Review by Venom2008

"A decent fighting game with a feminine touch"

This is the fourth installment of Sega's very popular Virtua Fighter series. It's a very well put together fighting game however a little complicated and has a few strange game play choices.

Game Play 6/10 This game has two main modes: Arcade Mode and Kumite mode. In Arcade mode you have the choice of picking from a fair selection of fighters and fighting through several stages, pretty standard for a fighting game. The main feature of this game is Kumite mode, which is similar to Arcade mode except there are many extras that can be unlocked and it takes several months to complete.

The selection of characters in this game are very diverse and each one has their own unique fighting style. The biggest problem with this game is the controls are very difficult to master. If you're like me and aren't able to memorize hundreds of button combination selections this game probably isn't for you. In order to pull off any move besides a standard punch or kick you're going to have to check out the rather extensive list of combos in the game. I don't have the fastest fingers in the world so punching in a 5 button combo in less than a second is pretty much impossible for me so you can imagine that I am rather pathetic at this game. If you're slow or have big fingers do not buy this game. Even after playing this game for several weeks I couldn't do more than a few standard punches and kicks while my adversary would pound me mercilessly with tons of stunning attacks. If you are anything like me, Tekken is a much better bet.

Kumite mode is rather extensive and has a very complicated ranking system. This is an interesting feature. After winning several matches you gain rank and unlock various items for your character, such as clothing. You heard me right, clothing. A rather odd choice for a fighting game. Now at first this sounds pretty cool. Maybe I'll be able to unlock a cool gauntlets with razor blades attached to them, an eye patch, brass knuckles etc. Nope! What do I get? A pink shirt, a necklace and a pair of earrings!! What?! You heard me right. These would be acceptable unlockables in a game like Britney's Dance Beat but this is a fighting game. After gaining higher and higher ranks of Kumite mode you get plenty more fancy jewelery for your male fighters, then once you get really good you can accessorize them with matching gloves and hats. Yippee!

My favorite part of this game is the "ring out" ability. Most maps allow you to knock your opponent out of the ring for an instant win. I especially like throwing my adversary off the top of a mountain and watching them fall to their deaths. It is also fun to follow them by jumping off the mountain after them and committing suicide, I think that might be a glitch, but it's a fun one.

Story 1/10 There isn't one.

Graphics 9/10 The graphics in this game are very nice. All the environments are done superbly. Many levels have breakaway glass and walls. The characters hair and clothes all move realistically in the wind. There are also some amazing water and snow effects. The women in this game are way too overdressed when compared to females in other game series. Which isn't really a negative because you probably wouldn't want to picture Vanessa in a bikini or lingerie.

Sound 7/10 The sound and music are very well done. However the characters have a need to talk at the beginning and end of every match and their vocabulary is very limited. They say the same phrases over and over again, most of which are horribly translated from Japanese to Engrish. I hit the mute button often just so I don't have to listen to them anymore.

Replay 9/10 This game has a lot of replay value if you want to play through Kumite mode and get every piece of jewelry and different costumes you can for each player, but I don't really know why you would want to.

Buy or Rent I'd rent this game first to see how you like it. It definitely isn't for everyone. If you good at memorizing combos and can enter them in at lightning fast speed, or if you just like to play dress up with your favorite fighting game characters this game is for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/06/05

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