Virtua Fighter 2


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


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 audience.

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 ferns.

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.


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Last updated: Sunday, July 03, 2005 07:57 AM