Virtua Fighter 4 Evo

Review

posted 9/26/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS2
Virtua Fighter 4 was a great fighting game for PlayStation 2 owners. The game has great gameplay and doesn’t rely on big breasted women to sell itself. And it’s a deep fighting game with balanced characters. Sega’s "upgrade" called Virtua Fighter 4 Evo continues with the great series adding a few new characters and cleaning up the jagged graphics that was apparent in the last game.

Now, I’ve been playing Virtua Fighter since the old blocky Sega arcade release about ten years ago. Virtua Fighter 2 was a great leap from the first one and that’s where I was really hooked onto the game as many of the hardcore fighters at my college scene played VF2 then the gimmicky yet fun Mortal Kombat series and Killer Instinct. The Virtua Fighter series has always been known for its large learning curve. Once you do master the game though it’s a lot of fun fighting similarly experienced players. When I picked up Virtua Fighter 4 after being away from the series for many years, I was surprised at how easily I was able to get back into it. The moves from Wolf and Akira seem to flow out easily. Having put down VF4 for a good six months, I tackled VF4 Evo and again found myself being able to pick up the game easily. I think if you’re an experienced VF player but haven’t touched the series in a while, you won’t have too much trouble picking the new one up and fighting with your favorite character easily again.

The basic fighting engine has been tweaked here and there with some new moves for old characters. The timing, on some moves, have been also tweaked but for the most part you should be able to perform the old ones pretty easily as you try and learn the new ones for each character. It’s a testament to the game to only use three buttons and have a very deep and rich fighting system built using those three. The timing of the moves takes a little more time to learn. And the number of moves for each fighter will keep you practicing for a while. I’ve always liked the feel the series and was pleasantly pleased with VF4 Evo’s feel.

The various levels offer wall-less ringouts, partial enclosures, and complete enclosures. Some moves has your character interacting with walls either jumping off of or even slamming your opponent into it. All of the levels are modeled well and feature some good textures.

Like Soul Calibur, there are some levels that can only be completed through certain conditions. This adds another level of complexity other than just taking the opponent’s energy bar down, ringing them out, or having more energy then them when the time runs out.

While the Kumite mode is gone from the game, it’s been replaced with a Quest mode. Also like in the Weapon Master mode in Soul Calibur, Quest mode lets you traverse various arcades in order to earn rank, money, and prizes. With money, you can purchase various items or features that enhance the game or your character. This RPG like aspect for VF4 Evo gives an added dimension to the single player game and makes the omission of the Kumite mode very acceptable.
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