Virtua Fighter 4
Description official description
Virtua Fighter 4 offers a selection of thirteen characters to engage in one-on-one beat 'em up action similar to previous titles in the series. Most of them are from previous games, but two of them are brand new to this game.
VF4 has the standard array of modes, like Arcade, VS, and Practice, and it also has a new feature, called "A.I. Sparring", in which you train a player, controlled by the computer, by using various moves and techniques.
There are a lot of arenas to choose from. Some are interactive, in which you can break away from the main ring. When fighting on sand or snow, your fighter will leave footprints. When you're in water, you will make splashes. If you hit your opponent hard enough on a concrete floor, his body might break that part of the floor into chunks.
Each fighter has a wide array of moves, from your standard punches and kicks to ten hit combos and specials.
Credits (Arcade version)
158 People (120 developers, 38 thanks) · View all
|VF.NET & Card Planning|
|CG Design Director|
|GUI & 2D Graphics|
|Program & Arrangement|
|NAOMI net & Enemy|
|Stage Effect & Sound Program|
|Stage Effect & Card System|
|Character Face Director||
|Akira & Kage||
|Wolf & Jeffry|
|Lion, Aoi & Dural|
|Jacky & Lei-Fei|
|Sarah & Vanessa|
|Lau & Pai|
|Character Concept Design|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 89% (based on 29 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 29 ratings with 2 reviews)
Virtua Fighter has always been the 3D fighter that caters to the hardcore gaming audience - you know, the kind of people who spend months memorizing frame data for their favorite character. If you're that kind of dedicated fighting game fan, rest assured that VF4 does not disappoint, with a deeper and more balanced game than it's ever been. Note that although almost all the moves are easy to pull off compared to other games, you will need a good deal of hand-eye coordination to pull off advanced defensive techniques like evade-double throw escape-guard.
Speaking of which, the extra modes in VF4 blew me completely away. This game features the best training mode in any fighting game ever made: frame data, recording and playing back multiple strings at different frequencies, and a "trial mode" that takes you from the basic mechanics to the aforementioned evade-double throw escape-guard quickly and painlessly. Kumite mode gives you a never-ending stream of opponents with unique AIs and increasing skill levels, while allowing you to gain ranks and items for your character. In fact, there are so many extra goodies that by the time you've achieved the highest ranking (600-900 matches depending on skill level) you'll still have some items left to acquire.
The AI is better than most fighters and all previous VFs, with an ability to actually perform combos, mixups and mindgames on you. Of course, it wears thin after a couple weeks, but at least you haven't owned it on the highest level by then. In fact, it will continue kicking your butt for a couple months unless you're already good at 3D fighters.
The two new characters do not disappoint, and old characters have been significantly revised so that none is more than remotely like another. Even brother and sister Jacky and Sarah, both using Jeet Kune Do, have completely different play styles. The new techroll, stance and sabaki systems make the game a lot less abuseable at mid to high levels, and are fairly easy to learn.
AI mode, although a great idea in theory and loads of fun to watch and show off against your friends, is poorly documented and lacking in key areas like movement (you can't even set your AI preference for a forward dash, much less complicated escape maneuvers).
The voices continue to subtract from the characters: for example, while Lion would have been an instant favorite in a Tekken game, his nasal badly-pronounced English voice makes you wish you were playing somebody else with the same moves. Although even the Chinese characters speak Japanese, this happens in every fighting game, so it's not too big of a deal.
VF4 is, quite simply, way too hard for the average gamer. If you're looking for something to pick up casually until Soul Calibur 2 comes out, you've come to the wrong place, as even the higher-level CPU will laugh you out of the ring. If you haven't memorized the three best throws for every character and the number of frames at which Kage is at a disadvantage after his double punch-helix is blocked, forget about becoming a good VF4 player. The game's emphasis on player advantage and punishing mistakes, while very realistic, means that newbies get owned with impunity by CPU Akira, much less another human.
The Bottom Line
This game is good enough that I'd advise you to drop the rest of your social and gaming life for a month or two and learn to play the game at a high level. Of course, if you're not ready for that kind of commitment, you'll have a lot more fun with something low-key like Tekken 4.
PlayStation 2 · by Robyrt (46) · 2002
Make no mistake - Virtua Fighter 4 is currently THE hardcore fighting game for the PS2 (at least, until Soul Calibur 2 is released). There is much to like about this game, both big and small. First, the big:
VF4 is a technical fighter, plain and simple. There are few exotic D-pad inputs required, as in Street Fighter. Rather, VF4, in keeping with its other 3D fighter brethren, requires you to master memorizing directional moves and long button combination strings. As the fourth incarnation of this series, one would expect that the gameplay would have reached a certain level of refinement, and VF4 comes through on this account. Even though only three buttons are used (punch, kick and guard), Sega has crammed a tremendous amount of stuff into them. Each character has a dizzying repertoire of moves to unleash in battle - you just have to be good enough to pull them all off. Furthermore, character design is uniformly strong. There are no painfully stupid or goofy characters here.
Then, of course, there are all the wonderful modes available. When you tire of arcade and versus, step into kumite, which provides a steady stream of characters to beat up on. As you fight, your on-screen persona will steadily gain ranks and unlock items which can be fitted onto his / her body. Like that snazzy pair of shades that last character was wearing? If you play in kumite long enough, you'll get them.
Next, the small stuff. One of the most irritating aspects of fighting games, at least for me, is that EVERY CHARACTER, REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY, SPEAKS ONLY JAPANESE. In VF4, this is thankfully not the case. Sarah and Jacky Bryant, for example, speak English, while obviously Asian characters speak other languages accordingly. A small thing to be sure, but it demonstrates Sega's attention to details, which can make a huge difference in the overall quality of any game.
Despite my glowing comments above, I like VF4 much less than Soul Calibur. For one, VF4's depth is also its worst flaw - only players capable of dedicating themselves to total mastery of a character will really be able to enjoy everything that VF4 has to offer. There are simply too many esoteric button strings in VF4 for the average or above-average gamer to utilize effectively. As such, I found myself consistently using a small number of moves to beat up on weaker computer opponents. However, as I rose up the ranks in kumite, I quickly found enemies who laughed at my pitiful attempts at combat. I simply do not have the time to overcome this learning curve, and I suspect many gamers will find themselves in the same boat.
Then there's the issue of character balancing... I'm not sure if this was due to my lack of skill, but I found defeating certain characters, regardless of their skill, an exercise in frustration. This was nowhere more apparent than when I stepped into the ring against Akira. I found defeating Akira to be unfairly difficult, as his reversals and guard-crushes easily trounced me time and again regardless of what character I was using. I never found balancing to be an issue in Soul Calibur after years of playing, but it quickly became an issue in VF4 after only hours of play time. That's bad.
The menu system is a bit of a pain. Accessing vs. and arcade modes is simple, but any other modes require you to create game files for separate characters. I understand the game design at work here, but it makes for a lengthy process to go from menu to menu. I haven't found menus to be this unfriendly since Eternal Champions on the Genesis.
Finally, the game is a mixed bag graphically. While the arenas are gorgeous, some of the characters are inexcusably chunky. The fighters in Soul Calibur just look better, and we're talking about an old game running on inferior hardware!
The Bottom Line
A hardcore 3D fighter that only the dedicated should embrace. All others should approach with caution.
PlayStation 2 · by Lucas Schippers (57) · 2002
- MobyGames ID: 6036
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by JPaterson.
Arcade added by mars_rulez.
Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx.
Game added March 24th, 2002. Last modified May 26th, 2023.