Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Feb 06, 2013
Platform  :  SEGA 32X
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

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Virtually Good

The Good

Virtua Fighter for the Sega 32X is a pretty solid port of the coin-op arcade game when it comes to the animation and graphics.

True, its not as good as the original coin-op arcade or the Sega Saturn, but significant effort was clearly actually put into the 32X edition when it came to animation and graphics.

The game play mechanics are, if you have a six button controller, also pretty solid. It is nice to be able to change the camera angle.

All of the original characters and fighting moves are also ported over to the Sega 32X edition.

The Bad

Two big reason that Sega did not win the video game wars of the 1990 were the Sega CD and the Sega 32X. Both were expensive "upgrades" that often times failed to deliver on their promises (or expectations) and alienated a number of consumers.

Maybe, in an alternative universe, the Sega CD would have been released with the 32X hardware. Maybe the 32X was an attempt to fix the problems with the Sega CD. Or maybe it was just a empty shell game.

Whatever its origins, the Sega 32X was a dud from the begging on its short life span. It was difficult to program for the 32X (a similar complaint was heard with the Sega CD and Saturn) and it was not too easy to hookup the system to your Genesis (especially when certain cables were prone to shorting out).

Yes, it helped make full motion video games look much better for the Sega CD, but most of the 32X cartridge games were not much of a leap beyond what the Genesis could do, in terms of graphics or music.

Virtual Fighter is probably a rare exemption in terms of its graphics, which do seem to actually use the "advanced" hardware found in the 32X.

However, the music and sound effects are, at best, marginally better then what the Genesis was already capable of doing and many a consumer was probably wonder why they should bother with the 32X at all?

To play this game you needed a Sega Genesis and a Sega 32X, which had a combined retail price ($200.00+) that was pretty close to what the Sega Saturn (and Sony Playstation 1) went for.

The 32X was too little too late and (after the frustrations with the Sega CD and the frustrations that would unfold with the Saturn), Sega had alienated consumers to the point where their days in the hardware side of the industry were numbered.

The Bottom Line

Virtual Fighter shows off the graphic upgrades found in the 32X and, with the right controller, it also features solid control mechanics that should be no trouble for players. It is a tad less dazzling in the music and sound department and failed to save the 32X from its early demise and widespread mockery.