Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Marvel Vs. Capcom….are all established tournament caliber fighting games. But one of the benchmark fighters in the industry always manages to get left out of the conversation. Virtua Fighter introduced 3D fighting to the world in 1993 and paved the way for Tekken and Soul Calibur. So why is it not respected in the fighting game community.
Many believe because the game requires dedication to become decent at. In a typical fighter, you can go to the training mode for about 10-15 minutes and get the gist of the game. Virtua Fighter requires days of training to figure out how each move can work with each other. The amount of time and patience needed to be just decent at the game is over the top. Players who wish to master series protagonist Akira will need months to get his timing down with his counters. Definitely not for the casual.
No other fighting game makes it as apparent when a noob is fighting a veteran than in Virtua Fighter. In Tekken, button mashers can pick Eddy Gordo and mash out a victory. Soul Calibur has Mitsugurgi. Even Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has the optional Simple Mode, where button mashers can pull off super combos with the press of a button. But in Virtua Fighter, if you do not know what you're doing, you are going to be made to look like a fool.
Perhaps the game is too hardcore and requires too much dedication for its own good. But that's what makes Virtua Fighter so special. The training, the mental games, the dedication, the timing, it really is like learning a fighting style of sorts. With the rumored Tekken Vs. Virtua Fighter in the works (man Tekken is fighting everybody), maybe the series will get the props it so rightly deserves.