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Virtua Fighter 5

The visual overhaul has been kept light, with some characters seemingly receiving more attention than others - cover stars Akira and Kage look absolutely magnificent - and a smattering of new effects. Among those are the clouds of coloured gas that meet each impact, familiar from other 3D fighters such as Tekken, and if the implementation is thankfully understated here it's still a shame it can't be turned off as an option.

Virtua Fighter 5

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Competitive gameplay is what this style of game is all about, so let's start right at the top. Virtua Fighter 5 has the standard array of modes you've probably come to expect from a fighting game. There's an arcade mode, which gives you a score and puts you up against a boss character--Dural specifically, the same boss that the series has used all along. There's a versus mode for playing against a friend. There's also a dojo section that is meant to provide training in the game's various moves. However, since a fair amount of the timing in VF5 is different than its predecessors, it's almost criminal that this mode doesn't have any sort of "demo this move" button that shows how the move is done. The game doesn't really go out of its way to describe the different moves and stances, though the manual does feature a decent moves list, where you'll see what an "offensive move" is, which you'll need to know if you want to perform all of the moves in the dojo mode. There's also a mode marked VF.TV, which is where you can pit any fighter against any other fighter and watch the PS3 play against itself.

The deepest single-player mode is the quest mode, which returns from VF4 largely unchanged. You're given a basic map of a few different arcades, and you can travel to any one of them and fight against various artificial-intelligence-controlled players. These players are done up to resemble real people, in that the fighters are ranked, have a win/loss record, and wear various customized clothes, as if you're playing against an actual person who has spent time on his or her fighter. But the illusion quickly breaks down, as the fighters you're up against here never feel like actual human opponents. While the higher-ranked fighters are certainly less susceptible to basic moves and traps than the lower-ranked players, everything still feels very robotic. Also, there's no way to create your own AI profile. The ability to create your own profiles and acquire new ones online (which some other recent fighting games have done) would have given this feature a lot more meaning in Virtua Fighter 5. VF.TV ends up feeling like a throwaway mode, though it could have been saved if you were able to upload and download replays online.

The entire cast of Virtua Fighter 4 returns in VF5, and that includes professional karate man, Akira, who has served as the main face of the series over the years. But there's also Lau, who's looking older than ever, the constantly annoying Lion, the occasionally annoying Jacky, and so on. There are two new characters in VF5, as well. El Blaze is a Mexican wrestler who looks a lot like Rey Mysterio Jr. and uses a lot of great-looking wrestling moves. Eileen uses the martial art of kou-ken, which is just a fancy way of saying she sort of fights like a monkey. Her backstory paints her as a fan of Pai's who decides to get onto the fighting circuit after seeing Pai in action. Most of the existing characters play very similarly to how they've played in the past, though you will find a handful of new moves in there. Also, VF5 has a much more defined sense of scale to it. Huge fighters like Jeffry and Wolf look gigantic compared to someone like El Blaze or Lion. You can attach data profiles to characters, which lets you track your win/loss percentage and also gives you gold that can be used to purchase new costume parts for each fighter. There are plenty of choices, though most of them are fairly standard variations on the existing four costumes.

Virtua Fighter 5 is a great-looking game from top to bottom. The characters look great and animate well, with the lone exception of their mouths, and teeth, which just look a little off when characters speak at the end of a fight. There are plenty of different backgrounds in the game, and they all look great while also figuring into the fights. Some of them are walled off, giving you a surface to juggle fighters up against, while others are open, letting you win by pushing your opponent out of the ring if you can. The game runs at 720p on the PlayStation 3, which gives you a nice, high definition to work with, though some of the characters and stages can look a little pixelated in spots. Still, this looks like a perfect port of the arcade version, and it looks really nice. Those graphics seem to come at a bit of a price, though, as the load times between fights can be lengthy, which really slows down the action. It's a little puzzling, considering the game installs more than 2GB of data to the PS3's hard drive.

Like its predecessors, Virtua Fighter 5 was considered to have the most advanced graphics in a video game when it first released in arcades. According to 1UP in 2005, it was the "best looking fighter (or even game) ever", with the writer Shivam Bhatt stating:[32]

The fighting game genre is one that has enjoyed a population spike in recent years. There has been no end of great, competitive experiences emerging thanks to the advent of esports. Seeing classic franchises such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Guilty Gear continuing a legacy of high-quality combat, while newcomers like Dragonball Fighter Z and Skullgirls make waves with their fresh offerings. It has never been a better or more varied time to pick your fighter and take to the online arena.

17 invitations have been sent out for the fifth edition of the World Fighting Tournament. 15 fighters make a return and two new faces appear in the arena; the young girl Eileen using monkey kung fu and lucha libre wrestler El Blaze. Little do the participants know that the organization J6, funding the tournament, has prepared a new Dural fighting program. In the previous game, their first version was defeated and the organization kidnapped Vanessa. She managed to escape, but her fighting data was captured and used to design V-Dural. With the new tournament, J6 wants to reveal the insider who helped Vanessa escape and test their new program against the best fighters of the world.

The overall one-on-one arena fighting gameplay is still present but there are a few changes. The ranking system has been revised, the throw speed has been reduced and there is a new offensive move, which allows fighters to sidestep each other to dodge and make more strategic attacks. The new clash system can be used to cancel out an attack with a throw. This edition also includes deeper character customization.

With strong player support in Asian arcades over the past several years, VF5 has seen numerous upgradesand expansions, all exclusive to arcades. For years, the VFfans overseas have been left watching VF5R and VF5F5 videos on Youtube, longing for the day they'd get a chance toget their hands on a new VF title. I commend Sega for taking their sweet time with releasing FinalShowdown, because this is easily the definitive and most refined version of thegame. Releasing any of the "minor" upgrades earlier probably wouldn'thave gone over very well in such a competitive market. So... was it trulyworth the wait?Once the action starts, it's easy to forget the VF5 graphics andgameplay engine isover 5 years old. In many ways, Final Showdown feels and looks like abrand new game. A ton of character animations have been tweaked and look noticeablysmoother. Many attacks have also been reworked to"more clearly" resemble low, mid or high attacks. Along with new win poses,updated stance animations, and new KO animations, each fighter has also receiveda significant update to their moveset. The new background environments arenicely polished, offering good variety both in terms of appearance andgameplay strategy. Character models haven't been updated visually, meaning some ofthem definitely look their age in some areas... but thanks to the new customization options, they can bemade to appear almost entirely new. Needless to say, VF5 is still apretty fighting game.

Final Showdown's main menu is crisp and to the point. As you might've expected, the single player options are veryvery limited... even more-so than the last two console iterations. No installment of VirtuaFighter ever featured an in-game story mode, and VF5:FS is yet anotherfighter of this era living by the motto that "fighting gamesdon't need a story mode to be good." The bulk of the 1-playerexperience can be found in the game's incredibly in-depth Tutorial/Training Mode.The "Dojo" is made up of 3 individual modes: Tutorial, CommandTraining, and Free Training. Tutorial takes you through all of the game'sgameplay systems; and once you complete it, you should have a solidunderstanding of all the ins and outs (and how freakin' deep the game itis). You can also seamlessly browse through all of thetutorial categories in case you want to refresh on anything - a nicetouch.Command Training (my personal favorite) allows you to run though acharacter's entire moveset, performing each technique one by one.Other 1-player modes include Score Attack, License Challenge, and SpecialSparring. Score Attack & Special Sparring are alternatives to the standardArcade Mode, offering different "routes" of computer-controlled opponents. Special Sparring is the more entertaining of the two, as it featuresa variety of visually customized AI opponents to fight against. License Challengeis made up of numerous special challenge "tests", and players canupgrade their in-game "class/rank" by completing challenges. Aside fromDojo and the 3 modes I just mentioned, there's really nothing else in terms of single player department.That said, II definitely miss Quest Mode from past VF titles (alongwith "prize matches" where you can obtain new customization goodies). 041b061a72


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