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Fatal Rose

[3/25/2009] Virtua Fighter 5 Online

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Published by: SEGA

Developed by: SEGA-AM2

Genre: Fighting

Number of Players: 1-2

Release Date:

US: October 30, 2007

Japan: Unreleased

Europe: October 26, 2007

Australia: October 25, 2007

MSRP: $59.99

ESRB Content Descriptors: Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

Also Available On: PlayStation 3, Arcade

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Well it’s about time, I’ve been playing this game to death for a while now and still have yet to provide a review for this great game. Well here it is at last, Virtua Fighter 5 Online/Live Arena

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As all of you know, I am a HUGE VF fan, but fear not, I tried my absolute hardest to not be bias at all within this review.

 

Where to begin… Well VF is pretty much the only reason I own a 360, hopefully you might have an idea of how much I enjoy/am dedicated to this game. VF is almost a secret, not many players in the west play it. For some reason it has yet to truly “catch on”. But it’s not always about how popular a game is, it’s about the quality. Even if a game bombs in sales, does not mean it’s a bad game. Like a artist who is amazingly talented and albums are pure quality but for some reason can’t seem to attain mainstream status and record breaking sales. No other series has offered greater depth and complexity over its lifetime than Virtua Fighter. The VF series is not for casual gamers who want something that's easy to pick up and play; VF is for those willing to dedicate themselves to learning the fighting system. It does not have silly fireballs or fighting bears, just hand to hand realistic (for an arcade fighting game) martial arts combat. The Xbox 360 port of arcades' Version C, was released in October 2007 in North America and Europe. This port has benefited from the additions and refinements that have been made to the Version C arcade revision, The Xbox 360 version includes online play and online update ability

 

Changes from VF4 (straight from Wikipedia)

 

New characters

Two new characters are featured in Virtua Fighter 5. The first character, Eileen, is a young girl who uses Monkey Kung Fu and enters the tournament to face her idol, Pai, whom she saw at a martial arts demonstration prior to the fifth tournament. The second character is El Blaze, a lucha libre wrestler who wishes to defeat Wolf Hawkfield.

 

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El Blaze is an exciting new character. Fun and easy to use. Highly recommended for beginner players.

 

Gameplay

Throw speed has been reduced, from 8 frames to 12 frames. In addition, "Instant", or 0-frame throws re-appear from Virtua Fighter 3 in guaranteed throw situations (such as during an evade).

To encourage a more "moral" style of play, Sega introduce the Clash System: when initiated with the right timing, an attack can be canceled out with a throw, creating a clash and leaving both players at +0 frame advantage (neutral).

Offensive Move: pressing Punch + Kick + Guard during an evade will initiate an angled forward dash. In addition, pressing Punch or Kick during OM will initiate an attack which can lead to side or back stagger or crumple, leading to a guaranteed combo opportunity.

The Xbox 360 version introduced online support via Xbox Live, which allowed two players from around the world to battle it out over the internet. Developers have also suggested that the PS3 version could also be online-enabled in the form of a downloadable patch. This was later discounted by Sega's Jay Boor who told : "at this time SEGA has no plans to release a patch for the PS3 version of Virtua Fighter 5."

Version C of Virtua Fighter 5 was used for the 360 version which fixed up some gameplay issues, while the PS3 version used version B.

Different items are available in the Xbox 360 port of the game in Quest mode, as it is based upon Version C.

On January 16, 2008 the Xbox 360 version received an update, which made improvements and changes to online play and quest mode.

 

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Ranking system

The ranking system in Virtua Fighter 5 is different from Virtua Fighter 4. The following outlines the ranks obtainable:

10th Kyu to 1st Kyu

1st Dan to 10th Dan

After the Dan ranks, a character's title is dependent on winning percentage.

If a character's winning percentage is less than 70 percent they will obtain the following ranks:

Master -> Defender -> Enforcer -> Sentinel -> Protector -> Guardian -> Paladin -> Liberator

If a character's winning percentage is between 70 and 80 percent they will obtain the following ranks:

Master -> Hunter -> Raider -> Barbarian -> Assassin -> Slayer -> Berserker -> Destroyer

If a character's winning percentage is above 80 percent they will obtain these ranks:

Master -> Warrior -> Veteran -> Gladiator -> Vindicator -> Avenger -> Vanquisher -> Conqueror

This implementation has led to some players' confusion as to what is the highest rank. Upon obtaining "Conqueror" players have not gone through the other two ranking trees, and so, believe that other ranks exist above them. A character's winning percentage can and does change over time. This can lead to crossing from one rank tree to another (i.e. an "Enforcer" can rank up to "Barbarian" and then up or down to "Vindicator" or "Protector"). The only time a rank tree is final is when a character obtains their 28th rank, "Liberator", "Destroyer", or "Conqueror". It is impossible to change ranks once a character obtains their final rank, the experience bar stops moving, even when fighting other 28th rank opponents. It also appears to be impossible to rank down from this level, locking a character into their final title.

 

Ok enough of the copy and paste nonsense. Hehe

 

For those who have yet to ever play a VF game (or spend real time playing one) you are in for a definite treat. Game play wise (to me at least) it’s not the HUGE leap forward that VF4 was to VF3, but the game play changes are significant enough for a scrub like me to notice and I enjoy the changes very much. So I am very pleased with what we have. The controls seem much looser in this game (if that makes sense) in a good way. It’s much easier to pull of long combo strings now it seems, and those frame specific timed moves (think Akira’s knee, a move I have NEVER been able to do until VF5). Character sensitivity and range of motion is beautifully fluid and well done. No silly 2D looking jumps. If you hold up plus back you walks in that direction. If you move the joystick in a complete circle your characters follows exactly and moves in an actual complete circle. The game controls amazingly well, some may have trouble adjusting at first, VF requires precise input commands. The game controls are very responsive and everything just feels right. But I must add that you HAVE to play this game with an arcade stick. Trust me on this. I have been a pad player my whole life but NOTHING beats playing VF with an arcade stick! Some moves are just impossible to do with a pad, especially the horrendous for fighting games 360 controller. The game controls take some time and effort, but if you take the time you will be unleashing some wicked looking combos/moves.

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Eileen is also another new character. She is the first character ever in a fighting game to authentically present monkey Gung fu.

 

Here is a quote from a friend at another forum I frequent, he sums things up extremely well:

(thanks to Leonard_McCoy for this)

 

Virtua Fighter 5 has a steadily-rising learning curve. Getting into the matter takes time, much time - every single frame of time, to be precise. In Virtua Fighter the clock ticks differently: sure, you have a clock counter and all that, but the game runs in frames - 60 frames per second, to be exact. Every single frame can be the start of an action: an attack, throw, evasion, etc. Thus, it is every single frame that counts: if the player knows beforehand how high his frame-wise advantage is after having blocked an opponent's move, then he can utilize this knowledge to his advantage by buffering his reaction according to that, resulting in the highest possible damage outcome. Yes, knowledge is power in Virtua Fighter 5: knowing your options in a situation is as vital as your next move in a good game of chess.

In an era where the competitive fighting genre is losing its footing, where sandbox, online games, and first-person shooters earn the big money, Virtua Fighter 5 stands by its less merciless ideals that force-pushes the game against the trend of its time, ala Soul Calibur & Co., against a trend that is pushed towards simplicity and flashiness. Even the newest installment by AM-2, Virtua Fighter 5, is still very much input-emphasized in offense and defense. Delivering or buffering the proposed input in time is the only guarantee for a successful match, and that is something that has to be trained over and over again.

But the depth in Virtua Fighter doesn't only come from mastering the offense. As in most fighting games holding back (see 2D-fighters) or the guard-button (i.e. Soul Calibur) is about all you can do when defending. But not so in VF5: even in defensive situations the player's input is as demanded as in offensive ones - if not even more. Executing throw escapes, buffering evasions, or special crouch-guard techniques belong to the daily routine of the more advanced defender.

Visually this game looks incredible, it’s clearly the best looking fighting game out there thus far. The characters are highly detailed and animate amazingly well. The game is simply gorgeous! The backgrounds and stages are also a sight to behold, but are slightly lower in quality when compared to the characters, but that’s just me nit picking. Overall this may STILL be the best looking next gen video game.

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Time line from left to right: The Virtua Fighter series stands for many milestones in the graphics department. Its newest installment, Virtua Fighter 5 (big picture), stuns its players, apart from ultra-smooth character animations and huge, eye-catching arenas, with real-time lightning effects, impressive renderings of all kinds of cloth - from cotton to silk, - and with all the tiny details like sweat that breathes life into every single polygon of the game and its characters.

Features wise it is a mixed bag, anyone who has played VF4 Evo has experienced the amazing Dojo/training mode it has. It literally teaches you how to play the game regardless of character you go into tutorial/training mode with. It takes you through the basics all the way to the advanced techniques step by step. It was truly one of the greatest features ever in a fighting game. Sadly VF5 does not feature such an extensive training mode, even command training is lacking. It only has move demonstrations for select difficult moves for each character sadly. I and all other VF players were greatly disappointed with this. So if you want to REALLY learn how to play this game seeking out online resources for help is pretty much a must now. Overall command training does enough for you to learn the characters entire move set, which in the end is passable.

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Here is a look at the beauty of this game and the customization possibilities.

 

Quest mode has become a trademark feature of VF (and Tekken now), and VF5 in my opinion does not disappoint. Sure the AI is easy and a bit suspect at first, but that’s only in the beginning. The more you plat through quest mode the more challenging it becomes. I have read many reviews with the reviewer trashing Quest modes AI, saying it was to easy. They have either only played it on normal difficulty or have not gone that far in Quest mode. If you put it on Expert mode and go deep into it, it will get very challenging.

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From top to bottom: the main menu, Dojo mode, and Costume editor. On the right side: the Quest mode, and online VS. mode (Xbox 360 only).

 

Items/customization is also a fun feature the I love to play around with. You can earn/buy/unlock/DL a bunch of items for each character. You can greatly modify there appearance so much so that at times they look completely different. Also by playing through Quest mode you can unlock two additional costumes for each character which you can also modify. Overall Quest mode is a worthwhile feature with many perks. My only complaint is the presentation, nothing fancy about it at all. Very bland and last gen looking.

 

Now onto online play, I’ve been playing this game online off and on since purchasing it. It’s a lot of fun and the connection is great for the most part. Lag will always be there no matter what, especially if you’re are playing long distance. But it does not ruin the experience by any means. Besides, online play in fighting games is not meant to be taken to serious, it’s just competitive fun. The online interface though is kind of lacking, very basic and bar bones. Nothing fancy about it at all, it almost seems rushed.

 

The games music/sounds are decent. Some of the voice acting is horrible/hilarious. Select Lion, Jeffrey, or Jacky if you’re in need of a good laugh. The sound effects are pretty cool, almost straight out of a old kung fu movie. The stage music for the most part is pretty good, not on par with VF4 (to me) but still nothing annoying/bad in anyway.

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Besides VF’s game play, VF really stands out when it comes to it’s characters. For the most part VF’s cast pretty much consists of realistic martial arts masters that compete in a tournament. Most characters represent there fighting styles very well. No other fighting game can quite capture the true essence and realism of martial arts they way VF can. Brad’s muay thai is more spot on than any Muay Thai fighter ever in any other fighting game. Ever character is completely unique in appearance and martial art style form each other. No lame palette swaps, or clones (think Nina and Anna Williams from Tekken). No stupid made up hybrid comic book fighting style (think every other fighting game out there). Every character plays/looks/feels so different. The characters may look a but boring appearance wise to some, but the remedy to this is the extensive character customizations . I personally have changed the way almost every character looks to my liking. It’s a lot of fun putting your own spin on each character and it adds a lot of personality. There is a storyline but it’s not really present in game, so if you are into that stuff just make a story up yourself and rename the characters and edit there appearance if you need a storyline so badly. Hehe

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Proportional to the addition of fighters over the time, the range of different martial arts has increased as well: from Jeet Kune Do (Jacky) to Lucha Libre (El Blaze) to monkey-style Gong Fu (Eileen) to Wrestling (Wolf). If a martial art is somewhat popular, then you will most likely find a master representing it in Virtua Fighter 5.

 

Overall Virtua Fighter 5 is a fantastic fighting game. The fighting system is deep, complex, and wonderfully fun. From a purely game play stand point VF5 is the best fighting system and Virtua Fighter is the best fighting series in videogames. From a purely game play stand point though. Character design and presentation seems to be what’s holding VF back from reaching mainstream appeal in the west. Thanks to the extensive character customizations and many outfits it’s somewhat remedied.

 

Controls: 10

Flawless, best controls ever in a fighting game thus far. Arcade stick is a must though, my review is based off of me using one.

Gameplay: 10

Where VF shines the most. Nothing is better then a competitive match or watching two highly skilled players play. VF is in a class of it’s own in this category.

Graphics: 10

Best looking fighting game period! As of right now nothing comes close to it.

Sound: 8

The games weak point sadly. The English voice commentators are annoying. Some of the characters sound way to cheesy and immature. But overall the music/sound is fine and passable.

 

Overall Score: 9.50

 

Grade: A

:ph34r:

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PS: Sorry if my review is kind of sloppy, it’s 3:44 AM.

 

I also have to give major props and credit to Leonard_McCoy, I pretty much ripped off his much better awesome VF5 online review.

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Great review, although i disagree with you :ph34r:

 

the fun factor is not there for casual gamer. The learning curve is too high (and this is coming from someone who try to master every move set and combos for Street Fighters and Tekken). And somehow, i really don't like the characters in VF except for El Fuerte....errr...I mean, El Blaze and Wolf.

 

However, i do commend the move sets here as very authentic to actual fighting and wrestling moves.

 

Graphically, i still think Soulcalibur IV can compare to VF5 in some aspect but not all.

 

Control-wise, it will be hard to play without a stick :P

 

Anyway, i do get some enjoyment playing online with Fatal, bambi and BK before I got banned (which is better than SCIV, online almost unplayable for us). :D

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Thanks for your input my friend. What was SC like online? I have that game too and have yet to play it. L0L!

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Finally, a review from someone other than Agozer and I.

 

I can't really disagree or agree with your review, although I can say it went in depth, rather.

 

I was never a VF fan, mostly because I never grew around it. With that said, I do respect it as a more than worthy competitor in the fighting genre.

 

From the looks of it, and from as much as I've played of VF 4, it seems to be the most realistic fighter to date, Tekken and DOA have their fictitious qualities.

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<Trolling>

 

 

 

</trolling>

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<Trolling>

 

 

 

</trolling>

 

 

I would really appreciate some true input from you. guess I am asking for to much.

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