When Sega decided to call it a day with the Sega Dreamcast they went on to produce games for their previously rival companies such as Nintendo, and Sony. Since Sega has been producing titles for these consoles they have arguably had the most success since the Sega Megadrive reeling off an array of quality titles for the gaming public including the likes of Crazy Taxi, Virtua Fighter 3, Sonic, and other various gems. If one casts their mind back to the days of the Dreamcast and Saturn one should remember Sega’s Virtua brand, a series of Sega games with Virtua thrown onto the front of the name. These games were not too dissimilar to the Actua series from Gremlin that appeared on the Playstation, and although both Virtua and Actua brand games were large in quantity, they were all of good quality. Virtua Striker then…a game that may have kept you busy down the arcades, fumbling into your pocket for a pound coin for just one last chance to beat your mate…now however you can play your mate or the computer as many times as you like for no more than Forty-Five British Pounds. For those who remember this from the arcades and spent many an hour playing it Virtua Striker will come as a godsend, but will it be enough for the hardcore football fans looking for another Pro Evolution Soccer, ISS, or Fifa? GRAPHICS Virtua Striker is a game that really does please the eyes. The visuals are brightly coloured as with most arcade games and although being slightly cartoon-like the graphics surpass ISS’s visuals and match Fifa’s. Although Sega have not acquired a Fifpro license there are certain similarities between the games players and their real life counterparts, for example David Beckham wears his trademark white boots whereas Edgar Davids has his stunning black glasses with the orange centre. There are also various gems in the edit a player option that the game has included, notice how Robbie Fowler doesn’t have that small whi
te nose strip? Well Sega have conveniently placed it in the edit a player option so that you can add it. The crowd on Virtua Striker are a level above other games as they wave their arms about and look a lot livelier than the cardboard cut outs we are used to. The crowd clearly don’t all look identical but they do add to the atmospheric look of the game, as do the stadiums of which there are over ten. Everything from the ball to the linesman is a faithful recreation of the beautiful game. This is arcade football but it doesn’t mean that everything is arcade as there are some wonderfully realistic touches such as the tackles as one player cascades into the back of another sending them down to the floor, face flat in the mud. As far as football games go on consoles this is visually up their with the best of them, although there are no “real” players as such nor “real” stadiums, the game does exactly what it intends to do and that is to be a bright, colourful, arcade experience. 18/20 GAMEPLAY As with all football games the initial objective is to score as many goals as you can against your opponents (fairly obvious really). Despite being a “Virtua” branded arcade game Virtua Striker 3 stays faithful to the rules of football with offsides, sending offs, bookings, penalties, and free kicks. The only thing Virtua Striker 3 doesn’t include is the option to dive (an option only seen in This Is Football 2002 thus far for the PS2). Following the arcade theme Virtua Striker is very in your face when it comes to decisions, if there is a replay to be shown some music will kick in and you will see the replay, if it is offside music will kick in and a replay will be shown. The clever thing with Virtua Striker’s offside rule is that a red line is drawn going directly across the pitch so that there can never be any dispute about who was and wasn’t off-side (unlike UEFA Striker when player
s appear not to be off-side and decisions are still given!). There is one factor that will determine one’s enjoyment when it comes to this game, and it is simply did they enjoy the arcade version? If you were one of those gamers that went down to your local arcade putting pound after pound into the machine just to get one more game at this then this is definitely for you because for Forty British Pounds this can be yours, yes that’s just Forty British Pounds for an unlimited amount of games. Not bad really if you love this game, however if you didn’t enjoy the arcade version than in short this most certainly isn’t for you as Virtua Striker 3 is almost a perfect conversion to the GameCube from the arcade. If you’ve never played this game before it is a bit of a hit and miss title. This is the ultimate arcade football game because it simply is pure arcade rather than mixing any elements of simulation as Fifa and ISS has. When playing Virtua Striker 3 there are a few main controls, you can do all your usual lobs, shoots, and passes, but at the same time you can select whether you’re going to be playing offensively, defensively, or normally. This can be altered throughout the game by simply pressing one of the back buttons; this means you can alter from normal at the start to offensively when you concede a goal, to defensively once you have captured the lead. Alternatively you can go full out when you have scored playing offensively to rack up huge 8 – 0 scores or you can start defending once you concede to make sure you don’t concede anymore, it really is all up to you. Sadly when playing you cannot sprint, this means that at times Virtua Striker 3 can prove frustrating as it is almost always better to pass the ball than to run around somebody as it is damn near possible to run past players that stand in your way. On the positive side this can lead to some great set pieces but it does however mean that youR
17;ll never get any runs from midfield to score David Beckham style! When trying to tackle your opponents there is only one control to tackle, although it is possible to give both a stiff nudge and a slide tackle, it all depends on how hard you hit the tackle button. This is a fairly good system as it is realistic, for if a player was trying to get the ball if he was calm and relaxed he would go for a simple prod to move the ball away, but if frustrated and pushing hard he would go full out with a slide tackle. This system does however mean that there are a lot of cards in Virtua Striker 3 even when it comes to the computer’s team. It is not unusual for there to be five sending offs in one game, and sometimes the computer team can shame itself as far as to get five cards itself in one game. When the pressure gets on the cards get flying as the players definitely overstep the line. The real problem in singles player mode is that scoring goals just becomes trivial, lob or pass the ball up to your striker then let him take a shot whether it is front outside or inside the box, chances are if it is hit well enough it will go in and you will be treated to a replay. Difficulty is always something that developers have had to concentrate on and sadly I don’t think it has quite been mastered here, and baring in mind that you can’t have long runs the game can lose its novelty rather quickly. Although the game has its flaws, and it may not be the best title for replay value considering the repetitive nature of the game it does shine when it comes to its career mode, and when it comes to multiplayer. Multiplayer ultimately does lead to frustration but at least the intelligence of your opponent is better than the AI (…well in most cases). As for the career mode it really is very mighty indeed! Not only do you get to qualify for the Euro tournaments, you get to play the Euro tournaments, then to qualify for the World Cup, and to eventually
play in the World Cup! This is a career mode that spans over four years, and on top of that there is a cash system, the more money you have the better teams you can challenge to play friendly matches against, beat the team and you get yet more cash! The mode has been thought through well and in terms of football season modes it last a rather long time. On top of the career mode you have your usual, penalty, friendly matches, custom made tournaments, and multiplayer options. Virtua Striker 3 is well worth looking at but unless you are a die-hard fan of the original it will be nothing more than filler till the next Fifa or ISS comes along. 16/25 SOUND Virtua Striker 3 has what can only be described as traditional arcade music at the title screen and at the replay screen – very Sega. The sounds are very arcade orientated, gone is the commentary from Alan Hansen you would expect in simulations and in is an arcade voice from a P.A. system not too dissimilar from that of the voice of Sega’s Crazy Taxi. The voice doesn’t provide commentary more obvious comments e.g. referee books a player – “yellow card”, referee calls for a penalty – “penalty kick”, referee calls for a throwing - “throw in”. As you can tell the voice isn’t the most informative or useful man doing voice over but at least he tries, and adds to the arcade feel. The fans cheer a little but it doesn’t quite feel atmospheric enough, as for the smashes of the balls they are standard, but again nothing to set the pulse racing with excitement. The sound simply delivers what is necessary for an arcade football game, nothing more, nothing less. 15/20 LIFESPAN Virtua Striker 3 will last you a while in the career mode, and it will be a game you will play a little on multiplayer although it doesn’t quite match up to ISS or Fifa. It is well worth giving a spin for a few days but do
n’t count on it lasting you too long. Of course there is all the time it takes to edit the players names to their correct ones if you feel the urge. There is nothing more to really do after completing season mode, which is a shame, as it doesn’t have enough to keep the gamer coming back to it, time and time again. You will come back to it, just not that often… 16/25 ORIGINALITY It is fair to say that there are not many arcade football games about that are full on arcade such as this one. Although career modes have been created similar to Virtua Striker’s in the past there has not been one that has gone into as much detail as this one. The edit a player feature is a nice touch and although they have no FifPro license they have managed to sneak in all the essentials to recreate the teams in their glory. One thing that amuses me is that the have the whole Japanese team in with their full names! Yes that means you don’t even have to edit that team because Inamoto and the Japanese crew are there in their entirety, just a shame they couldn’t put the England team in, but since it was released in Japan I am sure they felt their Japanese fans would enjoy the likes of Kawaguchi more than we would enjoy Seaman, oh well… 6/10 OVERALL Virtua Striker 3 is a perfect conversion from the arcade version, and credit is due for this. Sadly Virtua Striker 3 isn’t quite up there with the likes of Fifa, ISS, Pro Evolution Soccer, and This Is Football but given a few tweaks the Virtua Striker series could soon rank up there, we’ll just have to see what Virtua Striker 4 will bring… 71%
When I bought this game I was trying to buy a football game due my apparent lack of them. I'd treated myself to the Fifa Games on my Playstation, the ISS games on my N64 and now it was the turn of the Dreamcast. I have learnt my lesson. The Dreamcast is an arcade machine, there is no doubt about it. With the games you play in the arcade appearing on it daily you could be forgiven for thinking you could slot a dreamcast into an arcade machines shell and charge people a pound a go. This is great for some games, take the fighting Genre where we were initially treated to the likes of Soul Calibur and Power Stone, but I challenge any of you to find a good football game in the arcade mall.... Sadly this one is almost identical to the arcade version of it. You have great looking graphics, until the players move. They seem to almost walk on air as you go diagonally across the pitch. To add to your problems your characters are huge on the screen, not a massively bad thing but it does mean you need to have your eye on the radar for anyone coming in to tackle you, you wont get enough warning by simply looking at the screen. Want to score a wonder goal? Good luck as this one requires you to hold the button for 2-3 seconds to put in a good shot, you any idea how many computer players will have challenged you by then? A good player may well be able to get in 3 shots in a 5 minute game. If you want to tackle then you also need to be warned as there is only one tackle button and the computer decides if it wants to make you slide or stand into the ball. This eliminates any reading of the play because if you arent right on top of the ball at that point then you will slide (and most likely have to leave the field early....). Enough of the gameplay though, surely the game modes are going to add to the realism? Well no. You have two basic modes, Tournament and Arcade. In Tournament you can put yourself through continued tort
ure until you have played all the teams you selected, although thankfully you have the option to play a world cup - and Yes England are in it! :) In arcade mode you will have to play like you do on your average pound a go arcade machine, having to score in the 2 minutes given in order to progress. This is far more difficult than it sounds, as anyone who has losst their pound in 2 minutes will know (something says thats almost everyone who's played it). The teams you can play as are all countries and there is no editing option, so no way you can put in your favourite village pub team :( What you can do is chear when your all time hero Mark James scores for England..... Maybe not - the names used arent real either. Surely in a day when we can see Fifa 2001 pulling off superb gameplay and excellent graphics combined with real player names and good commentary we shouldnt be subjected to offerings like this? Sega have a long way to go before they crack the football market although the Tennis Genre is well and truly cracked, my op on Virtua Tennis is next, and boy is it a beauty of a game. In case you hadn't got the message though, avoid this one like the plague. Its simply not worth your £7!
Virtua is a byword for sports excellence in every arcade in the world. So what happened here then? In the football sim world I consider Sensible Soccer to be the Premier League, ISS to be the First Division, UEFA Striker to be the Second Division and FIFA to be the Third Division. By this reckoning Virtua Striker 2 is the Guatamalan Pub League. Never in my life have I hated a game so much. Some games have annoyed me. Some games have frustrated me. This game has driven me to the point where even seeing its name can lead to me throwing a fit on the floor. Up until this point I'm sure this opinion has sounded like the deranged rantings of a lunatic. Let's try to change that, shall we? Gameplay This is the most horrible part of the game. There are only three buttons. Short pass. Long pass. Shoot. The only way to score a goal is to give the ball to the opposition and do a sliding tackle on them. there is no other way past. There is no sprint button and you can be Michael Owen against Teddy Sheringham but he'll still catch you sooooo easily. You can't use skills either so basically scoring a good cultured goal is impossible. You also can't change the annoying side-on camera angle that makes it so that you can barely see more than 4 metres ahead of yourself. This is the sort of thing that can drive a priest to the bottle. Graphics When I first popped the game in my DC and saw the opening scene come up I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The graphics were beautiful. They were gorgeous. I fell in love with those graphics. I quickly skipped through to the Quick Start option and chose from the list of international teams there. When the game started Sounds I remember when I first heard commentary on a football game. I was astounded. Up until about 1994 we had to make do with half decent crowd noises and maybe a whistle here and there. Put it this way there isn't even a whistle sound on
this. However there is a corny sound that you'll be embarrased to let come out of your speakers when you score and some American, who has evidently never played football in his life, who occassionally chips in with a monotone 'goal kick' or 'goal'. Even FIFA can get the sound right. As I bring this review to a conclusion I have only one thing to say. In keeping with the football theme can I use this to persuade any likely buyers 'Even David Beckham is intelligent enough to steer clear of this abomination.
I don't know why no other companies can make decent games, but it seems the only decent ones are the FIFA editions made by EA Sports- Why they do not make Dreamcast Games I do not know, because they could make a fortune. This game was another disappointing football game, I am sorry to say, but then I am comparing it to FIFA 2001, so maybe thats unfair. The graphics, as on all games on Dreamcast was top notch and the players look very realistic, and the moves they made were very realistci. Unfortunately this is where the praise for this game ends. You do not really have control of your players, the computer has and it does not necessarily pick the ones you want to control, meaning that opportunity after opportunity is squandered. The response to what you do is also very poor- for example I press shoot, and by the time is responds the ball is gone- I find this very disappointing to say the least. I lost interest relatively quickly with this game I am sad to say. The control that you have is a key mess iup, and I belive it should be sorted out for any future soccer games. It was not a bad effort, just that compared to FIFA games this is just made to look shocking. I would still say get the Dreamcast but don't buy a soccer game till EA Sports start producing them.
Football games come in two types. Simulation or Arcade. The ISS series is definitely the former, whilst FIFA and Virtua Striker are the latter. Anyone that takes Virtua Striker as a simulation is going to be sorely disappointed and no mistake. The game is absolutely arcade perfect and has had a few home console friendly modes thrown in for longevity, but while graphically, arcade perfect is good, playability wise, arcade perfect is a shame. You see, the arcade game of VS2 was riddled with fundamental gameplay flaws such as shoddy teammate AI and a control system that left most people confused. I mean, who WOULDN’T be confused when they are holding the joystick left to make their player run onto a superb pass and the player decides to stop, spin through 180 degrees and then run in the opposite direction for a while before returning to his normal path? If you can handle the control PAD rather than the analogue stick, VS2 is a nice, carefree game. Those who prefer stick play will be disappointed though, as amazingly, VS2 doesn’t support the stick. One to rent, I believe.
This has to be one of the most ludicrous games around.So the graphics are good, but the game has come straight from the Arcades, except much of it got lost on the way. The game is so utterly pathetic, there's only four moves 'shoot, short pass, long pass, slide (which means tackle)' and the game itself doesn't gell together like a game should. there's no official status, and there's no commentry - or if there is I can't remember it - it's such an awful game. Connecting two passes together is a virtually impossible task, and actually playing the game is a joke. This game deserves no credit, only the skip/ Buy it and be shocked, nothing can prepare you for this one.
Virtua Striker 2 for dreamcast is not the best football game ever made, but it is still fun. A lot of people are giving this game tough reviews because of the lack of control, but basically if you liked the arcade game you will like this game. The game is pretty much the same as the arcade edition, it has some extra features which enhance the experiance such as the rankings mode which you can use to open some aditional teams. I have opened up Uruguay, Greece, and Russia, and I hear Sweden is also in the game. To open these teams you need to play through the rankings mode winning all games, and not having to go to Penalty kicks to decide any of your wins. The game is tough if you have never played the series, but learning it does not take long, and soon enough you will be scoring some spectacular goals which you can save on your VMU and watch later form different angles which is pretty cool. My favorite part of the game is the fact that all goals are distinct, and you can not always score exactly the same way. This has made me come back to this game over and over to try and score the most incredible goal. My favorite football game ever was Konami's games for N64, but VS2 has some great graphics, and is pretty addictive if you give it a chance. On a 5 point scale I give this game a 3 overall, and a high 4 for replay value.
This game definitely has the best graphics of any football game currently available (pre-Playstation 2), and while some people criticise it, I have played enough footie games on consoles to know that it is one of the most playable as well. As I said, the graphics are superb - there are several nice touches such as the fact that the time of day that you play the game is reflected in the football match - and the players all move around very well. It is certainly not the most realistic 'simulation' of a sports game, but it is very fun in two player mode (oddly there is no four player mode available). Even without substantial management capabilities and no real player names it still manages to succeed where other football games (notably FIFA 2000) have failed by combining seriously long range shooting with volleying/heading with quick passing = manic gaming. I wouldn't want to say it is the ultimate football game, as there is clearly room for improvement in all the games available - but the combination of great graphics and the fact that each goal is given a 'score/rating' (which is dependant on many factors, such as shot speed, number of passes in the move leading up to the goal, distance of goal etc.) make this a very enjoyable game.
This game is not bad but really fails to sparkle where it could have been so much more. Its the best representaion of a football game on record from the glorious stadiums to the rippling nets on the goal posts. The game really fails though in the control of the players. They almost not to respond to your frustrated tapiing of the D-Pad and it is nearly impossible to dribble the ball for longer than 5 seconds before being disposessed by the opposition.
Hey kids! A warning to anyone tempted by the fairly decent graphics. DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED CASH ON THIS PILE OF TURD! Got that? Good. I'd been waiting for a footie game to come along, and I feel into the trap of buying this without reading any reviews or seeing a psychic beforehand. Shame on me. Football games should be fast, fun and vaguely realistic - Fifa or ISS for instance. Virtua Striker 2 is NOT fun, IS fast, is NOT realistic, and basically, has absolutely no playability. The 2 player mode may last up to an hour before you realise that it is actually uncontrollable and unplayable, while 1 player mode will keep your interest for all of seventeen seconds. This is the type of football game that will make you cry, think about your actions, then go out and buy a real footaball and kick it around in the road until you get run over go a bicycle. I'm no prophet of doom - but buying this will ruin your life and be the biggest waste of money in the world ever. Okay? Thankyou - now I'll go and mop my brow.
The Good The intro flyby really shows off the great graphics. The first thing to hit you will be the graphics. This game really does look the business, running at a rock solid 60 frames per second, with fantastically detailed players and stadiums. Virtua Striker 2 is really a graphical treat. The crowd is the best yet in a soccer game, and although limited to just basic animation, they still look quite realistic, thanks to their waving flags and such. The player animation is fluid and doesn't suffer from the jerkiness associated with the FIFA games since their transition into 3D. Also, the pitch is very detailed, being more muddy around the centre and goal mouths. The game physics are near perfection with the ball bouncing perfectly, violently rebounding off the goal bar/posts, and sending a cascade of ripples down the goal nets as a 40-yard screamer rockets into the top corner. The colours are vibrant and the whole game seems alive, contributing to the carnival atmosphere typically associated with a World Cup match. Apart from the obligatory arcade mode there are few new additions, although the ones there are are excellent, especially the ranking mode. The other modes include a league option and standard versus matches. Sega has also made a few additions to the configuration options. However, the only two of much use are the ability to toggle between real length halves, and to swap ends at half time. The other excellent addition is the ability to save your best goals to your VMU, although they can take up to 35 blocks at a time so one of the larger 3rd party VMUs will be a worthwhile investment if you want to create your own highlights show. The game has only one camera angle (from the side, TV style), but thankfully it zooms in and out, and displays all the pitch you need to see (except when you're on the far side of the field). Although you are limited to just one view in-game, the view can be changed around when playing back
saved goals. GOOOOOAAAAAL!!! Although all soccer games are based around the same set of rules, they all differ in their interpretation of how the player should control the game. This is where Virtua Striker 2 shows its arcade heritage, which can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for in a soccer game. The game has quite a simplified control system compared to other soccer titles, with only 4 buttons used. These are for shooting, long passing (or slide tackling when you don't have possession), short passing, and formation changing (out of a selection of three pre-set for each team). Although this reduces the scope for tactics somewhat, it does actually make the game more like a fighting game, in terms of mastery. Combinations of attacks and tactical positions yield goals, whilst others defend goals which makes for an intense and enjoyable 2 player experience (once a few initial gripes have been overcome.. more on those later). Scoring an amazing goal in the 2 player mode really gets the adrenaline pumping. The sound in Virtua Striker 2 isn't particularly impressive, although one great addition (or rather lack of it) is there's no annoying commentary. The crowd noises are great with quite a variety of samples, although the tackling noise does get repetitive after a while, sounding more akin to someone sneezing than a sliding tackle across turf. The actual ball makes a great sound when landing or being kicked, and it looks very impressive to boot (pun not intended) being a fully polygonal and very spherical affair. The Bad As I said earlier, opinions on this game will differ, as its simpler control will be seen as a gripe by some people. The lack of a complex control system can be the game's downfall if you want a more involving and strategic game of soccer. The most glaring omission for people after a game like this will undoubtedly be the lack of a 'run faster' button. All pla
yers run at the same speed, meaning to create goals you have to pass the ball around your players until you either end up with a break towards the box, down the flanks for a cross, or you lose possession to the other player. The game also has no 'change player' button, which is ok for most of the time as the game will pick the correct player for you. But sometimes when attacking, the player nearest to the ball might be down or recovering from a slide tackle, in which case he is not the best player to have selected. Unfortunately, the game will put him under your control regardless. You get a nice third person view when throwing the ball back into play. The other major annoyance is there's no support for the analogue pad, another sign of the game's arcade heritage. Although this is initially frustrating, especially if you have got used to the accuracy of the analogue pad in soccer games on other formats (such as ISS64 on the N64), with time it becomes less annoying. However, this combined with the slow turning players can be enough to put off newcomers to the game straight away. The options that have been added to the game for the home version, apart from the real time counter and swapping ends each half, are detrimental to the gameplay. In particular, the "offside" option ruins the game's fast and furious arcade-style gameplay, and the "cards" option reduces slide tackles to pot luck.. Sometimes you get booked, and sometimes you don't. I recommend you leave both of these options off. Finally, the lack of a 4 player option is disappointing. Considering how much the game shines in multiplayer mode, 4 players at once could have made the game even better. Hopefully, the upcoming Dreamcast ISS game from Konami will build upon Virtua Striker 2's successes, whilst keeping the superlative gameplay associated with Konami's soccer titles (and its 4 player mode).
This is arcade style football at it's best. People looking for a football simulation should probably look elsewhere, but for the rest of us this is the perfect football game. The controls are easy although sometimes a bit sluggish, the usual commands are available pass, shoot, long kick etc. The Graphics are fantastic with great player animations. The great thing about this game is that it never gets boring in two-player, and I find myself often playing against friends (and losing!), This game has all the action of real football but without the complicated controls of other games. Because of this it's my favourite football game currently available with iss64 a close second.
Before this game was released, I read a whole lot of hype about how this was going to blow all other footie games out of the water. I remember seeing somewhere this 'count down' until VS2 was released. I love football games, they are my favourite and the anticipation of playing 'the mother of all soccer games' was just too much. Well, I forked out my 40 quid and hot footed it home for a session! Got home, lashed in the disk and from the opening sequence I just new this was going to be tremendous… Oh boy, how wrong can someone be? This is, in my mind, the worst football game I have ever played (and I have played kick off on the spectrum years ago!). Control is slow, it is almost impossible to keep hold of the ball when playing against the CPU which makes it more into a 'hoof and hope' type game. I played the game for no more than an hour and it hasn’t come out of its box since. I feel completely and utterly cheated by this game. 40 quid for something that appears to have been knocked up by a halfwit who knows absolutely nothing about the beautiful game. DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!
With three other football games available for the dreamcast, Virtua Striker had to be something special to make it stand out from the others. With great disappointment Virtua Striker fails to do this in any department, while the graphics and sound are good they are nothing special and the controls are a nightmare, after you press a button it takes at least a second for your player to react resulting in you losing the ball. Virtua Striker could have been something special if the programmers had tried just a little bit harder and I would recommend that you try Worldwide Soccer Euro edition or UEFA striker instead.
I think all of my beloved fans out there will NOT think this is a spanking gorgeous pop noodle of a game although having quite good graphics and a good backgroound crowd this game will end up in the bargain bin for years to come. I do not see how any one but a diseased baboon would want to spend their sixpence and ha'penny on this stinker of a game. boo hoo you are breakin' my heart jimmy. this might be a game for scientists to test and see how they could of made it any worse.