VF5 was one of the main reasons I got a PS3. I'd really liked VF4 (see entry 329) and the HD graphics for 5 looked super. As an early game in the console's life, it did have a few issues, such as a really clunky, press-button-to-confirm-over-and-over startup sequence, a 2 GB data install (optional, but speeds up match loading quite a bit), and no internet multiplayer (something that I think was addressed for the later Xbox version, but internet multiplayer in fighting games isn't something I've wanted to get into anyway, so I didn't care about that).
There are the obligatory couple of new fighters (a little monkey-style Korean girl, and a little masked luchadore...eh), but otherwise the game plays quite a bit like 4, which isn't a bad thing. It might be a little faster...hm, I can't remember now.
The main thing is Quest mode, where as in 4 you fight an endless succession of opponents at the arcade of your choice. Opponents are generally grouped by difficulty, so you can choose to go up against arcade opponents as tough or as easy as you like. Winning fights can earn you items to customize your character, again just like in the last game. The AI is pretty convincing, and seems to adapt and change strategies if you try repeating the same move, at least at higher levels. I'm not great at the game, and can easily come up against high rank AI that will just punish me brutally, if I pick the wrong arcade, or get ambitious and try a tournament (I kinda wish there were more scrub tournaments, come to think of it--they all seem to be pretty tough).
Well, that's what you do. Pretty much just like 4: Evo, so again the main difference is the gorgeous graphics here. Oh, that was the other hiccup: VF5 will run in 1080p, but to get it there you have to disable the lower resolutions in the PS3's graphic options. The back of the case only lists 720p, so I dunno, maybe they thought 1080 might have trouble, and just hid it. There's some aliaising evident in 720, but in 1080 it looks great, with gorgeous shiny, highly detailed arenas and fighters. The AI opponents are kitted out with different item styles, and it's fun to see how they all look as you fight through Quest mode.
The main thing is how it fights, and the answer is: good! There are few 3D fighting games that feel as well-rounded and just...I don't know...tough as the recent VFs have felt. Beating a high rank AI opponent really does take patience, strategy, and quick reflexes; it doesn't ever feel (at least to an amateur like me) like you're just facing a programmed pattern. It's genuinely satisfying to fight the AI, and it's so nice being able to select your range of opponents! Sure, you won't rank up very fast if you're fighting easier guys, but there's so much less frustration, and you can just jump in and have a fun time, unlike just about every other fighting game where you know the AI is going to get way harder each fight, until you have to face down some ridiculously overpowered "boss." Bleh! Go VF Quest mode!
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but eh Wolf can just throw everyone out of the ring. And if it's a caged ring, well he can just throw them into the walls for extra damage. He can't lose! ^_^
So yeah here I am as a Master rank Wolf Hawkfield in Quest mode of Virtua Fighter 5 on PS3, just throwing everyone out with his "Giant Swing" (hcfGP) throw.
In Quest mode, to reach Master rank from 10th dan in just one fight, simply defeat a Master rank opponent. Once you have reached Master rank, however, the tables are turned: to reach the next rank, you will have to defeat five 10th dan opponents without losing to a single one--each win will give you 1/5th of the XP necessary to reach the next rank, but any loss to a 10th dan opponent means instant demotion back to 10th dan. (Thanks to OBEY on YouTube for the tip!)
Playing Sarah Bryant in Quest mode (on Hard) of Virtua Fighter 5 on PS3! She starts here at 10th dan, which is where things get tricky: you have to beat a Master rank opponent to rank up, which you do immediately upon beating them--and they get demoted! Then, at Master rank, you have to beat five 10th dans in order to get promoted again--and yes, you *are* disqualified if you lose any of those five matches! It can go pretty fast but it's also a bit of a pain~~
I also needed to find a new move or tactic to deal with the higher ranked opponents I've begun encountering lately--so there was some experimentation under fire here. : o But her more damaging back-forward ("Leg Hold Throw") or even forward-back ("Front Suplex") throws seemed to provide the extra offensive kick needed:
0:00 - start 1:00 - Status 2:30 - fighting in Sega Arena East 6:27 - promoted to Master! 10:34 - demoted to 10th dan! 'p' 13:15 - promoted to Master! 19:49 - fighting in Club Sega Bay Area 36:40 - promoted to Warrior! 54:29 - Virtua Fighter Championship run 1 1:07:02 - VFC run 2 1:10:29 - VFC run 3 1:13:39 - VFC run 4 1:22:12 - wrap-up & what's next!
Man what a rollercoaster session: I struggled to get up to speed with the new tactic--just a beefier throw ;)--got promoted, demoted, and promoted again, got the new throw working pretty well, against named rank opponents, then got crushed by lower, dan rank opponents in a city tournament I should have had at a much earlier rank (in my early days with this Sarah I just missed seeing one of the first city tournaments was waiting for me, so it waited a long time, and now I'm about two tournaments behind as they slowly trickle in), and finally found I had to just go nuts charging them down with the forward, forward kick flying knee, which I'd given up because it gets you in huge trouble against the higher rank opponents.
Whew! So yeah, adjusting down can be tricky I guess. Also just have to be better at having more than like two of her moves ready to go at any one time in a fight. : P Well anyhow I managed to get past the 10th dan / Master rank maelstrom so that's a relief. : oooo
I thought I would just do more throwing everyone out of the ring with Wolf Hawkfield's quarter-circle-forward "Giant Swing" throw; a bunch of high level Lions stalking around in Club Sega Bay Area had other ideas:
0:00 - start 2:30 - costumes 9:10 - status 10:20 - fighting in Club Sega Bay Area 27:09 - Sega World Route 101 tournament 36:51 - more Club Sega Bay Area 42:58 - promoted to Veteran! 46:20 - plague of Lions 1:58:21 - costume type B? 2:02:26 - wrap-up & what's next! Update: VF 3tb or 4e, not 5
MY BRAIN SEEMS TO HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF BLOCKING LOW I MEAN THAT MIGHT HAVE HELPED AGAINST LION BRAIN WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Man was I bamboozled there. End of the week, not thinking straight, that didn't help. Back kick finally got the last Lion off me, standing right outside my throw range, ready to crouch-slide on in and peck my shin again. But yeah brain how about blocking low, you know? Ush. Also I've forgotten the other long-range attacks Wolf has because all I've been doing is throwing people, yes this was fairly predictable.
What's really silly is at Veteran rank or whatever, all the other characters are still really really easy to throw.
Just gotta figure out my stupid Lion brain block. : P And probably block, like low. Yeah maybe I'll try to remember to try that.
This whole throws being too easy to land against the high level AI thing--even as other characters; Wolf is just obviously the best at exploiting it--is pretty unfortunate though and has got me all twisted up playing the game in a silly way. And of course Lion is there to poke me in it and make it pure torture. Urhg. If this keeps up I don't know how much longer I'll be able to stick it out, I'm already starting to want to go play 3tb and 4e instead; I feel like the longer I keep this up the worse I'm going to be at Virtua Fighter as a whole. : P
In fact, what am I even doing? I thought I'd at least get some guffaws out of throwing the AI out of the ring with Wolf, but Lions being slightly resistant to that is a pain; now it feels like Lion Fighter 5, since everyone else is a breeze (oh wait Shun is actually somewhat hard to throw what with all his dancing and bungee-cording around). How about just laying off 5, brain? How about that? Life's too short to waste on broken AI. VF5 was my best friend for a while but now it's ashes. We could play some Jacky in 4e a bit and hope the quests don't get too annoying. Or just hang out in the fight club. And more 3tb. Lion isn't even that annoying in 3tb. Oh heaven.
I stopped playing VF5 uh a year or whatever ago because I found it was just too easy to throw the AI and that's all I was doing at high ranks; since then in VF4:Evo I stopped using a Guard button--holding Guard all the time was hurting my shoulder because I would inevitably start leaning on it and my shoulder's kinda messed up from years of leaning on my drawing board ; )--and it occurred to me just this morning that I could likewise remove the Throw button like I've had set in Evo (to handle P+G in the absence of an independent Guard button) for a VF5 control config, and thus not have the throws-dominate problem because I can't throw. ; )
So I tried that here and it actually seems to have worked fairly well; without Throw, the fights, even against mid-rank opponents, are pretty challenging. What's nice coming from Evo's Quest mode is that even the higher rank AIs here seem to let you get away with a range of attacks, rather than brutally counter-attacking all not-safe-on-block attacks like they do in Evo's Quest mode. So the fights are a lot more open and I can actually play around with stuff, which is nice.
Also it looks like they put in a mechanic to stop Jacky from spamming the main safe-on-block move from Evo, P+K,K: if you follow it with another P+K, Jacky instead does a punch ending with a long pose, so you probably get hit. This was aggravating me at first--and would have almost completely ruined me in Evo--but I do appreciate that it shall we say encourages attack variety. ; )
Fortunately Jacky seems to have some new punch and kick combos to flesh out his move set here, as do Sarah and Vanessa--so Vanessa actually feels possibly viable (and can put herself in Offensive style before the round starts...although still why they couldn't just have it remember your last style, I don't know), and Sarah doesn't absolutely have to spam a single move...although her somewhat-safe-on-block K,K,K,P,P,P,ubK quasi-combo is maybe a bit too tempting.
I want to play all three of them RIGHT NOW but maybe I'll work on Jacky first, I dunno.
So all this time I'd used df+K as a sort of spacing tool...and only just now I find you can actually combo off it! df+K,P,K SEEMS like it might be a safe combo, too--which would give me a whopping three of them! (f+P,P,K and P+K,K being the other two.) This would be HUGE!
Also just finally realized for f+P,P,K, that second P doesn't need f, so instead of holding the stick forward for both punches, I can release it after the first punch. Gawrsh.
Guess technically I beat Quest mode with the Finals and all. Weird how you can't just re-try it right away; I didn't get invited back until I went and played an arcade match. : p
And I finally got victory stars vs all the AIs in the easiest three arcades! I don't think I've ever collected all the stars in an arcade before--but as high-ranked as I am now, the AIs don't have an excuse to avoid me. ; )