Search For Posters!
  Join the SGN staff!
Help Wanted
Release Dates


About Us

The Sports

Partner Links
Auto Insurance Quote
Irvine Moving Companies
LA Moving Companies
Brand Name Shoes

[an error occurred while processing the directive]

Virtua Striker 2 (DC) Review

Background Info

If there's one thing Sega can do, it's pump out Dreamcast games based on the quarter-eating stand-ups found in the local arcade. The latest arcade conversion is Virtua Striker 2, which emphasizes arcade action over a true simulation of the world's most popular sport. It's too bad America doesn't feel the same way about soccer, and with this offering from Sega, Virtua Striker 2 won't do much to endear the casual soccer fan.

Presentation/Graphics : 70
When I first started Virtua Striker 2, my jaw dropped. The in-game graphics of the players were simply stunning. Every detail imaginable was there. I found the player models to be the best of any of the sports games out. Uniforms are detailed down to the proper color and logo schemes for the international squads. Player bodies are anatomically correct. Such details as muscles and bones are clear on every player, and each player has a unique and intricately modeled face.

The animations are nothing short of spectacular. Some of the long-haired players have ponytails which bounce up and down as they run down the field. The sprints, tackles, and kicks seamlessly flow in a natural way. Even the crowd gets into the action as huge flags wave in the stands.

The stadium pitch has a natural look to it, and the pitch itself is bordered by detailed advertisements. And as a bonus, Sega utilizes your Dreamcast's clock in the graphical presentation. If you play the game at night, Virtua Striker 2 gives you an evening contest.

The only graphical problem is the camera. Unfortunately, with only one camera view available, the camera ruins the gameplay. For most of the game, the camera views the action from a close distance. While providing incredible views of the action, it restricts the amount of field you can see. A radar at the bottom of the screen lets you know of players down the field, but I'd rather stare at the beautiful graphics than at the radar. If I wanted to play soccer with colored blocks, I'd break out my Atari 2600!

Presentation/Audio : 65
The sound in Virtua Striker 2 is nothing special. The game has limited commentary. The commentary is limited to descriptions of major events during the game, such as the announcer stating, "Corner kick." Stunning insight. If you are expecting the top-notch commentary found in the FIFA booth, forget it. Despite the commentary, the game does a good job capturing the essence of the crowd noise. In fact, the majority of the sound comes from the roars of the crowd. If either team scores a goal, you'll hear an announcer scream goal in a manner similar to that dude that does soccer play-by-play on one of those Spanish stations.

The sound of feet kicking the ball is actually well done, as not all kicks sound the same. What is disappointing is the sound generated by either tackling the ball away or nearly getting the ball. What can only be described as the swooshing sound of a metallic brush, the sound is truly bizarre. It adds nothing to the atmosphere and makes you want to turn the sound down.

Interface/Options : 40
The controls in Virtua Striker 2 are simplistic. Ground passes are executed with the A button while lobs are kicked with the X button. Shots are controlled with a B button. Unfortunately, player movement is controlled with the digital pad. Defensively, you are limited to running into your opponents or slide tacking. The simple controls are both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you only need to memorize a few button movements. On the other hand, it severely cripples the number of moves you can execute. You get nothing more than a basic brand of soccer.

Virtua Striker 2 supports the arcade stick, and using it will improve your impressions of the game to some extent. The digital pad on the standard Dreamcast controller gets old quickly, and the arcade stick yields a slightly better response.

Gameplay : 20
Have you ever watched little kids learn to play baseball? Even if you haven't, I'm sure you know how some kids are afraid of balls. Throw a ball at a kid and he may freak out and run as if a grenade has been tossed his way. Well, the players in Virtua Striker 2 must be new to the soccer game. At times you'll think the players are afraid of the ball. As you pass to a player, the odds are almost even that he'll get to the ball or run away from it. This seems to occur more frequently on defense.

The problem is that the programmers did an incredibly poor job with the control. The Dreamcast controller has a nice analog stick. For some reason you can't use it; you have to use the digital pad. After a game or two your thumbs start throbbing. The first few times you play it, you'll be befuddled as you press hard on the digital pad and watch your player go in the other direction. To save my thumbs, I switched to an arcade stick. With thumbs safe from pain, I was free to watch my players aimlessly run down the field.

You see, there is no manual switching of players. The game decides for you who the controllable player will be. On defense, this is supposed to be the player nearest the ball. And when the CPU finally switches to the right player, the game keeps a tight grip on your player. You can press the stick hard right, yet the player goes nowhere but left. It gets to the point where you can almost not control any of the players on defense. It's terribly frustrating on defense and not much better on offense.

On offense, your players lack the cutting ability to run downfield. The defense has little trouble catching up from behind or getting the ball from ahead because of the sluggish controls. The camera mentioned earlier also plays a role in the whole bad experience. Because the camera is too close to the action, you can't see far enough downfield to effectively pass to a teammate. Passes, which are either ground or lob passes, require you to stay fixated on the radar below.

If Sega had just polished the game up a little more it would have been a hit for sure. The camera and sluggish control make this game a chore to play. Letting you manually switch players and having those players move in the direction you want would have improved the play immensely. Analog control would have been nice, but the arcade stick with its digital mode is fine. In fact, this otherwise terrible game was somewhat more enjoyable when using the arcade stick. But not much.

Replay Value : 10
The replay is limited to a couple of games, after which you'll be looking for your receipt. If you bought it from a place that takes games back, you'll breathe a sigh of relief. If you didn't, you'll be pissed that you just blew forty bucks for utter junk.

Overall : 35
As it stands, this is just not a fun game. It has annoying control, a poor vantage point from which to implement any type of strategy, and an AI that wants to control both the CPU players and yours. While I wasn't expecting a game like the FIFA series, I was expecting arcade fun along the lines of Konami's ISS series. What I got instead was a sloppy game with stunning graphics but little else. The Atari 2600 soccer is, in all honesty, more fun.

By: James Smith 4/25/00

© 1998-2006 Sports Gaming Network. Entire legal statement. Feedback

Other Links:
[Free Credit Report  |   Car Insurance Quotes  |   Designer Shoes  |   Outdoor Equipment

MVP Baseball 2003
Street Hoops
Mad Catz Xbox Hardware

Inside Pitch 2003
MLB Slugfest 20-04
Tennis Masters Series



[an error occurred while processing the directive]