Virtua Fighter 5 Reader Review
This is the first virtua fighter I've put some time into, but I played lots of Tekken 1-3, Dead or Alive 2-3, Soul Calibur 1-3, the original Prince of Persia, and the original Resident Evil so I will compare Virtua Fighter 5 with those.
This is the way next gen fighting games should be!
What immediately striked me in Virtua Fighter 5 was the nice intro, and the great menus. The combat environments look great too, and the lighting effects look fantastic when the characters are moving.
The character roster is a bit bland but all the characters seem different to play at least. No cheap Ryu-Ken clones here which plague most other fighting games. It's possible to customise your character with lots of items too.
The characters each have a huge moves list, and there is a quest mode for offline play and an online mode which I haven't played yet. (The online mode review might be added to the comments section later)
Most fighting games have an old man and a drunken master guy, this game has the genius to combine both in one :D
So far it seems like a real next gen game, but Eurogamer left some nasty bits out this time. I usually agree with their reviews, but this time they are wide off the mark.
To call this game next gen is a joke, you could call it previous gen, but prev-prev gen would be more accurate. This is a series that stubbornly refuses to learn from it's competitors.
The arcade ending (without beating Dural) is unbelievably bad. Tekken 1 did this way better. Also in the DOA 4 review that game was critised for it's bad AI, well I cannot remember ever being air juggled as much in DOA 3 as I was here. The AI is no fun to play against at all. Tekken 1 and Soul Calibur 1 are so much better in AI, there is no excuse to let VF 5 get away with this.
Some environments have easy ring outs, while others don't. What this game lacks however are the sublime multi-level ring-outs of the DOA series. This feature is over 6 years old, surely this should be an option for every fighting game by now? It would be nice if some levels at least had this, this way the purists could avoid it if they want.
Be warned, this game is SLOW. There are some fast characters in this game which make the speed just bearable, but it seems just a little faster than Tekken 5 to me (Tekken 5 was unplayable for me because of its speed). So my advice is to ignore all the slow characters, if you like slow strategy Chess or Civilization seems the better option.
The characters have lots of moves, but like every other fighting game except Soul Calibur, I never felt in total control. Sidestepping seems much harder than in other games here. Like DOA 3, it seemed impossible at first to hit a grounded opponent with a low kick, the kick would just pass through the opponent without doing damage. Other moves however can hit a grounded opponent, and sometimes the low kicks do hit. Ground combat is a bit sloppy here, at least DOA was consistent in its logic. It is hard to pull of nice looking combos too, so expect only 2P fun if the other player knows VF already.
The game isn't helped by the absolutely HORRIBLE ANIMATION on some chars, which is behind the original black and white Prince of Persia. It's a shame to see the gorgeous environments spoiled by this animation. Even after setting the AI on the highest difficulty rating, his moves didn't seem to flow well together. Overall this game looks less than DOA 3 on my standard def TV because of it.
If you like options in your games, then look further please, this game hardly knows the word. It is IMPOSSIBLE to turn off the round time, 60 sec. is the max you can get. My very first 2D fighter had this option, I can't believe EG didn't mention this one. Also I couldn't find a way to turn off the soundbites the characters yell at the beginning of the match. It would be nice if this could be done since this game has BELOW RESIDENT EVIL 1 ACTING, but without the funny script.
All the money you accumulate seems only to be for your current character. So if you want to unlock items for all characters, you'll have to play a lot with every character. Because some characters are too slow or made me dislike them at first sight with their soundbites (I'm looking at you Lion!), this it not something I look forward to.
Overall this seems like a last gen game dressed up with pretty looks and an online mode. It is not a bad game, but -unless your focus is firmly on online gaming- it's hard to recommend at full price. Try a week before you buy is the best advice I can give because the game has grown on me during the past days. First impressions do not work here.
Just for reference my scores for:
- DOA 3: 7
- Soul Calibur 3: 9
Let me know what you think please!
7 / 10