Virtua Fighter 5 turned 10 years old on Tuesday, July 12th. Community members Oliver “oneida” Leland, Mikél “BLACKSTAR” Grissett and VFDC co-creator Mike “Myke” Abdow reflect on how the entry fits into the series at large, and how its community ebbed over the course of a decade.
On July 12th 2006, Virtua Fighter 5 was released in Japanese arcades – that’s ten long years ago this past Tuesday. To put that time-frame in perspective, Soul Calibur III had been in arcades for three months. “X-Men: The Last Stand” was in theaters, “The Sopranos” was still on the air, and there was no such thing as an iPhone. SonicFox, fighting game tournament champion, was in the third grade. Put simply, Virtua Fighter 5 was released a long, long time ago.
Ten years ago fighting games were in that period of purported dormancy which spanned from the release of Capcom vs SNK 2 to Street Fighter IV, during which 3D fighters like Dead or Alive and Tekken saw sequels and revisions. And although Dead or Alive 4 technically brought fighters to “next-gen” on the Xbox 360 the previous November, Virtua Fighter 5 shouldered the responsibility of ushering the high-definition era to the arcades, which is where the franchise has flourished since its inception in 1993.