Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

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Virtua Fighter 5 is coming to PlayStation 4

But in a slightly roundabout way.

Rejoice! The greatest fighting game ever made - and I'm typing this well out of earshot of Street Fighter obsessive Wes so I think I can just about get away with this - is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Only it's doing so in a slightly roundabout way.

Game of the Week: Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

Kick, punch, you all remember.

Game of the Week is back, after a short, E3-imposed hiatus when we were a mite too busy looking at games of the future to remember the games of the present. Happily the last three weeks hasn't been as hectic a period of new releases as the same period last year, when the games business attempted to slip everything from Duke Nukem Forever to Child of Eden (via Dungeon Siege 3, Hunted, inFamous 2 and Alice: Madness Returns) past us while we weren't looking.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown Review

For all of its achievements in the 19 years since it was born via a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Sega, AM2's Virtua Fighter series has never received the wider praise it deserves. One of Yu Suzuki's most enduring creations once christened every round of new arcade hardware, was a pioneer in 3D graphics and helped establish online fighting. All the while, beneath those achievements emerged a game of exceptional depth and nuance.

There's an understated elegance to the series, and beyond the signature shiny plastic Sega patina, there's even a certain restraint to Virtua Fighter's sparring. The showiness and immediate spectacle of 2D fighters such as Street Fighter is absent, the fireworks and extravagant kitsch of fellow 3D brawlers like Tekken and Soul Calibur nowhere to be seen. In its place is combat that, while far from realistic, is a perfect tangle of real-life fighting styles painted with a wash of subtle flair.

The lucha libre of El Blaze, a mix of cocky throws and showy beat-downs, can face off against the stuttered acrobatics of Eileen's monkey kung fu or the staggering artistry of Shun Di's drunken fighting; and as ever, Virtua Fighter's greatest trick is how it brings together such disparate techniques in what's surely the fighting genre's most exquisite balancing act.

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Face-Off: Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

Available for just 9.99 on PSN or 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown represents something of a bargain. Not only do you get an incredibly deep and rewarding fighting game, it also represents a sizeable gameplay leap over and above its five-year-old predecessor.

The core gameplay mechanics have been reworked extensively. From a variety of moves and timing changes to revised animations and a weightier feel to the physics, the difference over Virtua Fighter 5 is considerable, while the existing cast of 18 fighters is joined by another two combatants - newcomer Jean Kujo and veteran Sumo powerhouse Taka-Arashi from Virtua Fighter 3.

The rendering technology behind the game's appearance hasn't quite changed so dramatically though, despite the switch to more powerful arcade hardware. VF5 uses Sega's older Lindbergh hardware, while Final Showdown operates on the newer RingEdge board, featuring a faster Intel CPU/NVIDIA GPU combo and more RAM.

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Meet and beat Eurogamer in East London next week

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown and Ni No Kuni to feature at our next community night.

Booze and fisticuffs make for a typical Monday night out in East London, but Eurogamer's next meet-up allows you to scuff some fight sticks rather than bloodying your knuckles as we present a chance to play Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown ahead of its release early next month.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown release date, price announced

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown release date, price announced

Launch day DLC adds customisation items.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown launches on PlayStation Network in the US on 5th June and on Xbox Live Arcade everywhere on 6th June, Sega has announced.

It costs $14.99/ 9.99/ AUD$18.25/ €12.99 for PSN and 1200 Microsoft Points for XBLA.

Sega said today character customisation DLC packs will be available to buy from launch day for all 19 fighters. Each character customisation pack, which includes 600 to 950 items, costs $4.99/ 3.59/ AUD$6.25/ €4.49 for PSN and 400 Microsoft Points for XBLA.

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