By 1996, the Genesis was all but obsolete. It seems
like a wasted effort to produce a translation of a 3-D fighter available on Sega's other
console. It's even stranger to think Virtua Fighter 2 is 2-D. Without the market
for a $100 game containing a SVP chip inside of it (Virtua Racing), the
developers have worked some true programming magic to bring this fighter to a Genesis
It should be known that this is not really Virtua Fighter 2. It's the first game
with the second games stages and costumes. The two new characters introduced on the Saturn
and in the arcades, Shun Di and Lion, were absent. Everything else from 2 is
here. The lack of game modes is an immediate turn off, with just the arcade and versus
play to choose.
The rather obvious switch from 3-D to 2-D is sacrilegious to some people, and of course
understandable. However, given what they had, this is as accurate a translation as you
should expect. It still plays like Virtua Fighter, the sprites animated in a way
to accurately recreate the movement necessary to the game. That may make it seem choppy at
first, but it's necessary to the speed and timing.
Combos and certain special moves have been cut likely due to the restraints of the cart.
It's not a huge hindrance to most of the population, just one to those who know every in
and out to the series. That's probably the biggest damage that's been done here, the move
to 2-D hasn't caused as much damage as you would expect. In fact, the game is still
perfectly playable here if you have some fear of owning disc based games.
To mimic the 3-D plane a little bit, the ring is filled with lines of parallax, accurately
portraying depth unlike you should expect from the Genesis. The original sprites created
for the game are filled with detail, and one look at Akira's gi during his winning pose is
enough to show off a fantastic color range for the Genesis. The stages are portrayed
properly, and the forest is the only disaster featuring a seemingly impenetrable wall of
Even more impressive is the audio, which, except the usual scratchy voices, is stunningly
close to the original. The music tracks have been faithfully reproduced considering the
hardware, and each hit lands with a familiar sound effect. Even the menu contains the same
sound effects for selection.
Casual Virtua Fighter fans will find themselves playing an enjoyable fighter that
at the very least is an odd little piece of history. Die-hards should stay away, even
though they should hardly expect an accurate translation. If you can look passed some of
the missing pieces, this is a surprising title that ranks up there with the best fighters
the Genesis has to offer.