Mini-Review: Virtua Fighter 3

So far, I’ve reviewed Virtua Fighter and Virtua Fighter 2. These games have similar gameplay though only the graphics have improved…and Virtua Fighter 3 still fits that description. But there are some improvements and some faults I’ve come to find out.

The graphics of course, look great for the Dreamcast and the movements of the fighters are smoother than ever for the time. Some of the stages are more dynamic in that whilst you still have flat-surfaced stages, there is a stage where you’re in rafts and the wooden panels undulate about or in a train station where you can stand on stairs, and it might give you an advantage when attacking your opponent.

The controls are still simple to use, though they added an evade button, which is the sidestep move, allowing you to move across to where the opponent have to turn around, giving you a quick chance to attack. I don’t know, but I found the controls now to be sluggish, since my movement feels way too restricted. I’m guessing the sidestep was supposed to alleviate this but it really doesn’t, other fighting games also did the sidestep but they were implemented much better, especially by Tekken 5 much later.

The game also gives you the ability to change the perspective of the camera, from normal, to top-down and…oddly first-person mode…and it doesn’t work, since you can’t see what the heck you’re doing and it just feels rather off. There was a reason Tekken 2 only included it as an unlockable.

I watched a video that compares the Arcade original to the Dreamcast port. I was surprised to realise that these games look the exact same, apart from some background changes and such, but they look the same, making the Dreamcast port a very faithful port with gameplay that runs at a smooth 60fps.

Unfortunately, whilst the game did very well in Japan seeing as it this Arcade game was released as a launch title for the Dreamcast in that country, it took two years for the game to get a release in the US and Europe and by that time, it was already shafted graphic and control-wise by the likes of even Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive and even the PlayStation’s Tekken 3, leaving the game series in obscurity…albeit this one, since not a lot of people ever talk about Virtua Fighter 3, it’s high popularity stopped with 2 I assume.

Virtua Fighter 3 has some faults but it’s still decent, I like the movements of the characters that were a far cry compared to Virtua Fighter 2, and whilst I’m not a fan of the controls and a couple of gameplay mechanics, once I understood what I had, it was a decent experience.

Hmm…that’s the word that sums up this game: Decent. Hopefully Virtua Fighter 4 will do a better job in making a much better sequel.


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