Virtua Fighter 5 Reviews

  • JoeCool7835JoeCool7835376,717
    10 Dec 2010
    19 4 6
    Since 1995, the 3D fighting game community was split between loyalty to two games series: Tekken and Virtua Fighter. Back then, which one you played depended on which console you owned. If you had the Sega Saturn, you had Virtua Fighter. If you had the Sony PlayStation, you had Tekken. That was the way it was until Sega bowed out of the hardware business. Next thing I knew, Tekken 5 was duking it out with Virtua Fighter 4 on the PS2! Now, the 360 is home to both Tekken 6 and Virtua Fighter 5. I'll talk about Tekken 6 in a later review, but, now, let's look at Virtua Fighter 5.

    The PS3 version floored the world with its steller visuals, and the 360 is definitely no slouch there. Sure, it doesn't have crazy pyrotechnics with each hit, but the impacts look so real, the game didn't need them. That's always been the buzz word with the VF series: "real". The character roster is smaller than most fighters, but, on the flipside, unlike other games that use the same style with multiple fighters, with VF5, each fighter is 100% unique. Each fighting style is perfectly modeled and complex as hell. It will take a LONG time to master just one character's move list.

    The Arcade, Training, and VS modes are the standard stuff. The big unique mode is the Quest mode which sees you taking a single character from Arcade to Arcade challenging the locals and entering tournaments. It's a much different take on a quest. (Well, what do you expect from Sega?)

    The 360 version released a year after the PS3 version, and it was worth the wait because of one major addition: XBOX LIVE PLAY!!! Now, Americans get the chance to get schooled by the Japanese players who took the Virtua Fighter courses (yeah, those REALLY exist!) without the humiliation of entering a public tournament. There are Leaderboards for Arcade and Training and VF.TV for watching ongoing matches. The online offerings are slim, but the fact that the game is, for the most part, lag-free, it kicks ass!

    All of the Achievements can be done in single-player, and most are meant for insane completionists, including beating ALL opponents in each of the Quest arcades and earning the highest rank with one fighter. It's a shame that the online play didn't factor into the Achievements since that was the big thing the 360 version had over the PS3.

    Virtua Fighter 5 is a masterwork of fighting game design. It is one of the only fighting games where flailing gets you nowhere and where practice and dedication reward in spades. Pick it up, and give me a shout-out if you want a match! wave
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    SoulKatanaVF5 is AWESOME!!!
    i play it since release almost every day...
    btw good review!
    Posted by SoulKatana on 15 Dec 10 at 16:45
    MazraelDunno about perfection, the hit collision is often way off.. the monk guy is a button bashers dream.. and AI ranking seem off, in I've found tougher 6th dans than berserkers.. I'm glad there's no online achievements, it feels like I'm being forced play modes I don't care for.. as for "Real".. Wrestlers could not compete against most martial arts, they always seem like the joke characters, also there's a few throws that end up like cutscenes because they faf around before it actually happens, and should be more easily escapable.. VF5 is a 4 at best
    Posted by Mazrael on 01 Jul 11 at 23:17
    Gokuu LegendMASTER yu SUZUKI THX
    Posted by Gokuu Legend on 24 Mar 13 at 09:26
  • Ahmet CeranAhmet Ceran47,170
    14 Oct 2013
    11 0 0
    Virtua Fighter 5 includes all of the modes you would expect. Arcade mode lets you fight through a lineup of characters until you reach a boss. Dojo mode is the training area, and you can free train or use a command training option where the game basically teaches you how to do everything. If you want to get good at this game, the Dojo is vitally important. Quest mode is meant to mimic real life arcade competition where there are different arcades available, each filled with players of varying skill levels, and your objectives is to beat everyone, win tournaments, and prove you are the best. Other modes include VF.TV mode where you can watch attract mode movies, saved replays, or set up exhibition matches between two CPU players. Customize mode lets you change colors, or outfits, or add accessories to your characters.

    Of course, the main attraction on the Xbox 360 version is the VS. mode. You can play against another player locally, or jump onto Xbox Live to find an opponent. The Xbox Live setup is pretty easy to navigate, and finding a ranked or player match is fast and easy. It must be noted that there is some occasional lag online, but most matches are at worst passable and at best pretty darn smooth, but almost always very playable.
    On top of a solid fighting engine, Virtua Fighter 5 Online has at least one truly amazing single-player mode. Even the most hardcore fighting game fanatic would agree that the single-player mode is where most fighters fall down. But Virtua Fighter 5 is different; it offers a "Quest" mode that gives you a compelling reason to fight hundreds (if not thousands) of battles without complaining.

    In Quest mode you get to choose one character and then play as a guy going from arcade to arcade playing virtual Virtua Fighter 5 fans, entering tournaments, customizing your character and going from the bottom ranked player to the top. It's not as deep as a full-fledged adventure game or the campaign in a first-person shooter game, but Virtua Fighter's quest mode is oddly addicting.

    Each of the city's arcades is represented by a little icon on a large map; in each arcade are a series of Virtua Fighter regulars who are looking for a new challenger. Each of the arcades has three different Virtua Fighter cabinets, so pick the one closest to your rank and see how many opponents you can beat in a row. From time to time you'll win prizes for playing certain fans and, if your experience is high enough, you may even rank up to another level. Part of what makes this game so addictive is leveling up your character, it's always exciting to know that you're making progress and are ready to fight the arcade's more experienced players.

    Of course, none of this would work if you were just playing the same 18 characters over and over. The reason that this quest mode can exist at all is because of how customizable each of the characters is. Between the different clothes, accessories and hairstyles, every character can look as goofy or deadly serious as you want them to look. While none of this changes the way they fight, it is awfully fun to dress your character up in a lot of different weird ways. In the quest mode you will be running into a lot of other people's Virtua Fighter characters, that is, the dressed-up fighter that each real person has come up with. The reason this works so well is because each fighter is given a name and you start to recognize certain virtual fighters based on the way their Virtua Fighter looked.

    The quest mode is about more than just fighting strangers at one of the city's many arcades; you can also enter major tournaments and see if you can hit the top spot. What's more, the game also tracks your wins and losses, as well as let you add your own icons next to your name/handle. While there isn't a story in the quest mode, this does offer a compelling reason to fight when you're by yourself.

    But as great as the quest mode is (and trust me, I've lost plenty of hours just sitting there ranking up my character), Virtua Fighter 5 is meant to be played against other people. If this was any other version of Virtua Fighter that would involve you finding another real person who was into video games (and good at Virtua Fighter), but thankfully that's not the case with this Xbox 360 game. As I mentioned before, this is the first time Virtua Fighter has been online, and Sega has done a remarkably good job of giving us a smooth running 3D fighter that works with the Xbox Live service.

    Of course, no online game is perfect and Virtua Fighter 5 does have a few problems. The obvious concern for a game like this is internet lag; fighting games just don't work right if there's lag while playing the game. Unfortunately Virtua Fighter 5 runs into this lag concern, but it's not nearly as bad as other attempts at online 3D fighting (see: Dead or Alive 4). I have played rounds of Virtua Fighter 5 online that have been lag-free, while other rounds have devolved into a framey mess. The good definitely outweighs the bad here, but I can only hope that somebody will be able to perfect online fighting.
    For casual fans, or people trying to transition over from the Tekken or Dead or Alive camps, VF5 can be pretty overwhelming. In most fighting games, a novice player can beat a veteran player from time to time by mashing buttons or spamming certain attacks over and over or sometimes they just get lucky. That doesn’t happen in VF5. The vast majority of the time, a skilled or even mediocre player is going to beat a novice player. That is why the online mode is so vital in this game. Human competition is vital to the longevity of a fighting game, but when you can easily beat the snot out of your friends, they don’t want to play anymore. With VF5, you can just jump online and find skilled people to fight whenever you want. Good times.

    Visually, players looking for some evidence of a distinguishing factor in system power will be disappointed, as the Xbox 360 version looks more or less identical to the PS3 version, although Sega claims "improved antialiasing" as a noteworthy feature. While the graphics do look slightly more polished, especially in the match-ending victory poses, the most notable difference we saw was in how vibrant the colors were on 360. The sound, issued forth in 5.1 channels, is excellent as well. The different modes offer, in varying degrees, new customization options, in case things like the Dojo weren't deep enough. Perhaps the major conundrum for 360 buyers is in the control options. The 360 version doesn't handle nearly as poorly using the 360 controller as you might have thought, but it's not great, either. The D-pad (Dear Microsoft: Can you please fix this thing, stat?) is stiff and unreliable, and it's virtually impossible to pull off some of Virtua Fighter's most difficult moves using this controller. The Hori Fighting Stick that's being released seperately alongside VF5 is a much better option, although it pales in comparison to the Virtua Stick High Grade (which uses authentic, arcade-quality Sanwa parts) released by Sega in Japan for PS3. Don't be fooled, though. The Hori Fighting Stick is fine for inputs and responsiveness and "clickiness." The only question is the longevity of the stick, as the rigors of repeated play wear down consumer-grade arcade sticks faster than higher-quality arcade sticks.

    For me Virtua Fighter 5 is a great fighting game that is at its absolute best on the Xbox 360. It is absolutely gorgeous looking, and the gameplay is some of the best the genre has seen yet. For hardcore fighting fans, or at least gamers with the patience to really put in the effort to learn the incredibly deep fighting system, Virtua Fighter 5 is highly recommended. It is not a perfect game, however, and I can’t recommend it to everyone. The characters just plain aren’t as interesting as what you’ll find in other fighters, and the tiny shreds of story here and there won’t do much for casual players
    Virtua Fighter 5 is absolutely a great game that is worth owning for real fight fans, but it isn’t for everyone.clap