The retirement thread was beginning to fill up with posts of disappointed long-term players. There were posts abound about how we could emerge into new areas, into new games. Modern Warfare 2 and Tekken 6 made its debut and are still played heavily, even among the most faithful VF players.
But you know what?
The online activity of Virtua Fighter 5 has never ceased, it seems to me. Quite the contrary seems to be the case, as plenty of players new to the series are dwelling in the online lobbies waiting for the next big fight that could teach them a whole new lot – or literally nothing – about the game. And it seems that even the more hardcore players are returning bit by bit to the saga they spent so much time on and from which they could get so much out of it in mutual return.
Of course, the bad-mouthing and ranting about how “bad” SEGA treated and treat their fans today is still heavily in the air – perhaps not without reason. But to release a real nice post-release patch on the Xbox 360 for a game that did NOT sell well at all, with new features like online replays, is really only true dedicated fan service. ATARI, for example, never patched the Xbox 360 version of Alone In The Dark, a bug feast of some sort…
It seems to me, SEGA, that with us you got the most faithful, most dedicated fans you could ever wish to crave, but, at the same time, we are also the most critical. And I mean there is literally ranting about everything VF: be it VF5’s “beta-ness” (could someone elaborate VF5’s betaness to me again, please? I don’t get it.), or the item packs that were already on disk (though, that’s usually practice now by the industry, mind you).
But still: VF is as entertaining as ever. The sustainability of VF5 and the series as a whole is incredible. Visually highly appealing and gameplay-wise rock solid, Virtua Fighter is still an incredible gamer experience that made up for the finest hours of my videogame life.
VF5: Revolution won’t make a conversion to consoles – so what?! It’s not profitable enough for SEGA to port it – so what?! We still got plenty to play and to rant about in VF Vanilla 5. It all boils down to mind-guessing and out-guessing your opponent and that’s where VF5 nails it, even online, even in lag-heavy situations. Lag is just another factor to be counted in, another variable that should affect your tactics, your way of outthinking your opponent. And hasn’t Chess also survived till now because of its rock-solid gameplay mechanics?
I’m happy that there is something like VF5 and that there is that online component that the Xbox 360 version came with. And while I’m trying to figure out how to end my commentary on the current state of the VF nation, I have actually already drifted off thinking that I should just chip in for another match instead. Just like that: