Pin It

Game Review -- Virtua Fighter 4 

by Marty Demarest

Fighting games are ideally full of violent fun: controlling a tough guy, or (usually) tougher girl, and beating the hell out of another character. Of course the ultimate aim is to KO the opponent and unlock new characters and stages to expand the gameplay. But that's far too limited a goal for some of the best titles in the genre, which have taken improbable martial arts moves and physics-free cleavage to unimaginable levels of innovation. But occasionally, a fighting game will come along that's fun on a deeper level: rewarding players who spend the hours necessary to learn to tap controller buttons in complicated combinations, and investing the virtual characters with a degree of personality.

If any game deserves to hold the new standard for excellence in ass-kicking, it's Sega's Virtua Fighter 4 for the Playstation 2. The graphics are nowhere near the fluid excellence of some of the fighting games available for the X-Box and the GameCube, and they're even mediocre compared to some of the titles from the aging Dreamcast. But in the realm of gameplay, Virtua Fighter 4 achieves a level of sophistication that hasn't been available to fighting gamers before.

There are only three different basic command buttons here -- punch, kick and block. Used in combination with the four directional buttons, they don't add up to much. But the simplicity of the control scheme allows casual players to smash randomly on the buttons to satisfactory effect. More serious players will appreciate the challenge of realizing their strategic goals within the variety of combinations available.

The old-school elegance of the game's controls -- harkening back to the arcade more than the any home video game system -- is paired brilliantly with a massive menu of playing options that only a home console could provide. There's the standard player-versus-player mode, but some devastatingly sharp artificial intelligence programming will make battling the Playstation 2 a sufficient challenge for quite a while. There is also a training mode so complete that players can master every move in a way that suits their particular learning style. Add customizable characters and programmable artificial intelligence, and you have a game that can easily smack down any console competition currently available.

Pin It
Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Celebrate Bob Ross Paint 'n' Sip Event

Celebrate Bob Ross Paint 'n' Sip Event @ Pinot's Palette

Tue., Nov. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment


Nation & World


election 2018


© 2018 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation