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Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown Review

/ Jun 20th, 2012 No Comments

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

When Virtua Fighter 5 released on consoles in 2007, it was considered a top-notch fighting game. Despite the fact that it’s been five years since its release, gamers still consider it one of the best fighting experiences on current generation consoles. However, the game was not without flaws. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown aims to perfect those miscues and modernize the series.

Final Showdown offers 20 playable characters, each with a unique combat style based on real fighting techniques. Two characters are added to the Virtua Fighter 5 roster. Taka-Arashi brings his sumo style back for the first time since Virtua Fighter 3. Jean Kujo is a new character who originally made his debut in the 2008 Japanese arcade version of the game.

Graphics and Sound

The game is a budget-friendly digital release so graphics are not up to par with current popular fighting games. Instead, Final Showdown puts a fresh coat of paint over Virtua Fighter 5. Fighting arenas and backgrounds still hold up well but character models remain simple and flat.

There is no storyline at all but fighting games never tell a good story anyways. Plotlines tend to get in the way so it is refreshing that developer AM2 throws gamers right into the action rather than force-feed cutscenes that are difficult to watch.

The soundtrack is exactly what one would expect from a fighting game. The usual mix of Virtua Fighter tracks are intact and are passable despite starting to show their age. Voice acting and sound effects are great, especially when hitting opponents against the game’s smashable objects.

Gameplay

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Fans of fighting games are already into the Virtua Fighter franchise but Final Showdown will help bring more casual gamers to the series. Controls are simpler this time around and a tutorial mode will help all new gamers learn and master even the most difficult moves.

Fighting mechanics have been changed to deliver a more fair experience. Complex hits and combos will not cause as much damage, making matches more competitive. Casual gamers can be competitive using basic controls but hardcore fans will want to perfect throws and combos.

Of course, classic fighting modes such as single player and local multiplayer are included. Single player Arcade Mode is unfulfilling as the first few opponents offer little resistance before a sudden spike in difficulty.

The License Challenge replaces the older version’s Quest Mode. It is a fun mix of tutorial and classic single player game modes. Like in tutorial mode, players have to execute certain tasks. However, it must be done while facing a computer opponent, making it a less mundane experience.

Online Multiplayer

Screenshot of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Screenshot of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Where Final Showdown really shines is in online play and this is where most of the replay value will come. The game includes several ways to play online. Finding an opponent is no problem for ranked or player matches but trying to enter the eight-player Online Room Match Mode could prove difficult. Online play is just as good as local versus with matches experiencing little to no lag. Controls respond quickly and smoothly while online.

There is an option to include international players in online matches but that is where Sega falters. International matches are difficult to connect to and suffers from severe lag when a connection is finally made. This could be fixed with a patch in the future and should be considering the worldwide popularity of the game.

Although Virtua Fighter 5 did have a loyal following, the latest edition will help broaden the fan base. Unlike most fighting games, it is grounded in realism and shows great respect for different fighting styles. The free-flowing style and lack of superhuman special moves make Final Showdown a fun and fair experience. Because of this, the game could find its way into more gaming tournaments.

Priced at just $15, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is a must-have for any fans of fighting games. It is available now on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download the game free as part of the instant game collection until July 3.

Character customization packs are also available to download. Each pack is priced at $5 and includes a whopping 600-900 customization items, meaning gamers can have literally thousands of custom items. PSN also offers the Complete Edition of the game which includes all 19 character customization packs priced at $30 for a limited time.

Overall Ratings – Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (PS3)

Controls:

10/10

Graphics:

6/10

Sound:

7/10

Replay Value:

8/10

OVERALL SCORE:

78%

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom

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