Virtua Fighter was one of those games you remember where you were when you first laid eyes on it. For me, it was in a local gaming store called the Player’s Edge, long since bought out by Movie Gallery and then closed. The animation of the game simply floored me, far and above what could then only be considered choppy and unrealistic efforts of Street Fighter II.
It’s not something you look back on and laugh at yourself for believing it was the pinnacle of gaming. It was far too special, and it still is today. Akira became my character of choice, and while Jacky eventually superceded him over the years, that first 50 ¢ (likely the first time I paid that much for a single credit) is always remembered.
The game nearly led me to purchase a Saturn when it was released, though the overly high price tag led me to hold off. Instead, I found a 32X at Wal-Mart around a year later on clearance and of course, Virtua Fighter. That copy remains on my shelf, and while I’ve been through far more 32X consoles than any other in my collection, that first copy remains in a special place on my shelves, much like the game does is my gaming memories.
Images and review courtesy of Digital Press.