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Virtua Fighter 5 Review

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Astonishingly impressive graphics in PS3's instalment of the solid fighter.

★★★★

Sweat: that’s the first thing you’ll notice in VF5. Gallons of the stuff, in fact; beading on the brows of impossibly sexy female fighters, or trickling down the chests of beefed-up brawlers who’d make you ashamed to call yourself a man. But while you can almost smell the perspiration in this latest incarnation of Sega’s legendary series, the astonishing level of realism doesn’t stop with its bodily fluids.

All 17 of the digital sluggers – including the new Lucha Libre-inspired El Blaze and kung-fu badass Eileen – are brought to life with stunning animation, each character’s myriad moves flowing seamlessly and creating a brutal ballet of violence that deftly showcases Sony’s new console. The arenas where the action is staged are also imaginative and teeming with detail, and as your fighters’ clothes get wet, dirty and billow in the wind as the battles unfold, the sweeping backdrops are more convincing than ever.

Graphics aside, VF5 is merely an incremental evolution of the series, introducing a few new moves that make for faster-paced, newbie-friendly fisticuffs. But as a solid scrapper dripping with eye candy, Sega’s PS3 debut is essential.

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