Virtua Fighter 3tb - Sega Dreamcast - Sega - Fighting -1-2 Players
Replay Value: ***1/2
Overall Rating :***1/2
When the first Virtua Fighter hit the arcades, I remember being amazed at how fluidly it moved and felt that it had no equal. That was then... The game it's third incarnation has begun to show it's age. What was once state of the art is now old school and the lack of innovations has really hurt the series.
Graphically, Virtua Fighter 3tb pales in comparison to Soul Calibur. It seems Sega's AM2 department spent so much time working on the backgrounds (which are quite stunning) that they scrimped on the character animations. Not only do the motions seem stiff, but in some throws a character will disappear from one place nad reappear in another. The little finishing touches like blowing hair and flowing robes also seem to have been rushed.
The sound in the game isn't much better. What we have here are the same sounds we had in the first two Virtua Fighter games. The music is also unremarkable, except that it too sound much like the music from previous versions of Virtua Fighter. C'mon Sega, we know you can do better than this.
The controls are simplistic, and while they may appeal to the casual gamer, hardcore fighting fans will find them wanting. The herky-jerky, stick tapping, slow responding Vitrua Fighter engine is back again. Every time I found myself getting into some type of fighting rhythm, the characters slow responses would break it up. In addition, the lack of an in game option menu (quit, moves list, etc...) is noticeably absent here.
Virtua Fighter 3tb does bring some new innovations to the fighting genre, including interactive backgrounds which add a nice bit of strategy to the game. The Virtua Fighter engine is relatively unchanged and will seem familiar to most fighting fans. The fighting speed and get quite high at times and the game does a good job of keeping the difficulty level high.
The replay value on this title, while good (as most fighters are) is below the standard of most other Dreamcast fighters. You'll find yourself going back to Soul Calibur for your butt-kicking thrills relatively quickly. Most likely you'll pull this game out most often when you have company over and need an easy to pick up game.
Overall, it comes to this, you'll either love this game or hate it. When the Dreamcast was first announced, Virtua Fighter 3 was still a top of the line game. Unfortunately, so much time has passed that it's mediocre at best now. Sega should have considered performing an enhanced version of the game rather than porting over the older Arcade game. In it's defense, Sega did polish the game up from it's Japanese release by adding the much needed (and noticeably absent) VS mode. In the end, my recommendation is that you pass this one up and get Soul Calibur - you won't be sorry.
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