Graphical Comparison: Virtua Fighter 2 vs. Fighters Megamix

It's no secret that Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighters Megamix are often considered the best fighting games on the Sega Saturn, both were made by the same studio, Sega-AM2, however, while playing them, I discovered that Virtua Fighter 2 was the best looking game out of the two, which is odd considering this is an early-to-mid Saturn title whereas Fighters Megamix is a mid-to-late launch.

So I created a small YouTube video comparison, this was mostly assembled out of random YouTube footage due to my lack of capture equipment, regardless, I hope you find it informative.

If for some reason the video isn't working, allow me to sum it up:

While Fighters Megamix has 3D floors and walls, Virtua Fighter 2 doesn't have any floor outside the arenas, instead they try to pass off the background images as floor, but this effect looks awkward and disconcerting at the best.

I also noticed that the backgrounds look better on Virtua Fighter 2, as mentioned in both reviews, these games use two superimposed images that move at different lengths and speeds creating the illusion of depth, this is done using VDP2 processor, a chip specialized in 2D graphics, on Virtua Fighter 2 the movement of these images is a little too fast for its own good, but I can't deny that it looks rather nice, but on Fighters Megamix, the images hardly move, the effect is more subtle, at times they almost look static.

The character models also look better on Virtua Fighter 2, for example, if you pick Akira from both games and leave him standing still, you might notice that his bandana flaps against the wind in Virtua Fighter 2, the same doesn't hold true for the Fighters Megamix' Akira, I also noticed that his standing still animation seems to be longer on VF 2.

Then, we have little things like Kage's mask and Pai's hairband, anyone who played Virtua Fighter 2 will tell you that these jump out when their respective owners are knocked into the ground, but again, this does not happen while playing Fighter Megamix.

Finally, we have the fact that Virtua Fighter 2 ran at an uncommonly high resolution for the time, an impressive 720x480 while still managing to push 60 Frames per Second, Fighters Megamix runs at half that framerate and at a lower resolution (I'm afraid I don't know the exact number, but it is pretty noticeable).

Given how Fighters Megamix was launched a year after Virtua Fighter 2 and was created by the same team, I can only assume that its 3D floors and walls were a massive drain on the Saturn and as a result they had to scale back everything else, it's a shame, while these floors might have looked impressive in 1997, now they're pretty boring to look at and I'm not sure if it was worth the trade-off, but then again, without the 3D walls, the Fighting Vipers portion of the game would have been severely lacking.

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