The Final Fight
The Final Showdown is on, but is it enough to keep the fight going for years to come, or is this the final nail in this franchises coffin?
After pleas, petitions and riots, Sega has finally given the fans what they wanted. Virtua Fighter: Final Showdown is finally state side. Sadly however, the only thing worst than not getting what you want, is actually getting it.
Technically this game is a update of Virtua fighter 5, but in reality its a downgrade. Gone is quest mode, gone is a challenging A.I., gone is any and all unlockables. Now this game is only fifteen dollars. A small price to pay to play, but having to spend thirty dollars for all the downloadable content... not so small. Unlockables and customizable characters are a corner stone in fighting games, all of which are inexcusably absent here. Now you can buy items for your character for five dollars, but where is the fun in that? Instead of bragging to your friends, that you climbed tooth and nail up a mountain to unlock a Space Crab Marine costume, you now get to say that you where a big enough tool to buy said Space Crab Marine costume. Another problem with buying all the costumes is that you can't pit your pimped out characters against one another. There is a special sparing mode where you can fight A.I characters which are dressed up to certain themes, but you can't create your own sessions. This means you can't pit “your” customized Akira against “your” customized Goh, leaving a whole lot of items going unseen... unless of course if your a VF god and can play as all of the characters. End of the day, a forty dollar fully featured game would have been much better than this bare boned, striped down to its tidy whities, excuse for an update.
Speaking of update, you can tell its been five years since VF5, because the fighting engine feels surprisingly fresh and new. All the characters got new moves and switch ups, but the star is defiantly the new animations. There are plenty of “ohhhh SNAP!” moments. Its really fun to play this game with four or five friends in the room with everyone going “OHHHHHHH!” Whenever something particularly nasty or painful happens. The button inputs are also easier and more forgiving than in previous installments. Playing with a gamer pad over a arcade stick actually doesn’t make you look like a total fool. Then again, I guess Sega knew you’d already looked foolish enough as it is, for spending thirty dollars on costumes.
Virtua Fighter: Final Showdown is a missed opportunity. It is not as good as Virtua Fighter 5, and it certainly doesn't hold a candle to Virtua Fighter: EVO. Sega blew any chance of bringing in new fans, by releasing a skeleton of a game. There is zero incentive for people to play offline and get better at the game. Newcomers are just going to go straight online and get mowed down, since there is absolutely nothing else to do. Granted for just fifteen dollars this is a good deal for super die hard Virtua Fighter fans. Everyone else however should just observe a moment of silence, for one of the greatest fighting game franchises of all time. It will be missed. (insert final nail in coffin)