Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
  


  

REVIEW
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution is an enhancement to the original arcade and PS2 version of Virtua Fighter 4, adding two new characters (Goh & Brad), improved graphics (better anti-aliasing), updated Quest Mode & Currency system, and visual updates to stages. The PS2 version includes over 1,500 items in which you can visually customize your characters with by winning "Prize Matches," adding outstanding replay value to the home version. Curiously, VF4: Evolution launched as a "PS2 Greatest Hit" right off the bat with a $19.99 price tag... making it a damn good buy.

 

Tons of new customizations... and so fun!  

 

The gameplay is just as solid as the original VF4, and even feels a little smoother with this update. The 3D gameplay is of the most technical in any fighting game, but still noticeably slower than the likes of Soul Calibur or Tekken. VF4: Evo definitely isn't sluggish in terms of gameplay, but definitely has a unique pacing to it. Needless to say, after playing a more frantically paced fighting game, VF4 will definitely seem "tame". It's not really a bad thing, though, because once you're warmed up to it, it feels very natural.


The new characters introduced in VF4: Evolution are no doubt the "coolest" characters  the series has seen. To back up their convincing personalities, Goh and Brad have awesome fighting styles and huge movesets. Most returning characters were given some badass new moves as well. As expected, the animation in VF4: Evo is top notch, although there are some awkward movements. For one, there are quite a few throws that should have more convincing "ouch factor"... Some of the older animations from previous installments still plague VF4, and probably should've been taken out of the game by now. 

 

Contrary to how they might look... those rainbow-colored orbs located over the life bar mean your fighter is a total badass.  ^o^

 

VF4: Evolution's
mechanics and the overall control of your character feels responsive for the most part, but in my opinion, when compared to the latest TEKKEN or Soul Calibur entries, "the feeling of lag" (offline) is more apparent in Virtua Fighter... and makes the game feel slower. On that note, certain advanced techniques like buffering and air combos require a bit of delay - and alas, have rather "unusual" timing. In short, it's noticeable if you play a lot of 3D fighting games.


The juggles in VF4: Evo are also pretty ridiculous... perhaps even more so than the likes of TEKKEN 5, in my opinion. There are tons of "ground juggling" possibilities - as some characters can literally "sweep the floor" with their opponents. That means you can start a combo near the middle of the ring, and kick your opponent across the ground until you get a Ring Out. Even so, there are definitely some fun combos to learn, along with some very cheap ways to abuse the CPU AI (and human opponents) when things get tough (and trust me, the CPU get toughs in the higher ranks). As with any quality fighting game, VF4: Evolution's combo system separates the noobs from the pros... but still, the game manages to be fun for both casual and expert players alike. 

 

Behold the awesomeness of 10th Anniversary Mode...

 
The home version of VF4: Evolution features an entertaining Virtua Fighter 10th Anniversary mode, which combines elements from the original Virtua Fighter with Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution. All VF4: Evo characters are selectable in this mode with their full movelists, but now have the ability to jump much higher than normal (like in Virtua Fighter 1). In this mode, the fighting is also limited to a 2D plane (unless you're thrown). The best part about 10th Anniversary mode is that character models are rendered in the old & now laughable "blocky polygon" style, yet their personalities seem to shine even more for some reason. Only Arcade and VS mode are available in 10th Anniversary mode, but it's a huge fan service for those who've been playing Virtua Fighter since the beginning, adding quality nostalgia and personality to the package. Yeah, I'd even say the PS2 version is a must own for this mode alone! 

Page Updated: January 4th, 2020
Developer(s): Sega-AM2
Publisher(s): Sega
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2
Release Date(s): Q3 2002                          Arcade
Mar. 13th, 2003
          PS2
June 30th, 2003
          PS2
Aug. 13th, 2003
          PS2
Characters Akira, Jacky, Kage, Lau, Jeffry, Sarah, Wolf, Pai, Shun, Lion, Aoi, Vanessa, Lei Fei, Dural, Brad, Gou

Featured Video:

Related Games: Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter Kids, Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Fighter 5 R, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Fighting Vipers, Fighting Vipers 2, Fighters Megamix, Last Bronx, Tekken 4
  

Gameplay Engine  9.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  10 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.0 / 10
Innovation  7.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.0 / 10
Customization  9.5 / 10
Options / Extras  9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.5 / 10
Characters  8.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 9.1 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version    

 

Final Words: Even in this era, an "update" to a quality fighting game can still be an exciting thing. Don't you dare call it a "rehash"... some games just DESERVE updates! I remember being ultra excited to play VF4: Evo when it was nearing its PS2 release. And I wasn't wrong to be excited, because I ended up putting a ton of single-player and multi-player hours into the game. Unlocking new customizations was particularly rewarding, especially when its time to show them off to your friends and kick their ass.

On a side note: As technical as Virtua Fighter4: Evo is, I still prefer the Tekken series when it comes to hand-to-hand 3D fighting games. Not only for the character roster and more diverse movesets (in most cases), but for the faster gameplay and the ouch factor... VF characters seriously need to be MEANER and hit harder! Otherwise, VF characters have certainly come a long way and are still pretty fun to use once you learn the ropes. 
~TFG Webmaster
 

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