Blog:Virtua Fighter 2 (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Running on Sega's top-of-the-line Model 2 hardware, Virtua Fighter 2 was a remarkable feat of graphics and gameplay when it was released in arcades. Even the Saturn version seemed incredible at the time, but it took a lot of work to get it running at a high frame rate, and it was still not arcade perfect. Surely bringing VF2 to the Genesis would be an impossible task. That didn't stop them from trying.
Unsurprisingly, the graphics are the greatest and most obvious difference in this 16-bit version, now entirely 2D. The character animation is a little choppy, but the effect on gameplay is minimal. It still controls like you would expect a Virtua Fighter game to control.
The music has been competently converted, marred only by the overall tinniness of the audio. The voice samples, meanwhile, bring back memories of Fighters Megamix on the game.com. On second thought, they're not quite that bad, but they are scratchy.
Invariably in such translations, some content is going to get cut. Gone are the new characters from the arcade version, Shun Di and Lion, and some of the backgrounds. Some voices and moves are also missing.
It would be easy to dismiss this game as shovelware; however, consider that it was put together by a fairly extensive team in Japan (the only place where this version wasn't originally released). The programming and some of the graphics were done by Gai Brain, which developed a number of Takara's SNK ports including the great Game Gear version of Fatal Fury Special. Cotton maker Success was also involved with the graphics. Data East was involved in a production and direction capacity. Prolific audio company Cube worked on the sound.
Even Satoshi Nakai, who designed the enemies in Wings of Wor and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica among many other things, toiled away on this game. As he said in The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Volume 2, "I have painful memories of banging out pixels while drenched with sweat from the hot summer weather." And he just worked on Jacky.
On its own, Virtua Fighter 2 is not bad; you couldn't expect much better on the Genesis. It's just not better than any other version and was/is completely unnecessary. It's a novelty — a novelty they insist on including in every Genesis compilation and plug & play device ever made.