I enjoy fighting games quite a bit, ranging from Street Fighter to Soul Calibur, and Marvel vs. Capcom to the recently released XBLA/PSN title Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. For those of you unfamiliar with fighting games, they are not all the same, and they are not all created equal. The basic concept may be the same, but the techniques used to execute that concept can be wildly different. How does Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown compare to both past Virtua Fighter iterations and to other fighting games as an XBLA title?
Will this game have you begging for mercy or standing over your opponents?
Most fighting titles will include some basic form of plot and storyline in their local, single player modes. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is not like most fighting titles. In its Arcade mode, you select a character, and it puts you up against an AI character. You go through most of the characters hoping to beat them all, and then you go through them again to beat them more thoroughly. It’s not an easy task, because some characters will naturally feel harder due to differing fighting styles. You’re also in timed matches, so if you want leaderboard success, you need to master a fighter and his or her combos and take out the trash as quick as you can. License mode is a task based gameplay mode. You complete specific tasks as they come up until you’re done. The tasks range from easy to nightmarishly relentless. Score Attack puts you through a set list of fighters and scores you based on combos and how long it took you to beat each character. After finishing all of the fighters, your score totals. Single player fighting in Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is either for the sheer fun of fighting AI or for leaderboard challenges against your friends.
Being a game of modern times, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown also includes online multiplayer. I lost repeatedly, but it was still fun, and a game like this has major replay value. The online features includes quick fights for either ranked or normal gameplay as well as an up-to 8 person lobby for king of the hill fun. I’ve yet to find a lobby with jerk players, so it seems that the community of gamers who enjoy fighting games are making an effort to be nice and helpful to newer players. Overall, the gameplay is great. The game is easy to grasp, and it comes with a wide range of characters and levels to play on, so you’ll have plenty of ways to learn how to use each character.
The visual and aural presentation of this game are both very well done. The graphics look like retail quality, which helps justify the nearly 2GB game download size. There wasn’t a single moment that would stand out as a downloadable title instead of a retail disc title. The soundtrack is also great, with one major plus being the ability to change to older songs from the Virtua Fighter series.
Overall, I’d say this game is a hit for any fans of the fighting genre. You’ll be spending hours practicing, fighting friends, and generally having a good time. The graphics are brilliant, the music fits the fights they are assigned to, and the gameplay is spot on. If you’re looking for a new title to add to your digital collection, this is definitely something to check out. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace or on PSN for 1200MSP / $14.99, respectively.
|Major replay value|
Easy to grasp game
Online community is friendly
Brilliant graphics and audio
|Launch DLC is massive, gets expensive|