Friday, February 19, 2010

Video game number forty six: Virtua Fighter 5 Online

Game review number forty six in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Virtua Fighter 5 online".

After my positive experience with Tekken 6 this week, I was in the mood for more fighting games. Writing the review for Tekken got me thinking about the ones I used to love when I was younger. Nostalgia is powerful, and I feel like trying some more sequels. Since Street Fighter 4 won't be out for awhile, I went for the next most recent major fighting game I hadn't played yet, Virtua Fighter 5.

Many people hail this as one of the best fighters ever. I think it's good, but it's certainly not great. The game features arcade mode, which is a lot more fun against your friends than it is against the computer. I remember dropping so many quarters into this game on the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. I was usually the drunken boxer Shun, or the hot blond...Sarah. They're both back in this version, and were the first two characters I tried.

The controls are very similar, and I actually don't mind playing on the gamepad, though a fight stick would be better. I've got an amazing Hori stick at work I should try, because I have a feeling it will make doing the grapples much easier.

Virtua Fighter is the first fighting game I can remember that had the block button, instead of holding back to block. I never liked this, but I do remember how to use it. I started up the quest mode and instantly fell back into old patterns. The quest mode feels endless, you fight long streams of random challengers until you unlock a new tournament. Then you go fight in that. If you win, you'll win anything from sunglasses for your character to a higher rank, or of course...achievements.

I would have enjoyed the quest mode if I was progressing faster, or unlocking more things...but mostly, you just fight the same computer opponents over and over again. I finished two tournaments and when I finally decided to call it quits, my record was 50-1. That means I played fifty separate three round fights, which doesn't take into account the time I spent playing in arcade mode. Two tournament wins isn't a lot to show for all that time. If you want the full 1000, you have to win all the tournaments with every character. I can't even imagine how many days that would take.

Overall, I like this game, but I don't think it belongs amongst the greatest of all time. I like all the Soul Calibur sequels more than this one. I'm going to give it a 6.5/10, because there's not a lot "wrong" with's just...well, average.

Here are the achievements I managed to grab. You can actually get all 1000 on this one if you are dedicated enough to put the 80 hours into it, but that's not something I'm going to do.

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