Virtua Fighter 5
STORY: All of the sought after invitations for the Fifth World Fighting Tournament have been sent and now the 17 best fighters in the world begin their final phases of preparation. They must learn from their prior mistakes and perfect every aspect of their mind, body, and soul - for there is no room for mistakes in this competition. Little do they know that J6, the organization funding the tournament, has sinister ulterior motives for the contest and the company's top secret Dural program is already well underway.
In the organization's quest for world domination, the scientists at J6 are creating the ultimate fighting machine with human features. Their first model was defeated in the Fourth World Fighting Tournament, which drove them to kidnap Vanessa. She was able to escape with the help of an insider, but not before they captured her combat data and transferred it to the new advanced Dural model named V-Dural. J6 is determined to find out who the inside traitor is that released Vanessa and more importantly, if V-Dural is indeed ready to defeat the world's best fighters. The Fifth World Fighting Tournament will reveal both - let it begin.
Gotta <3 crispy graphics.
REVIEW: Following in VF tradition, Virtua Fighter 5 showcases two new characters: El Blaze and Eileen, each representing unique fighting styles to the series. As any fighting game enthusiast would expect, the deep gameplay and graphical polish that the series is known for has been improved upon and is still "leading the pack" graphically and gameplay-wise. Sega is one of the original pioneers of the 3D fighting game genre and needless to say, the PS3 has been blessed with it's first quality fighting game and the Xbox 360 receives a much needed 3D fighter for it's library of games.
If you've seen VF5 running on a quality HDTV, you'd have to agree that the visuals are indeed groundbreaking. Simply put, the character models, lighting effects, clothing effects and textures are incredible eye candy and likely some of the best seen in any video game to date. The newest and one of the most impressive graphical effects is the clothing, which even appears "wet" when characters come in contact with water... amazing stuff. The backgrounds are also impressive and nicely designed all around, definitely some of the best of the series. On the flipside, if you look closely in some backgrounds, you might be able to notice a few poor quality textures here or there. Thankfully it's not noticeable during gameplay since the focus is on the characters themselves, and they really end up stealing the show when in motion.
Many character animations from the prequels have been tweaked, which makes for a noticeably smoother gameplay experience. Among the most noticeable are the basic (8-way) walking animations, which are incredibly smooth and are likely the best of any 3D fighting game (or 2D for that matter). Throws and counters also look awesome for the most part, but a few of which are actually quite awkward looking (like Lau's lame choke-slam for example). Many of VF5's throws indeed look painful, but some of the throws and "holds" are actually very unrealistic. Being a martial artist myself, I know you can't break an arm or even hurt an arm with some of the throws/holds shown in this game... and for a game seemingly going for realism, I gotta take off some points for that, Sega. On top of that, some of the collision detection just isn't quite there and certain moves don't even seem to hurt very much at all. I think the VF series' collision/ouch factor would actually benefit putting in some sort of hit effects, as seen in the Tekken series.
Eileen & El Blaze offer innovative fighting styles to the series (and to fighting games).
As any player of Virtua Fighter 4 and Evolution would hope, the cool customization items have returned along with a deeper character customization mode. *sigh* ...items are so overpriced though! You can earn money to buy clothing items from the shop by playing through the 1-player "Quest Mode". This mode pits you against countless computer AI challengers as you continue to achieve higher ranks. There's also Arcade mode where you try to obtain the highest score and also Training mode with Command training (imperative for beginners).
The only downside about the 1-player experience is that the computer AI is nearly a pushover, even for "mediocre" players... or at least it appears that way for a while. The type of fighters you face in the beginning of Quest Mode, even hours upon hours in, can be beaten by spamming a single button at times. Certain moves also seem to hit 99% of the time, no matter when they're used or from what distance. Or you could just stand there and block for a while and the AI will eventually stop attacking as if to say "Throw me now!" It's just too damn easy at times, but sometimes it is fun taking your frustrations out on these sorry excuses for punching bags.
"Winner gets a prize" and "Ranking Matches" are easily the most fun aspects of VF5's Versus (and 1P) mode and they add a lot of replay value. The stage selection is also cool, which consist of a great variety of free-standing "squares" and a few "caged in" arenas. The stages are a bit odd and uninspired in some cases.... "So what's this big square in the middle of this mall anyway? Ohh I know! It's a Virtua Fighter ring! Heh." Overall the backdrops are gorgeous though and really show off the 360's and PS3's off graphical shininess. For the record, both versions look awesome... nuff said. Characters can also "back up" really far into the background, which is a cool visual effect in itself.
The Arena stage always gets the adrenaline going.
Anyhow, unlike mainstream reviewers like Game Informer, IGN and Gamespot... I'm not going to just leave it at that... see, they simply dubbed the AI as "too easy" and that was the end of it. I know for a fact they didn't play the game enough, because further down the road in Quest Mode (200 + wins) you'll start to encounter some new challengers like "Masters, Gladiators, Veterans," which will offer a far better challenge and may even be difficult for "mid-upper level players". Even a step higher in difficulty are "Vanquishers, Vindicators, and Avengers, etc." who offer an incredibly tough fight even for skilled players with beefy combo skills. Thankfully though, there are some tricks to beat the AI that a good fighting game player, with common sense, can still find... so at least the computer AI isn't impossible to beat in the upper levels. Of course, to get the most out of VF5, like any quality fighting game; you should definitely challenge your real-life buddies (if they're any good that is).
So, have the character "personas" improved any? Somewhat yes, and somewhat no... characters have more win quotes and entrance taunts than ever before. Most of which sound better and make more sense than those of VF4: Evolution, although the "cheesy-ness" factor is still there... Virtua Fighter characters still don't like to use "bad words" and usually seem to create "unintended" laughter after they say anything at all. But if you look past the actual dialogue, these characters speak much louder with their fighting abilities, which of course is what the game is about. The head to head battle always looks awesome, even when newbs try to play... but like any good fighting game, when two skilled players go at it, VF5 looks it's absolute best.
Page Updated: December 29th, 2013 Developer(s): Sega-AM2 Publisher(s): Sega Designer(s): Noriyuki Shimoda (producer), Yoshihiro Tsuzuku (director) Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 Release Date(s): July 12th, 2006 ( Arcade)
February 8th, 2007 ( PS3)
February 20th, 2007 ( PS3)
March 23rd, 2007 ( PS3)
October 26th, 2007 ( 360)
October 30th, 2007 ( 360)
December 6th, 2007 ( 360)
Characters: Akira, Jacky, Kage, Lau, Jeffry, Sarah, Wolf, Pai, Shun, Lion, Aoi, Vanessa, Lei Fei, Brad, Goh, El Blaze, Eileen, Dural
Related Games: Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Virtua Fighter 5 R, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter Kids, Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, Fighting Vipers, Fighting Vipers 2, Fighters Megamix, Last Bronx , Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
Gameplay Engine 9.5 / 10 Story / Theme 5 / 10 Overall Graphics 10 / 10 Animation 9 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 8 / 10 Innovation 8.5 / 10 Art Direction 7 / 10 Customization 9.5 / 10 Options / Extras 9 / 10 Intro / Presentation 6.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 8 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 8.5 / 10 Characters 8.5 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
9.1 / 10
Review based on PS3 version Final Words:
The Virtua Fighter series has been known for one of the most technical and advanced fighting game systems ever, only rivaled by the likes of the Soul Calibur and Tekken series. These days, VF seems to be the only 3D fighting series still around that is actually going for "realism." The fighting styles are authentic the action is incredibly realistic most of the time... besides the air combos of course, which much like in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, can be a bit intimidating to newbs, as seemingly "mid" and "high" attacks can usually juggle an opponent while they're on the ground. But then again, what is a fighting game without juggles? One word... BORING. ;)
Virtua Fighter 5 and one of my favorite 3D fighting games, Tekken 5: DR, are actually similar in more ways than one, but their presentation is much different. Unlike Tekken, there is still absolutely no story presented in Virtua Fighter. That said, Tekken characters in comparison have a lot more personality and coolness factor, but VF's characters seem like they're trying to catching up. The simple look of the VF characters allows them to be nicely altered with the customizations, although some of them just can't be helped... like Lion, whom will always look and sound like a retard.
Besides it's expected quirks, VF5 is a superb fighting game... but with no story element and a very rushed and uninspiring intro, it still has that generic arcade feel. You can still become immersed in the gameplay however, and it's definitely worth your time. VF5 is a must have or a must play at the very least. ~TFG Webmaster