This is a revolution in fighting game history. AM2 have come up with the idea of merging their two best fighting games, Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers together and then adding more - much more. And they have come up with a winner here too. The Playability of this game is just excellent - it provides an excellent game for newcomers and pros alike. The game includes a brilliant combo system so that some excellent combo moves can be worked out in a few tries just by pressing a few buttons and experimenting. Gaming pros can pull off even more amazing combos using their first-hand skill and are likely to be able to pull off the game's hardest moves. This game features 32 characters (10 secret characters inclusive), all the moves from both Fighting Vipers and VF 2, and some moves from the sequel to VF 2, Virtua Fighter 3. All this packed into one game really hits PlayStation and N64 gamers where it hurts.
Well, the graphics in this are overall very good, but slightly debatable. Some characters are really cool, using a high polygon count and some really good looking texture mapping. Others look like they have been rushed a little, for instance Picky who looks like he has carved wooden legs. AM2 have gone for a low resolution and higher special effects option, which is quite good because if you have seen Tekken, you will know that some of the best parts of the game are the explosions and dust flying about. But now Fighters Megamix includes all this and more. The frame rate is great, although the game initially is very slow compared to VF2, this has nothing to do with the frame rate - it is just the way the characters move. If you perform an air recovery the character flashes green before landing on his feet. This all looks pretty great. The explosions from some moves are really cool and some moves from secret characters involve pretty futuristic looking explosions, etc. When you smash a Viper's armour off it explodes in all directions and has three split-second quick replays before returning to the action. At the end of a match, it is great to see the replays with the wack camera angles zooming around the characters. Put simply, I don't think AM2 have gone at all wrong in the graphics section, with the exclusion of a few minor things, but nothing to worry about.
There are plenty of levels in this game - in fact one for every character in the game including secret characters, and I think there are more (but I can't be sure). Every arena varies greatly in detail and layout, and none of them look bad at all. Amongst the most impressive are the Desert stage (taken straight from Wolf's stage in VF 3), Bean's wrestling ring (from Sonic the Fighters) and Sanman's area. If you choose to have walls, some stages are wrestling rings which are cool, because if you do a move that would normally send them flying through the walls, instead they bounce off and fly over the other side. If you choose to have the ring without walls, it is usually a VF 2 ring, just without the platform because they have taken the ring out concept from this game. So instead they just go flying off the screen and the fighting area is absolutely huge. Great stuff.
The sound in the games is brilliant. With a few exceptions, all the music is very very cool. It uses all of VF 2's remixed songs which are good and all of Fighting Vipers' music which are made up of some brilliant rock guitar tunes, amongst other styles. The coders have also put some good music into the secret character's rings so overall I like the music a lot. The most annoying music in the game is the training mode music which features an annoying drum beat and a bunch of Japanese guys shouting 'hoi' every few seconds. You won't like that music very much, and I expect you'll be reaching for the mute button there pretty soon. But the rest of the music is fine and you will love that. The sound effects are good, you have some excellent smack sounds and some really cool bone-breaking samples for some moves (the moves in this game are really cool by the way).
There are plenty of options in Fighters Megamix - each game mode includes its own individual options as well as all the regulars such as Difficulty, etc. In some places you can choose if the ring has walls or no walls, in others (especially survival) you can choose where you fight throughout the game. As for modes of play, there is 1-Player (a kind of tournament is the best way to describe it - the classic arcade mode with a different name really), Survival Mode (in this mode you have a set time limit to defeat as many characters as possible), VS Mode (we all know what this is - 2 Player Mode - but in Megamix you can have a 1 on 1 match against the CPU), Team Battle Mode (in this mode you choose 8 characters to take the enemy team's chosen characters on, one by one) and Training Mode (yes, it's a mode where you train). All of this packed into one game is sure to keep you going for a long time, a lot longer than VF 2. So what do I think of the game overall?
This is, in my opinion, the best fighting game on the Saturn ever. Taking AM2's two star beat-em-ups and combining them into one was a great idea. There is so much depth and Lastability in the game that you will be coming back for more. 32 characters, 9 different tournament rosters, some amazingly cool moves (the Vipers moves are brilliant - but the VF 3 ones are cool!), explosions, dust flying everywhere, armour breaking (occasionally flashing the odd female's underwear), great graphics, and all this on one CD that is likely to show non-Saturn owners that perhaps the Saturn isn't that bad after all.
Review By: Joel Stanier