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Retrobot presents: Hardcore games

Virtua Fighter 2 (Sega Saturn)
After the 3D breakthrough of Virtua Fighter 1, Sega made another gargantuan leap with its sequel. Looking past the revolutionary addition of texture-mapped graphics, it was the number of moves and depth of control that were the real revelation. Virtua Fighter 2 featured over 2,000 moves and paved the way for every 3D fighting game that followed.

Typically for one of Sega's arcade offerings, the game features a very simple control system that belies its massively complex gameplay. A d-pad that lets you crouch, jump, advance or retreat, and three buttons - block, punch, kick. But it's the timing and combination of these commands that produce such varied results, mastering the game is akin to mastering a real martial art.

Just in case you can't get a copy of VF2 or refuse to buy a Saturn as a matter of principle (it was, after all,home to some atrocious software too), Virtua Fighter 5 continues VF2's trademark characteristics and is arguably the ultimate hardcore 3D fighting game. So perfect in its mechanic, it alienates almost everyone who approaches it lightly, VF5 really doesn't care if you're hardcore enough to like it. Either get in the ring or get out of here. Bee-yatch.

Justin Towell
Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.