Virtua Fighter 3


REVIEW Continuing the trend started by VF2, the third installment of Virtua Fighter adds 2 new characters, the newcomers this time around being Aoi Umenokouji (an Aiki Ju-Jutsu user) and Taka-arashi (an appropriately massive sumo wrestler). Sega also took the series (and fighting games as a whole) into uncharted territory with innovative "multi-tiered" stages. Fighting on uneven ground (such as a slanted rooftop and the Great Wall of China), definitely presented itself as a new and "next-gen" take on the 3D fighting game. While this new stage element is naturally appealing to casual fans, many hardcore VF players still swear by the classic "rings" from VF and VF2.


Virtua Fighter 3's graphics were truly groundbreaking in 96'-97'. 


Virtua Fighter 3
plays very familiar to prior installments, giving returning players a comfortable game to pick up and play from the start. However, the new "Evade" button certainly mixes things up a bit. By hitting the Evade button along with a directional button, fighters can now evade attacks and counter effectively. The other new gameplay element is, once again, the inclusion of
multi-tiered stages... most of which are beautifully designed. Ring Outs still occur, and now... fighters can actually get knocked off of incredibly high areas (for dramatic effect). Knocking your opponent off of a rooftop, onto the subway tracks, or off of the Great Wall of China is surprisingly satisfying. And don't worry, the characters are made of polygons so the fall doesn't really hurt them. 


Taka sure doesn't "float" as easy as others.


Returning characters are given quite a few new moves to keep things fresh, and the character models expectedly look better than ever. With more polygons per character model, characters seem more humanlike and considerably less "pointy". Graphically, facial details and textures are also among the best seen at the time. All around, VF3 was no doubt one of the best looking 3D fighters (and video games) at the time. The character roster still retains their classic charm, and thankfully, many characters have been given brand new outfits in VF3.

WTF is Lion even wearing? And Kage with those pants?!


Like past installments, Virtua Fighter 3 proved to be a very successful arcade fighting game (especially in Japan). Originally, a Sega Saturn port was planned and even announced, but due to the Saturn's hardware not being able to handle the game, the project was moved to Sega's new system, the Dreamcast.
In 1998, an enhanced version of VF3 titled "Virtua Fighter 3TB" (Team Battle) was released worldwide on the Sega Dreamcast. The game remained largely the same as the arcade version, with the simple addition of Team Battle mode being the main new attraction. Unlike Soul Calibur, the Dreamcast version of VF3 was actually inferior to the arcade version in terms of graphics. Otherwise, VF3TB is a fairly solid port.

Page Updated: December 28th, 2020
Developer(s): Sega-AM2
Publisher(s): Sega
Designer(s): Yu Suzuki
Platform(s): Arcade
   VF3: Team Battle
Release Date(s): Sept. 1996                     Arcade
Sept. 1997                     VF3: Team Battle
Nov. 27th, 1998          Dreamcast - as VF3TB
Oct. 14th, 1999           Dreamcast - as VF3TB
Oct. 18th, 1999           Dreamcast - as VF3TB
Characters Akira Yuki, Taka-Arashi, Aoi Umenokouji, Pai Chan, Lau Chan, Sarah Bryant, Jacky Bryant, Kage-Maru, Jeffry McWild, Wolf Hawkfield, Shun Di, Lion Rafale, Dural

Featured Video:

Related Games: Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter Remix, Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter Kids, 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 , Soul Calibur

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  6.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  10 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  6.5 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  7.0 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.5 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10

 8.2 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words: The epic jump from VF1 to VF2 was hard to match... and although Sega clearly "raised the bar" once again in terms of graphics and overall presentation, VF3's gameplay enhancements proved to not be as revolutionary as they could've, should've been. Even so, I remember having some good times with this installment... both in arcades and on the Dreamcast.

character designs still lack personality in VF3, which became more and more apparent as characters from other franchises were showing off eons more charisma (and dialogue) at the time. Honestly, if VF's characters didn't have elaborate, authentic, and well thought out fighting styles, a few of them just wouldn't pass as interesting character designs. Nonetheless, VF3 was a respectable stepping stone in the history of the series.

~TFG Webmaster | @FIGHTERS_GEN

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