Virtua Fighter 5 is about to get a major overhaul, in the form of a stand alone expansion pack that will release on the PlayStation Network and XBLA.
When Virtua Fighter 5 released for PlayStation 3 in 2007 it was hailed for being an excellent sequel that upheld all the great qualities the franchise is well known for. However, it was also criticized for not including any kind of online mode, but that issue will be remedied when Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown releases on the PSN next summer. The standalone “expansion” actually includes the entire original game, while implementing online competitive modes and other new features. New characters, modes, customization items, arenas, and an overhaul of the game’s mechanics and balancing will round out the package. Haruki Satomi, Vice President of Digital Business at SEGA of America and SEGA Europe stated:
With Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, we get to bring the ultimate expression of competitive one-on-one gaming to console players in one perfect package.
Their press release goes on to detail the main features to be included in the expansion, as follows:
The Perfect Fighting Experience: Virtua Fighter 5’s signature style of hand-to-hand combat, with revised mechanics, balance, timing and more, along with simplified controls for new players while retaining the depth that veterans demand
Dynamic and Interactive Arenas: Fighting areas in new shapes and sizes, including arenas with fences and walls that are different for every round – take unexpected advantage of fighters’ new wall-based moves, or break through the fences with special attacks
A Mode for Every Fight: Dominate the leaderboards with Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown’s extremely responsive one-on-one online battle system, widely praised for having little latency, or take on an army of opponents yourself in a new single-player mode
Customized Combatants: Enter the ring with one of 19 playable characters, including fan favorite Taka-Arashi from Virtua Fighter 3 and an all-new character, Jean Kujo, and customize them with unique costume and character items
Overall it sounds like Virtua Fighter 5 will be getting a complete tune up in nearly every aspect of the game with the release of Final Showdown. The expansion is expected to release in Summer 2012, with no mention of pricing available yet.