The StarSoldier


Artist touch: The cover art here actually shows the fighters in their polygonal state which is cool but everyone looks too bunched together as well. Cover art rating: 7/10
Month it won: June 2005

(Sega/Am2, 1995)
Special note: Virtua Fighter was a huge achievement on the rather unremarkable 32X!
Introduction and Story:
Although I'm not a big fan of the 32X (just read the reviews), there was one title that was so good to look at, so cheap, and so fun to play that it made me glad to be a owner of the weird add on machine. Back in the 90's one on one fighting games were all the rage thanks in part to big hits like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. Naturally Sega wanted to enter this commerical fight ring too and since they were getting into games with 3D polygonal technology (like Virtua Racing) why not make a full 3 dimensional fighting game, eh? Virtua Fighter is one of those video games that could have easily 'sold out' and be just a 3D version of Street Fighter but Sega had other ideas. See why Virtua Fighter on the 32X deserves some respect.
Controls and Game Play:
If you're not familiar with any VF game then you're missing on a super realistic 3D polygonal fighter simulation that has 8 different characters to master each with their own list of moves and special techniques. What makes the game so special however, is that there are no wacky weapons (one character named Sabu was actually cut out of the game because he carried a sword), there are no phony fireballs (yeah, I see fireballs all the time in Ultimate Fighting or MMA bout, eh?), or shameless acts like having the females fight in bikinis (apparently to be a female fighter in Dead or Alive they all have to have huge D cup size knockers). Virtua Fighter is just pure realistic one on one fighting here!

Because the game focuses more on realism the fighters have a huge list of moves and certain strikes can be surprisingly easy to pull off. This is great news for gamers who are sick of these cheap fighting games with insanely difficult combinations to perform special moves (like Fatal Fury Special for example). Some fighters like Wolf have some complex button movements for his best throws but it isn't bad as it seems.
Graphics and Sounds:
VF doesn't only excel in the game play department but the game is also credited for bringing fighting games to another level because it was the first fighting game to break the 2D barrier. Gone are the stiff animations from most old fashion fighters, VF has silky smooth movements for every attack. Seeing the many deadly throws like Jeffrey McWild's Jackknife Powerbomb for example are incredible. The game has a bit more blocky look then it's arcade and Saturn counterpart but considering this was done on the weaker 32X is quite a feet. There were some cuts in the audio as well. Although the background music sounds fine here, the game's sound effects don't hold up as well. For example: why does the sexy female Sarah Byrant character sound like a guy?
The Bottomline:
As good as it the game isn't perfect though. One thing that bugged me about the game was that it had no real story going in the game plus there are no real endings for the characters either. You have to read the instructions to find out what's even going on here. Another thing missing in this awesome fighter is a Save feature to record some of my best times or scores. On the plus side of things there are no annoying load times found in this version of VF and believe me, that's a huge bonus. This is almost like the popular Saturn version but this 32X Virtua Fighter game came without all the hype unfortunately. I bet a few of you didn't even know that there was a Virtua Fighter game on the 32X here, eh? This Virtua Fighter even has the fun Ranking mode is already available so it doesn't need to be unlocked (unlike in the Saturn version). Other than some minor issues here and there, Virtua Fighter on the 32X is easily the best fighting games on the system and a real diamond in the rough. The best thing about this game is it's still very inexpensive at moment so you can pick this great fighter no problem.
overall rating: 83/100
Find Virtua Fighter on eBay here!

For 1 to 2 players
Rated (T) for Teen

graphics: 8/10
sound: 7/10
gameplay: 8/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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