Review by Ninto
"A must have Fighting game for any Saturn owner."
Virtua Fighter 2 was one of the three games that I started life out on with the Sega Saturn. It became the second installment of the newly popular Virtua Fighter series and boasted much improved graphics and more combo's compared to its predecessor, VF1.
Gameplay - 9
Not a lot to say here, well it is a fighting game after all. Anyway, the main objective of the game is to basically beat everyone you fight by using any of the hundreds of punches, kicks and throwing techniques, by using combinations of the A,B and C buttons. I must say that most combos are pretty easy to execute, only a few will take a little more practice to perfect, but on the whole the controls are very adequate. The main modes of play are Team Battle - you and a friend choose 5 characters to fight with and alternate through. VS mode - simply a one on one fight fest also against a friend. There is lastly a main championship mode where you bid to become the best fighter. To do this you have to beat every character in the game, something quite daunting at first but becomes much easier when your skill improves. Another point I ought to mention is that of something called 'button mashing'. Some fighting games have been accused of this but I can safely say that VF2 is not a button mashing fighting game, to put it simply, if an experienced player was to fight against a rookie, almost always the experienced player will win. This is thanks to the high degree of reaction moves available, for example block then attack techniques or dodging techniques by side stepping then attacking your opponent from behind.
Graphics - 9
Well this is definitely where VF2 excels. There seems to have been a massive leap in the graphical improvement of both the characters and the levels compared to VF1. The characters now look a lot more realistic and offer a much better experience because of this. When I first clapped eyes on Sarah - one of the female characters, I couldn't believe how life like and gorgeous she looked, lol, little did I know she had an evil streak in her,.......hmm back to the review I think. Level design has drastically improved beyond recognition. More emphasis has been put into the development of the scenery. Instead of the bland uninspiring backgrounds present in VF1. VF2 now gets some pretty decent looking visuals which add to the fighting experience. As before the level design changes depending on whom you are fighting against for example, Jeffery being based in Australia, fights on the beach whereas Kage fights in a jungle locale in Japan, I particularly think that this helps give a little more sense of identity to the characters.
Sound - 7
Nothing spectacular but still quite cool. Each level you play on has its own unique music whilst in battle, they range from techno and dance tunes to typical Japanese and oriental sounds, most of these really get you in the mood for some serious butt kicking. Same goes for the character speeches. They all have their funny taunts if they win or lose a fight, some of them really are quite a laugh. Even when you attack with your punches and kicks you can hear the general thump and crash noises as you make contact plus the added bump when your character or opponent falls to the floor after a throw or knockdown.
Replay Value - 7
After completing the main objectives i.e. winning the championship with all the characters, there really isn't much to make you want to play more except perhaps the multi player modes which are fantastic if you have friends that are into this kind of game, the close battles I have had on 2 player battle really make me proud that I bought this game.
Overall - 8
+ Smoother and improved graphics
+ Huge variety of combo's and techniques
+ No button mashing
+ Fun 2 player mode
Ninto didn't like:
- Lack of replay value in single player modes
- Getting beaten by the AI on hardest difficulty, grrrr.
Although there may be a lack of things to do in VF2 for most people, this is a game where you make up your own rules. For me this is still one of the best Saturn games I have ever had the pleasure of owning. If you, like me are a fighting games fan then I strongly suggest purchase of this game, otherwise rent it and see how it goes.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/02, Updated 03/18/02
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