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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
-data-

Source: "Various"

On a blustery Saturday afternoon, we trekked down to Club Sega in Shinjuku, Japan to check out Sega's latest, Virtua Fighter 5, currently undergoing location testing for the weekend. Descending into the murky, smoke-filled basement of the combination arcade/entertainment/casino center was an adventure of its own, as the stairs were hidden behind an endless array of UFO catcher machines and the like.

Winding our way through a maze of Virtua Fighter 4 and Tekken 5 machines (set up in Japanese tournament fashion), we arrived at the back corner of the basement, where an army of Sega employees stood guard over two sets of shiny new test machines, with giant 16x9 flatscreen moniters displaying one of the best looking arcade games in years. This assumes, of course, that you could see through the giant crowd surrounding the setup, many of whom were waiting in the long line to get a chance to play. The game required a character card (at 500 yen a pop) to play, and 100 yen per game on top of that. Nonetheless, many folks would go through, play their match, and then hop back into line for another go, and for good reason: the game looks phenomenal.

Visually, VF5 resembles other games of this upcoming generation, most especially Dead or Alive 4. Sega makes grand use of its new Lindbergh hardware, and it really shines through in their character models and level designs. In the City level, the fight takes place on wet pavement scattered with puddles all around. These puddles react and reflect in a remarkably realistic manner as the fighters run around the room. The Temple level features fallen sakura blossoms that fly around whenever the characters move. Each level featurea lots of neat visual tricks like this, adding to the overall appeal of the game.

Of course, one only noticed such things if they could peel their eyes off of the amazing new character models. Remember the Madden video EA passed around just before the Xbox 360 was announced? The characters of VF5 are of that caliber, with amazingly realistic muscle tone, skin shading, sweat, and motions. Jeffrey benefits a lot from this upgrade, as the individual hairs on his arms are shown in remarkable detail. While he's still not pretty to look at, the amount of work Sega put into this game really shines through when you look at him. I lost a match simply because I was too busy staring at Lei Fei and Lion move around the arena in a fluid dance. Even button mashing looks pretty, as every move links into the next smoothly, without sudden jerkiness as the game reacts to each button press. Turning our head slightly while at Club Sega, we could see the VF4 Evolution machines standing in a row behind us. Just a small glimpse of that game really highlighted how far Virtua Fighter's graphics have come since then. The characters actually feel like they are part of the environments, and not just pasted on top.

In terms of control, VF5 takes after its predecessors -- a punch, kick, and guard button trio. However, in a sharp departure from VF4, 5 allows true attacks from all angles, without forcing a face to face match. The posters around the demo area showed off new attacks that aimed for the sides of characters, and we certainly felt those attacks ourselves, as Lion danced around and jabbed at us from behind. Also, a new button combination allows players to quickly move around their opponents, setting up new dodges and combo styles. This change also helps the smaller characters like Lion and Kage feel much faster and smoother than they did before, while bigger characters really lumber around.

The location test featured El Blaze, one of the two new characters set to be introduced in VF5. Some of the Japanese players standing around commented that his fighting style of Lucha Libre felt like the flavor of the month (what with the new DoA character sharing the Mexican wrestling habit), but that did not stop adventurous folks from giving him a try. He was smaller and faster than you'd expect a wrestler to be, but we weren't really able to get a feel for his moveset, as the players who tried him were continually dominated by their opponents.

Next to the machines was a very interesting addition -- VF:TV. A separate console running a Lindbergh board, VF:TV is a lot like a cable channel broadcasting the fights in a sports bar-type atmosphere. The screen shows a program guide in the bottom corner, displaying the schedule for the next half-hour. Programs at the test center included an interview with Daichi Katagi, the creator of VF, as well as commercials for other Sega games, like Mushi King. The main point of this setup, however, is the Battle Hour program, which broadcasts replays of matches that occur earlier in the day. Characters are given detailed introductions so you cab see exactly how they have been customized, with detailed player stats following. Under the character names are the names of the players who controlled them, and their records. The coolest part, at least for our crowd, is the fact that the announcers give commentary as the battles go on. It really feels like being in a bar watching the latest fight from Vegas on the tube. In a tournament center atmosphere, this kiosk will add a ton of atmosphere and flavor to an amazing looking game.

Unfortunately, the location test is only at one arcade, and only through the weekend, but if you happen to be in Shinjuku, this is the place to be. Sega's got a while before the game is released (and a whole new character to reveal as well), but the taste we got was enough to make us want to play it now. Next time, we won't be distracted by the pretty backgrounds, and Lion will know our wrath. Till then, however, we can only wait for Sega to finish.

-data-
 

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band
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i refuse to acknowledge that those are in game until i see an ingame screenie :(. did this take place *last* weekend or is it yet to come ?
 

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Truly nice. I've always liked Virtua Fighters since the very first edition, so it's adorable to see the game improving at each new chapter. And Sarah is ubber hot. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I remember the start of almost all fighting games. (Makes me feel a bit ancient) :)
I wonder if this will come out for the new consoles. With the architecture of sega’s new arcade board it could even be released on PC.

Also here are some more images. (Someone who went the show told me that the game is better looking then some of the PS3 videos at E3.)
 

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band
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some im guessing the show ended already ~____~

*goes on a rant on how nobody reads my posts*
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
D.D. said:
some im guessing the show ended already ~____~

*goes on a rant on how nobody reads my posts*
Yes, it was for the 26th and 27th of November. But I’m sure another one is coming up.

also, look here at this web page you can find good videos of the game.

http://www.kikizo.com/viewer/vidvie...d_virtuafighter5_highqualitytrailer_sep05.wmv

http://www.kikizo.com/viewer/vidvie...5/kikizo_sd_virtuafighter5_gameplay_nov05.wmv

http://www.kikizo.com/viewer/vidvie...zo_sd_virtuafighter5_attractfootage_nov05.wmv

save the video files to see full versions.
 

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well, to be honest I like Tekken series more than Virtua Fighter... but 5th installment of VF is looking quite promissing :)

btw. shouldn't this old fart:

be dead or sth? AFAIK in VF4 plot it has been said, that he has big health problems and such... :)
 

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Emunext fanboy
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Cool, Ryu looks fantastic :D . Oh, I forgot that Akira just looks like Ryu ^^" .
I wonder when Sega will start taking care of their characters designs, but yeah the new ones from VF4 and after are better with miles.

Katsuya said:
Yes, I remember the start of almost all fighting games. (Makes me feel a bit ancient) :)
Err.. does it make me ancient aswell ^^"? After rethinking I think the only fighting games that I haven't seen at it's debut (but played after when I found them) were : Karateka, Street Fighter 1 and Fatal Fury 2. But at least I played Yie ar Kungfu ^_^
 

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The Hunter
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When looking at the first batch of images of the characters only I got the feeling some of them look like bad cosplayers :p

But all the other screenies look really great :D
 

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