Pages: 1 2 3
Developer: Sega Am2
System: Xbox 360
Release date: Available now
Review by: Andrew Clark
Just the utterance of the word “Virtua” brings to mind the good ‘ol days of chaotic arcade noise, heavy pockets lined with quarters and, more specifically, the early 90′s — an age when the fighting genre was peeled off the screen and reapplied with the inclusion of an extra dimension. Suddenly, matches weren’t reserved to a single plane and strategy; tactics and skill were the judge of combat, not magic fireballs and spinning back kicks. This, my friends, was Sega’s great contribution to gaming. Forget Sonic, throw away your Sega CD and for the love of Alex Kidd, don’t ever mention the 32x again. Sega owned the arcades, especially with Virtua Fighter.
Now here we are, over ten years later, but instead of the din of arcade noise and the rude fellow swearing incoherently at Ghosts and Goblins, we have our couch and the power of the Internet to quell our fighting fascination. With Virtua Fighter 5 the brawl has gone online, and while some might curl their lips in discontent, others accept that the American arcade is dead and this is our home now.
Sega’s domestic approach to competitive play snuggles close with polished visuals, numerous game modes, a training dojo and the benefit of the latest “C version” of the VF5 arcade engine. Not only does this feature promote a more balanced fight, it also gives something for 360 owners to gloat about, as the PS3 version lacks both the new version software as well as the online portion. Still, the differences stop there, as this is still the Virtua fans have grown fond of over the last decade, just buffed to a high shine and devoid of a cumbersome cabinet and requisite quarter donations.
That is to say, VF5O doesn’t bludgeon you with an insane amount of changes; in fact, a lot of what fans love has just been improved rather than replaced or reworked. For example, the roster of fighters keeps most of the old standbys like Kage, Vanessa, Wolf and Akira handy, but throws in newcomers Eileen and El Blaze into the mix, each with their own personal reasons for entering the tournament. What the fighters don’t know is that reoccurring mega baddie Dural is back as well, and the organization sponsoring the tournament has an ulterior motive for bringing together this much talent in one place.
Pages: 1 2 3