Review by RssV

Reviewed: 10/18/02 | Updated: 10/18/02

The series power remains

Virtua Fighter series has marked generations. The main versions of the game were released when Sega launched a new Arcade board in market, and that always meant great (r)evolutions. But Sega's got off the hardware branch and their 3D fighting hit - now on its 4th edition - is ported to a non-Sega console for the first time. How does Virtua Fighter 4 work on Sony's PlayStation 2?

VF4 graphics are quite satisfactory. Of course that having games such as DoA3 or Tekken 4 in market, Sega's production can't be called revolutionary at this point... But that doesn't impede anyone of seeing the game's beautiful design: the fighters' clothes smoothly flap, reflecting effects in silver clothing fulfill our eyes, the characters faces are great, their expressions are really well done... The sceneries also rock: one's snow is removed from the ground when players move, the leaves of other fly away according to fighters' moviment, the water of a third one - that almost reaches the knees - shows a great splashing effect... That's just to mention some, the other sceneries are all also well developed - and there are lots of them!
Unfortunately, the hated alising is present in VF4. No, it's not that annoying thing we saw in Tekken Tag, but it can be noticed somewhere in the sceneries and during the characters' commemorations. In fact, that's no big deal in my opinion...

The game has a nice touch at this point. Each fighter speaks his/her homeland language, something we haven't seen in other games of the genre. Background music does its job, just average, but it's difficult not to say the game sound isn't cool after hearing Wolf screaming things like ''Shut up, and just fight!''... Exciting.

VF series has always had a deep gameplay. While playing, it's been always possible to learn new techniques and moves, and in VF4 these possibilities are even more intense. Maybe those who play it for 10 or 15 minutes in the C.B.C.(crazy button crushing) scheme will say the game is just like any other. However, dedicating some time and practice to it, you'll notice how immersive this game is. There are moves to be executed in certain distances, moves to be used while being attacked, techniques with right timing to work and etc.
Two brand new characters were added to this version: Vanessa will probably please the hardcore gamers, while Lei Fei may be the favorite of many beginners. A very important addition to the gameplay is the rotativity in the sceneries, L and R buttons are no more necessary for 3D moving. Fighters move in the best Soul Calibur style now.
The game menus are clean and easy to navigate, and the general response of controls during the fights is great.

Sega's prepared some interesting modes to this console version:
Kumite: You customize a character and fight against many other pre-edited ones. You can get some prizes here like hundreds of clothing accessories or cool poligonal models of fighters in VF1 style.
A.I. system: You're a fighter trainer. Choosing random characters, you fight your discipule improving his/her habilities. You can also tell him/her what is right or wrong by watching the fights replays. Fighters created here can participate of Kumite or fight against other created A.I.'s. With A.I. system you'll make a strong fighter, which fights just like you, and after this you can challenge him/her. There is no how to say there aren't opponents strong like you...
Versus: The known 1 on 1 battle. If at least we could choose the fight scenery it would be better, and this is not too much to ask. Anyway...
Arcade: VF4's Arcade mode isn't as short as the ones we see out there. You must challenge each fighter, and sometimes some losers will ask for revenge. And all fights the powerful Dural will also show up to spare a bit(and believe me, this damned silver fighter is quite strong!).

Virtua Fighter 4 comes to set clear that the series still has a lot to show. Killer gameplay, good graphics, innovation: everything players could ask for. And the extra modes are capable to keep you playing for a long time... If you've never played or didn't like the previous VFs, try this one, at least rent it. You'll probably want one copy later. But if you're a VF fan, don't think twice! This one has to be yours

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay/controls: 10
Lastability: 9
Overall: 9

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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