Review by agios_katastrof

Reviewed: 03/28/02 | Updated: 03/28/02

A game for the serious SC, Tekken, and CVS2 players, as well as some newbies.

Those that think DOA3 has great gameplay will not enjoy VF4. Really. With graphics asides, if you honestly believe that DOA3 is a great fighting game, than chances are, you just will not see what people are raving about.

Not that VF4 graphics are bad (yes, bad compared to the arcades, but still pretty good - I'd say about as good as FFX), but if you are looking for things like graphics, soft-porn, ''plot'', fatalities, etc., then this game isn't for you. VF4 sells itself on the virtues of gameplay, and gameplay alone.

I think VF4 is about as in depth as Soul Calibur, perhaps a bit more actually. And I think SC players (who are mostly the hardcore fighter type), would feel right at home. Actually, VF4 is my filler game until SC2. I think some Tekken players may enjoy VF4 as well, but if and only if you are at a relatively high level of play at Tekken. Button mashing Tekken players will probably find VF4 frustrating. But if you realize that Tekken, although a fun game, has its flaws, than you will be glad to find a game that doesn't have jabs that counter everything, Jin, deathfist, Jin, uber juggles, Jin, and all the various annoying things about Tekken (particularly T4), that prevent Tekken from being a top notch game. To be sure, VF4 does have the jabs, juggles, counters, as well as Akira and Jacky, but they aren't as problematic as their Tekken counterparts. The jabs work, but aren't overpowered. The juggels are there, but limiting. And Akira can be sidestepped. Jacky.. well, uhm, let me get back to you on that one. :) . Still, he's not the freak that Jin is.

If you have been a hardcore 2D fighter player, you may or may not enjoy this game. You will certainly miss the projectile and super moves (I do). But you will note that a lot of the run-cancel rush down type of attacks in Capcom vs SNK 2 are applicable here. Actually, considering that at high levels of play, 2D fighter is mostly about rush downs, you will find that such tactics and strategies are directly applicable to VF4. Btw, in VF4, EVERYBODY has a crouching dash (unlike Tekken and SC). This fact by itself, lends itself to some really fast paced and crazy game play. Also, the 2D fighter pros will be pleasantly surprised to find just how many moves in VF4 can be canceled/buffered (yes, we 2d fighters just love that). There are lots and lots of mind games to be played with canceling/buffering.

Having said all this, VF4 actually does well for the newbies as well. This game features just about the best tutorial that I have ever seen in any game (let alone a fighter). Not only it teaches you VF4, it teaches you the basics of the 3D fighting games genera as a whole. How cool is that?! It even features recorded vids from some top tournament level players, which you can play back frame by frame. And the AI in VF4 is amazing. It actually learns. You will note that some of the moves that worked in round 1, will be countered in round 3. Pretty cool. Ordinarily, there's just no substitute for 2 player in fighting games. This is still true in VF4, but a lot less so than any other fighter to date.

Overall, a most excellent fighter, for experienced and newbies alike, that are looking for strategic indepth gameplay.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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