This is an Achievement website so this review will look at the game and it's relation to the Achievements.
But don't worry I'll try to cover the overall game too.
This XBLA game is very similar to the 2007 retail game of Virtua Fighter 5.
I must begin by saying I'm a Huge Virtua Fighter fan. I had Virtua Fighter 1 and 2 on the Sega Saturn when I was a kiddo along with Fighters Megamix and then Virtua Fighter 3 on the Dreamcast and Finally Virtua Fighter 5 on Xbox 360. I GET Virtua Fighter.
The Big difference between Virtua Fighter 5 2007 and Virtua Fighter 5 XBLA 2012 is they've trimmed the fat. The 2007 release had a long drawn out Quest mode that was pretty silly in my opinion. You had to pick ONE character and stick with them for the ENTIRE Quest game, which tried to sugar coat the fact that basically they wanted you to beat OVER 1000 fights and I think it was closer to 1500 Fights!!! This was a Major drag and it was a true grind to get the 1000G.
Luckily VF5 XBLA scraps this mode and brings the game closer towards it's arcade roots. It also adds 2 new characters. Fat Sumo guy from Virtua Fighter 3 returns and a new face in Jean Kujo who's style is Karate.
I do Martial Arts in real life. I'm a Black Belt in Aikido and a Brown Belt in Karate... So naturally I went straight for the new Karate Style character Kujo, who I spent most of my time with this game playing as. He's a slightly slower but still powerful character. Think Strong single strikes Akira rather than speedy kicks Jacky.
That's another thing, the Martial Arts presented in this game are AMAZING and each character and their style represent the ABSOLUTE PINNACLE of their respective Martial style. It's a video game and obviously over the top compared to real life fighting and sparring but it's fictionalized video game representation of Martial Arts is EXCELLENT... if that makes sense
Aoi Umenokoji is the character that uses Aikido (as well as Ju Jitsu to make her character work within the frame of the game) so I naturally tried her out to see what Aikido moves they used for her.
EXCELLENT, truly excellent use of Aikido moves. But this characters style is mostly throws and counters which isn't my style of play so I quickly went back to my staple character Jean Kujo and have fun checking out his Karate.
Again EXCELLENT. The moves are over the top compared to reality but he always Chambered his returning fist after a punch which is a classic characteristic of Karate and the kicks are very very cool versions of classic Karate kicks.
Anyway I better get onto the Achievements.
Before I begin let me give the game a huge thumbs up in terms of the game itself. It's my Favorite fighting game PERIOD. It has endless depth, Amazing graphics, sound, online play, perfectly balanced, and it's fans probably already know this stuff. So the game itself 10/10, 5/5, 5 Stars, 100% etc etc etc.
What is it with XBLA games!!!???!!! Their Achievements are either too hard and time consuming compared to their size and offerings and more like the time required for full retail... OR... As we have here, INSULTINGLY EASY!!! Daytona USA suffered from this as did PAC MAN CE DX.. It's nice to have a quick 100% but you're left feeling like you wasted your money.
Virtua Fighter 5 FS suffers from this. Perhaps it's an over reaction to VF5 retails silly Single Player One Character ONLY Achievement Quest Grind, which made a bore out of an otherwise Amazing game. Or some other reason. Who knows.
I got the 100% Full 400G's done and dusted within a few hours... And I was taking my time, trying out different characters and just all round playing pretty badly by my own standards so I'm sure others would do it in 2 hours easy.
There's Arcade Achievements for completing it (too easy by turning it to Very Easy and 1 round wins). Winning without being hit once, (easily done by accident on the previous achievement) getting the opponent to fall out of the ring, (easy) Tutorial (Super Easy) do a combo in score attack (Easy after doing Tutorial) play 10 ranked online games (that's PLAY, you can stand there and just lose immediately each time)
The only thing that was really quite cool was the 'Complete ten tests in License Challenge Mode.'
This was actually quite fun, relatively challenging and made you often think more than just actually winning by beating your opponent into a pulp.
The AI was set so you had to step up to the challenge after I was wimping out with the very easy arcade mode
You had to win by doing things like block 5 times before winning, get in a throw before winning or the final 10th one which was win 6 fights in a row. More challenging than I was at first expecting and much more fun than the boring quest mode from VF5 Retail.
So to sum up, an EXCELLENT PERFECTLY BALANCED 10/10 fighting game... with silly phoned in easy Achievements.
Is it still worth buying??? ABSOLUTELY!!!
(One tiny thing, whatever they've done to tweak the game or AI I found it much harder to rush in and perform a throw compared to other Virtua Fighter games. Did anyone else notice this or was it just me?)