Format reviewed: Dreamcast
Submitted by: James Holian
Released almost 3 years after the original arcade version of the game, this Dreamcast edition was probably a case of too little too late.
As with the previous Virtua Fighter games on the Saturn this third incarnation provides realistic movements and much better control than button-mashers like Tekken. The 3D, varying-elevation backgrounds are nice, but not rendered as well as the arcade version. Downsides are the graphics are a bit disappointing and the standard Dreamcast controller makes some multi-button and combination moves a bit awkward (much better and easier with the arcade stick). The characters have a huge amount of attacks. This deep and fast-paced gameplay, which is a staple of the series, is the main attraction to the game. You have hundreds of moves at your disposal with any one of the game’s characters. Each character has their own unique fighting style that helps to distinguish the fighters. The speed of the characters affects their effectiveness in battle. For example, some characters are extremely fast, which means they can strike quickly, however, their fast strikes come at the price of the power of the attack. On the other side, there are slower fighters whose attacks pack quite an enormous punch, but they can’t rattle off too many of them in succession as it will leave them open for attack. Then there are characters who are a bit of both and well rounded, their speed and the power of their attacks, for the most part, are middle-of-the-road. You’ll have to strike a perfect balance with each fighter if you hope to become a true master of the game.
Originally set for release on the Saturn in 1997 it was later quickly ported over to the Dreamcast instead, I think this probably shows why the graphics are not really up there with some of the other launch titles. The other problem for the game was that it was overshadowed by another Dreamcast fighting title, namely Soul Calibur. Although to it's credit Virtua Fighter 3tb is a much deeper and realistic fighter, but for me personally just not as fun to play.