This is a great interview from Kikizo with Makoto Osaki, SEGA AM2 development boss. One of the more interesting aspects is that it appears the high damage combos in VF5:R were intentionally put into the game by the SEGA AM2 team. This is the "destructive direction" they are taking the game:
Kikizo: How do you go about deciding how to re-balance the abilities of the characters each time you make a revision to the game?
Osaki: Every time we do a revision to the game, our motion director and ace player, Katagiri-san, works to adjust the game balance. Every time, we have a certain "scene" for the version. Up until this point, we've tried to equalize the balance amongst all the characters with a more "mild" game balance. But for VF5R, we've gone in more of a... how would you say it... "destructive" direction. By that I mean that all the characters have some powerful, hard-hitting attacks and potential to inflict a lot of damage on each other given the right opportunity. Both characters in a match have strong moves available to them. This means that a single round can end very fast when compared to the original game. However, we have gleamed that this is the sort of thing that our users want.
Kikizo: So more high-damage combos like in VF2 and VF3.
Osaki: It's more in line with the initial version of VF4. Virtua Fighter 2... man, that game was HARSH. You'd eat Akira's Tetsuzankou and you could pretty much kiss that round goodbye. You had matches ending in three seconds back then!
Read the rest of the interview here.
This video seems appropriate for some reason: