After ten long years… it’s time for a curtain call for VF5FS.
Can you believe it has been 10 whole years since Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown has been released? It’s crazy that this game has lasted a full decade! Then again, VF5 as a whole has been around since 2006! That was a time when the Xbox 360 was already out and both the PS3 and Wii were just coming out.
I mentioned this already during the 10th Anniversary blog I wrote last year, Final Showdown was announced as a new update for the VF5 series. It completely felt like a whole new game; taking out some of the elements from VF5 and VF5R such as the throw clash system for example, and adding brand new mechanics as well. All characters received new moves and everything. It ruled the Japanese arcades at the time, and was even used for the Beat-Tribe Cup series throughout the decade.
Then in 2012, VF5FS would come to consoles digitally via Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was the first time that Western FGC got their hands on the latest game. We had a couple of tournaments happen from the SEGA Cup, Final Round, EVO, and more. It was a great time to play the game, especially with players of the FGC new and old. You had the likes of Ryan Hart, who played a lot of VF in the past, Itabashi Zangief and Fuudo, who started out in the FGC playing VF since the VF4 days, and more.
After that, the VF community had to rely on VF5FS for the remainder of the decade, hoping for a new installment to come. It was a rough time because the VF community tried their best to keep this game alive, despite going against newer and popular fighting games. Despite the hurdles that we came across, we still kept playing. Players such as Blitzball Champ, Harpooner, Tricky Eileen, and others held sessions to keep the game going and they brought in new players.
In Japan, there were still single and team tournaments for this game, despite the hunger of a new release. Let’s not forget that the Beat-Tribe Cup series went on a hiatus from 2014 to 2018 with the 16th Beat-Tribe Cup, followed by the 17th Beat-Tribe Cup one year later. And of course we couldn’t get another one due to the pandemic, but at least the interest for it is still there.
I played VF5FS when it first came out, but I remember watching several tournaments for it while I was in college. At the time, DOA5 would be my gateway into the FGC and I was struggling to find VF players locally. I didn’t compete in my first VF tournament until No Matter The Cost in 2017. Let me tell you by personal experience that the VF community is super welcoming and they will go throughout their way to help you out. After I failed in that tournament, they noticed what I needed to do in order to improve.
Fast forward to 2019 where I told my story about how I became a Twitch Affiliate. When I did Fighting Game History 101 for VF, VF5FS would be the game to do it since I was in the middle of hosting open matches online. That stream helped me become a Twitch Affiliate, and then it led into the creation of Virtua Fighter Takeover. The rest was history.
And now here we are with the upcoming release of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown. It’s been ten years since we’ve seen a new VF game and it’s also free with PlayStation Plus for two months! I seriously can’t wait to see newcomers join in and see what’s great about the series. Hopefully, they’ll adapt the teachings into other fighting games.
It’s no secret that my love for Virtua Fighter would bring me closer to the video game world, although it originally started out with Dead or Alive. VF5FS is the main reason why I became a Twitch Affiliate in the first place. And since then, it was the reason why I found my niche as a streamer.
Thank you VF5FS for everything. And I’ll see you guys for the Ultimate Showdown!
Until then.. Train Up, Fighters!