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
(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
Virtua Fighter 3's
graphics were truly groundbreaking in 96'-97'.
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
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.
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.
designs still lack personality in VF3, which became more and more
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.