With Street Fighter IV and Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion around the corner for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, it's surprising to me that SEGA has not yet made any announcements regarding the latest in their very own premiere fighting series, Virtua Fighter 5R. The game has been out for a long while now in Japan, yet has not received any sort of announcement for home consoles.
As a player who has enjoyed Virtua Fighter 5 for the Xbox 360, I think that the game initially didn't do well because it was made exclusive by Sega for the Playstation 3 first. Had they went with a simultaneous multiplatform release, they may have gotten more hype and more sales for their game. Also, it would have actually helped the game if the improvements for the Xbox 360 version, such as online play and more intelligent Expert A.I., were also given to the Playstation 3 version. Lastly, SEGA could have gotten more sales for the game if it had a few other elements to make it more popular; in particular:
- It needs a far, far better 'training mode' so that more players can learn the game properly. As it stands, VF is a very hard game to learn for beginners. A training mode which points players to the best character(s) to start with, and explains basic and advanced techniques at length, will have probably contributed to increasing its fanbase outside of Japan....because outside Japan the game is really hard to find in arcades.
- They must add some type of story component, like Tekken's, so that people would actually find the characters interesting to play and invest time in.
- The online play needs some kind of spectator mode, so that players can watch and learn from other players. This was implemented in Namco-Bandai's Soulcalibur 4, where you could have up to four players in a lobby and the other two would watch the ongoing match. This is a useful feature because it allows players to learn from others, and it can help build up the community for the game (since active discussions about gameplay mechanics can take place while watching matches in spectator mode)
Right now http://www.virtuafighter.com/ is having a campaign to get VF5R released for home consoles such as the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. The instructions on how you can contact SEGA and request for the game are posted there. I'll also post them here in the hopes that it can reach more Virtua Fighter fans:
From VFDC Myke:
Want VF5R on Console?
Then let SEGA know!
You can provide feedback online by filling out a simple form on their Japanese website. Follow these easy steps:
1. Visit http://sega.jp/opinion/
2. The first field is your email address
3. The second field is the subject of your message
4. The final text area is the body of your message
5. Click the yellow button to preview, then the second yellow button to finally submit.
Here's a sample you can copy and paste:
Subject: Foreigners want VF5R for PS3 and XBOX360
A recent post on VFDC from L_A gives us some hope that e-mails to SEGA Japan are actually getting through to them. Here's what he had to say:
I went to karaoke tonight with my friend from sega japan who has some serious clout and pretty much told him everything I wanted to tell him about how we all want VF5r. I talked all about the VFDC community, how hardcore the members are, travelling thousands of miles from europe and australia for gatherings, etc and he was really surprised. He also told me that the opinion box that we've been sending emails to DOES work and every employee at sega including marketing and management gets those mails. So..... If you want VF5r, KEEP SENDING THE E-MAILS but... make sure they are different names and different IPs as there is an IP filter. He also told me that there is a development conference which will include sega japan, sega europe and sega USA and all the head honchos will be there to discuss what games will be made in the next 2 years. My opinion, if you guys really want R is to keep going with the emails but make sure you arent just sending 10 or 20 emails from the same IP with the same name. Also, you dont need to paste any japanese. Just 'virtua fighter 5r PS3 or xbox' is good enough. Lets try to get as many countries involved as possible. Thanks in advance, guys and gals.
It's good to know that e-mails to SEGA Japan are actually reaching the people there. Perhaps with enough effort, it would be possible to convince SEGA to announce Virtua Fighter 5R for home systems. For players who enjoyed VF5, or are generally fans of the Virtua Fighter series, I hope that you can help in convincing SEGA to release their latest revision of Virtua Fighter for home systems. The platform where it gets released on does not matter (whether it's Xbox 360 or Playstation 3); the important thing is that this game becomes available to more players worldwide via home consoles.
As it stands, it's quite hard to find a VF machine in arcades in the Philippines, and a lot of people are more familiar with the Tekken series. Home consoles are the best chance for VF5R to reach more gamers in our shores. And personally, I think VF stands a good chance of competing with Tekken because it's a lot more well balanced, and more rewarding for players who actually invest more time and effort in learning the game.
So again, if you want Virtua Fighter 5R to come out for home consoles....LET SEGA KNOW!