Written by  :  Luis Silva (13621)
Written on  :  Jun 25, 2006
Platform  :  SEGA Saturn
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Luis Silva
read more reviews for this game


Probably the best

The Good

Graphically, the game ranks among the best in the platform. Nicely detailed backgrounds, high resolution, nicely designed characters, flicker-free graphics, and all this running at an impressive frame-rate, showing what the Saturn can do, as long as the developers know the internals. Which many didn't, sadly. If graphics are impressive (even lacking a lighting engine), gameplay is the true king in the game. All moves can be pulled with a bunch of punk/kick presses and d-pad nudges, and the result is awesome to look at. The animation of the moves is perfect, and if you are a wrestling fan, after playing with Wolf for a while you start wondering "why haven't Sega done a wrestling game?". It's a joy to pull some of the combos, like Sarah's double punch followed by her trademark somersault or one of many of Akira's moves, and personally, as long as I'm having fun throwing away the moves, the game is good. Simple as that.

The Bad

The game lacks a lot of unlockables that would be featured on other Sega fighters, such as the CG renders/drawings and extra fighters of Fighting Vipers and Fighters Megamix or the FMV clips of Last Bronx. Yet, it requires 180 memory blocks for bookeeping, when most other fighters are happy with taking 20 - that's like having a 2006 PC game (considering an average HD is 200 GB) requiring a 60 GB installation. The unlockables available are hardly notable - Sega's trademark "Option+" menu with stage select, rink size and fight with underwater physics aren't in par with games that held me until I could unlock everything, such as Super Puzzle Fighter 2 or Fighters Megamix. And with only 10 fighters to choose from, VF2 is more a matter of perfecting your style than to spend hours trying to find out what winning "like this" would do.

Finally, sounds (particularly voices) sound a little muffled, and incredibly, at a quality barely better than the Mega Drive version.

The Bottom Line

VF2 is a gem - the killer app of the Saturn, and one of the best 3D fighters of the 32-bit generation. However, until I find a memory card, it will be regularly played only when I'm terminally bored and don't mind deleting a few savegames from other games - while I do like bookeeping options, VF2 goes too far. For me, hours played, a top 20 in the arcade mode and a move checklist is enough. Of course, hardcore fans really don't mind that much, but would it harm to allow the player to select the level of bookeeping ?

In the end, VF2 is a title every Saturn owner should have. Had Sega followed it with another mainstream titles of the same quality, and the platform might have succeeded.