Gamespto Review of VF4 PS2

Discussion in 'General' started by Haklong, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. Haklong

    Haklong Member

  2. Goom

    Goom Active Member

    IGN review should be up tonight. Some of it will probally be in their Online Magazine, only availablt to IGN Insiders. I can post it later tonight when it's up if anyone wants.
     
  3. mushen

    mushen Well-Known Member

    <a target="_blank" href=http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/reviews/0,10867,2855178,00.html>http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories/reviews/0,10867,2855178,00.html</a>

    Damn good review, makes me want to ask some questions in the vf forum.
     
  4. Yamcha

    Yamcha Well-Known Member

    I bet the game would been given a lower score if it it were exactly the same, but on Dreamcast (or Sega branded system).
     
  5. mushen

    mushen Well-Known Member

    Yamcha,
    So true, so true. LOL
     
  6. Haklong

    Haklong Member

    I hate to say it but it's true. All reviews for Vf games have been unbelievable critical. Now that it's on the PS2 everyone and their momma's saying it's a great game. Crap like that makes me sick.
     
  7. BakuBaku

    BakuBaku Well-Known Member

    Its true, its true!
     
  8. Yupa

    Yupa Well-Known Member

    I think the higher scores are due to the training mode. VF4's training mode is more extensive and useful than any other fighting game's that I've ever heard of.
     
  9. Sacred

    Sacred New Member

    Please do post it Goom. You tha man !
     
  10. Goom

    Goom Active Member

    Reviews

    <a target="_blank" href=http://gamespy.com/reviews/march02/vf4ps2/>GameSpy.com</a>
    Probally the best review I've read, they absolutely loved the game.


    Also, below I'll post the IGN review. It was released on their Online Magazine, IGN Unplugged, which is basically Adobe .pdf, so posting it here would of be kind of hard. Luckily though the posted text format on the boards early Friday because the IGN PS2 boards are so hyped for VF (poll running asking everyone if they will buy VF4 this spring, currently at 69%, 151 people have said Yes)

    Without further delay, the VF4 review from the gaming gods themselves, IGN /versus/images/icons/wink.gif


    Virtua Fighter 4 is one of those games for which a single review is practically irrelevant. Fighting games are the subject of more debates, and more bitter ones, than any other genre in games, save perhaps for RPGs. There is this camp, there is that camp, as well as the tree-dwelling psychopaths off in the other direction playing Asuka 120% Burning Fest Limited, and never the twain (or whatever the proper word is) shall meet. Arcade culture may be on the wane, long after the days when you could play Street Fighter with the local experts at any pizza parlor in the nation, but in a few isolated spots serious fighting fans still live, and you can be sure they have no interest in what anyone else has to say about their games of choice.

    And whose opinion is valid, anyway? Is Virtua Fighter 4 "better" than Tekken 4? Is it "better" than Dead or Alive 3? Push. Who has the experience and the analytical faculties to make that kind of judgment? Fighting games have grown so monstrously complex since the advent of Street Fighter III, VF3, and the second or third Tekken that their true depths are practically unfathomable.

    Virtua Fighter 4 is a good example of this phenomenon, at least. It is more or less guaranteed that this game's training mode will include tests of timing that you will not be able to master without extensive practice. And not just one or two, as in the case of Hayabusa's Izuna Drop in DOA3. Akira's combos alone are so thoroughly befuddling as to force an almost immediate exodus to the button-tapping skills of someone like Lion, or indeed to another game entirely.

    There, perhaps, is a clue to what will make Virtua Fighter 4 good in the eyes of that camp that vigorously proclaims its superiority. It is not the "best," but it is most certainly deep enough for the dedicated to take it as far as they are willing to go. DOA3, after all, as our editors' tournament proved, has a certain ceiling, at which point it becomes a sort of three-card-monte. Reverse, reverse, and reverse some more, with all strategy bent around the single end of misdirecting the opponent towards the wrong reversal altitude. A VF4 tournament around this office, in contrast, would be either a sad joke or very interesting, because no such ceiling would be anywhere in sight. There would be fumbling aplenty, but no two fumbles would be quite alike.

    There's no two characters alike here, after all. Even Sarah and Jacky have diverged a fair bit on the way down to the fourth generation of the World Grapple Tournament. The JKD twins each have their own brand of striking. Wolf and Jeffry present two different twists on throw-based characters. Aoi opens up a complex grappling and countermove game. Shun is, as he always has been, a hilarious feat of animation, and an even more amusing psych-out strategist. Kage spins a similar philosophy into his bizarre aerial evasion game. For those tired of dodging one way or the other, Vanessa plows straight through opponents with an authentic Vale Tudo blend of striking, grappling, and counters. Lau and Pai represent their different schools of kung fu, with Lion tagging along behind and employing a uniquely quick set of striking techniques. And then there's Lei-Fei, who seems to be what happens when Shun gets taken seriously. He has a similar suite of complex stance-switching techniques, but much more straightforward and powerful, rather than focused on evasion and misdirection.

    The amount of variety for toe-to-toe fighting is the best the series has ever seen, even if we do have to bid a fond farewell to Taka. As mentioned before, the training mode takes real effort to master, and even the extensive command mode doesn't cover all the different ways in which attacks can be linked, buffered, and otherwise strung together. It's even missing some basic moves, like Lion's ridiculously large selection of rising kicks. Each character has several different strategies available, according to both personal preference and the opponent immediately at hand. You can't attack a skilled Aoi or Wolf character with strikes because of their countering abilities, but trading is the only option against Lion or Jeffry. A lateral attack works well against a straightforward fighter like Akira, but falls down completely when Shun and Kage start bouncing all over the ring. More examples could fill plenty of space, but they would all serve to support the same point: a dedicated fighter will not get bored too soon with this game.

    If the infighting game is more complex than it has ever been, though, evasion at medium and long distances has been tightened up a bit. The reasoning behind this is understandable, though -- Virtua Fighter 3's Evade button was the first to make movement in all directions a vital component of a 3D fighting game, but it also lent itself to abuse, with inexperienced players employing a stalling game built around continuous random movement. Certainly, that did a nice job of showing off the stage graphics, but it wasn't that much fun for players who wanted to dispense with the eye candy and mix it up. Virtua Fighter 4 now uses more familiar movement controls, with a sidestep and 8-way run system similar to Soul Calibur, along with unique evade moves for certain characters. While every character can use 3D movement, this places more complex evasion in the hands of characters whose style it suits. Aoi, Kage, and Shun in particular have a lot of unusual dodge moves to complement the usual sidestepping.

    Aside from the big changes to the evasion system, there are a host of small tweaks to other aspects of the game. We're back to the old square arenas of Virtua Fighter 2, but ring-outs have been heavily de-emphasized. There's more space in all arenas, and the majority of them are encircled by walls, which have to break Fighting Vipers-style before a character can fall out. Jumping is toned down nicely, with gravity exerting its proper pull, and it's easy enough to differentiate the commands between a hop and a sidestep away from the camera.

    The effect, all things taken as a whole, is something like a faster, more complex game that retains the essential character of Virtua Fighter 2. VF4 has that same grounded, down-to-earth feeling, but with a quicker pace and a much wider variety of moves. The methodical, counter-punchy nature of the older games isn't so evident, and the changes in the arenas take away some of the heavy pressure elements as well. To put it succinctly, there's less dancing around, less waiting for the attack to arrive, less worrying about where the edge of the stage is, and more pure fighting.

    And is there more to do than just one-on-one fighting? Boy, is there ever. Virtua Fighter 4 comes home with a host of new game modes, a huge addition in comparison to the relatively lean console conversions of earlier games in the series. For beginners, there's a superior training mode, with command tutorials, free sparring, and a trial mode that presents various problems to solve. There are 26 different lessons, each teaching a different strategy, from basics on striking and grappling up to more complex defenses against particular types of attacks. It's probably a better training scheme than yet included in a fighting game, and the first to be kind enough to edit command directions to reflect a character's facing, but that's just a small addition in comparison to the AI and Kumite modes.

    Kumite mode is how AM2 managed to integrate some of the features of the VF.NET arcade service into the home version of VF4. In case you missed the coverage of that network earlier on, players of the arcade version could pick up a special identity card that would record their fight records and save the acquisition of special character accessories. Being able to show off your own wins was cool, but accessorizing a fighter with special hidden gear? Much cooler. Obviously, this doesn't work in the as-yet-non-wired PS2 world at present, but Kumite mode is the next-best thing to continuous arcade competition. Like a survival mode, it pits you against a continuous wave of opponents, but they're all personalized with accessories, different color palettes, and their own ring names and records. Some are tough, some are pushovers, and others are just quirky, with their own style of fighting, but they all offer experience to your created fighter, who moves forward to higher levels of competition and gathers more character items. It's a great incentive to play the single-player game, especially as the opponents grow genuinely tougher, and an enhancement to competitive play as well, since it's fun to show off your record and accessories with friends.

    The amount of data kept in Kumite is remarkable -- more than just wins and losses, it records every bit of data down to which attacks land, which attacks are blocked, and how your performance develops over a series of fights. After 10 fights with a single character, these statistics are displayed along with a series of comments on different aspects of performance. If you strike well at a certain altitude, or need to broaden your range of attacks, it will say so. Not using throws enough? The CPU will notice and advise you to adjust your strategy. It even gauges your mobility, how well you use the 3D movement options available, and recommend different maneuvers if you're not using them. Between the data keeping and the training mode, VF4 does more than any other fighting game to help you become a better player.

    AI System is a good deal different, and probably much less accessible, but it's an interesting idea -- instead of collecting and training Pokemon, would you like to collect and train Virtua Fighters? AI System allows you to create a computer-controlled fighter and teach it moves, by performing them yourself in a sparring mode, and then pit it against another AI fighter. It's a peculiar thing to have even bothered to program, but for those of the appropriate temperament it might prove unusually addictive. Even if the achievement isn't directly your own, it's a neat feeling to watch an AI fighter actually win a match with the techniques you taught it.

    This is an awfully long way to go without mentioning how the game looks. Looks? Oh, yes, there are graphics here, aren't they? Get deep enough into the Virtua Fighter trance and visual details become meaningless, as will is concentrated purely on the precision and timing of attacks. As we all knew one way or the other, VF4 on PlayStation 2 isn't quite as good-looking as the NAOMI 2 original, being plagued by the usual demon aliasing. It seems to be the price one pays for a top-notch framerate these days, and even if the edges don't look quite perfect, the models and textures are otherwise the state of the art on PS2.

    The faces are what you want to look at here, more than anything. The eyes are frightfully real, which was probably a much more difficult task of texturing and lighting than it might seem, and the expressions around them convey real emotion. The look of disdain on Wolf's face is utterly priceless, just barely ahead of the hilarious hate on Jeffry's face before he knocks the "camera" over in his stage intro. And yes, Lau looks old, but he looks old in that "shut up, ankle-biter, 'cuz I can still beat you stupid and make you say thank-you" kind of way.

    Of course, all that only shows up in the close-ups. In long shot, it's the stage graphics that stand out, which we never though would have held up on PS2. AM2 has beaten expectations with the background graphics here, especially in brilliant arenas like the city rooftops and Greek ruins. The helicopter spotlights in the city are nothing short of amazing, creating perfect highlights and shadows on the fighters below. The weird Plasto-Sheen from the early test versions is long gone, largely replaced by realistic, muted reflections. Other levels impress with realtime ground surfaces. Sand and snow are kicked out of the way, flying away in puffs and leaving smooth trails where the action has passed, while stone tile floors crack and smash under the impact of throws. It's hard to overstate how good the realtime stage elements are. The polygon deformation and particle accents combine to create a great accent to a hard hit.

    And it perhaps goes without saying, but just for the fun of it, we'll mention that Virtua Fighter 4 raises the bar again for character animation in a fighting game. The original Virtua Fighter was one of the very first games to do realistic human animation in 3D, and the tradition thus started continues three games later. All the familiar characters have their old suites of moves and more, while Lei-Fei and Vanessa hold up the series' standard with their new styles. Vanessa may not have the flash of her fellow newcomer's Shaolin style, but her mix of kickboxing and grappling moves has the harsh impact of real vale tudo.

    Of course, for some people it will all come back to the aliasing. To be honest, we hardly notice it any more, in the face of all the game's other good points (especially once we discovered the wealth of alternate player skins in Kumite mode), but some people can't help but get hung up on flaws like that. Too bad. If you can forgive that, this is one of the PS2's best-looking games. And the soundtrack cranks beautifully, with a mix of electronic tunes and pounding metal -- since you wouldn't want anyone to forget that Yu Suzuki is in charge.

    The new era of fighting has officially begun, then. This summer is when things really get interesting, with Tekken 4 a definite and Soul Calibur II likely on the way not long after, but Sega's head start is just one of many reasons you should get cracking on Virtua Fighter 4. Irrelevant though our opinion might be in the eyes of the fighting fiends who <I>really</I> get it -- sorry about our inability to gauge character comparisons in perfect detail, or analyze the counter-grappling system for a few hundred words, but it just ain't in our blood -- we've had a good time with VF4, and we're going to have some more as soon as we can.

    Presentation: 9.2
    Graphics: 9
    Playability: 9.5
    Sound: 8
    Lasting Appeal: 9.5
    Overall: 9.3
    --------------------------
     
  11. SummAh

    SummAh Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    gamespot's review was quite good too!

    only problem i have with some of the reviews...almost all of them gave the wrong msg abt VF3. (too hard, not fun..levels got too complicated for their own good etc etc etc etc etc) Crikey~

    Another question to think about...
    I wonder how many journalists actually know of VFDC...gamespy had a link to a VF fan site. (tiger and swan)

    Maybe it's time we notify the world of our existence?
    Maybe not...imagine the countless amount of Chucky and LA clones..../versus/images/icons/wink.gif

    Outta boredom..I went over to Gamefaqs board n saw this
    " I reckoned a week is all u'll need to master a character....a year is too long."

    Bleh.
     
  12. CIN

    CIN Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    Maybe it's time we notify the world of our existence?
    Maybe not...imagine the countless amount of Chucky and LA clones....


    No for the love of someone NO!!! Do you immagine how many cat and dogs treads we will have to contend with. /versus/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  13. stompoutloud

    stompoutloud Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    Hey you guys are right. They would have given a much lower score if it was on the dreamcast or any other sega based system. And most people who talk about VF 3 that are reviewers hardly played the game. Too hard, whatever. It was just as deep as any of the VF games. I read a review that really summed up VF 4 in my opinion. It basically states that if VF was Pepsi, coke fans would still not really like it. And that's ok. I just think many people who grew up playing Tekken will not fully get into this game (with the exception of course) and that VF 4 is in a separate category of it's own. For the real VF players to enjoy. I love how most reviewers are like wait till Tekken 4. To be fair, I am sure most game reviewers don't play the arcade versions before they come out on the home systems. Remember back then when they said that Dead of Alive 1 was slightly better than Tekken 3 on ps1? It's like.. hello, they both came out in the arcades and they were raving Tekken 3 on the arcades and how they can't wait for it to come out on ps1. But whatever.
     
  14. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    THe funniest thing is about these reviews, is how they are all praising VF3 now and talk about how it was such a revolutionary game and how deep it is. This is after they barely even acknowledged its existence for the last 6 years or so...
     
  15. Daniel Thomas

    Daniel Thomas Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    Well, ya know, it took about 15 years for the general public to recognize Citizen Kane as a masterpiece. The problem with videogames is that, most of the time, you can't tell just which works are going to be more influential than others. In by the turn of the century, it's become clear even to ignorant "critics" that VF3 isn't merely influential; it's practically written the book on the genre. Six years ago, what were the popular fighting games? Mortal Kombat? Killer Instinct? Funny how radically things change over the years.
     
  16. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    Re: Reviews

    True - though on the Citizen Kane note, that is debatable. I enjoyed the movie and definatly think its a great piece of storytelling, but was to long for my taste.
    What made the entire entertainment industry blackball sega since 94/95 or so?
     
  17. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Sigh... Check out the fighters.net review of VF4 <a target="_blank" href=http://www.fighters.net/reviews/vf4.html>here</a>. As a hint, the review is written by ShadowJin.

    This is almost a perfect example of the quality of "game journalism" that is available today. I mean, just look at how thorough his examination of the game was! I mean, he just writes so eloquently he baffles me with examples of how him and his gf were learning this game. Excuse the sarcasm and good luck restraining yourself in this review.

    Does his explanation of the buffer system make sense to anyone at all? His evaluation of reversals, comparing them to CvS2 P-Groove parries is annoying as well. Evading requiring you to master hitting massive button combinations or whatever he said. And of course, he then has the right to comment about button mashers.

    And as much as he hates how characters look like big plastic models, I really do wonder what his review of Tekken Tag for PS2 was in that department...

    You might want to let them know what you think of the review by clicking on "discuss" on the main page in the same news box as the mention of the review.

    -Chanchai
     
  18. Yamcha

    Yamcha Well-Known Member

    Urge to kill, rising.....
     
  19. Bu_Jessoom

    Bu_Jessoom Well-Known Member

    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    Does his explanation of the buffer system make sense to anyone at all?

    <hr></blockquote>

    I think he meant the buffer in Tekken, not VF. In Tekken, and this can be easily seen by analyzing throw-combos, if, for example, you press right punch for a certain command in the throw-combo, and the following command requires you to press right punch + right kick, you can continue holding RP from the previous command and just press RK while holding RP. The game will register the RK + RP, as if you pressed both buttons at the same time. This makes things easier, as you can see, for Tekken. Why did he complain that this is not the case with VF? I have no idea!
     
  20. SummAh

    SummAh Well-Known Member

    I don't make any effort to understand idiots that don't do their homework before writing a review.
     

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