2003 Gaming Awards, Part 11

Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
Developed By: Amusement Vision
Published by: Sega
Release Date: 08/12/2003
AWARD WON: BEST FIGHTER 2003

Alexander Lucard

I strongly disagreed with this choice at the time and still do today. VR4 was released in 2002 on the PS2 and this was a slightly modified version released a year later. I felt it shouldn’t be a serious contendor due to that. But then I think i voted for the Arcade and neo geo versions of SNK vs. Capcom: Chaos that year, so what the f*ck do I know, right?

Christopher Bowen

Death to button mashers.

I’ve been saying that since the classic days of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. In playing video games against human opponents over the years, I’ve always relied more on my mind than on my reflexes, but in fighting games, I’ve always been punished for that by some dipshit that thinks “fighting” is finding two simple moves and doing them to death, defense be damned (it should be noted that my favourite fighting game of all time, after Street Fighter Alpha 3, is Killer Instinct; Combo Breakers were God’s gift to the genre). Many above-average fighting game fans can see the frustration in this.

When Virtua Fighter 4 came out, we all heard the same thing. An intricate fighting system that relied on defense and timing, and punished button mashers. Like some, I pooh-poohed it, figuring that the button mashers could ruin anything. I ignored the game when it first came out.

Then it came out with improvements. A ranking system, and other assorted goodies… and all for $20.

Well, shit, about to go out to sea again? Need a new game? It sure beats $30 for the latest Barbie game on GBA, that’s for sure.

Three things to note about Virtua Fighter 4 Evo:

1) I was shocked to find out that I really DID need to know what I was doing to be competetive; the learning curve was steep, much steeper than I was used to, having been weaned on the likes of Tekken, Soul Calibur and even Street Fighter, to an extent.

2) Naturally, due to the learning curve and the emphasis on strategy, I became the “A” division champion of Virtua Fighter.

And perhaps most telling…

3) Due to the learning curve… it was a thin field; no one gave a shit except one other real fighting fan. Thanks for coming, see you all for the Madden tournament.