Sega targets younger set with new Virtua Fighter title

Trio of new games revealed by Sega, including Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Judgment Six No Yabou.

TOKYO--The third game Sega discussed at today's press conference in Japan was the game formerly known as Virtua Fighter Quest. The new title of the upcoming action role-playing game is Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Judgment Six No Yabou. Judgment Six no Yabou roughly translates to English as: The Ambition of the Judgment Six.

In what may be a shock to Virtua Fighter fans, Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation has a completely new cast of characters and enemies. Targeted toward younger audiences, the game is rendered in semi-2D-style graphics and plays like an action RPG similar to Square's Kingdom Hearts.

The main character in the new title is a young boy named Sei who lives in an alternate world set in the near future. Sei resides in a small city that is floating above the ocean, and since the volume of land is limited, the city's inhabitants dwell in a virtual world called the Nexus.

Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation takes place inside the Nexus. This is where Sei gets caught up in an incident that puts him on the path of fighting against the evil society named Judgment Six (J6) and the henchmen sent by it.

J6 is the society that created Dural, which has appeared in earlier Virtua Fighter games. The story in Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation revolves around "data clusters" called the Virtua Soul, which contain information on special attacks by legendary fighters (the Virtua Fighters). According to urban legend, "Virtua Souls contain the power to break through any form of security, and there are many people who are searching for those powers."

The controls in Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation appear to be quite simple: The A button is used for attacking, and the B button is used for jumping. By obtaining Virtual Souls that contain different moves from the past Virtua Fighter series, Sei can create special attacks, including a somersault kick or a giant swing (using the X, Y, and Z buttons).

Unlike in previous Virtua Fighter games, there is no need to input complex commands in order to execute moves. Included in the attack system are aerial attack combos, and Sei can also use a rope to get close to an enemy or swing through the air (which seems to work similarly to the systems in Capcom's Bionic Commando or Sony's Chain Dive). Points can be accumulated while playing the game, which can then be traded in shops to power up your character.

Gameplay mechanics seem simple as well. In one example of gameplay shown during the conference, Sei was seen throwing an enemy into the air with an attack, then throwing his rope and instantly pulling himself into the face of the same enemy--all while combo-punching the enemy while still in the air.

As previously announced, Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Judgment Six No Yabou is scheduled for release on the Nintendo GameCube. It was revealed today that the game will be released for the PlayStation 2 as well. Sega will begin a full-scale promotion of the game beginning next year, including a monthly manga series that will run in the Comic Bonbon magazine.

Virtua Fighter Cyber Generation: Judgment Six No Yabou is scheduled for release in the summer of 2004 in Japan.

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