Review by Old School

"An excellent PS2 fighter"

Virtua Fighter 4 in three words:

Simple, deep, elegant.

VF4 in one word:


Virtua Fighter 4 in many words, see below. =)

In many ways Virtua Fighter 4 is a throw back to an earlier format for the 3D fighter. Gone are the Evade button and irregularly shaped arenas, in favor of squared arenas and an 8 way movement system very similar in execution to Soul Calibur. All in all, VF4 plays faster (MUCH faster) and more intuitively than Virtua Fighter 3tb or even Virtua Fighter 2.

Graphically, PS2 VF4 is the best the system has to offer currently. There has been some discussion on the net about the dreaded ''jaggies'' but frankly, I don't see them on my 29 in S-Video TV. The graphics look awesome to me; although I would not call them arcade perfect (The differences between Arcade VF4 and PS2 VF4 are noticable, but no where NEAR the same as the difference between VF2 Saturn and VF2 Arcade) All in all, I'd say you've got a nearly perfect conversion of the arcade and a game that rivals DOA3 for best looking console fighter.

The sound is decent, nothing memorable, but nothing horrible. Moving on.

Gameplay is surprisingly good with the Dual Shock. Purists will need an arcade stick however. The game is very fast compared to past VF games. It's really a lot more ''action'' oriented I think, and this makes for a game much easier to get into, yet a game that old time VF fans will still enjoy. By far the best playing 3D fighter on the market today.

In addition to the game itself, AM2 has included a vast number of additional modes (quite a contrast to the bare bones Genki conversion of VF3tb on Dreamcast!). Kumite mode simply is the best option in any fighter ever released. Kumite mode simulates the experience in a Japanese arcade where you would face a string of opponents of varying skill. Furthermore, playing in Kumite mode unlocks the extra costume pieces for the characters. A.I mode allows you to train a fighter and let him learn all of your moves. Versus mode is self explanitory.

So, is this game perfect? Well, a few small problems. First of all, there are no endings. I want endings and character stories damn it! Second, the game does not have an option for unlimited time in matches. Of course, with the speed of VF4, matches almost never get decided by time. Third...erm...well, that's all really.

Yeah, I could complain that the graphics are not 100% exact, but they are really really good...if Sega makes a version for Gamecube or Xbox, it may possibly be closer to the arcade, but right now, PS2 has a 95% graphical conversion; and the gameplay is great. The best 3D fighter you can buy at this point.

Buy this game when the domestic is released in March!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/03/02, Updated 02/03/02

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