27, 1998 (Japan)
19, 1999 (USA)
> If you're a Fan of 3D fighting, then you're almost surely aware
if the heritage Sega has in the genre. After all, Sega basically
invented and popularized this type if game. Obviously, Virtua Fighter
3tb (VF3tb) is the third installment in the series which began on Sega's
Model 1 arcade board. VF3tb is a Model 3 conversion to Dreamcast
by none other than Genki and AM2 (creators of the series). The "tb"
stands for "team battle", which describes the main mode of play during
the game. This mode is quite reminiscent of a Capcom arcade conversion
for Saturn known as X-Men vs. Street Fighter (XvSF). The main difference
between the two is that VF3tb allows you to choose three team members instead
of two and VF3tb does not allow you to switch between team members on-the-fly
as XvSF does.
> Well, if you're lucky enough to be able to get your hands on the red-hot
selling Dreamcast, then VF3tb is definitely going to be on your list of
games to acquire. As far as importing goes, the entire game is in
English including the speech. Also, the Dreamcast console has an
option to select English as the default language for the bios menus.
> I've seen and played the arcade version of the game many times
and I can honestly say that it's hard to tell them apart. The Dreamcast's
graphics engine seems to glide through every move and floating view that
the game has to offer. So you like super-smooth animation, then VF3tb
is your game. All the arcade characters and locales are intact. About
the only feature which could have been better is the background pictures.
> Do you like smooth animation? Good! The character eyes, mouth
and expression change just as they do in the Model 3 wonder. Transparency
is abundant as is the light-source shading. And just in case you
don't know, the backdrops are multi-level 3D animating bliss. For
instance, the waves hitting the shore in Jeffrey's stage has to be seen.
I don't want to build the looks up anymore, but it suffices to say that
the graphics are a winner when compared to the arcade original. One
more thing, VF3tb may not look as good as the newer Soul Calibur, but it
certainly holds its own in every other category.
> This is what really separates the best of the genre from the wanna-be's.
AM2 has to be the best at fine tuning control as this game is a pleasure
to play. All the arcade moves are present and easy to pull off.
There's even a view feature which can be utilized with the two triggers.
As for the buttons, there's punch, kick, block and dodge. Hit combinations
and throws are also at your disposal. In spite of my initial displeasure
with the standard controller, I can now say (since I have one) that it's
comfortable and compatible with VF3tb. If you get the Arcade Stick,
then you're basically in the arcades. What can I say? Mint... as
> The songs are quite similar to Virtua Fighter 2, which is a marquee
Saturn title. They consist of the same type of occasionally fast
paced, energy laden guitar rock. Oh, and the stereo sound that comes
from the Dreamcast is second to none.
> Some of the sound effects have been carried over from VF2 and some are
new. What really counts is that they sound excellent. There's
plenty of voice and importers will be happy to know that it's all in English!
> For me, fighters are always best against a friend instead of the
computer. However, VF3tb can easily be played alone simply because
the action is so realistic and the eye candy is great. At any rate,
you can choose from Team Battle, Normal and Training modes to add a little
spice in the mix. The American version also has Vs. Team Battle and
Vs. Normal modes to select. Included in the Japanese version is a
disc which has a video preview of AM2's most excellent forthcoming title
-- Project Berkley (aka Shen Mue; VF RPG). Finally, VF3tb has unseated
Fighters MEGAMiX (Saturn) as my favorite console fighter...