Virtua Fighter 2 (バーチャファイター2 Bācha Faitā Tsū ) is a fighting game developed by Sega. It is the sequel to Virtua Fighter and the second game in the Virtua Fighter series. It was created by the Sega's Yu Suzuki-headed AM2 and was released in the arcade in 1994. It was subsequently ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Microsoft Windows in 1997. In 1996, a super deformed version of the game, Virtua Fighter Kids, arrived in arcades, ported to the Sega Saturn in the same year. It was also ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1996, but because the hardware couldn't handle the complex visuals of the arcade version, it was re-made as a 2D fighter. In addition, Virtua Fighter 2 was converted for the PlayStation 2 in 2004 as part of Sega's Ages 2500 series in Japan. The Genesis/Mega Drive port was re-released on the PS2 and PSP in 2006 as part of Sega Genesis Collection, and on the Virtual Console for the Wii on March 20, 2007 (Japan) and April 16, 2007 (North America).
Virtua Fighter 2 was known for its breakthrough graphics and animation, rendering 3D characters and backgrounds with filtered texture mapping and introducing motion capture animation technology to the game industry. It used Sega's Model 2 arcade hardware to run the game at 60 frames per second at a high resolution with no slowdown. The Saturn version was also extremely impressive for its time, especially given the system's 3D programming difficulties. It became a huge hit in Japan and sold relatively well in other markets, notably the UK, where The Prince (Hatim Habashi) was crowned by Sega Europe as the Official UK Virtua Fighter 2 Champion.
The arena size could be adjusted up to a very small platform or all the way to 82 meters, which in the genre is considered very large; this is the only game in the series—other than Virtua Fighter Remix—that could have such size adjustments. The physical energy meter could also be adjusted to infinity as well, giving you the advantage when beating opponents in the game or practicing moves against the computer player. Incidentally, players discovered that adjusting the arena to a smaller size and giving the characters infinite health could lead to mock sumo matches, wherein victory is achieved by knocking the other player out of the ring.
It was succeeded by Virtua Fighter 3 in 1996.
Virtua Fighter 2 was developed alongside the Sega Model 2 arcade system board, which itself debuted in 1993. In order to produce the game's filtered, texture-mapped characters and backgrounds, Yu Suzuki turned to Lockheed Martin, formerly General Electric Aerial & Space, which charged $2 million to use the texture mapping chip of their flight simulation equipment that cost $32 million overall. Despite some reluctance on Sega's part, Suzuki managed to convince them to buy the chip for $2 million, and he then worked with his AM2 team to convert it for video game use. Using the Lockheed Martin technology, his AM2 team eventually managed to create a graphics chip that could be mass-produced for $50 each. As a result, he was able to use texture mapping for the Virtua Fighter 2 characters. In order to produce better animations for the characters, Suzuki also utilized motion capture technology, which had previously been limited to the healthcare industry and never used before by the video game industry.
Upon release, the Virtua Fighter 2 video game arcade cabinet cost £6000 for arcade operators (equivalent to £10762 or $16531 in 2016). For players, the arcade game cost £1 per play (equivalent to £1.79 or $2.75 in 2016).
Virtua Fighter 2.1
A Japanese-only release. This version featured re-tweaked gameplay, slightly enhanced graphics and the ability to play as a newly designed Dural. This version was also released in the Sega Ages 2500 series. It is possible to switch to the 2.1 gameplay mechanics in the Saturn and PC port, however none of the other features are updated.
The arcade version was well received. The January 1995 issue of Computer and Video Games gave the arcade version a score of 93%. The February 1995 issue of Future Publishing's Ultimate Future Games magazine gave the arcade game a score of 95%, describing it as "quite possibly the best thing ever." They praised the graphics, noting they are better than the original Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, and stated that it is "finally approaching a photographic quality" and "the backgrounds are the lushest we've ever seen." They also praised the gameplay, noting new moves, new characters such as "the Drunken Master" Shun Di, and "overhauled and improved" older characters, resulting in "a much better balance." They criticized the price of £1 per play but stated it is "the best beat 'em up £1 can get you at the moment." They concluded that Sega AM2 as "the most innovative and technically brilliant design team in the world" and that Virtua Fighter 2 is "the best combat game of all." The June 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games stated Virtua Fighter 2 "is still the most visually amazing arcade game around" along with Virtua Fighter 3.
For the Saturn version, Sega reported pre-orders of 1.5 million units for Virtua Fighter 2 in Japan, which is nearly as many of the number of Saturns that had been sold in Japan at that point. At the time of its release, Virtua Fighter 2 was the top-selling game for the Saturn, and remains the best-selling Saturn game in Japan, with 1.7 million copies sold. In addition, it sold over 500,000 copies in the United States, adding up to over 2.2 million units sold in Japan and the United States.
The Saturn port of Virtua Fighter 2 received positive reviews. In Japan, among Famitsu's panel of four reviewers, one gave it 9 out of 10, while the other three each gave it a full 10 out of 10, adding up to a near-perfect overall score of 39 out of 40. This made it one of the magazine's three highest-rated games up until 1995, along with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Ridge Racer Revolution. In Europe, the December 1995 issue of Sega Saturn Magazine gave the Saturn version a 98% score, citing the smooth frame rate, the realistically varied reactions to blows, the huge variety of moves, and the addition of features such as Team Battle Mode. The January 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games (published in December 1995) gave the Saturn version ratings of 95% for graphics, 98% animation, 90% music, 93% sound effect, 98% gameplay, and 97% value, with a 97% score overall. They stated that it is "the greatest arcade game ever" and "now the greatest console game ever made." They concluded that it is the "singlemost incredible happening in the console industry yet" and that it "rules."
In North America, the January 1996 issue of Next Generation gave the Saturn version a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars, calling it "the ultimate arcade translation" and "the best fighting game ever." The magazine cited its "accurate representation of 10 very distinct and realistic fighting styles", "remarkable AI", and "a general attention to detail that sets a new mark for quality game design." In its January 1996 issue, Game Informer's Reiner, Andy and Paul gave it scores of 8.75, 8.5 and 9 out of 10, respectively, adding up to 26.25 out of 30. They praised Virtua Fighter 2 for its depth and variety, but criticized inferior background details in the Saturn port, while Paul felt that the original Virtua Fighter required more strategy. In its February 1996 issue, the four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly felt the port was not as arcade perfect as it could have been, but highly praised the wealth of options and modes, with two of their reviewers declaring it by far the best fighting game on the Saturn thus far. Two of the reviewers gave it 8.5 out of 10, while the other two gave it 8 out of 10, adding up to 33 out of 40 overall, or 8.25 out of 10 average. In 2004, praising the variety of moves and the accuracy of the port, Game Revolution gave the Saturn version an A and concluded that "Virtua Fighter 2 for the Saturn looks better and smoother than any other polygonal fighting game for the next generation systems. This just might be the best home console fighting game ever."
GameSpot gave the PC version an 8.1 out of 10. Praising the game's realism, depth, and opponent AI, and the PC version's inclusion of online multiplayer, they deemed it "unquestionably the best fighting game on the PC, and certainly one of the finest fighting games of all time", adding that the PC version "rivals even the excellent Sega Saturn console port." The reviewer Greg Kasavin also noted that it "theoretically allows you to recreate" the Model 2 arcade game, but the "high-level graphics options simply aren't practical" even on "a top-of-the-line MMX-powered Pentium" PC.
In Japan, the arcade version won several Gamest Awards, including Game of the Year, Best Fighting Game, and Best Graphics. It was also nominated for the awards of Best Director, for which it came 6th place, and Best VGM, for which it came 3rd place.
It has been listed among the best games of all time by various publications. Next Generation ranked it the 6th best game of all time in 1996, and the 8th best game in 1999. Electronic Gaming Monthly ranked it the 79th best game of all time in 1997, the 59th best in 2001, and 37th in 2006. IGN ranked it the 68th best game of all time in 2003, Famitsu ranked it the 47th best in 2006, and Stuff ranked it 89th in 2008. Virtua Fighter 2 was also ranked as the 19th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex in 2013.
- ↑ YuSuzuki_Profile_Japanese.pdf
- ↑ http://sega.jp/ps2/ages16/
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Alex Wawro (October 23, 2014). Yu Suzuki recalls using military tech to make Virtua Fighter 2. Retrieved on 2015-01-24.
- ↑ "Preview: Virtua Fighter 2". GamePro (IDG) (68): p. 20. March 1995.
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20131113174154/http://www.1up.com/features/disappearance-suzuki-part-1?pager.offset=2
- ↑ http://virtuafighter.com/threads/vf20th-anniversary-site-the-interviews.19637/
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Mean Machines Sega, issue 39, pages 58-61
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Ultimate Future Games, issue 3, pages 38-39, Future Publishing
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 http://www.gamerankings.com/saturn/375831-virtua-fighter-2/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/genesis/586580-virtua-fighter-2/index.html
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/199200-virtua-fighter-2/index.html
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 http://segaretro.org/Virtua_Fighter_2
- ↑ http://segaretro.org/Virtua_Fighter_2_(Mega_Drive)
- ↑ Virtua Fighter 2 at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20141115044800/http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=1982&tab=review
- ↑ Virtua Fighter 2 at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
- ↑ Virtua Fighter 2 at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Computer and Video Games, issue 158, January 1995
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 http://www.outofprintarchive.com/articles/reviews/SegaSaturn/VirtuaFighter2-CVG170-1.html
- ↑ Computer and Video Games, issue 182, page 84
- ↑ Consoles +, issue 50, pages 76-79
- ↑ Edge, issue 28, pp. 66-70
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/genesis/586580-virtua-fighter-2/articles.html
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 "Virtua Fighter 2 Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM Media, LLC) (79): p. 31. February 1996.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 週刊ファミ通クロスレビュープラチナ殿堂入りソフト一覧. Geimin. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25 Retrieved on 23 December 2014.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Reiner, Andrew et al. (January 1996). Blowout!!!. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2014-07-15.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Virtua Fighter 2 Review. Retrieved on 13 July 2014.
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/virtua-fighter-2/reviews/virtua-fighter-2-review-6169962/
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Virtua Fighter 2 Review (October 16, 1997). Retrieved on 13 July 2014.
- ↑ Games World, issue 20, pages 38-39
- ↑ http://ign.com/articles/2011/01/21/virtua-fighter-2-iphone-review
- ↑ Mean Machines Sega, issue 51, pages 74-75
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 "Platinum Pick: Virtua Fighter 2". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 2 (13): 179. January 1996.
- ↑ Player One, issue 60, pages 48-49
- ↑ Player One, issue 70, page 138
- ↑ Sega Power, issue 75
- ↑ Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 2, pages 72-73
- ↑ Ultimate Future Games, issue 14, February 1995, pages 56-59, Future Publishing
- ↑ https://archive.org/stream/Computer_and_Video_Games_Issue_175_1996-06_EMAP_Images_GB#page/n103/mode/2up
- ↑ Hickman, Sam (January 1996). "Virtua Sell Out!". Sega Saturn Magazine (Emap International Limited) (3): p. 7.
- ↑ Japan Platinum Game Chart. The Magic Box. Retrieved on 2008-05-22.
- ↑ "Sega tops holiday, yearly sales projections; Sega Saturn installed base reaches 1.6 million in U.S., 7 million worldwide". Business Wire. 1997-01-13. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Sega+tops+holiday,+yearly+sales+projections%3B+Sega+Saturn+installed...-a019014339. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- ↑ Leadbetter, Richard (December 1995). "Review: Virtua Fighter 2". Sega Saturn Magazine (Emap International Limited) (2): pp. 72–73.
- ↑ "Excellent!". Next Generation (Imagine Media) 2 (14): 160. February 1996.
- ↑ Gamest, The Best Game 2: Gamest Mook Vol. 112, pp. 6-26
- ↑ Top 100 Games of All Time, Next Generation, 1996
- ↑ Next Generation, issue 50, February 1999
- ↑ EGM Top 100. Electronic Gaming Monthly (November 1997). Retrieved on 2011-06-01.
- ↑ Top 100 Games of All Time, Electronic Gaming Monthly, 2001
- ↑ The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time. Electronic Gaming Monthly (February 6, 2006). Archived from the original on 2013-08-01 Retrieved on November 19, 2013.
- ↑ IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time. IGN (2003). Retrieved on 2014-12-17.
- ↑ Edge Staff (March 3, 2006). Japan Votes on All Time Top 100. Edge / Famitsu. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23 Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
- ↑ "100 Greatest Games", Stuff: 116–126, October 2008
- ↑ Rich Knight, Hanuman Welch, The 30 Best Arcade Video Games of the 1990s, Complex.com, August 28, 2013.
- Virtua Fighter 2 at Museum of the Game
- Virtua Fighter 2.1 at Museum of the Game
- 'Virtua Fighter 2' at MobyGames
- Virtua Fighter 2 at SegaSaturn.co.uk