Fighting Wipers 2
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Way back in 1996 Sega released Fighting Vipers, an arcade title based on the razor-sharp fighting engine of Virtua Fighter 2. Sega took eight funky characters, suited them in armor, and encased them in a steel cage. The result was a highly addictive but relatively shallow game, a sort of Virtua Fighter Light. Controls were easy, counters were a cinch, and the joy of breaking off an opponent's armor then smashing them through a steel cage was unprecedented. Fans clamored for a sequel and five years later, it's finally here.
Fighting fanatics have good reason to salivate until this disc hits North America. The graphics are superior to VF3: The polygonal curves of Honey, Grace and Jane rival those of Kasumi, Tina and Lei-Fang of Dead or Alive 2--but you can intentionally blow off their clothes in this game. Raxel's default stance has him strumming a perpetual air guitar; Jane's dropped hef Aliens uniform for one a bit more, uh, "feminine," and Sanman now resembles a steam engine instead of a contestant in RollerDerby. Two newcomers include Emi, an anime-inspired little girl who zips around the ring on a jet pack and the BMX-riding Charlie, who wields his bike as efficiently as Picky does his skateboard. Character design hasn't been this bizarre since George Lucas thought Jar Jar Binks was a worthy addition to Episode I. Three hidden fighters have been planned, but Pepsiman is a confirmed no-show. Though combat is based on the same engine as the original, many gamers will recognize touches that were clearly inspired by Virtua Fighter 3.
Throws can be escaped, side throws have been added, and attacks can be reversed as well as countered. Sega's even tossed in a two-round winning "Super K.O." technique, a move that can only be used when all of one's armor has been destroyed--but it's not an instant kill. Despite multiple modes of play (Team Battle, Versus, Survival and Arcade), the fighting scene has changed significantly since the original Fighting Vipers was released. Does this updated version of a rather old game contain enough original material to compete with the likes of DOA2 or Soul Calibur? We should know as soon as next month when we get our hands on the U.S. final.