One of the more interesting announcements at the Game Developers Conference last week was the release of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown in summer 2012. This is great news for North American fighting game enthusiasts, who haven’t seen hide nor hair of the series since 2007. The game will feature the usual cast of characters, including the return of fan-favorite, Taka-Arashi (VF3), and a new fighter named Jean Kujo. There are nineteen playable characters to choose from and the company has made enhancements to “mechanics, balance and timing along with simplified controls for new players” while promising to retain “the depth that veterans demand”. Players will be able to modify character costumes and equip each with specialized items within a battle system with very limited latency. There are also new “wall-based” moves for each fighter and the ability to break through fences with special attacks.
Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown will be made available as a download for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms, with full online play capabilities and a new single-player mode. Those are just a few of the intriguing features of this game, which Sega has dubbed the “Perfect Fighting Experience”, and I am sure that they will deliver on that assessment. If you have never played any versions of the Virtua Fighter series before, do yourself a favor and jump onboard this summer, as it may be the game’s last hoorah (after all, it is called “Final Showdown”) and you’ll be sorry if you miss it.