You have heard the hype and read the previews, but how does Virtua Fighter3tb for Dreamcast really stack up? Read on.
Firstly VF3tb is the best arcade to home translation ever to grace aconsole. Everything is there in shining colour and moving at a constantrate of 60 fps. The 3-D environment is stunning and partially shows whatthe Dreamcast is capable of. In terms of graphics perhaps the only thingthat could have been improved is the back drops on some stages. They seema little flat and could have been more interactive. This point alonesuggests that Yu Suzuki and his team rushed to finish the product in timefor the November 27th launch. Suzuki-san did however add a couple of extrabackground stages.
Gameplay is identical to the arcade. Moves are quick and response timeis instantaneous. There are enough moves for each character to keep eventhe seasoned players busy for weeks. The Dreamcast joystick is thepreferred choice for playing VF3tb. The computer AI is adjustable. Expertmode provides a very difficult challenge for those advanced players. Thetwo player mode either in regular mode or team battle mode is by far thebest feature in the game and will provide endless nights of fighting amongfriends.
The Dreamcast version includes regular mode, team battle mode, practicemode, and history mode. The history mode takes players through the historyof the Virtua Fighter series. In is interesting to see how far the serieshas progressed. The in game music is also the same as the arcade.
However, you will notice how crisp and clear the music is thanks to theYamaha music processor.
This sounds great, are there any problems?? For what VF3tb is and that'san arcade translation, it is brilliant, but for a game that is supposed torepresent the next generation Sega system, it falls short. When playerscomplete the game, there is only one ending that every character shares.
Very disappointing considering what the Dreamcast is capable of and theamount of free space that is on the GD-ROM. The game is relatively easy tocomplete, and replay value for the average gamer is low. If you havefriends to play, great. If you don't, you will become bored after viewingthe ending credits a few times. Perhaps Sega needs to take a long hardlook at how Namco translates its arcade titles. Namco provides extra bellsand whistles that keep gamers coming back for more. Obviously Sega is notstupid, as Sega Rally 2 is going to be greatly expanded. This brings usback to the issue that VF3tb feels like a rushed product. Sega might wantto reconsider tweaking VF3tb for other markets, because if the productremains the same, gamers may find it quite aged by next Fall.
The final word. A good start for Sega, but not a triple A product knowingwhat the Dreamcast is capable of. With all of the delays in software forDreamcast, it is not really worth importing until next Spring when the'meat' of their titles are scheduled for release. Unless you are die hardSonic fan, which might even slip into next year, your hard earned gamingmoney may be better spent elsewhere.
Review By: Mike Weatherup