Virtua Fighter 3 is one of the few fighting games I know that has little or no story line. But who needs one when you're king of the arcade? By far the best graphics and best use of 3D movement, VF3tb is arguably the most technical 3D fighting game around.

I know my way around arcades, but I am an amateur VF3 player at best. To my untrained eye, the Dreamcast version looks and feels the same as the arcade version. There's a slight load time during Team Battle mode, but by the time you notice the time lag, it's time to fight. VF3tb for the DC is Sega's greatest arcade translation to date. Definitely something Sega and their fans can rejoice about. Nothing comes close to the quality you will see on VF3tb for the DC. If you're not a VF3tb veteran, go to the arcade and spend some time watching VF3tb. When you get a DC, you'll be able to judge for yourself how well Sega did on the graphics. I think they've done an awesome job.

Normal mode follows other fighting game formats, use 1 character and kill or be killed. Team Battle mode allows you to choose a team of characters, all the same or all different. Depending on the victory conditions, your team can have up to 5 characters. You lose when all your characters are dead. Training mode is good, although a damage readout would have been nice. History mode shows a 10-minute video clip about the evolution of the characters from the beginning of the VF series and ends with each VF3 character showing off their moves. An extra movie starring the VF3 characters is viewable after beating Dural. Japanese magazines report that Dural is playable in training mode, but there are no reports of availability in the normal game yet.

My one and only gripe is the same as every other fighting game for consoles, the control pad. Every fighting game translated from the arcades is playable and enjoyable with a standard control pad, but I have never seen a normal control pad that works quite as well with a fighting game as they should. VF3tb and the DC are no exception. The button layout makes it difficult to do 3-button moves and the d-pad makes diagonals hard. The arcade stick is a possible solution, but even arcade sticks are far from arcade quality. Please keep in mind that this is a natural incompatibility that almost every fighting game for home consoles suffers from it.

This is the kind of game that sells systems. If you imported a Dreamcast and didn't get Virtua Fighter 3 Team Battle, I hope your excuse was "they were sold out", because if that's not your excuse, you probably bought a Dreamcast for the wrong reason. If you are still reading this and haven't left to go pick the game up, then what on earth are you waiting for, it rocks.

Game Data

Sega of Japan
1 + video disc
# of Players


Sound FX
Replay Value
Japanese Needed
1 - Very Minimal
Reviewer's Tilt
3 - Average
"This game should be spinning in every DC"


Special thanks go to Dimension S for sharing their screen captures with us.