Virtua Fighter 5 R is a 3D fighting game developed by Sega-AM2 and released by Sega for arcades (using their PC-based Lindbergh hardware) exclusively in Japan on July 24, 2008.
The first major revision of the 2006 fighting game Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Fighter 5 R adds a variety of new stage layouts (including non-square shapes and the return of breakable walls), the return of Japanese sumo wrestler Taka-Arashi (absent since Virtua Fighter 3), and a new combatant: Karate practitioner and French assassin Jean Kujo. It also includes a new soundtrack, revised stage designs, an updated camera system, and new character customization options.
Gameplay-wise, Virtua Figher 5 R also revises some character animation and movelists while allowing players to use any attack from an Offensive Move technique (rather than specific P and K attacks), allowing players to guard attacks from the side (preventing abuse of Defensive Move and Offensive Move techniques), and allowing players to perform a Throw Escape while guarding (informally known as the "Lazy Throw Escape").
The game also introduces the "Training Fight" ("Ikusei Kakutou") system, in which players have an A.I. "disciple" ("deshi") that learns from the player's actions (such as techniques used and small habits formed) and can fight on their behalf in the revamped Knockout Trial mode (where players can coach their disciples and upgrade their difficulty using an XP system). Players can also watch fights between disciples in the VF Terminal's "Disciple Free Battle" mode and can play VS. matches with them (with both players coaching).
The revamped Knockout Trial mode now has a feudal Japan theme (as players fight three teams in six "castles"), with Ver. B further updating it as "Knockout Trial R+ -Shiten'nou no Gen'ei-" with new special characters.
The game received it received four minor updates and three major updates: Ver. A (on December 16, 2008), Ver. B (on May 21, 2009), and Ver. C (on November 25, 2009). Ver. A added a limited-time "Bingo Festa" event, where players clear bingo cards by playing matches. Ver. B added a limited-time "Four Gods War" event, where players are divided into four "armies" and compete for their team's global ranking. Ver. C added a new item system where players can form teams with others.
No console version of the game was released, and it was later replaced with its successor: Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown.
All characters from the original Virtua Fighter 5 return, all of which have new unlockable costumes. Two new additions are included, one of whom returns from a previous Virtua Fighter title. This brings the total up to 20 fighters.
- Akira Yuki (Martial arts teacher from Japan, fights with "Eight Extremities Fist" kung fu)
- Kage-Maru (Ninja from Japan, fights with jujutsu)
- Jacky Bryant (Indy car driver from the United States, fights with jeet kune do)
- Sarah Bryant (College student from the United States, fights with hybrid martial arts)
- Pai Chan (Movie star from Hong Kong, fights with "Lost Track Fist" kung fu)
- Lau Chan (Cook from China, fights with "Tiger-Swallow Fist" kung fu)
- Wolf Hawkfield (Professional wrestler from Canada, fights with professional wrestling)
- Jeffry McWild (Fisherman from Australia, fights with pancratium)
- Shun-Di (Herbal doctor from China, fights with "Drunken Fist" kung fu)
- Lion Rafale (College student from France, fights with "Praying Mantis Fist" kung fu)
- Aoi Umenokoji (College student from Japan, fights with aiki-jujutsu)
- Lei-Fei (Monk from China, fights with Shaolin kung fu)
- Vanessa Lewis (Security guard with an unknown origin, fights with vale tudo)
- Brad Burns (Kickboxer from Italy, fights with muay thai)
- Goh Hinogami (Assassin from Japan, fights with judo)
- Eileen (Opera dancer from China, fights with "Monkey Fist" kung fu)
- El Blaze (Professional wrestler from Mexico, fights with lucha libre)
- Dural (Mysterious gynoid and the game's unplayable bonus boss using techniques from all other fighters)
All stages from the original Virtua Fighter 5 return (along with a new stage for Taka and a retro-fit of the console version's "Dojo" stage for Jean) with new visuals and background music. Most changes have new scenery, time-of-day, and weather effects, while some stage effects (such as standing rainwater) have been removed.
This version of the game also introduces seven new stage layouts, including non-square stages, low-fence stages, stages with breakable fences, and stages with fences that toggle between rounds. Most of the original stages (the only exceptions being River, Statues, Terrace, City, and Ruins) are changed to follow specific layouts, with each layout having two stages assigned to them.
These stages have large-sized squared arenas and no fencing, allowing players to easily ring-out opponents by attacking them (or by having them step out of the arena accidentally).
- River (Shun Di)
- Sumo Ring (Taka-Arashi)
Half Fence (12x12)
These stages have average-sized squared arenas and have fencing reaching up to each combatant's hip. Players can knock opponents out of the arena by juggling them.
- Statues (Akira Yuki)
- Terrace (Brad Burns)
Full Fence (10x10)
These stages have small-sized squared arenas and impenetrable full-size walls, preventing players from knocking opponents out of the arena and allowing special wall-based techniques.
- City (Jacky Bryant)
- Ruins (Eileen)
Full & Open (16x16)
These stages switch between Open (16x16) and Full Fence (10x10) at the beginning of each round.
- Training Room (Jean Kujo)
- Snow Mountain (Wolf Hawkfield)
Single Wall (16x16)
For these stages, three sides of the arena are Open while one side is Full Fence. The fight line starts with the Full Fence side in the background.
- Great Wall (Lau Chan)
- Sanctuary (Dural)
For these stages, the two longer sides of the arena (which are perpendicular to the initial fight line) are Full Fence, while the two smaller sides of the arena are Open.
- Deep Mountain (Lei-Fei)
- Palace (Lion Rafale)
Breakable Half Fence (12x12)
These stages are similar to Half Fence stages. However, constantly knocking opponents to the fence can cause it to break and push them out of the arena.
- Aurora (Sarah Bryant)
- Island (Jeffry McWild)
Breakable Full Fence (12x12)
These stages are similar to Full Fence stages. However, constantly knocking opponents to the fence can cause it to break and push them out of the arena.
- Broken House (Goh Hinogami)
- Grassland (Pai Chan)
Low Fence (16x16)
These stages are similar to Open stages. However, low fences are placed that prevent players from accidentally stepping out of the arena. Some attacks also no longer push opponents out of the arena.
- Shrine (Aoi Umenokouji)
- Temple (Kage-Maru)
These stages are the smallest in the game and have eight impenetrable full-size walls in an octagon shape.
- Arena (El Blaze)
- Waterfalls (Vanessa Lewis)