Virtua Fighter 3tb (Dreamcast)

Released: Jap, US, Europe and Arcade



Virtua Fighter 3tb Virtua Fighter 3tb

Virtua Fighter 3TB (VF3TB) is the third instalment of SEGA's critically acclaimed flagship 3D fighting series from AM2.

It was ported from the Model 3 arcade board by Genki, a company whom are veterans of the industry, for a launch title for the Dreamcast in all territories. Whilst not an arcade perfect port it successfully retained all of the gameplay and strategy - something perhaps more important, but it was evident that the product was rushed.

Gameplay has been tweaked a little. The 'TB' in the title refers to Team Battle. As the name suggests you pick a team of 3 fighters to fight against a team of 3 CPU controlled fighters. 3 match points are now needed to win the round.

In addition to the punch, kick and defend (button) system, VF3 also adds a new dodge or escape button. By pressing Button B characters can shift to the side slightly to evade an oncoming hit and therefore unleash an attack on their opponent. Under some circumstances this can make you vulnerable. For example, if teetering on the edge of an arena. Players views on the dodge button were mixed as some thought VF2 obtained perfection without.

Another item of note is that some arenas are no longer flat open spaces. Some may have slopes and steps. Others may be sealed at any of their four sides by a wall or fence reducing the chances of ring outs. Some will have a combination of both of these attributes.

The depth of gameplay that is linked with VF games remains. When it comes to technique, move combinations, and overall feel, few games can boast the depth of VF3's fighting engine.

The controls are very responsive though take note that character control is done with the D-Pad only. The analogue stick has no function within the game something which probably should have been implemented.

You can still select classic style matches from the title screen under Normal Mode. There is no specific Versus Mode, however, 1 on 1 matches can be played with the second player pressing START on their controller during any other matches. There is also a facility to save and load records of these bouts.

Each fighter from VF2 returns retaining their techniques as well as having plenty of new ones.

Two new characters; Aoi Umenokouji - a high school student and Taka Arashi - a sumo wrestler known for his brutality both join the competition therefore the complete line up is as follows:

Akira Yuki
Jacky Bryant
Pai Chan
Lau Chan
Jeffry McWild
Lion Rafale
Sarah Bryant
Wolf Hawkfield
Taka Arashi
Aoi Umenokouji

Other modes available include Training Mode where a character, an opponent and arena are selected and moves can be practised. This is useful as the difficulty level of the opponent can be chosen and every move made is listed on the screen.

There is also an option to view a movie detailing the history of the Virtua Fighter series as well as an options mode with some settings to tweak the gameplay, though nowhere near as much as VF2.

The game is relatively easily beaten in Arcade Mode on default difficulty, however, button mashing (which novice gamers seem to do) is not that effective. The higher difficulty settings which show the true nature of VF gameplay.

Graphically the game is sound. Though it lacked some of the visual wonder that the $20,000 arcade machine provided, it was still a rather slick and visually pleasing game compared to other console fighters at the time. Unless you were accustomed to the arcade version, it is no concern. Perhaps someone will do a side-by-side comparison.

The Japanese version suffers from some minor slowdown issues later cleared up for the US and PAL versions. For some reason the PAL version received borders and ran at 50hz though the official word from SEGA was that it was optimised to play at the same speed of the Japanese counterpart.

In terms of audio, the music and effects complement the game well although they are nothing particularly spectacular.

The lack of additional play modes does harm the game in the lastability department for a single player. Still plenty of fun can be had from Vs matches though it should be noted that there is no dedicated versus mode which is criminal for a VF game. It only makes sense if Genki simply did not have the time to implement one.

Since VF3TB, the franchise continued with a number of titles released in the arcades with some ported to PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360. Check out the Virtua Fighter Feature for more specific information.

As a side note, a port of VF3 was said to be actually completed by AM2 for the Saturn and required no additional hardware but never released by SEGA! There have never been any screenshots so only a select few at SEGA knows how this turned out.


Arcade Mode

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Change Order of Opponents

In Training, Normal or Team Battle Modes, the order of opponents can be changed (to the original arcade versions) by letting the timer run out on the character or stage select screens.

Alternate Costumes

When selecting a character, hold the START button before you select your character with any button (Button A, Y or B.)

Change Time of Fight in Training Mode

It is possible to change the time of day a fight is set.

Hold down Button X before starting on the selected stage with Button A for a night time setting.

Hold down Button X+START before starting on the selected stage with Button A for a day time setting.

Some of the changes to the background are more noticeable than others.

Slow Motion Replay

Press and hold the Button Y (Dodge) at the "KO" screen to receive a replay in slow motion.

Clean Pause

When the game is paused you see "Player 1 Pause" on the screen. To make it vanish for screenshots (or just fun) hold down Buttons X + Y.

Play Against the Alphabet Man

To play against the alphabet character in Normal Mode, at the character select screen highlight Akira and press START. Then highlight Lau and press START, finally highlight Pai and press START. Select your character with Button A.

All of your opponents will be rendered as the Alphabet Man.

Play as Alphabet Man

To play as the alphabet character in Normal Mode, at the character select screen highlight Akira and press START. Then highlight Lion and press START, finally highlight Pai and press START. Select your character with Button A.

Your character will be rendered as the Alphabet Man.

Play as Dural in any mode

On the character select screen, Press Down, Up, Right, Left, START. Dural will appear may be selected normally. Press Button A for silver Dural or press START+A to play as gold Dural.

Remixed Opening Soundtrack

To change the opening music to where you hear alternate music tracks during the games opening cinemas, simply press and hold START on both the first and second players controllers at the screen that shows the SEGA logo. Keep holding both until you hear the music begin to play.


Shun's Snowman

Best achieved in Vs Mode. Select Shun then any opponent, and select the desert as your stage. Here's the tricky part - defeat the opponent, but make sure Shun's back is facing the black part of the sky (the part opposite the sun). If done correctly, when the camera pans around Shun during his win pose, a snowman should appear on the dark side of the background!

Pai's secret win pose

Using Pai, you must defeat Akira with a perfect on Akira's stage. If done correctly, Pai will blow a kiss and mock one of Akira's victory taunts.

Hit by the subway train

To do this you have to select a character that can turn his back to his opponent fast, then select the Subway stage (Sarah's). When it says "Fight", turn around quickly and RUN towards the TRAIN. If done correctly you will be smashed like a bug. Now you have lost almost all your energy, one more hit and you're dead.

Jeffery's Train

Enter Training Mode, select Jeffrey as your character and choose anyone as your opponent. Hold START while selecting the desert stage (this gives you the desert with a city background). Perform Jeffery's Toe Kick-Splash Mountain (Down+Kick, D, DF ,F ,Defend+Punch). Shortly after the move is performed, a floating Subway train will fly across the sky. Use the Dodge button to move around and find it. You may have to perform the move more than once to get it to work.

Metal Pan Revenge

Choose VS mode and have a player choose either Kage or Jackie. Have Kage or Jackie defeat his opponent with a perfect. Immediately after the announcer says "K.O", have hold Guard, Punch, Escape, and Down on the controller, for the victory pose. Your character should give a victory sign, and a metal pan should drop on his head, out of nowhere! This will also work with Jacky.


Virtua Fighter Feature

Virtua Fighter 2 Feature

Games of the Month Archive (April 2004)


Virtua Fighter Series at 1-UP.

A more in-depth article about the game.

Virtua Fighter 3tb at Racketboy

Another review.

Virtua Fighter 3tb at IGN

A review of the Dreamcast version.

SEGA Dreamcast SEGA!

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