Copyright©1998 Sega AM2 / Genki
1998 and Sega's Dreamcast needed a fighter and Virtua Fighter 3tb (VF3tb) fitted the bill, Now the VF series was Sega's biggest seller in it's homeland and people played it's arcade counterparts all the time.
The first two games on Saturn where a huge success with VF2 selling Saturns the world over,but with the demise of the Saturn Sega's new Dreamcast was the place the third in the series should be, but as the Saturn died in the West ,in the East it was still very popular, so AM2 where working on a port for the Saturn, this left the Dreamcast wanting so another developer was employed for the task to convert VF3tb to Dreamcast.
It was Genki who got the job and with the help of Sega converted the game as required.Now for the first time VF had new features such as a dedicated Dodge button (usually VF is a 3 button game , now it has 4) then on top of this add undulating surfaces such as stairs ,sloping roofs and Rafts on water to fight on and you have physics that change the way VF is played .
There was even a first person mode where you could fight through the fighters eyes just seeing his punches or kicks.
Now I remember when it came out in 1998 in Japan it was hailed as a great game ( I remember edges score was very high). And I also remember seeing it in action on import and thought it was good, so Genki done a Good Job.
Problem lies with the European and USA releases of the games, in Europe the problem lied with the fact that for most point Dreamcast games had a feature to run the games as there Asian counterparts at full speed full screen, but it had to be programmed in to the game.
So whilst Asia had VF3tb running at speed and enjoying it, what the West got was a rushed port (as Sega wanted it for the Western Launch line up) this main feature was not imposed and the game was not optimized for 50hz. So it ran a lot slower and with nasty boarders top and bottom which where overly large.
Now later games in the series did not include the undulating surfaces or the dodge button, on top of that the Saturn version was never released, so AM2's time was wasted trying to port it to Saturn.
But one thing for sure VF3tb is still a great game and one that is unique in it's approach.
Just make sure you buy a Japan version and you will be playing it as it should be, unless you have a VGA lead or HDMI adapter for your Dreamcast in which case your Pal version will run full screen full speed too, well at 59hz which is the VGA refresh rate.
A must own as it's the last Virtua Fighter game to appear on a SEGA console.