Virtua Fighter 2


REVIEW:  The sequel to Sega's groundbreaking 3D fighting game, Virtua Fighter 2 managed to raise the bar (yet again) in terms of both visuals and gameplay. Virtua Fighter 2 arcade was easily one of the best-looking video games (period) ever. Arcade-goers of the mid 90's were treated to silky smooth 60 frames per second (not a common thing back then), to compliment some of the smoothest and most authentic martial arts animation to ever appear in a video game.


Truly next-gen visuals and gameplay at arcaddes.

Each Virtua Fighter character proudly fights with his/her own unique style, now much more defined in VF2's updated movelists. Any martial arts fan / martial arts practitioner in real life could definitely appreciate Virtua Fighter 2's authentic Karate, Jeet Kune Do, Ninjitsu, Pro-Wrestling and Drunken Kung Fu. And yeah, you better damn-well consider Pro-Wrestling a martial art... or Wolf Hawkfield and Jeffry McWild will pile-drive your skull into cement. That said, the ol' Ouch Factor rating was also upgraded heavily in VF2. Like in the first game, some fighters still share many of the same attacks & animations, but definitely have more distinguishing animations this time.


Virtua Fighter 2 character selection screen.


Virtua Fighter 2
added two new characters to the roster: Lion & Shun... each offering uniquely different fighting style to the series... those being Mantis Style Kung Fu and Drunken Fist. The animations of these new styles truly define how far Sega has come with martial arts animation in their games. The smooth new animations of Lion and Shun alone really do an amazing job showing off Sega's awesome Model 2 arcade hardware. Most other 3D (and 2D) fighting games almost seemed "out of date" even years after VF2's release. (That's how good the arcade version VF2 looked at the time... but sadly, the same can't be said for the Sega Saturn version).

Another great aspect of Virtua Fighter? The game was easy to pick up and play. But still, hardcore fighting game players could use dashing, spacing, and a variety of great moves and strategies to easily take down button mashers. (The mall arcade days were epic.) In addition to VF1's staple gameplay mechanics returning... "High jumping" was tweaked and feels "smoother" this time - enabling fighters to leap into the air and happily "float" (at 60fps) over their opponent's head with ease. It's actually a fun and staple part of the gameplay, and an important part of VF's higher-level gameplay.

There are several new air attacks that can be performed (some character-specific), which can be strategically used for Ring-Outs (as well as Ring-Out defense). In terms of "realism"... VF2's super high (and super slow) jumping mechanic is probably the game's biggest quirk... is fun in gameplay and still looks pretty cool. Short jumps are also possible by "lightly tapping" jump (with new unique attacks available as well), and provide strategic gameplay elements of their own.


Shun's Drunken Kung-Fu was fluid & amazing for '94.


A worldwide success in the arcades, Virtua Fighter 2 was ported to Sega Saturn in 1996 (over a year after launch) along with a Microsoft Windows version in 1997. While the home ports were "decent," neither version could live up to the arcade version graphically (and that arcade cabinet was too damn sexy also). Also in 1996, a humorous "super deformed / kiddy" version of VF2, titled Virtua Fighter Kids, also hit arcades and Saturn. Virtua Fighter 2 also released on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1996, but was re-made as a 2D fighter since the hardware couldn't handle the complex visuals of the arcade version (making it a completely different game). The Genesis port was just depressing if you knew the arcade version existed... and was also poorly received by fans. (Still, I'm kinda glad those 2D sprites exist for nostalgia value).  


kage-vf2-render.png (463474 bytes)           pai-chan-vf2-render.png (559708 bytes)           jeffry-mcwild-vf2-render.png (561293 bytes)           lion-rafale-vf2-render.png (480900 bytes)

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Page Updated: May 4th, 2024
Developer(s): Sega AM2
Publisher(s): Sega
Designer(s): Yu Suzuki                        Producer / Director
Toru Ikebuchi               Main Programmer
Kazuhiro Izaki               Main Designer
Platform(s): Arcade, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Mega Drive, Windows,
PlayStation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBL), iOS
Release Date(s): Nov. 1994                        Arcade
Dec. 1st, 1995                 Saturn
1996                                   /   Saturn
1996                                   Mega Drive / Genesis
Sept. 9th, 1997                PC
Sept. 30th, 1997             PC
Nov. 27th, 2012              PSN
Nov. 28th, 2012              XBL
Characters Akira Yuki, Sarah Bryant, Pai Chan, Jacky Bryant, Kage Maru, Lau Chan, Jeffry McWild, Wolf Hawkfield, Shun Di, Lion Rafale, Dural

Featured Video:

Related Games: Virtua Fighter Kids, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, Virtua Fighter 5, Virtua Fighter 5 R, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, VF5: Ultimate Showdown, Fighting Vipers, Fighting Vipers 2, Fighters Megamix, Last Bronx, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, TEKKEN, TEKKEN 2, Killer Instinct, Art of Fighting 2, Darkstalkers, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, King of Fighters '94, X-Men: Children of the Atom

Gameplay Engine  9.0 / 10
Story / Theme  6.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  10 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.0 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  7.0 / 10
Customization  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  10 / 10
Characters  9.0 / 10

 9.2 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words: Did you read my review? What else do I need to say? Virtua Fighter 2 was revolutionary. A vast improvement over the original... and this was easy to see for even the "reflex-challenged, non-fighting game players" who walked in and out of arcades in the mid 90's. Virtua Fighter 2 impressed everyone back then. There was no disputing it. There was no counter-argument. VF2 made a real statement for fighting games. This game showed the world that fighting games were going places... and inspired fighting game fans imaginations that best was yet to come. Thank you Sega... and Thank you Yu Suzuki!

Back in its heyday, VF2 especially wowed gamers with tight controls, easy to understand fighting mechanics, and of course, revolutionary visuals that made so many other games jealous. VF2 was definitely one of those games that "raised the bar" for fighting game visuals (and gameplay responsiveness), paving the way for many successful 3D fighting games to come in the later 90's. TEKKEN? Dead or Alive? Toshinden? Soul Edge? Bloody Roar? They all take inspiration from VF2, as they should.

I personally loved playing VF2 back in the day... I seriously put over $100 worth of tokens into that sexy machine in my lifetime, I bet. It was one of those games where I used almost every character, nearly memorizing every single move and combo (combos weren't hard).

As a big fan of the arcade version, I was disappointed by the Saturn version... but still, it was a good attempt and reasonably impressive for a home console 3D fighting game. VF2 was nothing but good vibes. The series continued to flourish with VF3 releasing a couple years down the road. (In retrospect, VF3 was another huge jump in graphics quality back then - considering how quality after VF2 it was released!)
~TFG WEBMASTER | @Fighters_Gen

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