Review by Great Scott
"The Playstation 2 Adds To It's Arsenal Of Top Notch, Exclusive Games"
Well, if you couldn't already tell from the reviews, this game is... how shall I say it?.... fantastic, excellent, and awe-inspiring. The only draw back is the amount of time to master this beautiful creation.
There's so many things to do and aquire in this game, it's not even funny. There's 400 items total, each character having their own share of the staggering number. You gain the items in Kumite mode, where you fight a continuous stream of fighters, gaining ranks and experience until you become the ultimate (The Emporer) which will take you quite a while to aquire let alone that fact that you still have 11 more characters to go! And if you don't feel like persuing ranks and experience in kumite, choose Arcade mode and battle all 12 opponents. Once you beat them, you face THE ULTIMATE boss, Dural, which will kick your ass immediately until you get better and know the weaknesses. If you don't feel like that, than grab a buddy and duke it out in VS mode where you can pit your created character against your friends character and see who is better. Do you need help pulling off the combos that require a wall behind your oppenent, or are you trying to figure out which stage is best for which moves when you're against a certain opponent? Then simply go into Free Training mode and improve your style and technique. Need help pulling off that five hit P, P, F+P, P, K combo? Then go into Commmand Training. The other training mode, Trial Training take you through the immersive world of evading, throw evading, striking attacks, staggers, reversals, counters, combos, juggles, etc... that will definitely help you towards beating down the opponents you have the most trouble with. And last but not least, there's A.I. mode, in which you take a character, and train him, like a tomigochi (SP?) and have him fight according to your fighting style. You'll see him pull off combos that you will recognize as yours. After a while, you seem to form some feelings for him as he wins and loses throughout his career. A great and entertaining mode added to the already perfect arsenal of modes in Virtua Fighter 4.
The detail this game puts into the characters and backgrounds is amazing. The animations are smooth and flow easily along. I even noticed that when you're playing and you all of a sudden just stand still, your player's clothing will SLOWLY begin to stop swaying back and forth and eventually loose momentum. Same goes with the items you can add to your character. You can add necklaces, hats, shoes, give their clothes new colors and totally personalize them to fit your style. It's so realistic, whether it's the multiple stance switching of Lei Fei, or the multiple punch throws that Vanessa does with the opponent jerking this way and that, and the water particles on the fenced-in pool stage, you know right away that this game is clean, fluid, and beautiful. There's a problem that everybody seems to point out though, and that's jaggies. To tell you the truth, in my honest opinion, I don't see any jaggies at all. They may be there, they're just too difficult to really catch.
The swoosh of pants as they quickly dash forward, the splash as body's hit the water and the yells and shouts that go on from the characters in the heat of battle. It just adds to the beauty and helps immerse youself into the game. The only real drawback is some of the voices and something that keeps bothering me: ''I've done handcuff lightning!'' - a line my character keeps saying that most likely was a mistake in the translation. Otherwise, the sound effects are crisp and full of quality.
The controls, one of the major parts of any game. This game, in particular, has excellant control. The kicks and punches, as well as the guard animations are precise and come out as quickly as you press the buttons (which in some cases, can be pretty damn fast). The only thing that can deprive the controls, is the experience needed to go into them if you want to master the game (which, if you want to get far into the game, you definitely want to master the controls... trust me, I've lost plenty of CLOSE fights by acccidentally hitting the kick button instead of the guard button. Talk about tantrums....). Overall the controls may easily come to you, or may take quite a while, but once you get used to them and the moves of the character you're using, the game will control like an F1 car on super softs =D.
Tons of ways to work out your game, and strategize against the computer. There's a spread sheet in the optinos menu that shows everything from Win Streak, to time take to beat the arcade mode. And the preset times are quite a challenge to beat, providing much replayabiliy and challenge. The characters have their own items to put on and you can change the way they look by coloring their clothing differently. Trust me, this game will keep you playing for quite a while, making you want all the items and clothing colors.
Overall Score (with reviewer tilt)- 10
With the immersive graphics, sounds and controls and the fact that it takes a great deal of time to master one character will keep you playing this game until Virtua Fighter 5 comes out!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/02, Updated 03/30/02
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