Virtua Fighter

Developer: Sega-AM2
Publisher:  Sega

As one of the Saturn's launch titles in the west, everyone expected Virtua Fighter to be the standout game of the bunch, unfortunately, turns out this version was rushed to meet the deadlines and in the end, Panzer Dragoon was the game that wowed everyone.

So, what exactly is so wrong with the Saturn's Virtua Fighter? Well, for one thing the graphics are pretty downgraded from the arcade version, with lower geometry and clipping issues.
Now, considering Sega's Model 1 arcade was already 3 years old by the time the Saturn hit store shelves it naturally shed some doubts on the console's 3D capabilities, but graphics aren't the only issue with this port.

The gameplay itself is pretty jerky with some framerate issues and to top it all off there are only two gameplay modes, Arcade and Versus, not a whole lot of replay value there.

Now to be fair, despite the glitchy graphics and framerate issues, this does play like virtua fighter, so if you can get past these issues there is still some fun to be had, though personally, I've always had a love/hate relationship with this genre and this series particularly, I like them, but I was never any good at them, even with the manual by my side I still get my ass kicked way too often for my liking, though I'm usually still having fun and that's due to the series' trademark strategic gameplay, there are eight characters to choose from each with their individual special, but I've always felt their best moves are the throwing techniques (which are mostly the same for all of them), doesn't help that this game goes for a more realistic approach, so there aren't any ranged attacks or fireballs like you would find in Street fighter.

My problem with this title is that I play it once a year, and even then it's sorta fun when it's running, but then I realize there's better alternatives out there for just about every system, including the Saturn, and place it right back on its shelf, but hey, at least this version is pretty inexpensive.

- Virtua Fighters' gameplay is still (mostly) intact
- Takes a more realistic approach to fighting games
- The fighting system is pretty balanced

- Poor and glitchy graphics
- Framerate is pretty jerky
- Only two gameplay modes
- This strategic approach in fighting games won't appeal to everyone 
- There are better choices out there for Saturn fans

Final Grade: D+

Argh! This is early Sega Saturn packaging at its worst, first off, we have the terrible mid 90's CGI cover, seems like everyone and their mother did this back in the day and while it might have looked impressive back then, they just look terrible now, it's just every character posing for the cover, but they all look like they're made out of a bunch of rectangles! (technically they are)

Then we have the early Saturn casing, these were prone to having detaching and/or torn covers, after some use the boxes wouldn't stay closed and in some cases even the boxes themselves would just detach randomly, forcing you to glue them back on.

At least the manual is decent, giving you some minor backstory, character descriptions and going into pretty good detail on their moves.

Packaging Grade: F+


  1. I've never owned a SEGA console so I wouldn't have even known this existed.

    1. WOW... even though there's been 5 of these, with the latest on 360 and PS3?