Sega seems to be firing off all cylinders to celebrate the storied video game company’s 60 years of existence. Aside from the planned celebrations for its flagship character, Sonic the Hedgehog, for his 30th anniversary, another classic franchise is getting attention with an ultimate edition. In this case, it’s the beloved fighting game Virtua Fighter. Virtua Fighter 5, which is the last mainline entry of the series will be coming with a shiny new paint job and more.
What are the upgrades in store in Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown? Let’s take a look!
Virtua Fighter 5 Original Release
The original Virtua Fighter started the 3D fighting game genre in the mid-1990s. Virtua Fighter 5, the last main series installment, was first officially released on July 12, 2006 on Japanese arcades. Later on, the game would get ports for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2007. The game provided fresh mechanics to the classic Virtua Fighter gameplay, such as the Clash System which allows you to cancel an opponent’s attack.
The game would also receive multiple updates. Virtua Fighter 5 R was released in 2008 with new stages and new character, karate warrior Jean Kujo, as well as the return of Sumo Wrestler Taka-Arashi (from Virtua Fighter 3). Later, B and C versions of this release would improve the animation and add customization options for the character costumes. Interestingly, the B version was ported to the Playstation 3 while version C was the one ported to the Xbox 360.
On 2010, another revision called Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown for the Sega Lindbergh arcade system, with the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 being released on 2012.
Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown Trailers
On May 27, 2021, Sega released three trailers to herald the release of a high definition remaster of Virtua Fighter 5. These include a Japanese trailer, a comparison trailer, and the opening cinematic. These trailers boast the updated graphics and features for the remaster. Sega AM2 and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio were given the task of updating the original Virtua Fighter 5 to improve the graphics, controls, audio, and gameplay features to bring it up to current generation’s standards.
According to the description provided for Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown at the official Sega website:
Widely celebrated by classic fighting game fans for its strategic 3D gameplay, intuitive mechanics, intricate balance, and intense martial arts combat, Virtua Fighter 5 has received popular updates throughout its history, most recently with the console re-release in 2012. Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown re-envisions the visceral experience of the original with gorgeous HD graphics, new online features, and all the bone-crunching, martial arts combat of its renowned predecessor.
Looking at the comparison trailer, one can clearly see the obvious and subtle improvements. The team clearly did more than just increase the polygon count. Using the RGG Studio's Dragon Engine, the team rebuilt everything, rather than simply porting over the original Virtua Fighter 5's 3D infrastructure.
The lighting is more dynamic, with more highlights and less bloom. The skin and expressions on the fighters are more lifelike. The eyes, in particular, are more realistic, which is usually the first thing one would notice, which puts it on par with modern interpretations of its rival from Namco, Tekken. There are also more details added to the arenas and background, adding to the immersion. This HD graphical enhancement was also done on the cinematic cut scenes, as evident in Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown’s opening trailer.
Aside from the pretty graphics, Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown improves on the gameplay elements. This is particularly evident in the newer options available for the types of matches. Players can now create private rooms of up to 16 challengers. Round-robin style online matches include League and Tournament Matches. You can also have spectators who can watch and communicate live.
The esports options are a welcome addition, but for the more traditional gamers, Arcade, Classic, and Offline Versus modes are also available. Although no sample in the trailer was included, it is likely the remaster will include the customization and quest modes from the downloadable content from Virtual Fighter 5: Final Showdown. However, there will be a Legendary Pack for download which adds alternate skins that are based on the first Virtual Fighter in their full blocky and angular polygon glory.
Only Playstation 4?
There is one caveat with the Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown. It will only be available on the Playstation 4. This is unfortunate news for those who have Microsoft Xbox consoles. To add salt to that wound, Playstation Plus subscribers will get the game at no additional cost on the date of release. There is no official announcement on whether any later release is in store for other platforms such as Steam or the Xbox Live service.
Virtua Fighter is back. Re-made in RGG Studio’s Dragon Engine, the 3D fighting game that started it all never looked so good!
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown launches worldwide as a PlayStation®4 console exclusive next week on June 1, 2021! pic.twitter.com/a1I57j7Szr
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) May 25, 2021
Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown will be launched on June 1, 2021 for the Sony Playstation 4.