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Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown – PS4 Review

Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌entry‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌series‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌whopping‌ ‌15‌ ‌years.‌ ‌On‌ ‌one‌ ‌hand‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌sad‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌series‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌dormant‌ ‌so‌ ‌long,‌ ‌but‌ ‌5‌ ‌and‌ ‌its‌ ‌subsequent‌ revisions‌ ‌(including‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5:‌ ‌Final‌ ‌Showdown)‌ ‌stood‌ ‌the‌ ‌test‌ ‌of‌ ‌time,‌ ‌and‌ ‌if‌ ‌a‌ ‌sixth‌ ‌game‌ ‌was‌ ‌off‌ ‌the‌ ‌table,‌ ‌a‌ ‌modern‌ ‌port‌ ‌of‌ ‌5‌ ‌would‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌suffice‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌people.‌ ‌

And‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌what‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌got‌ ‌now!‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5:‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌brings‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌to‌ ‌PlayStation‌ ‌4,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌straight‌ ‌port‌ ‌of‌ ‌Final‌ ‌Showdown…‌ ‌and‌ ‌in‌ ‌some‌ ‌ways‌ ‌less‌ ‌than‌ ‌that,‌ ‌too.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌good‌ ‌news‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌fantastic‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌system‌ ‌of‌ ‌VF5‌ ‌has‌ ‌stayed‌ ‌totally‌ ‌intact,‌ ‌and‌ ‌works‌ ‌just‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌it‌ ‌did‌ ‌15‌ ‌years‌ ‌ago.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌genuinely‌ ‌incredible‌ ‌how‌ ‌fluid‌ ‌and‌ ‌fun‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌still‌ ‌is,‌ ‌
after‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌time‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌passed.‌ ‌The‌ ‌three-button‌ ‌system‌ ‌is‌ ‌simple,‌ ‌but‌ ‌how‌ ‌you‌ ‌use‌ ‌it‌ ‌opens‌ ‌up‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌game‌ ‌with‌ ‌staggering‌ ‌depth,‌ ‌where‌ ‌even‌ ‌your‌ ‌position‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌ring‌ ‌can‌ ‌
give‌ ‌you‌ ‌an‌ ‌entirely‌ ‌different‌ ‌approach‌ ‌to‌ ‌consider;‌ ‌both‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌and‌ ‌your‌ ‌opponent’s.‌ ‌The‌ ‌cast‌ ‌of‌ ‌characters‌ ‌all‌ ‌handle‌ ‌radically‌ ‌differently‌ ‌from‌ ‌one‌ ‌another,‌ ‌and‌ ‌as‌ ‌such‌ ‌it‌ ‌genuinely‌ ‌
does‌ ‌feel‌ ‌like‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌choice‌ ‌to‌ ‌suit‌ ‌every‌ ‌player‌ ‌one‌ ‌way‌ ‌or‌ ‌another.‌ ‌In‌ ‌past‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌titles‌ ‌I‌ ‌usually‌ ‌stuck‌ ‌with‌ ‌Jacky‌ ‌and‌ ‌Kage,‌ ‌but‌ ‌here‌ ‌I’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌an‌ ‌Eileen‌ ‌main‌ ‌through-and-through,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌having‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌time‌ ‌learning‌ ‌the‌ ‌ins-and-outs‌ ‌of‌ ‌her‌ ‌attack‌ ‌interrupts,‌ ‌her‌ ‌variety‌ ‌of‌ ‌grabs,‌ ‌and‌ ‌so‌ ‌forth.‌ ‌Even‌ ‌when‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌losing‌ ‌badly,‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5‌ ‌still‌ ‌manages‌ ‌to‌ ‌give‌ ‌me‌ ‌a‌ ‌sense‌ ‌of‌ ‌adrenaline‌ ‌that‌ ‌very‌ ‌few‌ ‌other‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌games‌ ‌can‌ ‌match,‌ ‌and‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌undoubtedly‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌fighters‌ ‌around‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌very‌ ‌important‌ ‌regard.‌ ‌

For‌ ‌new‌ ‌players,‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌does‌ ‌offer‌ ‌tutorials,‌ ‌though‌ ‌not‌ ‌as‌ ‌robust‌ ‌as‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌4‌ ‌Evolution’s‌ ‌offerings.‌ ‌As‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌basic‌ ‌tutorials‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌you‌ ‌used‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌controls,‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌Free‌ ‌Training‌ ‌mode‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌command‌ ‌practice‌ ‌mode‌ ‌for‌ ‌every‌ ‌fighter‌ ‌that‌ ‌gives‌ ‌you‌ ‌an‌ ‌“OK”‌ ‌whenever‌ ‌you‌ ‌successfully‌ ‌pull‌ ‌off‌ ‌a‌ ‌move.‌ ‌It‌ ‌is‌ ‌somewhat‌ ‌frustrating‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌keep‌ ‌a‌ ‌record‌ ‌of‌ ‌moves‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌OK’d,‌ ‌as‌ ‌past‌ ‌titles‌ ‌did.‌ ‌Even‌ ‌Fighters‌ ‌Megamix‌ ‌from‌ ‌1996‌ ‌managed‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌this!‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌also‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌shame‌ ‌that‌ ‌demonstrations‌ ‌are‌ ‌limited‌ ‌to‌ ‌certain‌ ‌moves.‌ ‌With‌ ‌those‌ ‌forming‌ ‌the‌ ‌only‌ ‌real‌ ‌tutorial‌ ‌content,‌ ‌new‌ ‌players‌ ‌might‌ ‌feel‌ ‌the‌ ‌guidance‌ ‌on‌ ‌offer‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌tad‌ ‌limited,‌ ‌especially‌ ‌compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌content‌ ‌found‌ ‌in‌ ‌SEGA’s‌ ‌other‌ ‌‘eSports’‌ ‌title‌ ‌Puyo‌ ‌Puyo‌ ‌Champions‌ ‌and‌ ‌its‌ ‌fantastic‌ ‌Lesson‌ ‌Mode.‌ ‌ ‌

Other‌ ‌than‌ ‌that,‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌Single‌ ‌Player‌ ‌Arcade‌ ‌Mode‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌standard‌ ‌7‌ ‌stages‌ ‌to‌ ‌fight‌ ‌through‌ ‌before‌ ‌Dural‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌end,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Online‌ ‌matches‌ ‌in‌ ‌both‌ ‌Ranked‌ ‌and‌ ‌Custom‌ ‌Room‌ ‌formats.‌ ‌And…‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌actually‌ ‌your‌ ‌lot‌ ‌in‌ ‌terms‌ ‌of‌ ‌modes.‌ ‌Features‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌original‌ ‌VF5’s‌ ‌Quest‌ ‌Mode‌ ‌for‌ ‌instance,‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌return‌ ‌here.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌even‌ ‌play‌ ‌as‌ ‌Dural‌ ‌in‌ ‌any‌ ‌modes!‌ ‌ ‌It‌ ‌makes‌ ‌sense‌ ‌when‌ ‌you‌ ‌consider‌ ‌this‌ ‌game’s‌ ‌real‌ ‌purpose‌ ‌is‌ ‌just‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌tournament-ready,‌ ‌modern‌ ‌version‌ ‌of‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌available‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌primarily‌ ‌Japanese‌ ‌market‌ ‌(indeed,‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌is‌ ‌flatout‌ ‌called‌ ‌“Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌eSports‌ ‌in‌ ‌Japan‌ ‌and‌ ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌full-on‌ ‌arcade‌ ‌release),‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌might‌ ‌leave‌ ‌those‌ ‌who‌ ‌were‌ ‌understandably‌ ‌expecting‌ ‌the‌ ‌‘Ultimate’‌ ‌version‌ ‌of‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌let‌ ‌down.‌ ‌ ‌

There‌ ‌are‌ ‌some‌ ‌bonuses‌ ‌outside‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌on‌ ‌offer,‌ ‌at‌ ‌least.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌customise‌ ‌fighters,‌ ‌or‌ ‌play‌ ‌music‌ ‌from‌ ‌other‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌games…‌ ‌assuming‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌bought‌ ‌the‌ ‌DLC.‌ ‌Given‌ ‌how‌ ‌lean‌ ‌the‌ ‌package‌ ‌is,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌sort‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌shame‌ ‌these‌ ‌features‌ ‌are‌ ‌locked‌ ‌behind‌ ‌an‌ ‌additional‌ ‌paywall.‌ ‌Back‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Final‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌days‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ ‌only‌ ‌done‌ ‌this‌ ‌way‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌XBLA‌ ‌restrictions,‌ ‌so‌ ‌now‌ ‌it‌ ‌feels‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌cheeky.‌ ‌The‌ ‌customisation‌ ‌is‌ ‌amusing,‌ ‌but‌ ‌hardly‌ ‌as‌ ‌deep‌ ‌as‌ ‌something‌ ‌like‌ ‌Tekken,‌ ‌despite‌ ‌the‌ ‌impressive‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌items‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌boasts‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌DLC‌ ‌unlocked.‌ ‌One‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌main‌ ‌attractions‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Legendary‌ ‌DLC‌ ‌pack‌ ‌are‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌1‌ ‌styled‌ ‌blocky‌ ‌costumes,‌ ‌which‌ ‌‌are‌ ‌‌pretty‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌-‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌an‌ ‌(offline-only)‌ ‌VF1‌ ‌stage.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌they’re‌ ‌worth‌ ‌the‌ ‌extra‌ ‌price‌ ‌or‌ ‌not‌ ‌is‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌you,‌ ‌as‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌all‌ ‌strictly‌ ‌cosmetic,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌fun‌ ‌to‌ ‌mess‌ ‌around‌ ‌with‌ ‌at‌ ‌least.‌ ‌

Speaking‌ ‌of‌ ‌looks,‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌looks‌ ‌‌superb.‌ ‌‌Going‌ ‌back‌ ‌to‌ ‌Final‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌and‌ ‌comparing‌ ‌it‌ ‌to‌ ‌Ultimate,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌like‌ ‌night‌ ‌and‌ ‌day.‌ ‌RGG‌ ‌Studio‌ ‌have‌ ‌done‌ ‌a‌ ‌phenomenal‌ ‌job‌ ‌bringing‌ ‌that‌ ‌game’s‌ ‌graphics‌ ‌into‌ ‌2021,‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌looks‌ ‌like‌ ‌how‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5‌ ‌always‌ ‌looked‌ ‌in‌ ‌my‌ ‌vague‌ ‌recollections‌ ‌of‌ ‌it.‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌seen‌ ‌some‌ ‌complaints‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌characters‌ ‌look‌ ‌more‌ ‌‘generic’‌ ‌now,‌ ‌perhaps‌ ‌hueing‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌too‌ ‌close‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌average‌ ‌Yakuza‌ ‌NPC,‌ ‌but‌ ‌to‌ ‌me‌ ‌they’re‌ ‌simply‌ ‌a‌ ‌massive‌ ‌improvement‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌board,‌ ‌with‌ ‌perhaps‌ ‌Dural‌ ‌being‌ ‌the‌ ‌one‌ ‌standout‌ ‌example‌ ‌where‌ ‌I‌ ‌thought‌ ‌Final‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌did‌ ‌it‌ ‌better.‌ ‌Of‌ ‌course‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌also‌ ‌runs‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌solid‌ ‌60fps‌ ‌as‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌expected‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ ‌fighter,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌actually‌ ‌no‌ ‌mean‌ ‌feat‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌Dragon‌ ‌Engine‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌PlayStation‌ ‌4.‌ ‌Overall‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌delight‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌eyes,‌ ‌and‌ ‌well‌ ‌above‌ ‌and‌ ‌beyond‌ ‌the‌ ‌kind‌ ‌of‌ ‌simple‌ ‌resolution‌ ‌face-lift ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌expecting‌ ‌when‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌was‌ ‌first‌ ‌rumoured.‌ ‌

With‌ ‌the‌ ‌modes‌ ‌on‌ ‌offer‌ ‌being‌ ‌so‌ ‌slim‌ ‌in‌ ‌number,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌about‌ ‌time‌ ‌we‌ ‌arrive‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌main‌ ‌purpose‌ ‌of‌ ‌this‌ ‌re-release ‌-‌ ‌multiplayer.‌ ‌In‌ ‌a‌ ‌world‌ ‌still‌ ‌largely‌ ‌under‌ ‌social‌ ‌restrictions,‌ ‌stable‌ ‌online‌ ‌has‌ ‌become‌ ‌more‌ ‌important‌ ‌than‌ ‌ever‌ ‌for‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌games‌ ‌especially,‌ ‌and‌ ‌so‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌disappointing‌ ‌that‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌opt‌ ‌for‌ ‌rollback‌ ‌netcode‌ ‌like‌ ‌other‌ ‌upcoming‌ ‌fighters‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌Guilty‌ ‌Gear‌ ‌Strive‌ ‌and‌ ‌King‌ ‌of‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌XIV‌ ‌are.‌ ‌From‌ ‌what‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌played‌ ‌the‌ ‌online‌ ‌implementation‌ ‌(which‌ ‌is‌ ‌currently‌ ‌understood‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌relays)‌ ‌‌works,‌ ‌‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌obviously‌ ‌varies‌ ‌considerably‌ ‌with‌ ‌both‌ ‌connection‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌ ‌It‌ ‌can‌ ‌begin‌ ‌to‌ ‌feel‌ ‌like‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌playing‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌arcade‌ ‌stick‌ ‌submerged‌ ‌in‌ ‌tar‌ ‌at‌ ‌its‌ ‌worst,‌ ‌but‌ ‌fortunately‌ ‌the‌ ‌matches‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌had‌ ‌so‌ ‌far‌ ‌(a‌ ‌few‌ ‌hours‌ ‌worth)‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌playable‌ ‌enough‌ ‌for‌ ‌me‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌quite‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌fun.‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌not‌ ‌usually‌ ‌one‌ ‌for‌ ‌ranked‌ ‌modes‌ ‌in‌ ‌online‌ ‌fighters,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌time‌ ‌sparring‌ ‌with‌ ‌beginners‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌series,‌ ‌of‌ ‌which‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌plenty‌ ‌right‌ ‌now‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌game’s‌ ‌offering‌ ‌on‌ ‌PlayStation‌ ‌Plus.‌ ‌I‌ ‌do‌ ‌hope‌ ‌a‌ ‌means‌ ‌of‌ ‌implementing‌ ‌rollback‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌found‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌future,‌ ‌but‌ ‌sadly‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌not‌ ‌holding‌ ‌my‌ ‌breath‌ ‌since‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌was‌ ‌likely‌ ‌programmed‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌delay-based‌ ‌solution‌ ‌in‌ ‌mind.‌ ‌Working‌ ‌around‌ ‌that‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌15‌ ‌year‌ ‌old‌ ‌game‌ ‌might‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌headache.‌ ‌Saying‌ ‌that,‌ ‌fans‌ ‌have‌ ‌worked‌ ‌to‌ ‌implement‌ ‌rollback‌ ‌into‌ ‌even‌ ‌older‌ ‌games,‌ ‌so‌ ‌never‌ ‌say‌ ‌never.‌ ‌

Unfortunately,‌ ‌being‌ ‌delay-based‌ ‌isn’t‌ ‌the‌ ‌online’s‌ ‌only‌ ‌headache.‌ ‌Matching‌ ‌with‌ ‌other‌ ‌players‌ ‌can‌ ‌take‌ ‌a‌ ‌little‌ ‌longer‌ ‌than‌ ‌I’d‌ ‌expected,‌ ‌especially‌ ‌considering‌ ‌the‌ ‌game‌ ‌is‌ ‌brand‌ ‌new‌ ‌and‌ ‌flooded‌ ‌with‌ ‌fresh-faced‌ ‌players‌ ‌around‌ ‌my‌ ‌similarly‌ ‌fresh-faced‌ ‌online‌ ‌ranking.‌ ‌Sometimes‌ ‌I’d‌ ‌be‌ ‌sat‌ ‌around‌ ‌waiting‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌four‌ ‌or‌ ‌five‌ ‌minutes‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌match‌ ‌to‌ ‌start,‌ ‌made‌ ‌more‌ ‌annoying‌ ‌if‌ ‌the‌ ‌match‌ ‌was‌ ‌cancelled‌ ‌for‌ ‌some‌ ‌reason.‌ ‌Perhaps‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌just‌ ‌my‌ ‌lack‌ ‌of‌ ‌experience‌ ‌with‌ ‌online‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌games‌ ‌talking,‌ ‌but‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌hoping‌ ‌for‌ ‌snappier‌ ‌matchmaking.‌ ‌ ‌

That’s‌ ‌nothing‌ ‌compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌baffling‌ ‌flaw‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌game’s‌ ‌online‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌time‌ ‌of‌ ‌writing‌ ‌however;‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌currently‌ ‌no‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌friend‌ ‌invitations‌.‌ ‌‌For‌ ‌example,‌‌ ‌‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌play‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌friend‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌and‌ ‌they‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌room,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌just‌ ‌join‌ ‌their‌ ‌room‌ ‌via‌ ‌a‌ ‌friends‌ ‌list‌ ‌or‌ ‌be‌ ‌invited‌ ‌to‌ ‌it,‌ ‌you‌ ‌must‌ ‌instead‌ ‌‌repeatedly‌ ‌refresh‌ ‌the‌ ‌general‌ ‌room‌ ‌list‌ ‌until‌ ‌their‌ ‌room‌ ‌shows‌ ‌up,‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌limited‌ ‌selection‌ ‌given‌ ‌at‌ ‌one‌ ‌time.‌ ‌‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌baffling,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌think‌ ‌I’ve‌ ‌played‌ ‌any‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌game‌ ‌before‌ ‌that‌ ‌got‌ ‌something‌ ‌so‌ ‌basic‌ ‌wrong.‌ ‌Fortunately‌ ‌a‌ ‌patch‌ ‌‌is‌ ‌‌inbound‌ ‌to‌ ‌add‌ ‌friend‌ ‌invitations,‌ ‌but‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌really‌ ‌no‌ ‌excuse‌ ‌for‌ ‌it‌ ‌being‌ ‌missing‌ ‌at‌ ‌launch.‌ ‌ ‌

On‌ ‌the‌ ‌whole‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌very‌ ‌lean‌ ‌package,‌ ‌in‌ ‌keeping‌ ‌with‌ ‌SEGA’s‌ ‌previous‌ ‌‘eSports’‌ ‌title,‌ ‌Puyo‌ ‌Puyo‌ ‌Champions.‌ ‌It‌ ‌makes‌ ‌the‌ ‌name‌ ‌feel‌ ‌somewhat‌ ‌inappropriate,‌ ‌as‌ ‌what‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌got‌ ‌here‌ ‌is‌ ‌more‌ ‌“Virtua‌ ‌Fighter‌ ‌5,‌ ‌But‌ ‌Prettier‌ ‌and‌ ‌Slim‌ ‌on‌ ‌Extras”.‌ ‌Again,‌ ‌with‌ ‌what‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌truly‌ ‌intended‌ ‌for,‌ ‌the‌ ‌approach‌ ‌makes‌ ‌sense.‌ ‌But‌ ‌make‌ ‌no‌ ‌mistake‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌‘eSports’‌ ‌moniker‌ ‌is‌ ‌what‌ ‌this‌ ‌package‌ ‌is‌ ‌really‌ ‌going‌ ‌for.‌ ‌It‌ ‌is‌ ‌fortunate‌ ‌then,‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌core‌ ‌game‌ ‌is‌ ‌strong‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌warrant‌ ‌giving‌ ‌it‌ ‌a‌ ‌go.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌still‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌fun‌ ‌to‌ ‌play‌ ‌fighting‌ ‌games‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌market‌ ‌all‌ ‌these‌ ‌years‌ ‌later,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌core‌ ‌gameplay‌ ‌offers‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌value‌ ‌in‌ ‌of‌ ‌itself.‌ ‌Of‌ ‌course‌ ‌if‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌not‌ ‌keen‌ ‌on‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter,‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌think‌ ‌Ultimate‌ ‌Showdown‌ ‌will‌ ‌offer‌ ‌much‌ ‌to‌ ‌convince‌ ‌you‌ ‌otherwise.‌ ‌But‌ ‌for‌ ‌series‌ ‌veterans,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌worth‌ ‌the‌ ‌dive‌ ‌in‌ ‌to‌ ‌play‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌SEGA‌ ‌AM2’s‌ ‌finest‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌glorious‌ ‌new‌ ‌coat‌ ‌of‌ ‌paint,‌ ‌and‌ ‌with‌ ‌actually‌ ‌populated‌ ‌online‌ ‌play.‌ ‌Welcome‌ ‌back,‌ ‌Virtua‌ ‌Fighter,‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌too‌ ‌long.‌ ‌ ‌

7/10‌ ‌

Written by Liam “Tracker” Ashcroft 09/06/2021

A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for this review.


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