Virtua Fighter 5

posted March 05, 2007 12:00:00 AM CST | 11 comments

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When it comes to fighting games, old skool gamers reminisce fondly on Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, while newbies swear fighting games didn’t exist before Tekken and Dead or Alive. But gaming aficionados realize that it was the Virtua Fighter series that successfully bridged the gap between 2D animated fighting to the immersive 3-D worlds presented on the Xbox’s and Playstations.

Maintaining the franchise’s high quality graphics and gameplay, the fifth release returns with the entire cast of VF4. Sega, never stagnant, brought along two new characters including, El Blaze, a Mexican wrestler who looks like the WWE’s Rey Mysterio and a new female fighter Eileen. The gameplay in VF5 is still based around three buttons: guard, punch, and kick, with multiple combo presses pulling off more damaging moves. Most fighters play exactly like they've played in the past (meaning: series vet Akira still dominates) though you’ll find some new tricks as well.

Throwing down with the homies, the action is incredibly fast and animation smooth, even when getting your ass handed to you. Unfortunately, the AI provides weak competition as the CPU is timid as hell, unless you crank up the difficulty. For the most part you can rely on cheap hit-and-run tactics and some quick rush/ throw maneuvers to take out scrubs and deal a good enough damage to heavyweights.

Since there’s no online gameplay, (::boooooo::) quest mode is closets thing you’ll get and hella addictive. Gamers create sparring partner that learns your fighting tendencies and upload to the VF network. The CPU randomly pits you against these ‘fighters’ one after the next and serves as the primary way to gain new items for character customizations.

With Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat losing their must-play status, props to Sega for showing us how fighting game ought to be done. Now just get us online gameplay.




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