STAFF REVIEW of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (Xbox 360 Arcade)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
by Brent Roberts

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown Box art Welcome my student. I summoned you here because I have obtained news that a new challenger to the fighting game crown has emerged. For years now the battle has waged between games such as Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and more to compete for the crown of "Best Fighting Game" and now Sega has stepped forward and issued their own challenge with Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. Not to be taken lightly, this Xbox Live Arcade fighting game is mammoth in size and beautiful in its execution. Come now my student, walk with me and let me give you some more details on what could quite possibly be one of the best fighting games available.

In the fighting game genre there is one paramount that must be upheld to the highest regard and that is play control. You could have a beautiful game but if the controls are sluggish, or unresponsive, then the game itself will suffer greatly. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown taps into the souls of its ancestors and delivers an incredibly in depth fighting system which is executed with more precision than a samurai's blade. Do not underestimate this opponent because Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown utilizes one of the most complex fighting systems ever conceived by man. With support for arcade stick and a fully customizable play control system, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is quickly becoming a contender to be reckoned with.


One of the biggest strengths of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is its size. Instead of some $59.99 retail fighting game that boasts an install size of over 3GB, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is 1200 MS points and delivers more content than some other retail games in a size under 2GB. This reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies: "Look at me, judge me by my size do you?" All this heavy hitting knock out power stems from Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, showcasing 20 characters, including a brand new character Jean Kujo, and Taka-Arashi from Virtua Fighter 3. On top of that, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown also provides 20 beautiful stages for which you can fight to the finish, but that?s not all. Unleashing the final blow for Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown are all the eleven game modes it provides. With modes such as Arcade, Training, and Online matches becoming the standard, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown allows you to create a user created room where you can set the rules for combat. The transitions into matches are a little lengthy, but overall the online performance of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is exceptionally well done and honed to a razor's edge.

While you may be focused on delivering a beating to your opponent?s soul, you may find yourself distracted by the beauty around you. This is due to Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown providing 20 incredibly stunning, high quality interactive environments and characters. From cascading waterfalls, to waves crashing amongst the beach, to a caged arena surrounded by screaming supporters and fight enthusiasts, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is an absolute beauty to behold. One weak spot in the game however, has to be the music. While your eyes may be blinded by the beauty of the graphics, your ears will be bored and eventually annoyed by the sound. Granted you can't expect some grand soundscape when you talk fighting games, but I was hoping for a more dynamic soundtrack than just a few scattered techno loops. I understand that Sega wanted to make sure that the sounds of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown feel like they were injecting you with an overload of adrenaline, but alas, that was a punch that completely missed its target, but thankfully though you'll be too caught up with everything else that is amazing about the game to even notice it.

In the fighting game world there are originators, imitators, duplicators, and haters, but one thing is for sure, the fighting game crown will always be up for grabs as challengers line up for a chance to dominate an entire genre of gaming. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown has thrown down its challenge by providing an Xbox Live Arcade game that delivers more content than some retail fighting games. To put things into perspective: Let's say you spent $59.99 on a brand new retail fighting game, then add in the DLC on top of that and you could easily be spending in the realm of $75 (and that?s not including the online pass option), or for $15 (1200 Microsoft Points) you could snag yourself a top contender for the fighting game crown that packs more content and delivers a better fighting game experience. Think of all the DLC you could purchase for the $15 to equal the amount you spent on just one retail game? This is why for fighting games on the Xbox Live Arcade, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is hands down one of the best values you will ever find, but enough talking for now. Think you have what it takes to step into the ring against such a heavy hitter like Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown? Your arena awaits my student, prove yourself.





Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.4 / 10

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