As is often the case with fighting games, some of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown’s fighters are a lot more beginner friendly than others.
By Tom Bowen
Published Jun 01, 2021
Despite having helped to shape the 3D fighting game genre, the Virtua Fighter franchise has had a difficult time of things in recent years.?The series’?last new numbered entry released almost 15 years ago now, meaning that many fighting game fans have likely never had a chance to experience all that the series has to offer. Thanks to the recent release of?Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown, however, that could all be about to change.
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Though not a brand new game in the conventional sense, Ultimate Showdown is effectively a full remake of the Final Showdown version of Virtua Fighter 5, rebuilt from the ground up in Yakuza’s powerful Dragon Engine. While perhaps not as revolutionary as the series’ groundbreaking debut, nor as well polished as the excellent Virtua Fighter 4, Ultimate Showdown is still an excellent game. As with most fighting games though, some characters are a lot better for beginners than others.
Kage is a?solid pick for those just starting out their Virtua Fighter journey thanks to his impressive selection of combos and throws. Some can be a little tricky to pull off and will take a bit of time to master, but the majority of his attacks are fairly straightforward and provide a healthy amount of damage too.
Though he’s not quite a top tier fighter, Kage is incredibly fun to watch in action and can therefore be very satisfying to main. Again, it will take a bit of practice to?master the timings required to see him at his most stylish, although when it comes to dishing out damage, the timings are actually fairly forgiving.
Jean is a bit of an all rounder and so can provide players with opportunities to hone their skills in a number of different areas. Though he’s not a particularly flashy fighter, this does lend itself well to beginners as a lot of his best moves are relatively straightforward to?use.
Being able to consistently pull off his guardbreaker is?going to take quite a bit of practice, but this will come with time. His raw power, impressive range and?powerful combos should be enough to see off all but the very best opposition, although his throws are perhaps a little underwhelming considering his weight.
Those with very little fighting game experience will likely find Wolf a decent place to start. He’s one of the simplest fighters to master in Virtua Fighter, meaning that players can divert most of their attention to learning the game’s basic mechanics rather than having to worry about perfecting button inputs or memorizing effective combo strings.
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As with some of the other basic characters in the game, Wolf is far from a top tier fighter, meaning that players will likely find themselves switching to somebody else once they’ve gotten to grips with everything. That said, the experience that can be gained with Wolf will?be invaluable in making that next step, making him a solid and sturdy stepping stone of sorts.
Sarah is a great character with which to learn the basics of Virtua Fighter, although her fighting style might not be to everybody’s tastes. Her combos are incredibly easy to pull off though and can dish out a surprising amount of damage considering her slight size and stature.
Though an excellent attacker, Sarah does fall a little short in the defensive department. Against AI and mid-tier players this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, particularly?for naturally offensive players. Against better opposition, however, she can?be overwhelmed very quickly.
Brad has a fairly simple move set to master, but will require a somewhat decent understanding of basic fighting game strategies to really be effective. A lot of Tekken players tend to gravitate towards him as a result, as despite the differences between the two franchises, he can feel somewhat familiar to control.
For those with no fighting game experience whatsoever though, Brad can be a little confusing at times. He shifts between stances after attacking quite often, which will likely catch newer players off guard. With enough time and practice he can be incredibly effective though, thanks largely to his powerful elbow attacks and kicks.
Due to his impressive selection of staggers and?powerful combos, El Blaze is an excellent choice for those just starting out in Virtua Fighter. Most of his combos and throws are simple enough to pull off too and they can be strung together fairly easily to dish out a lot of quick damage.
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Though undoubtedly a more damage focused fighter, El Blaze isn’t too bad from a defensive point of view either. More cautious players may want to look elsewhere, but those who like to play on the front foot but still want to learn about the defensive elements of the game could definitely do a lot worse than the Mexican wrestler.
Anybody who has put a lot of hours into Dead or Alive 5 will likely be familiar with Pai already. Though there are a few small differences, her Mizongquan fighting style remains largely the same, which can help make the transition over to Virtua Fighter a lot more seamless. Even for those who haven’t played?as her?before though, Pai is still a solid choice.
She has a lot of safe moves in her locker, meaning that players won’t need to worry quite as much about the defensive side of the game. Of course, this can lead to gaps in a player’s skill set further down the line, but?for those who like to learn in chunks rather than try and cram everything in all at once, this may actually be ideal.
Lau is arguably the easiest character to learn how to main in Virtua Fighter due to his relatively simple move set and limited number of attack patterns and stances. This simplicity does come at a cost, however, as Lau can be incredibly restrictive when up against competent opposition.
If players are looking for a character that can help them to quickly learn the basics while also being somewhat competitive, Lau might just be the best option. Those looking for a character they can?stick with for the entirety of their time with the game may want to look elsewhere though.
Jeffry offers a great balance when it comes to simplicity and potential. What’s more, his move set offers plenty of variety and is well suited to teaching new players when to attack and when to hold back. He can be easily punished, however, particularly when charging in.
Due to his size and strength, Jeffry is able to dish out and eat a decent amount of damage. This does mean that he’s also a little slow, although this will force players to learn about the defensive side of the game a lot faster than they would with other fighters.
Though Jacky may be a little trickier to pick up than the likes of Lau and Sarah, he provides a lot more headroom when it comes to?player improvement. He has a lot of quick kicks in his arsenal, which can help force opponents onto the back foot in a moment’s notice and will likely appeal to those?with a Street Fighter background due to his optimal play style.
To get the very best out of Jacky, players will need to learn which of his combos work best in any given situation, but timing can be incredibly important too. For that reason, new players might want to consider getting in a little bit of practice with someone like Sarah first just to master the basics.
NEXT:?Virtua Fighter: The Strongest Fighters In The Franchise, Ranked
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About The Author
(415 Articles Published)
Tom loves classic adventure games and RPGs above all else, but is also partial to a spot of FIFA from time to time. He typically writes about 80s movies, 90s video games and post 2000 television shows; although he’s happy to cover just about anything providing that it has some depth to it.
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