Review by Church5SiX1

"A Nice Addition to the Virtua Fighter Series"

I remember way back in the Saturn days, I played Virtua Fighter 1. I liked the game, and thought it was pretty fun. I was always Wolf, and loved his powerful maneuvers. Who would have ever thought that it would come to a Sony system?

I was begging my brother, who works at Sam Goody, to snag a game the minute one became a available. Well, he did, and I supplied them with the money to buy the game. He also got a discount since he worked there. I immediately began opening the wrapping of the game, and began to play. After getting well aquatinted with the controls, getting used to the Virtua Fighter gameplay, and repeating to myself that this is NOT a button-masher like Tekken (which is still a great series), I had a blast with the game.

Visually, the game is awesome, and I'm going to go more into this game's visuals than just ''There are a lot of polygons in the characters''. Of course, there ARE a lot of polygons in the characters (10,000, if I'm correct). There are excellent facial expressions, and this game has AWESOME anti-aliasing, which means that textures are smooth, and you won't be seeing many jaggies (I've only caught a miniscule amount... and unless you're really paying attention, it's hard to notice).

The hair on the characters move vividly too. The hair isn't composed of sprites or anything like that (*cough* Smackdown Just Bring It *cough*). The detail is amazing in the hair. You can see individual strands of hair, and when a character moves, so does the hair, and as I said, it moves very nicely. Some characters have their hair split when they do an attack (Which is really neat). If there's wind, the hair will blow. It's very, very impressive.

The arenas are good-looking too. The background are excellent looking (especially the Colliseum, where structures collapse in the background). In levels where there is sand, water, or snow, it will move with you as you fight.

The arenas are square and restricted, but certain levels have a barrier around them that will break. Do a powerful move to them by throwing them on the breakable barrier, and that part of the barrier will break. One level has tiles on it, and when you do a move on the tiles, the tiles will start to chip and break! Outstanding!

The gameplay is very nice. It's not a button-masher; you have to know how to do all the moves in the game. It's not like other games where you can just press random buttons and magically do an 8-hit combo. You can side-step (which is an important key in this game when evading other attacks). There's the simple Punch and Kick, and then there are some easy moves to pull off, moves that are a little harder to pull off, and ones that require you to press Left, Down-Left, Down, Down-Right, Right and Punch+Guard in one fluid motion. It's really neat when you get used to the game and get better at the game. Once you learn how to effectively block, evade, take advantage of things, and do moves, that's when you simply CAN'T put the game down. Any game is more fun once you really start to learn how to play and get into it (since I hadn't played a Virtua Fighter in YEARS!). The game requires some skill, and is extremely fun.

I'm not going to go much into sound and music. They're there, and they are good. The only thing I'll go in-depth in is the bone-crunching effects, which happens when people do moves like backbreakers. Those are some pretty cool sounds. Other than that, the music is good enough, and all the other sounds are good.

There are plenty of modes too. There is the normal arcade mode and VS mode, but there are three other modes that are pretty cool. The first is the Kumite Mode. You make a new character profile, and you start off at rank 10th kyu. As you fight person after person, you get put in ranking matches to proceed up in levels. There is the Kyu levels and the Dan levels. You get items every now and then, and you can use it to customize your character! I put slim, dark sunglasses on my guy Wolf. He looks awesome with them on! Kumite mode rocks.

The Replay mode is self-explanatory; after a match, you can press the Select button and save your replay. There are replays that are pre-set on the disc, and some of them are fun to watch.

The AI mode is where you make an AI character, you teach him moves, and you basically teach him how to win. You can also go into an AI Replay feature, where you get a replay of your character fighting, and you can teach him moves from there. Press O to make them remember a move, or X to make them forget a move. You can then go into modes of play and LOAD UP YOUR AI CHARACTER AND WATCH IT BRAWL! You can send it into the Kumite Mode and see how it does there too, and if it's good enough, watch it level up in the Kumite Mode!

The only flaw with this game is that when you are facing 4th or 5th dans (which are really hard computers), I understand that they are supposed to be harder, by why is it when I'm kicking their butts, they make some 5-second surprise, mega comeback? I dunno, but I hate it in ANY game where that happens.

Overall, a very nice game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/28/03, Updated 06/28/03

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