime and fun game...
- 11:18am EDT - August 7th, 2007
No online multiplayer support >.< I'll pass on this one. The game looks ok however.
- 12:04pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
good game it sounds like
- 12:30pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
- 12:41pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
Not a fan
- 12:42pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
it's still the best fighter to have a real tournament with some buddys and Mary a friend...
- 2:25pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
Nice review but I personally don't care for Virtue Fighter games. Sure its great for people who want to spend a long long time developing their master finger skills but the level of fun to start with isn't there without it. Not what I can get from Tekken or Soul Caliber anyway.
- 2:52pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
hate VF games.how can they give it a 9 rating.its totally crap.
- 3:04pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
Listen. the VF series has it's fans, it deserves them because the game is a masterful creation. BUT that's only if you are the type of person that actually knows martial arts and has the patients to effectivly learn 8 different fighting styles. VF is not some simple Game were you learn a dozen or so moves per character it's a game that forces you to learn about 20 to even remotely be able to call your self a beginner. It's easy in single player for the first few fights and then it takes you out back and bends you over the hood of an old ford pick-up and has it's way with you violantly until you bleed and then drops you in the dirt and walks away zipping it's pants and drinking a warm beer. and the only way you can avoid this is if you actually KNOW your enemies combos so you can defend against them and find the opening to counter attack. Do yourself a favor; if you like Tekken stick with it, keep clear of this. If you like Dead or alive or Ninja Gaiden, you might like it atleast for the mild breast physics and customization of characters into funky wierd designs (though it's never as crazy as either of those two games). If you're into walking on hot coals and punching glass shards to get stronger then this is your game. VF IS NOT FOR CASUAL FIGHTING GAME FANS, You have been warned.
- 11:27pm EDT - August 7th, 2007
i love this game,but i'm still not getting the highest rank, and i must to play alot to get it, im in viindacator now (or 2 or 3 more than that), with a perfect score, and i did win all the tournaments, i don't remember well my rank 'cause i don't play this game for almost 2 months (but is just 'cause i bough ngs and vt5, but after that i'm going back to vf5)
- 3:55pm EDT - August 17th, 2007
its a good game but no online kills it, i wasent too concerned about it not being online until xbox got a confirmed online play for there version i took mine right back after i seen the news about it, but it seems as if they may send a patch or re release the game for the ps3 with online play later this year after it come for 360 thats stupid but yeah the game is tight though
- 6:17am EDT - September 10th, 2007
great score. i will definitly buy it !
- 5:14pm EDT - September 17th, 2007
VF5 needs 2 be in everyones' collection.@ MSRP of 39.99 it's a gift of the Pugilists' Gods. Do yourself a favor & put the time in it. The first time you pull off "That Sweet Move" you'll be hooked. At the end of the day that's all VF5 is..sweet move after sweet move. Get some.
- 6:34am EDT - September 22nd, 2007
I play both VF and Tekken. I love this game so far. I have enough friends/family to come over and play though. I wonder what Tekken will do to outshine this one?
- 6:57pm EST - February 3rd, 2010
Best VF part from all! Until the next one comes! Fighting game with very deep fighting technic! Biggest rival for Tekken!!!
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