Hardcore. It’s a word that’s thrown around too easily nowadays; applied to everything from the outrageously crazy to enthusiastic pastry consumption. Truth is, very few things in life are actually that hardcore - but Virtua Fighter is one of them. While DOA focuses more on curves than combos and Tekken happily disguises its lack of depth with flashy pyrotechnics and oddball characters, VF has continued to hone and develop the most painstakingly in-depth fisticuffs you’ll find any-where.
Above: Now this character is hardcore - just look at those impeccable sideburns!
Our hands-on with VF5 suggests little has changed: it looks amazing in full-on HD-o-vision and there’re a couple of new fighters and a fantastic Offensive Move technique, but otherwise we’re looking at another steady evolution. If you didn’t like the previous games this probably won’t convert you, and if you want a basher where you can unleash tasty combos without really knowing how, you’d be better off with DOA4. VF5 is the hardcore choice and those willing to put the time in will be rewarded.