30, 1996 (Japan)
> Yu Suzuki's AM2 development team has been making games for Sega since
1985. Virtua Fighter 2 was already in arcades when AM2 decided to
branch off with Fighting Vipers. The gameplay is similar to VF, but
has a couple interesting differences. First, each player begins with
some sort of armor clothing to protect against attack. As you progress
through a match, it's possible to dislodge your opponent's armor via enough
well placed hits. Once that happens, a character without armor takes
damage much faster. The other major difference is the fact that each
match takes place in a ring surrounded by a wall. It is possible
(and cool to perform) to knock your opponent through the wall in a spectacular
> Just like Fighters MEGAMiX, if you
can find the import version, then buy it. Not only does it feature
PepsiMan, but it also includes a cool portrait mode. Don't worry,
the Japanese version is 100% English, hence the high importability rating.
> Fighting Vipers relinquishes the high resolution mode of Virtua Fighter
2 in favor of light source shading. It maintains a great frame rate
most of the time, with an occasional slowing. The characters are
nicely detailed and have a ton of different animations. Honey's (aka
Candy) butt bang (check out the bottom-right picture below) is my favorite.
The backgrounds are varied (no surprise), but they don't have any animation.
Everything zooms in and out constantly though, in order to provide the
best perspective. I'd say Axel's and Jane's stages are the most impressive.
In Axel's stage, you ride on a rising platform within a cityscape.
In Jane's stage, you fight in a boxing ring with multiple colored lights
flashing on and off from four directions. All in all, a great effort.
> Fighting Viper's gameplay utilizes a simple button layout of punch, kick,
and block. Of course, pressing certain combinations with or without
directional control will cause a plethora of moves to occur. There
is no way to counter, but while blocking, it's usually possible to sneak
in a counter strike. Recovery from a hit that sends you flying is
possible, so that you take less damage. As mentioned above, each
fighter wears armor, which can be knocked off in battle. By far,
the coolest move is to knock your opponent through a wall, while watching
it disintegrate into a million pieces!
> Sega can usually be counted on to produce decent music for their arcade
games. Fighting Vipers is no different. Most of the songs revolve
around the heavy metal realm, which I can really appreciate. The
driving guitars sound really good while I'm kickin' butt with Honey...
> The sound effects are good enough. Standard punches and kicks are
highlighted with occasional environmental effects, and great explosions
(while blasting through a wall). There's a little speech, but it's
> Choose from Arcade, Versus, Training, Team Battle, and Playback modes.
There are eight immediately selectable characters, most of which are cool.
The boss becomes available once you beat the game. Like most fighters,
the two player Versus mode is the way to go. It is, however, a satisfying
single player fighter.