Virtua Fighter 5's lifespan is considered by many fighting game fans to be as legendary as the Virtua Fighter franchise itself. Facing direct competition with Bandai Namco's Tekken and Soul Calibur series, as well as Capcom's Street Fighter, Sega's Virtua Fighter is the only franchise to not have a new title in almost 15 years. The latest entry is still receiving support, however, with a new update announced today.
Despite Virtua Fighter 5 spanning two console generations, the playerbase for Sega's technical 3D fighter is among the most devoted, with tournaments routinely played and streamed around the world. It was enough for Sega to take notice, and late last year it released a small teaser citing the return of Virtua Fighter in esports. Almost half of a year later, the esports project is revealed to be the "ultimate" experience for Virtua Fighter 5 players.
Early this morning a trailer released by Sega showed off a snippet of Virtua Fighter's history leading up to the gameplay reveal of Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown. Cited in the trailer as "the trailblazing 3D fighter returns for the final round, remade for a new generation," Virtua Fighter 5 has received a major graphic overhaul compared to its previous expansion Final Showdown. This was done as a collaborative effort with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, who revamped the game utilizing its Dragon Engine from the Yakuza series.
The announcement comes after the rumored leak of next month's free PS Plus titles for June 2021, which includes mention of Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown along with Star Wars: Squadrons. Ultimate Showdown will release on June 1 exclusively for the PS4, which further supplements the PS Plus rumor. If true, this will allow a broader range of players to try out the newest version of the niche 3D fighter.
While not necessarily a leak, players knew of the working title for the new Virtua Fighter 5 update as early as March due to a listing by the GRAC, Korea's version of the ESRB. While the core gameplay will remain unchanged, Sega has announced that Ultimate Showdown will include new music, a user interface, an opening cinematic, and an updated online mode including spectator mode and a functional tournament mode.
The changes to the online mode will coincide with the original promise of Virtua Fighter returning to esports, allowing tournament organizers to easily set up matches in an online environment. While nothing in terms of net code has been announced, players hope the newest addition to Virtua Fighter 5's legacy will include a stable online experience to rival its competitor, Tekken, which also announced an online tournament series recently.
Anyone that's been on the internet lately has likely heard of Amazon's hit new show Invincible. This intriguing series is an adaptation of the Invincible comic book run that began in 2003, and it serves as a deconstruction of the superhero genre as a whole. During the show, protagonist Mark and the viewer are both subjected to the harsh realities of life as a super hero, and this results in a surprisingly brutal experience. While many fans would love to see an Invincible video game adaptation, it's difficult to imagine how this might look. The best case scenario here would be a fighting game similar to the Mortal Kombat series.
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