|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Release: June 5, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence|
It's hard to judge a game's netcode in the early days of reviewing because the servers aren't stressed with a huge population of fighters all trying to get a match in. That being said, it's kind of hard for Virtua Fighter 5 Final Evolution's netcode to not have improved. VF5 was one of the first fighting games to include internet functionality, and as a result online games were host to a series of horrid problems like depressingly long button delay, unresponsive controls, freezes, glitches, and random disconnects. Final Showdown's netcode is far better. Matches drop less, controls respond quicker, and overall it comes closer to simulating the offline experience. No, the game is not perfect online. In fact, I'd say it still lags behind Soul Calibur 5, Skullgirls, and Street Fighter X Tekken in terms of online performance, but it's still a pretty significant improvement from the original.
You aren't going to find a whole lot of bells and whistles attached to Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown at first glance. As it is, the game is simply a more balanced, better designed, smoother controlling version of the classic that we knew and loved when it released back in the early days of the Xbox 360. However, little touches really make Final Showdown stand out. Aside from the new characters, stages, balance changes, and move appearance changes, the game also now has a built in button check and button test at the character select screen. The hardcore fighting game community has been clamoring for this to become standard for years, and now Final Showdown has finally done it (pun intended.) That's the sort of small touch that makes Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown worth buying at its already budget price. The promise of literally thousands of DLC costume items doesn't hurt either.
Who is Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown for? Two types of people, really. The first is hardcore or casual fighters that missed the original release of VF5. Back then, fighting games weren't so big, but now they are all the rage and the fighting game community is bigger than ever. If you recently came to the community but missed VF5's first release because you just weren't as involved then, you owe it to yourself to give this game a try. It's balanced, fast, and all around fun, all packaged within a three button fighting system that is incredibly simple to learn. The other gamers that Final Showdown will appeal to are VF5 players who are still playing the original game to this day. If you were always a fan of the game , then there's no reason not to get Final Showdown as it's a cheap upgrade that gives you new characters and better balance. Isn't that what every tournament gamer wants in a fighting game expansion?
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 5, 2012