The Virtua Fighter Realism Dilemma

Discussion in 'General' started by masterpo, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. masterpo

    masterpo VF Martial Artist Bronze Supporter

    One of the major reasons many fans of VF were attracted to it over Tekken, MK, DOA, Street Fighter, etc was the fact that it was more realistic. The moves had a feel of realism to them. There were no fireballs, no powerup moves, no magical moves, no special moves, no fighting kangeroos, or panda bears, just moves that had a feel of martial arts realism. In fact originally Virtua Fighter was called a Martial Arts Simulator
    Many fans were drawn to it because of this realism, on the other hand many players dis liked it for the same reason. These players preferred the fantastic, the flamboyant, magic moves, special moves, power ups, fighting bears, and 10 foot high juggles. To these players VF seemed plain, boring, even difficult to learn.

    Although VF was designed and released as a arcade game, its realism brought it as close to a 'simulator' a you could get in the early days. The other fight games seemed more fun. VF typically appealed more to the purist. From the critic's point of view VF was the most comprehensive and realistic fighter out there. But herein lies one of the dilemmas for VF. It has positioned itself as a arcade fighting game. Although even from the beginning it was perceived as a Martial Arts Simulator

    Although its marketed the same as a Tekken, or a DOA, it has far more realism than those games, and in many cases (obviously most cases) it does not appeal to the same crowd that likes the over the top , magic moves, super moves, appearing and disappearing , fireballs, frozen lighting bolts,fighting kangeroos and ten hit combos.

    So its realism that makes it better (in many ways) than its competition, is also its worst enemy.

    The fighting community is quick to draw the distinction between arcade fighting games and the new UFC 2009/2010 and EA's MMA fighting games. Its easy to see that those games are more simulations, because they are trying to capture the combat sport of MMA with as much realism as possible. It is clear that Lui Kang's fireballs are not trying to capture realism, or Lei Wulong juggling a giant panda bear across the stage with a ten hit combo is not trying to capture realism. So they can safely be called fantasy fighting games. But not so for VF. It is delivered in a fantasy fighting game format, but the game trys to acheive 'believable' fighting techniques and it has avoided the fantasy of its competitors for over a decade.

    Now here's the problem Virtua Fighter has too much realism (or not enough fantasy) to really appeal to the Street Fighter, Blaze Blue,KOF, SC,DOA MK, or Tekken Crowd(generally) But not enough realism [/size]to measure up to the new MMA combat simulators.

    Its too realistic for one crowd, but not realistic enough for the other. So its in kind of a no-mans-land. All by itself on sale for $19.99

    Its not that Virtua Fighter needs to be dumbed down or marketed better. Its the game itself. Its too realistic for the fighting fantasy crowd. But the floating, and juggling that it does have, makes it too fantasy for the sports combat simulation crowd.

    PREDICTION:[/size] I will be attacked for the following opinion

    So if Virtua Fighter is going to survive (on consoles) it either has to truly join the ranks of Tekken and Soul Calibur, or join the ranks of UFC 2010 and EA's MMA.

    Virtua Fighter is one of the original mixed martial arts simulators. It has sumo wrestling, judo, karate, ju jitsu, wrestling, kickboxking, kungfu,etc. UFC's 2010 and EA's MMA has wrestling, judo, karate,kickboxing, etc. So obviously both games has lots in common. One captures realism at the artistic theatrical level, the other captures realism at the
    the sports level. One aims for believable martial arts moves, the others aims for replication of martial arts moves.

    Prediction Correction:[/size] I will be attacked for the entire post

    I know I'm going to get flammed, berated, castrated, and excommunicated for this post. But I think VF has a better future as a Mixed Martial Arts combat sport simulator, than it does as a aracade fantasy fighter (on the consoles)

    I know many of you will say that if VF was changed that much, it would no longer be VF. (I agree with you)[/size] But at this rate, we will probably never see another console release or at best only one more console release of VF anyway. The MMA games have a long bright future ahead. I would rather see VF evolve to a MMA combat simulator, than see it die as a fantasy fighter (which it never truly was anyway).

    And as the MMA games evolve, they will include more and more fighting styles, which brings them closer to VF any way.

    Obviously, I realize there are dramatic differences between the MMA combat simulators and VF's current game play. So the goal would not be to keep VF's current fighting engine, but to bring VF's realism and excellence to a new fighting engine, where Goh really can have a ground game, and Wolf can complete the wrestling move set, and Jean can pull off a kimura.
    GustavoHeisenberg likes this.
  2. GodEater

    GodEater Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  3. Seidon

    Seidon Well-Known Member Content Mgr El Blaze

    I agree.
  4. sixtwo

    sixtwo Well-Known Member

    I do not agree (I'm not sure how this game is played).
  5. SDS_Overfiend1

    SDS_Overfiend1 Well-Known Member

  6. Griever

    Griever Well-Known Member

    I don't know whether I agree. I haven't read this masterpost.
    Yes, I agree I may look like a hypocrite now, since I am trolling. Nevertheless, based on how "interesting" some of the discussions started by our monk have turned out in the past, I have no faith for this one either. Sorry. /troll
  7. MarlyJay

    MarlyJay Moderator - 9K'ing for justice. Staff Member Gold Supporter


    Nah, I agree. Really, i do. I think you're saying that VF isn't flashy enough or real enough and sits somewhere in the unhappy medium. I agree, and so do sega. VF is going the Tekken route.
  8. Libertine

    Libertine The REAL Top Tier! Content Coordinator Silver Supporter Content Manager Brad

    Talking to yourself again? Nutter.
  9. masterpo

    masterpo VF Martial Artist Bronze Supporter

    Ahh yes dissent [​IMG] Here's how the game is played, if you have something meaningful to post that moves the post forward please do, otherwise just post "I agree". [​IMG]

    The basic premise of this post is that VF was really a pioneer when it came to mixed martial arts simulations. (Even though it was released within the arcade fighting game context) and it was marketed like a Tekken or a Mortal Kombat, it really only appeals to a subset of that crowd because its too realistic.

    So the suggestion is that it would probably do better if it were lined up with the MMA combat simulators (e.g, UFC 2010, EA's MMA) by adopting a new fighting engine but keeping the virtua fighter roster , storyline, and presentation excellence.

    Some game franchises do survive dramatic engine changes, for example, Front Mission (by Square Enix) recently went from turn based RPG, to 3rd person shooter with a deep single player story line and decent online multiplayer. Although it lost some original fans, it has positioned itself for a brighter future. A new VF couldn't do any worse than the current one sales wise.

    Virtua Fighter belongs with the combat simulators (it always has) If they dropped the current VF fighting engine and picked up a MMA fighting engine while retaining the complete VF roster, they would see sales figures go from a few hundred thousand to millions of units. That's because MMA is the fighting game of the future and realism is in, and the more variety the better.

    While they would lose some of the original fan base, they would
    pickup an entirely new fan base a much bigger one! Sport combat simulators sell millions of units. IMO with a new engine VF could be targeted to a much bigger audience(at least on consoles)
  10. MarlyJay

    MarlyJay Moderator - 9K'ing for justice. Staff Member Gold Supporter

    What i do disagree with is when you say VF is marketed like Tekken and MK. The have the same target audience, but VF isn't Marketed because sega don't do marketing outside of sonic. Bayonetta was an exception to the rule, but they're generally really bad at letting people know they're releasing things. I didn't even know VF5 was released for the 360 when it was.

    And no, any game where you can knock someone 5-10 feet in the air is not and will never be close to a simulator. VF is a lot closer to Tekken than one of those MMA games, physics wise.
  11. masterpo

    masterpo VF Martial Artist Bronze Supporter


    We agree on Sega's poor marketing [​IMG] But I do have a poster
    of VF4 on my wall that I'm looking at right now. It has Akira featured and the headline is "Prepare for a Beating" it is definitely trying to be a Tekken.

    The Tekken, SC, DOA target market in general rejects Virtua fighter (compare sales), its not just VF's marketing, its the game itself. Its too realistic and not enough fantasy.

    Here's a description of Virtua Fighter 2 from the early 90's

    Virtua Fighter 2

    Notice, how its referred to as a Martial Arts Simulator. Early on it was referred to as a simulator and the term was later dropped (possibly for marketing reasons) I think even the Smithsonian Institute refers to it as a Martial Arts Simulation. Anybody that really knows the history of fighting video games knows that VF was called a martial arts simulator because of its realism in comparison to other fighting games.

    You're right thrown 5-10 feet into the air is not realistic, but think about the movelists and the majority of the animations, most of the moves in the movelists are pretty realistic or at least believable.

    If you look back Virtua Fighter 2 One of the key differences between VF and everybody else was VF's realism. And that's what hurts it today. Today when you want realism, you go to UFC 2009/2010, EA's MMA, Fight Night Round 4. But back in the early 90's if you wanted realism you went with Virtua Fighter.

    Virtua Fighter according to many online articles is the original Martial Arts Simulator (check google) [​IMG]

    Now with the MMA combat simulators on the market(UFC 2009/2010, EA's MMA) VF is really in a awkward place. Its no longer the most realistic fighting game out there. Now it just looks like a boring, plain, watered down Tekken to the arcade fighting market. It would do better to get a new fighting engine, and go for the combat sports simulator market [​IMG]
  12. Jeneric

    Jeneric Well-Known Member


    If VF was realistic then Vanessa would have 9-1 match ups against the entire cast.

    Hey, I'm all for it!

    It's funny that you want to remove the one thing that makes many people WANT to play VF but want to keep the things that makes many of them not do it.
  13. Kobi

    Kobi 'Noh' One Bronze Supporter

    Waverusher Kobi

    Irony is a bitch.
  14. TheUgg

    TheUgg Well-Known Member

  15. masterpo

    masterpo VF Martial Artist Bronze Supporter

  16. El_Twelve

    El_Twelve Well-Known Member

    I think there's still a big difference between VF and the MMA games.

    VF takes a lot more inspiration from the traditional Asian martial arts, which have a lot more forms which can be more ritualistic than practical. A lot of the forms in traditional kata are there more as stretching, balance or strength exercises than as something you'd use in a fight.

    That VF uses these forms results in a lot more interesting movements to watch rather than it being a realistic fighting simulation. A lot of my friends who don't play the game look at some of the attacks from characters like Pai and say to me "No way that move could really hurt."

    VF's approach to fighting is more like the Hong Kong Kung Fu movie approach than UFC/Pride, and that's something I'd rather not change. I like the flair and technical yet impractical movements in those movies.

    I can appreciate the techical ability of MMA fighters as well of course, but using the movie approach allows for more fun stuff to watch. Sort of like watching Professional Wrestling. You know it's choreographed but it's still fun to watch as an athletic display.

    On that note, WWE Smackdown vs Raw gets less and less fun the more realistic they try to make it. The removal of in-game music took away from the energy of the game. The game was also slowed down which made it less exciting. They disallowed women to compete against men. They removed hilarious neutral standing animations. They cut the movelist so you can only have 6 moves for each character as opposed to the 2000 we used to have(slight exaggeration). The stamina meter meant you spent a lot of time sitting around recovering from your own attacks(thank God they got rid of that). And worst of all, they removed so many of the fun custom character parts like being able to put gigantic hooks in place of your character's hands. Bullocks to that!

    So no, I would not like a more realistic VF. Realism is bloody overrated.

    I understand what you're saying in that VF is neither here nor there, in an odd position between the sports fighting sims and the over-the-top super power fighting games, but if we changed it too much in either direction, it probably wouldn't be VF.
  17. masterpo

    masterpo VF Martial Artist Bronze Supporter

    El_Twelve, very good points. But there is a small point I'm not getting across. I said most of the VF moves look realistic or believable. That's different than judging the affect of the move.

    You're right looking at some of AOI's slaps, although they look like slaps there's no way they're going to do any damage in real life. One of Lei Fei's main attacks looks realistic, but it wouldn't do any damage. So you're right about the effect of the realistic looking move. MMA games try to replicate both the actual move and the effect that the move would have. VF provides a realistic move without trying to simulate the actual effect it would have. That's because VF only has a life bar, it has no stamina, or damage metrics. If it did Wolf's body slams would instantly end the match.

    Some of Jeffrey's and Akira's knees attacks would be instant knock outs if they landed in an MMA simulation. In VF jeffrey's knee attack looks (somewhat) realistic, but the effect it has on his opponents is not realistc. VF takes off some points, when in reality it would be a KO if it landed.

    You're also right too much realism takes out all of the fun. That's why so many Tekken, Street Fighters, SC players don't like VF in the first place, its too realistic.

    But VF's artistic realism actually puts it closer to the MMA games, even though VF has juggles, and floaters, it still shoots for believability. Goh, Jacky, Wolf, Vanessa,etc have some pretty realistic looking attacks (although the result of the attacks do not look realistic most of the time) Vanessa's head twist would permanently end the match, if VF was really trying for simulation.

    So VF is somewhere in the middle. I think that hurts its sales more than Sega's poor advertising. Its not a full fantasy fighter, and its not a full simulation. Its more of a movie martial arts simulator [​IMG]
    GustavoHeisenberg likes this.
  18. Libertine

    Libertine The REAL Top Tier! Content Coordinator Silver Supporter Content Manager Brad

    I'd like to know how you've arrived at this conclusion. Are you even a part of other fighting game forums/communities? There are varying reasons why people aren't into VF. Some find the game interesting, but realize how the community is small when compared to those for other fighting games. There's also a lack of support for it overseas when compared to a game like Tekken. But at the top of the list would have to be that other fighting game fans get to play their fighting games of choice. It's been awhile since a new VF game has been released overseas. Another complaint is how it “lacks personality.” VF5 for the consoles is fairly barebones when it comes to other fighting games (a lack of extras), hurting its chances to win over more casual gamers. But for those interested in the competitive aspect, the lack of support/advertising is probably the biggest reason why more people aren’t playing it.

    Of course, there are people who are ignorant of the game. Some will get a sense of superiority by associating themselves with one game over the other. You don't see people taking sides when it comes to, say, buying a brand of cereal. But when it comes to identifying yourself with a certain brand of car, game console, and in this case, playing a certain video game, you can expect people to get pretty defensive. I find it utterly pathetic that a video game is so high up on some (too many) peoples’ list of ways to define themselves that these "turf wars" happen, but they do. And when they do, expect some of the dumbest arguments ever bashing each other's game of choice. “VF is too realistic” ranks up there with one of the dumbest.

    Changing the way VF is played isn't going to help it. If the game isn’t marketed and supported correctly, then Sega won’t get enough people interested. Final Showdown has the best animations of any VF I’ve seen yet. The characters are also more interesting than they’ve ever been before, in my opinion. It already has what it takes to succeed. If people use “realism” to form an opinion of VF, they will likely keep avoiding it. This is because, as I said, some people are pathetic enough to let a video game define part of who they are. These types of people will continue to make up whatever nonsense they can to put down a rival game. Haters gonna hate, as they say.
  19. llMICll

    llMICll Well-Known Member

    I guess if this franchise is stuck in the middle of the road as mentioned before, I'd say it's a perfect time to get creative. So here's a dumb idea.

    The VF franchise should keep the same exact fighting engine from FS, with the same move lists and animations, and just simply replace all of the characters with actual action movie heroes and give it a new name called 'Action Movie Fighter', or any other lame name that you guys could think of.

    Here's a short list of replacements.

    Kage is played by Hiroyuki Sanada. (the guy from last samurai)
    Lei-Fei is played by Jet Li.
    Shun-Di is played by Jackie Chan. (he's getting old enough)
    Aoi is played by Lucy Liu.
    Jeffry is played by Michael Jai White.

    I know it's far fetched, but if casual gamers can play using their favorite action heroes, it could be a success.

    Yeah, I know it's crazy...
  20. AkiraZero

    AkiraZero Well-Known Member

    I agree with every single post in this thread

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