Review by Cinder
"The Greatest Fighting Game Ever. Period"
When I say that Virtua Fighter 4 is the greatest fighting game ever, I mean that it is the greatest martial arts game ever. Sword fighting, in my opinion, is a totally different matter (the greatest sword fighter is Bushido Blade, if you were wondering). VF4 is better even than the king of fighters: Street Fighter 2. Why? I'll show you why.
The combos are thrilling, and they make sense. That is the key. Most fighting games have a string of buttons to press and they don't have anything to do with what the move actually is. In VF4, you can pretty much tell what you will be pulling off just by looking at the instruction manual. The sheer amount of combos is incredible, with each player having about the same amount (around 100 or more moves per character).
The characters all look different, and they play as they look. Shun-Di looks like a crazy old man, and when you start to play as or against him, you will see that his style is pretty bizarre, as in the old VF games. I like the addition of the two new characters, and the exclusion of the sumo wrestler (I forgot his name).
The characters look superb, and their animations are virtually flawless. The only times that you see a glitch is when you hit your opponent, they start to fly back, and then you hit them again, and they magically warp back and start the animation over again. The arenas look and feel great, though the introductions for the stages are jagged and unpolished. These problems quickly go away as soon as the camera stops and you start fighting. Effects--such as footprints left in the snow and VERY realistic water--are top-notch, and leave you feeling satisfied after just seeing an arena.
Blazing fast, 60 fps fighting is da bomb! Think of this: you are playing SFII Turbo on the highest speed setting in a fully 3D environment. Now put in the best AI to date, and, presto! you get VF4. You'd better hope that you really know those combos, or you're sunk.
Fighting games always seem to skimp on these. You have arcade mode and adventure mode, occasionally a difficulty setting, and that is basically what a typical fighting game is. Not VF4. It gives you the unique ability to coach your own AI player and teach them your skills by sparring with them and watching your replays. Then you can have them play in arcade mode or verse a friend's trainee. There is also Kumite (coo me tay) mode, which, if you have played Bushido Blade, is quite like Slash Mode. If you have not: Kumite is where you fight enemy after enemy with no rests in between, and your health goes with you to the next battle. Think of it like survival mode. When you beat the game, you get items, which further enhance the gameplay, and you can get new clothing for your own created player to wear.
This game is simply the greatest martial arts game around. If you have a choice between Super Smash Bros. Melee and VF4, you can just spit on SSBM and buy your great new fighting game. OR, if you already own SSBM, you can use the disc for a coaster while you are playing your great new fighting game. Either way, buy this game. It boils down to that. Buy this game. Stop reading this review, because all that it says after this sentence is ''Buy this game'' and go buy this game. Buy this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/02/02, Updated 04/02/02
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