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Review: Virtua Fighter 5 – PS3

by Nick Haywood on 26 April 2007, 16:33

Tags: Virtua Fighter 5 (PS3), Sega (TYO:6460), Xbox 360, PS3, Beat 'em up

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Everybody was kung-fu fighting!

We watched Nick Haywood smash two planks with his bare fists... and then he cried like a girl for the rest of the day

Virtua Fighter, if you listen to self proclaimed game aficionados, is the fighting game connoisseurs game of choice. Born in a time when Street Fighter et al was ruling the masses with 2D side-on action, Virtua Fighter popped up and went 3D, giving, literally, a new depth to the gameplay. But it didn’t stop there as, taking a cue from other fighters, Virtua Fighter developed the ‘combo move’ aspect further, giving players more freedom and again adding a layer of depth and skill to the genre.

But these extra levels of depth came at an unintended price. For many beat ‘em up fans, the time you had to spend on Virtua Fighter to get anywhere and the demanding game mechanic that forced you to learn moves and tactics for each opponent, meant that many shunned it for the preferred immediacy of less demanding games. This, to my mind, was a travesty. Sure, you had to spend time learning the game and finding out how to beat certain opponents was very much a case of trial and error, but that’s what made a Virtua Fighter so bloody good. You couldn’t just learn one or two ‘special’ moves and wipe the floor, you had to adjust your fighting style to every opponent.

So now we have Virtua Fighter 5 on the PS3, a system that should be able to give Virtua Fighter 5 the showcase platform it deserves... Let’s see if that’s true then.