Virtua Fighter 5 has lived a long, fruitful life through this generation. First making its appearance on the PS3 early on in its life, it was later ported to the Xbox 360 with added online play. For years, the game would stay quiet up until the Final Showdown update for the arcades in 2010. With the addition of new characters and rebalancing the game over the last console release, it would finally reach consoles in 2012 as a downloadable title. This would mark the first “new” Virtua Fighter game that would not be released through physical distribution.
On the surface, not much has changed from the release on the PS3 and 360. Visually, it’s still the same beautiful game it always was. Stages, however, have been tweaked and have been given new musical scores. The existing cast were given new moves and new pre-fight and winning animations. In addition to some tweaks on the existing cast, Taka-Arashi makes his second appearance in the series since the third game and the game introduces a new character, Jean Kujo.
One notable difference is that this game is significantly cheaper than the releases before that. Sadly, with the lower price tag, the game removes some of the more significant features, like Quest Mode. For those who don’t remember, Quest Mode literally put you in the place of an arcade goer traveling from arcade to arcade, fighting to become the top Virtua Fighter player in the area. In addition to “building” reputation, you would go up through the Kyu/Dan system. This mode would also provide you with a lot of customization items that you could dress your characters up in. With the lack of Quest Mode this time around, they left customization items to DLC.
The idea behind this game seems to be that they wanted to keep the blood flowing in the fighting game community. The moment you buy this game, it’s tournament-ready. It’s also incredibly affordable, considering the slew of new fighters recently. Since the game has gone relatively silent in the last few years, I figure that Sega wanted to reclaim some stake in the fighting game circuit and see tournaments for its game again.
While the fighting system itself is incredibly deep, the game is easy to pick up. Commands are simple, but timing is everything if you wish to pull off successful combos and beat your opponent down with style. I could easily recommend this to anyone who likes fighters. While the loss of a Quest Mode might drive away some of the longevity this game has, the License Tests and playing people online more than make up for that.
Pros: Affordable price tag, great graphics, easy to pick up
Cons: Lack of modes