Virtua Fighter 5 R: The ONLY Interview
Check out our huge, exclusive interview with SEGA AM2 development boss Makoto Osaki to get the full story on Virtua Fighter 5 Revolution, and various other hot topics.
There's a chance you may not have even heard about the latest entry in the Virtua Fighter series, and that's because Sega has not arranged any publicity for the game outside of Japan. And even in Japan, where the games industry assembles this week for TGS, media access to the developer is strictly controlled; AM2 is the Sega studio everyone wants, but not everyone gets.
So we were delighted and privileged when AM2 development boss and VF veteran Makoto Osaki recently agreed to chat with us once more. Whether it was our proven ability to challenge them at their own game (and occasionally win), or the audacity of just turning up at AM2 and knocking on the door, we're not quite sure... but one thing's certain: you won't find the full story on VF5R anywhere else, nor will you find the stack of screenshots (previously unseen outside of Japanese mags) contained herein.
The rest of Sega can only look up to AM2 these days, quite frankly. Extreme production values, striking attention to detail and a legacy of Nintendo-like mega-hits combine to shame the track record of many other developers. Even though the occasional Virtua Fighter Quest blunder has slipped through the net, the ongoing quality and success of its core Virtua Fighter series is what keeps the studio alive and kicking - and shows that the thing we always loved about Sega - hardcore, full-power arcade blockbusters made in Japan - still have a rightful place in the modern games industry.
It's the whole point of what Sega was always supposed to be about if you ask us. And so our thanks go out to the VF player community in Japan, because without their damn good taste in fighting games and steady supply of 100 Yen coins, the VF series - and thus one-on-one fighting as a genre - would suffer.
Virtua Fighter 5 R sees the welcome return of sumo wrestler Taka Arashi, who debuted in Virtua Fighter 3 but has been absent from the character roster until now. The update also welcomes French karate newcomer Jean, who bumps the full line-up to 20 fighters including boss character Dural. Throw in some absolutely gorgeous stage redesigns/additions, and of course hundreds of gameplay tweaks and improvements, and VF5R is a must-see for all fans of the series.
Currently an arcade-only, Japan-only update, VF5R could well come to consoles in the form of downloadable content or even a standalone release (in the vein of Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution on PS2) - more on that in the interview of course - but for the time being this is obviously a bit of a niche game for us to be covering on Kikizo. However, we can't resist bringing you the latest on all things AM2, so for the rabid VF fans that we know visit the site: this is for you.
The interview with Osaki (who is briefly joined by motion designer and general VF legend Daichi Katagiri) starts on the next page. Enjoy!