|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: AM2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 30, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Philip Hanan
July 10, 2007 - Sega's famous franchise fighting series is jumping to the Xbox 360 and will have many features that the PS3 version didn't have. Think of it as Virtua Fighter 5: Evolution. The graphics of the Xbox 360 certainly won't dazzle you as 720p is the highest resolution it can be played in. The lack of sharpness definitely shows in this game, but at least it's cleaner looking than VF4: Evolution for PS2.
VF5 adds two new fighting styles to the game series, Monkey-Style Kung Fu and Mexican Wrestling, which fit right in with the game. However, the Monkey-Style Kung Fu doesn't seem all too different from Lion's style and the Mexican Wrestling is pretty much ripping off DOA4, but doesn't even seem as stylish as in that game because the action in VF5 is just too slow compared to DOA's speed.
The characters from VF4 don't seem to have any additional movesets anymore. With each previous game, Sega added more moves and combos, but I don't see anything different about the characters according to the matches I've seen played. The same combos are still good for victories and certain moves still take out way too much damage. Sega apparently hasn't learned from DOA4's reversal system as it appears difficult to turn an opponent's attacks against him.
As far as controls go for the game, they appear to be the same as usual. Punch, Kick, and Guard are your only buttons which make the game easy to pick up and play for noobs, but less inviting for non hardcore VF gamers looking to mix up types of punches and kicks. At least the addition of the new Offensive Move allows true 3D movement, although I can't really consider it a fighting move. Also, the sound hasn't changed since VF1 and neither has the boss, Dural, although Dural certainly looks fancy in 256 bit chrome. The 360 version does add two features the PS3 version doesn't have, and they are analog stick control and rumble. And if you don't want to use the DOA4 stick, Hori will produce a VF5 360 stick for all you fighting game purists.
Old features also return such as the Quest Mode which allows you to raise your rank while fighting pretty tough A.I. opponents. It's nothing new to the series, but the 360 version will have enhanced A.I. The customization of the Quest Mode (formerly Kumite) fighters is even better this year as you can pretty much change a character's entire looks now. I've seen screens of customized Pai and Eddy and they barely look like themselves. It's like adding new characters to the game.
The practice mode also returns, but features nothing new this year. One new mode to the series is Commentary mode where commentators actually comment on your matches. Hmm ..I wonder if Sega could get WWE's Jim Ross to do the American commentary dubbing. "Now, that's a slobberknocker!"
I can't really judge whether the game is a that much different from VF4 just by looking at screens and video, but it certainly is better than the PS3 version of VF5 minus the lower resolution, darker lighting, and lack of colors in some spots. Hardcore VF fans will purchase the game anyway if they own a 360 as well hardcore fighting game fans in general, so if you're not hardcore, you may be turned off my the game's pure fighting mechanics. Look for the 360 version of this traditional fighting game series this fall.
CCC Freelance Writer