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|Developer(s)||Sega AM R&D #2|
|Publisher(s)|| Sega |
Time Warner Interactive (Sega Saturn)
|Designer(s)|| Yu Suzuki |
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Sega Genesis, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn|
|Arcade system||Sega Model 1|
Virtua Racing or V.R. for short, is a Formula One racing arcade game, developed by Sega AM2 and released in 1992. Virtua Racing was initially a proof-of-concept application for exercising a new 3D-graphics platform under development, the "Model 1". The results were so encouraging, that Virtua Racing was fully developed into a standalone arcade title. Though its use of 3D polygonal graphics was predated by arcade rivals Namco ( Winning Run in 1988) and Atari ( Hard Drivin' in 1989), Virtua Racing had vastly improved visuals in terms of polygon count, frame rate, and overall scene complexity, and displayed multiple camera angles and 3D human non-player characters, which all contributed to a greater sense of immersion. Virtua Racing is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time, for laying the foundations for subsequent 3D racing games and for popularizing 3D polygonal graphics among a wider audience.
The original arcade game has three levels, designated into difficulties. Beginner is "Big Forest", intermediate is "Bay Bridge" and expert is "Acropolis". Each level has its own special feature, for example the amusement park in "Big Forest", or the "Bay Bridge" itself, or the tight hairpin of "Acropolis".
When selecting a car, the player can choose different transmission types.VR introduced the "V.R. View System" by allowing the player to choose one of four views to play the game. This feature was then used in most other Sega arcade racing games (and is mentioned as a feature in the attract mode of games such as Daytona USA ). It was later ported to home consoles, starting with the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994.
V.R. was released in a "twin" cabinet – the standard and most common version, which is effectively 2 complete machines built into a single cabinet. The Twin cabinets for the U.S. were manufactured by contract at Grand Products, Inc. in Illinois for Sega and were built using Wells-Gardner 25" monitors, nearly all of which had Zenith picture tubes with a manufacturing defect that caused them to fail after a few years of use. As a result of this, many V.R. machines were parted or thrown out and are an uncommon sight today. The Twin cabinet that was sold in the rest of the world was built by Sega in Japan and used 29" Nanao monitors.
Also available was an upright (UR), which was a single-player cabinet using the same force-feedback steering as the twin.
There was also a Deluxe version, known as the V.R. DX cabinet type, which is also a single-player machine and has a 16:9 aspect-ratio Hantarex monitor (the first use of a widescreen aspect ratio monitor in an arcade game), and 6 airbags (3 on each side) built into the seat that will inflate and "nudge" the player when cornering, and one more airbag on the player's back that inflates under braking. The seat is also adjustable via "forward" and "back" buttons using air pressure. V.R. DX's force-feedback steering also uses two pneumatic cylinders to rotate the steering wheel, which differ from the electric motor-and-clutch system that the upright and twin versions use (which have no inbuilt air system), so the steering feel is quite different.
Virtua Formula was released in 1993. It was unveiled at the opening of Sega's second arcade amusement park Joypolis, where a whole room with 32 machines was dedicated to the game. Virtua Formula was effectively a "super DX" version of V.R. and the player sat in a full-motion hydraulically actuated Formula One car 'replica' in front of a 50-inch screen. Most of these units were converted into Sega's second-generation Indy car simulator, Indy 500 , and are commonly found at larger Sega Gameworks locations in the U.S.
All versions of Virtua Racing are linkable up to 8-players; meaning 4 twin units or 8 DX, UR, or Virtua Formula cabinets can be linked together using fiber-optic cables. In addition to this, there was an optional display known as the Live Monitor that would sit atop the twin cabinets and replay action shots of what was occurring with actual players in a "virtual sportscast" by a virtual commentator, "Virt McPolygon". There is only one track.
Due to the complexity of the Model 1 board, a home console version seemed unlikely, until 1994 when a cartridge design incorporating the Sega Virtua Processor (SVP) on an extra chip was created to enable a version on the Genesis/Mega Drive. This chip was extremely expensive to manufacture, leading Sega to price the Genesis version of Virtua Racing unusually high: US$100 in the United Statesand £70 in the United Kingdom.
The game renders 9,000 polygons per second with the SVP chip, significantly higher than what the standard Genesis/Mega Drive hardware is capable of.The game was incompatible with Majesco Entertainment's re-released Genesis 3 from 1998, and would not work on any Genesis equipped with a Sega 32X.
The Sega 32X version, also known as Virtua Racing Deluxe, was released in 1994, developed by Sega AM2, and published by Sega under the Sega Sports label. It performed much more closely to the original arcade and included two extra cars ("Stock" and "Prototype") as well as two new tracks ("Highland" and "Sand Park").
The Sega Saturn version, previously known by the working title Virtua Racing Saturn, was released in 1995 and developed and published by Time Warner Interactive. The Saturn release has the game soundtrack as standard Red Book audio, which can be listened to in any CD player. The Saturn version also includes seven new courses and four new cars. Unlike other versions, it features Grand Prix mode, where players drive a series of cars and the tracks to earn points.
A remake, called Virtua Racing: FlatOut, was released for the PlayStation 2 under the Sega Ages 2500 label. It was released in Japan in 2004 and in North America and Europe in 2005 as part of the Sega Classics Collection . It includes three new courses and four new cars.
As part of the Sega Ages series, a port of Virtua Racing for the Nintendo Switch was released digitally in Japan on April 24, 2019 and elsewhere on June 27, 2019. Developed by M2, it is a port of the original arcade version with the frame rate increased to 60fps and presented in the 16:9 aspect ratio. Also new to this port is the ability to play online with up to 2 players and offline up to 8 players on a single system. The game also features online leaderboards with downloadable replays for the top 50 players on each track, an additional easier steering option and a Grand Prix mode that increases the number of laps to 20. Virt McPolygon also cameos in the game upon replaying a Grand Prix race.
The arcade version was well received upon release. In Japan, Game Machine listed it on their October 15, 1992 issue as being the most-successful upright arcade unit of the year. 's deluxe cabinet earnings chart in October 1992, and it remained at the top through March, April and May 1993. It was later number-two in August 1993 (behind Stadium Cross), and remained at number-two in October 1993 (behind Suzuka 8 Hours ). At Japan's 1992 Gamest Awards, it was nominated for Best Action, Best Direction, and Best Graphics, but lost to Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition , Art of Fighting , and Xexex , respectively.It also debuted in North American arcades at the top of RePlay
Upon its arcade release, Electronic Gaming Monthly called it a "racing masterpiece" and said its "lifelike racing sensations are extremely impressive and exciting". They called it "one of the most realistic racing games ever" and concluded that it leaves "all other racing games eating its technological dust".Computer and Video Games reviewed Virtua Formula in early 1994, stating that it is "one of the most exciting" arcade driving games and praising the "hydraulic control" of the cabinet. They concluded that, while its graphics are not as "drop-dead stunning" as the more recent Ridge Racer , Virtua Racing still has a greater "heart-pumping sense of speed."
GamePro named the Genesis/Mega Drive version the best Genesis game shown at the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show, commenting, "While obviously a great deal of graphic clarity, detail, and color was lost, the game play is stunningly faithful to the coin-op. ... this is the best version [of Virtua Racing] you'll see until Sega's mystery 32-bit home system leaves orbit."In their later review, they complimented the game on its inclusion of all the elements of the arcade version aside from the support for up to eight players, and remarked that though the graphics are not as good as the arcade version, they feature faster-moving polygons than any other cartridge game. They criticized the audio and low longevity but nonetheless concluded "VR is the best 16-bit racer yet." The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly scored it 31 out of 40 (average 7.75 out of 10). Like GamePro, they criticized the audio but held that the game, though not as good as the arcade version, was the best racer yet seen on cartridge-based systems. Famitsu magazine scored the Mega Drive version of the game 33 out of 40, calling it a "groundbreaking" port; later in September 1994, their Reader Cross Review gave it an 8 out of 10. Diehard GameFan stated that "the speed, graphic intensity and addictive gameplay that made the arcade game a major hit are all included in this awe inspiring release." Mega placed the game at number 4 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time.
GamePro gave the 32X version a highly positive review, stating that it successfully addressed the Genesis version's longevity problem with its new cars and new tracks. They also praised the improved graphics, details, and controls, and the retention of on-the-fly view switching even in two-player split-screen mode.Next Generation reviewed the 32X version of the game, Virtua Racing Deluxe, and stated that "VR Deluxe is a near-perfect conversion of a game that's still fun to play."
The two sports reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Saturn version scores of 8 and 7 out of 10, with the first reviewer praising the added content and overall improvement over the previous home ports, and the second reviewer saying that the game is enjoyable but doesn't fully use the graphical capabilities of the Saturn.GamePro similarly remarked "This version not only looks better than both the Genesis and 32X versions, it also has a ton more options." They remarked that the graphics are not as good as Daytona USA , but that the game has better music and is more fun to play. A reviewer for Next Generation felt that Virtua Racing was antiquated by this time, particularly with the imminent release of Sega Rally Championship on the Saturn. However, he acknowledged that the game had enough historical impact to draw its share of loyalists, and said the Saturn version "is not only arcade-perfect, it also contains crucial features not present in the original." Rich Leadbetter of Sega Saturn Magazine praised the additional tracks and cars as giving the game more depth than an arcade racer, but countered that what most gamers wanted was a straight conversion of the coin-op Virtua Racing, not a home-oriented remake. He concluded that the Saturn version is good on its own terms, but completely overshadowed by the Saturn conversion of Sega Rally Championship, which was to be released just a few weeks after. Maximum made the same comments but were more vehement in their criticism of the fact that the Saturn version is not a straight conversion of the arcade game.
In 1994, it appeared at 4th place on Mega 's list of Top Mega Drive Games of All Time. In 1996, the arcade, 32X, and Saturn versions (but not the Genesis version) appeared at 11th place on Next Generation's list of Top 100 Games of All Time. They noted that their ranking it higher than any other racing game on the list (including Sega Rally Championship and Daytona USA) was deliberate, since Virtua Racing "drives better." In 2015, it appeared at 3rd place on IGN's list of The Top 10 Most Influential Racing Games Ever, behind Pole Position and Gran Turismo . According to Luke Reilly, while Winning Run was the first racing game with 3D polygons, Virtua Racing's "bleeding-edge 3D models, complex backdrops, and blistering framerate were unlike anything we’d ever seen." He added that it "allowed us to toggle between four different views, including chase cam and first-person view" which is "hard to imagine a modern racing game without" and said it "showed the masses what the future of racing games was going to look like".
The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. It was distributed under the name Super 32X in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.
The Sega VR is a virtual reality headset developed by Sega in the early 1990s. Versions were planned for arcades, Genesis, and Saturn. Only the arcade version was released, and the home console versions were canceled.
Virtua Fighter is a fighting game created for the Sega Model 1 arcade platform by AM2, a development group within Sega, headed by Yu Suzuki. It was released in October 1993 in Japan, Europe, And UK and November 28, 1993 in North America. It is the first game in the Virtua Fighter series, and the first arcade fighting game to feature fully 3D polygon graphics. The game has been ported to several platforms including the Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, and Microsoft Windows. A critically acclaimed and hit game, Virtua Fighter was highly regarded for its in-depth fighting engine and real world fighting techniques, and has been revolutionary and highly influential in the evolution of the genre and video games in general.
NBA Jam is a basketball arcade game published and developed by Midway in 1993. It is the first entry in the NBA Jam series. The project leader for this game was Mark Turmell. Midway had previously released such sports games as Arch Rivals in 1989, High Impact in 1990, and Super High Impact in 1991. The gameplay of NBA Jam is based on Arch Rivals, another 2-on-2 basketball video game. However, it was the release of NBA Jam that brought mainstream success to the genre.
Virtua Cop is a 1994 lightgun shooter created by Sega AM2 and designed by Yu Suzuki. Its original incarnation was an arcade game on the Sega Model 2 system. It was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Windows in 1997. The Saturn version included support for both the Virtua Gun and Saturn mouse, as well as a new "Training Mode" which consists of a randomly generated shooting gallery.
Sega Rally Championship is a 1994 racing video game developed by Sega AM3 and published by Sega. Originally released for arcades using the Sega Model 2 board, it was ported over to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Windows in 1997. The unique selling point of Sega Rally Championship was the ability to drive on different surfaces, with different friction properties, with the car's handling changing accordingly. As the first racing game to incorporate this feature, Sega Rally Championship is considered to be one of the milestones in the evolution of the racing game genre. It was also an early rally racing game and featured cooperative gameplay alongside the usual competitive multiplayer.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers is a head-to-head fighting game produced by Capcom and originally released as an arcade game in 1993. It is the fourth game in the Street Fighter II sub-series of Street Fighter games, following Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. In addition to refining and balancing the existing character roster from the previous versions, Super Street Fighter II introduced four new characters. It was also the first game to be developed on Capcom's CP System II hardware, which permitted more sophisticated graphics and audio over the original CP System hardware used in previous versions of Street Fighter II.
Daytona USA is a racing video game developed by Sega AM2 and released by Sega, with a limited release in 1993 followed by a full release in 1994. It was the first Sega game to debut on the Sega Model 2 arcade system board. Daytona USA is a stock car racing game where players race opponents and a clock on one of three tracks, including the Daytona International Speedway. Sega claims it is one of the highest-grossing arcade games of all time.
Revolution X is an arcade rail shooter game developed and published by Midway in 1994, featuring the rock band Aerosmith. It features gameplay similar to Midway's earlier Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In the game, players battle the oppressive New Order Nation regime and their leader Helga, who have abducted Aerosmith. Players use a mounted gun to control onscreen crosshairs and shoot enemies using compact discs. The members of Aerosmith are hidden throughout the game's international locales and must be found in order to receive the game's true ending.
Primal Rage is a versus fighting game developed and released by Atari Games to arcades in 1994. The game takes place on a post-apocalyptic version of Earth called "Urth". Players control one of seven large beasts that battle each other to determine the planet's fate. Matches feature many of the conventions of fighting games from the era including special moves and gory finishing maneuvers.
Lethal Enforcers is a 1992 shooting game released for the arcades by Konami. The in-game graphics consist entirely of digitized photographs. This caused controversy as it allowed players to shoot photorealistic representations of enemies.
Fighters Megamix is a 1996 fighting video game developed by Sega AM2 for the Sega Saturn. It is a video game crossover of various 3D arcade blockbusters by Sega, from the complete cast of Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers to Janet from Virtua Cop 2 and the Hornet car from Daytona USA. It allows gamers to play as the bosses of both Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers without codes.
Virtua Fighter 2 is a fighting video game developed by Sega. It is the sequel to Virtua Fighter and the second game in the Virtua Fighter series. It was created by Sega's Yu Suzuki-headed AM2 and was released in the arcade in 1994. It was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Microsoft Windows in 1997. In 1996, a super deformed version of the game, Virtua Fighter Kids, arrived in arcades and was ported to the Sega Saturn. A 2D remake was released for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1996. In addition, Virtua Fighter 2 was converted for the PlayStation 2 in 2004 as part of Sega's Ages 2500 series in Japan. The Mega Drive/Genesis port was re-released on the PS2 and PSP in 2006 as part of Sega Genesis Collection, on the Virtual Console for the Wii on March 20, 2007 (Japan) and April 16, 2007, and for iOS on January 20, 2011.
OutRunners (アウトランナーズ) is a racing video game developed by Sega and AM1 and released in Japan, Europe, and North America in 1992. It constitutes the third release in the arcade OutRun series and was ported to the Mega Drive in 1994.
The Sega Virtua Processor is a digital signal processor introduced by Sega in 1994 to expand the Mega Drive/Genesis' 3D capabilities.
WWF WrestleMania is a professional wrestling arcade game released by Midway Manufacturing Co. in 1995. It is based on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) professional wrestling promotion.
Rad Mobile is a racing arcade game developed by Sega AM3 and published by Sega. It was released in arcades in February 1991, then ported to the Sega Saturn in December 1994 under the name Gale Racer. A similar game with a two-seat cabinet was also released in 1991 as Rad Rally.
Virtua Fighter is a series of fighting games created by Sega-AM2 and designers Yu Suzuki and Seiichi Ishii. The original Virtua Fighter was released in November 28, 1993 and has received four main sequels and several spin-offs. The highly influential first Virtua Fighter game is widely recognized as the first 3D fighting game released.
Samurai Shodown is a competitive fighting game developed and published by SNK for their Neo Geo arcade and home platform. Released in 1993, it is the first installment in the Samurai Shodown series. In contrast to other fighting games at the time, which were set in modern times and focused primarily on hand-to-hand combat, Samurai Shodown is set in feudal-era Japan and was SNK's first arcade fighting game to focus primarily on weapon-based combat.
World Heroes is a 1992 fighting arcade game developed and published by Alpha Denshi with the assistance of SNK. It was originally released for the Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet on July 28, 1992. It is ADK's first game in the fighting game genre, as well as their earliest attempt in the fighting game trend of the '90s that was popularized by Capcom's 1991 arcade-hit Street Fighter II. It was even the last game with the "Alpha" logo labeled within the game before the developer became "ADK"; however, the "Alpha" logo was last used on one of the arcade flyers of its sequel.
Then in 1992, he changed gaming forever with Virtua Racing. Overnight, 'polygons' became the buzz-word of the industry ...