Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Photos - Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn)

The greatest game ever made for the Sega Saturn. Virtua Fighter 2 was a spectacular graphics showcase that, in one blinding flash, reversed Sega's terrible fortunes, made the Saturn a contender, and challenged the unstoppable momentum of the Sony Playstation. It hasn't aged a day. Not one day.

Why do I still believe VF2 is the peak of the series? Perhaps because it was the one that left the greatest impact. It certainly was the most popular game in the franchise back in the day, back when it was still possible for rookies to learn the ropes and become fans. Good Lord, you could write a graduate-level thesis on the depth and complexities of Virtua Fighter. This is as close to studying an actual martial art as you can get in an arcade video game.

I've long tried to follow this series ever since the Saturn days, but I felt myself slipping behind. To put it another way, I felt the tournament-level players had grown too skilled, too difficult. The game itself had grown too complex, and the basic formula of rock-paper-scissors is being lost. Maybe I'm not interested in learning the nuances of multiple throw-escapes, or memorizing flow charts. Maybe my finger skills just aren't there anymore. At age 37, is this really a priority for me?

So I'll stick with VF2 on Saturn, thank you very much, where I have many warm memories and a belief that just about anyone can play, with only a little practice. The tremendous depth and strategy is still there, but it's not overwhelming. I don't feel helpless if I can't perform the Stun Palm of Doom.

No comments: