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Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown: Remaking a legend

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Hello everyone! My name is Seiji Aoki and I’m the chief producer of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown. I’m very excited to share the inside story behind development of the newest game in the groundbreaking Virtua Fighter series and delve into a few new features you can look forward to when it launches on PlayStation Plus tomorrow, June 1.*

Virtua Fighter holds a special place in Sega lore – many of us on the dev team can still recall playing the original 3D fighting game when it first launched in arcades nearly 30 years ago. Its strategic depth, balanced combat, and realistic martial arts gameplay have stood out within the genre for decades, and it’s long past time a new game entered the ring.  

   

Sega’s 60th Anniversary, a massive community project celebrating the most iconic games over our entire company history, finally provided us that opportunity. Sega put together a new team of developers from AM2, the original creators of the VF series, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios – combining extensive console expertise with a deep passion for the franchise to kick off development on a definitive Virtua Fighter game for the new generation. 

Remade for a new generation

When development began in 2019, we knew there was an entire generation of gamers who had never seen or played Virtua Fighter. To us, 2012’s Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown represented the series pinnacle – the result of nearly two decades of fine-tuning and development. But many younger fans had never experienced the fluid 60fps martial arts combat, intricately balanced and grounded in reality, that game perfected in its day. We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to re-create that experience on modern consoles. 

Although Final Showdown was top of its class from a gameplay perspective, the graphics, UI, audio, and especially online play were due for an overhaul. Utilizing RGG’s Dragon Engine Technology, we dramatically upgraded the look and feel of the game, remaking character models and stages entirely from scratch. Visual effects like lighting and shaders received a significant rework, while modern CG expanded the range of effects we could produce. An entirely new opening cinematic added the final layer to the presentation.

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PlayStation Now games for June: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Virtua Fighter 5, Slay the Spire

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PlayStation Now’s June lineup features open world adventuring, 30th anniversary celebrations, the return of a fighting icon and a compelling combination of roguelike and card building. Starting tomorrow, June 1, you can hunt monsters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition (also known as the Complete Edition), celebrate Sonic’s birthday with a trio of fantastic titles starring the blue hedgehog, battle friends locally or online in Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown and attempt to Slay the Spire.

Let’s take a closer look at each game.

PlayStation Now games for June: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Virtua Fighter 5, Slay the Spire

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition

This story-driven open world role-playing game is set in a visually stunning fantasy universe, full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. Play as a professional monster hunter tasked with finding a child of prophecy in a vast open world rich with merchant cities, dangerous mountain passes, and forgotten caverns to explore. The Game of the Year Edition includes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, all 16 DLCs, and two Expansion Packs: Hearts of Stone & Blood and Wine.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available on PlayStation Now until September 6, 2021.

PlayStation Now games for June: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Virtua Fighter 5, Slay the Spire

Team Sonic Racing

The speeding ‘hog switches sneakers for wheels in this thrilling, competitive style arcade racer. Face-off with friends in intense multiplayer racing, race together across stunning worlds and work together as a team by sharing power-ups and speed boosts. Pick one of the Sonic franchise’s iconic faces,

Auto Chess Season 12 arrives May 31, with new Chess Pieces, 4v4, and more

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Get ready to make your move. Auto Chess Season 12 arrives May 31, along with new Chess Pieces, a new Race, and optimized PlayStation controls. You’ll be able to control the cursor anywhere in the UI, speeding up gameplay so you can focus on the exciting battles.

Auto Chess Season 12 arrives May 31, with new Chess Pieces, 4v4, and more

Introducing Horn, a brand-new race

Horn are northern nomads who worship the power of nature through their totems. The Horn are natural warriors who thrive in the frozen plains of the north, making them especially cold-resistant and physically strong.

Siblings Sunchaser Servant and Sunchaser Shaman grew up as poor orphans in the Horn tribe, taking care of each other to survive their tough childhood. Their fate changed when Sunchaser Shaman inherited the Sunchaser Totem and was chosen as the heir to the Great Shaman. Her brother trained hard as an elite warrior and was selected to become one of the Great Shaman’s guards earning the name, Sunchaser Servant. They have each other’s back both on and off the battlefield and have never lost a match yet.

Auto Chess

Medal System

You can now earn medals to boast your achievements with the Medal System. Equip them to your personal information interface to flaunt them in front of your friends and rivals. Collect four types of medals: Set Medal, Career Medal, Championship Medal, and Event Medal.

Auto Chess

4v4 team mode

Ready to dig into some multiplayer battles? Get ready for the new 4v4 team mode. Eight players are divided into two teams of four, and the team with the most points wins. Players earn match points based on their ranking, and team points are the sum of all members’ match points. Make sure not to get knocked out – if all your team members get eliminated, you lose!

Auto Chess

Season 12 Chess Pass and Senior Pass

S12 kicks off with the introduction of an all new theme: Sleepless Night.

Open the Sleepless Cube for the chance to get the Purple Skin Dark Musician or Orange Skin Rhythm Musi

Share of the Week: Challenges

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Last week, we asked you to take on a challenge, and face off against some of tough enemies in the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog. From otherworldly foes to oversized monstrosities, here are this week’s challenging highlights: 

AscensionDawn shares Aloy facing down a Stormbird in Horizon Zero Dawn.

GameonFocus shares Amicia going against a whirling swarm of rats in this A Plague Tale: Innocence moment.

justinphotomode faces an oversized foe in this Demon’s Souls share.

tlou_captures shares a harrowing moment Abby faces in The Last of Us Part II.

AlfredoVasini shares this monstrosity from The Evil Within 2.

JRPyznar shares Selene facing down Nemesis in Returnal.

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? 

THEME: Resident Evil Village

SUBMIT BY: Wednesday 9 AM PT on June 2

Next week, we’re stepping in Ethan Winters’ shoes and facing our fears in Resident Evil Village. Share your most terrifying moments using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Returnal: the making of that unforgettable Hyperion fight

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Hey everyone, we’ve been very happy to see Returnal resonating so strongly with players, and this time we wanted to do a deep dive into one of our Bosses. In general, Boss battles have always been an essential test of skill for players in action games, and of course they’ve been a strong staple of the Housemarque formula in our past titles as well. With Returnal we really wanted to dedicate some time to create something special for our Boss encounters, and provide players with some powerful and memorable moments. We’ve been thrilled to see that players have been enjoying our Bosses so far, and today we wanted to share some notes on Hyperion, who seems to have quickly become a favorite among players!


SPOILER WARNING: this piece contains spoilers about the story of Returnal. It’s generally recommended that you read this only after defeating Hyperion, and ideally have seen credits roll. 


The inspiration 

From the very beginning, our goal with the story of Returnal was to haunt the player. On a personal level, many special and haunting moments I’ve experienced in games and film have often been accompanied by powerful music. In many cases I feel that music can be single-handedly responsible for creating the emotional impact and mood of a scene. This ability of music itself to express very complex, raw emotions in a unique way – to express the intangible – was the initial seed of inspiration here.

This importance of music was also directly woven into our story, along with our other central elements and themes early on. It started by envisioning our key story beats (beginning, middle and especially our end), and then consciously working backwards from there: identifying which puzzle pieces we would seed throughout the experience to get under the player’s skin, and create the feeling of an overarching, layered mystery for players to solve.

One of the crucial puzzle pieces was intended to be a specific piece of music, and throughout the game there are multiple clues that a particular melody is very important to Selene. (Note that I’m being intentionally vague to avoid spoiling too much here!)

In parallel, we also knew that we’d want to have some epic bosses in the game. These would need to be memorable highlights that would provide a challenge for players and serve as milestones of progress, but they would also need strongly resonate with players emotionally and be thematically tied to our story as well. In addition to the harsh, dark sci-fi elements of Returnal, we also wanted to explore some more psychological/surreal themes with our story. Our Bosses would serve as climactic manifestations of those themes. So from very early on we knew that we’d have one Boss that would play with this theme of musicality. This boss was simply codenamed “The Musician” internally, eventually this became Hyperion.

The idea for the Musician came first, and then the rest of the Echoing Ruins was built around it to support its presence.

“The Musician’s” visual design 

There were some keywords we used to guide our initial concepting for Hypersion: unsettling, musicality, tragic, dramatic, theatricality. Much like our other Bosses, we wanted to make this encounter feel majestic. And what could possibly be more majestic than using an alien Church Organ?

I’ve always found the church organ

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