As part of their celebration of Virtua Fighter’s twentieth anniversary last year, Sega launched an official website for the momentous occasion complete with the series’ full chronology, old-school footage, and interviews with developers both in and outside the development team.
After the aforementioned interviews first began to appear on the portal in August, a community member by the name of Modelah has been hard at work translating them from Japanese into English, providing those of us without any knowledge of the original language the opportunity to catch up.
So far, discussions with longtime Virtua Fighter director Yu Suzuki and character designer Katsuya Terada have been translated, along with thoughts from fellow fighting game developers Yosuke Hayashi of Team NINJA, Bandai Namco Games’ Katsuhiro Harada, and Yoshinori Ono of Capcom on what Virtua Fighter has meant to the genre over the past two decades.
Similarities will always be drawn between Virtua Fighter and the handful of 3D fighters that followed due to the latter’s creation of the sub-genre, and Hayashi provided some input as to their goals when first developing Dead or Alive in opposition to Virtua Fighter. “[We] developed some aspects of Dead or Alive to be quite the opposite to Virtua Fighter,” he replied when asked of his series foundations. “In Virtua Fighter, there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be found in learning the moves and executing them with precision when playing, whereas in Dead or Alive great satisfaction can be found in beating your opponent to the punch with your input timing and expertly delaying your moves.”
Harada’s team at Bandai Namco, however, were interested in something outside of Virtua Fighter’s mechanics in the early days of Tekken’s development. “Instead of looking at how Virtua Fighter played as a game,” he explained, “we looked at how the actual game was made and how they incorporated human movement into it.”
Funnily enough, the producer mentions drawing more inspiration from Street Fighter than Virtua Fighter while they were working on the initial Tekken installment.
Speaking of Street Fighter, Ono also saw something very special in Virtua Fighter when it was first released. “I think Virtua Fighter is the title that truly marked a great leap forward in game making technology,” he divulged. “[Its] fresh, gimmick-free bare knuckle style and the feeling of being in the game itself left me awestruck.”
While all three have their own unique experiences with the Virtua Fighter franchise, each one mentions looking forward to a follow-up to Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, which saw release three years ago.
These interviews make it very apparent what an impact Virtua Fighter has had not just on the fighting game community but the wide assortment of developers who help bring the games we love to life. Even though the anniversary has yet to provide any details on a new installment, it’s amazing to look back and see how far the genre has come.
Be sure to visit the official post on VFDC for much more information from these and other notable figures.
What are your favorite Virtua Fighter memories from the last twenty years? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Virtua Fighter via VFDC and NeoGAF