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Why isn't Virtua Fighter as popular as Tekken?

It always confounded me how big Tekken is compared to VF.

The first 3 Virtua Fighter games outdid Tekken in looks in the arcade and on consoles. More fluid animation, faster paced gameplay, better music, and more than 3 memorable characters.

The only weakness I found was plot, but Tekken only had throw away stories in game until Tekken 5 anyway. Oh, and the game ending when winning or losing to Dural, a lot of people didn't like that.

Some will say Tekken was bigger earlier because of PlayStations growth, but more people brought a Saturn for VF1 and 2, than they brought a PlayStation for Tekken 1 and 2.

Even if we decide that's a valid excuse VF4 and 5 were still better looking, better animated, more fluid, faster paced games. Those titles were on multiple platforms.

Almost every other 3D fighter pales in comparison yet not only is Tekken much bigger by a wide margin, but VF isn't even a close second place.

Am I missing something here? Why are people gravitating toward Tekken all the time? It can't be the story surely? Tekken Force? Heihachi?
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
They did well in the Arcades, but you see.. Tekken became the signature fighting game for PlayStation, as it was coming up.

At home Virtua Fighter was a Saturn exclusive(at the time, excluding 32X). And although both series are really good, Virtua Fighter is deeper and harder to get good at. Tekken is a lot more mainstream, especially at that time. VF is more hardcore.
 
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Tekken has a much broader appeal to people of all ages. VF is aimed at the older market.

Tekken Has so much more to offer for single player content and its roster is insanely varied.

VF is strictly a multiplayer fighter, the other is a jack of all trades.
 

KAL2006

Banned
I personally think it's the characters that are more memorable. Although true story is lame in fighting games I still found the bfried intros and ending for Tekken more engaging. A story helps with the character design they go hand in hand. Where as Virtua Fighter all the characters aren't memorable.
 

NahaNago

Member
I thought it was more popular until like Tekken 3. PLus tekken kept popping out games while virtua fighter was silent. I was kinda shocked that it took so long for a soul caliber game to come out as well.
 
S

SpongebobSquaredance

Unconfirmed Member
I think the reason for that is that both Tekken and its platform, the Playstation, have a broader appeal.

Virtua Fighter wasn't unpopular. I was insanely popular in Japan, successful in the Arcades, it even did well on the Saturn.
...but Tekken did better and was a flagship title on the Playstation (which annihilated the Saturn in sales.)
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Cos you can't just bust a move it and pull off 10 hit dial a combos and arcades in general where VF (mostly in Japan tbh) reigned supreme were dying out (in the rest of the world).

Maybe they should try doing the guard traditionally too and giving you weak medium strong buttons instead or something (otherwise just punch and kick wouldn't be enough for the combination moves that use the guard button), Idk but for many that's the first roadblock, having to use guard with a button.

People bashed things like the original VF on Saturn and VF3tb on Dreamcast too much for their differences to the arcades, both were fine and the biggest issue was the original super pioneering games were outdated artistically themselves but with the powerful arcades brute forcing too many polygons etc. to port.

I think VF3tb hampered the series as well, sure it was technically good but a dedicated dodge button on top of a guard button was a bit too god tier technique, it's good later games streamlined that with just up/down directions but by the time VF4 came to PS2 Tekken was already king with no real competition since 3 on PS1.

Even though Tekken 3 shouldn't need newer competition than Virtua Fighter 2 which was the superior game anyway of course, that still was a 1994 game ported in 1995 and Tekken 3 was the new hot shit in 1997 and the port in 98, plus it had taken things like side stepping from VF3 and streamlined them and seemed modern.
 
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Kagoshima_Luke

Gold Member
Virtua Fighter was built to be a literal virtual fighter - a 3D videogame where you control people who use actual fighting styles in a fluid way. Tekken came in later and made it more snappy and accessible (i.e. more videogamey). It's no surprise that Tekken ended up gaining popularity fast and took over as the dominant 3D fighting game.
 

Agent X

Member
Both games seemed fairly close in popularity in their early years during their first two games. I think Tekken 3 was about the time where that series pulled ahead noticeably. If I recall correctly, the arcade game Virtua Fighter 3 was very expensive, so it likely didn't appear in as many arcades as Tekken 3.

In the home market, Tekken took the lead almost immediately. The original version of Virtua Fighter for Saturn was rushed in development, and had some noticeable graphical glitches, whereas Tekken on PlayStation was much more impressive looking, both as an arcade conversion and in comparison to VF on Saturn. Sega later released Virtua Fighter Remix, and then a very nice port of Virtua Fighter 2, but by this time the PlayStation already had a sizable lead on the Saturn, and Tekken 2 was no slouch.

When Tekken 3 reached PlayStation, there was no home version of Virtua Fighter 3 in response at that time (that wouldn't arrive until the Dreamcast). Tekken had run away with the ball, and there was no looking back.
 
I don't get this access thing. To be competitive at Tekken outside mashing, you have to know more mechanics and memorize more complex combos than VF. More rules for spacing and hitboxes to remember too.

A person can learn the basics and a few combos in VF and they are on the learning curve
 

01011001

Gold Member
Tekken got more mainstream attention because it was on PS1, then Snoop Dogg was publicly saying that he is a Tekken fan, he made a song for Tekken TT2 with a stage where he sits in the background. one thing lead to the other. the PS1 was popular, Tekken was the hot new game, public figure praising it etc. etc.
it was just the PS1 times where it was the absolutely dominating machine, and Virtua Fighter being on the (in the west) failing Saturn only stopped it right in its tracks...



and yes, I agree with M MvCSpiderman saying VF is more complex or harder than Tekken is not really true. but Tekken 3 gave noobs a character that they can easily do random combos with, and that character is of course Eddy Gordo. I think that character is the reason people think that Tekken is easy... as someone who played both and who tried to get into Tekken, I can say, Tekken is fucking hard to get good at... like really hard. I am way better in VF5 than I am in any Tekken game. granted I played VF5 for longer than any Tekken game, but I also had a way easier time getting into VF5 than gettin into Tag Tournament 2 for example
 
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Celcius

°Temp. member
I would say that even Dead or Alive is more popular than Virtua Fighter. It’s been a while since they released an entry in the series, plus it just has never really looked that interesting to me.
 

ABnormal

Member
It's far more complex to master, deeper, it has only few, well balanced characters (instead of countless reskinned clones).
 

ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
I’m still waiting for Battle Arena Toshinden to take over.
I thought sure these posters would do the trick
 

JTCx

is on threat of perm for trolling. Please report.
I don't get this access thing. To be competitive at Tekken outside mashing, you have to know more mechanics and memorize more complex combos than VF. More rules for spacing and hitboxes to remember too.

A person can learn the basics and a few combos in VF and they are on the learning curve
You're correct on the accessibility part. Both Tekken and VF have insane amount of depth. No game is more complex than the other, each require different amounts of knowledge. Those saying VF is much 'deeper' than Tekken clearly don't play/understand the game at that level. VF is more niche franchise, so there's the assumption that its more 'hardcore'. Tekken has a broader appeal with the Playstation brand with a lot more varied and interesting characters. Namco also cranked out a lot of games for Tekken, while Sega just sat around doing revisions for VF5. VF was more in line with Japan due to the arcade scene.
 
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Neff

Member
Tekken was on PlayStation. Slicker presentation. More content.

Because it requires a higher level of execution.

More technical so less accessible.

This is a myth. VF is easier to play than Tekken.

Those saying VF is much 'deeper' than Tekken clearly don't play/understand the game at that level. VF is more niche franchise, so there's the assumption that its more 'hardcore'.

Precisely.
 
Tekken has done a good job at being "seen" with different forms of media such as releasing games every two years (Until Tekken 7), mobile games, movies, crossover games, guest characters etc. VF hasn't really done any of that. I feel like it can if SEGA played their cards right but I feel like purists will be upset if SEGA took a risk and added guest characters to its game or added some flash to it such as supers etc.. I've seen people complaining about the minor hitsparks they added in Ultimate Showdown.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
VF is the most boring fighting game out of all known fighting franchises.

The gameplay, characters, music and moves are a snore. The number of moves seem the lowest too. Maybe it's changed with the recent VF games, but I remember playing Tekken and VF games in the 90s and Tekken games had endless moves, combos and throws and great music. VF characters probably had half the moves. And Tekken always seemed to have more characters.

Tekken games also seemed to have more content even if some of it was cheesy like Tekken Ball or Tekken Force or weird stuff like log man and the small dinosaur
 

NullZ3r0

Banned
Because Tekken was made popular by the Playstation and Virtua Fighter was mainly a Sega Arcade/Sega console franchise which never were as popular as Playstation during that era. Prior to Playstation, coin-op was the best graphical experience for these types of games.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Tekken was on PlayStation. Slicker presentation. More content.





This is a myth. VF is easier to play than Tekken.



Precisely.
Exactly.

Tekken games even had sweet CGI intros on PS which gave the game a more complete package.

VF games who knows what the main story or theme is. Every key fighting game has an overall villain that shows up now and then. What's VF? That shiny Dural character? And Sega never seemed to put any extra production values to the series. The intro to the game is the exact same splash screen you see in the arcade which is basically an Insert Coin screen showing the characters with no backdrop story or anything.
 
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Tekken has done a good job at being "seen" with different forms of media such as releasing games every two years (Until Tekken 7), mobile games, movies, crossover games, guest characters etc. VF hasn't really done any of that. I feel like it can if SEGA played their cards right but I feel like purists will be upset if SEGA took a risk and added guest characters to its game or added some flash to it such as supers etc.. I've seen people complaining about the minor hitsparks they added in Ultimate Showdown.

Virtua Fighter had mobile game, an anime, cross-over games, and was a guest character itself. Also how many fireballs and lasers does DOA have? Zero. It's not needed.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Virtua Fighter 5 - Wikipedia

I just checked the roster. VF 5 has 19 characters (22 if you include Ultimate Showdown). And that includes Dural.

Out of those characters, 11 are the same as VF2, 13 from VF3, and 14 from VF4 (or 16 if you include Evo).

In other words, VF games since VF2 barely even add more characters each game. On average they add 2-3 new characters per game.

Same shit.
 
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Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Virtua Fighter had mobile game, an anime, cross-over games, and was a guest character itself. Also how many fireballs and lasers does DOA have? Zero. It's not needed.
Come on, we all know DOA had other round flashes in place of fireballs to sell itself with. And if anything it (used to?) play quite a bit like VF and many of its characters are VF knock offs (hence when it became a guest itself it fit in well) but because of said flashing it basically superseded it in popularity to the mainstream.

So, yeah, flash sells, in whatever way that materialises.

Virtua Fighter 5 - Wikipedia

I just checked the roster. VF 5 has 19 characters (22 if you include Ultimate Showdown). And that includes Dural.

Out of those characters, 11 are the same as VF2, 13 from VF3, and 14 from VF4 (or 16 if you include Evo).

In other words, VF games since VF2 barely even add more characters each game. On average they add 2-3 new characters per game.

Same shit.
Lol, a wikipedia expert judging games. You still got shit wrong, Ultimate Showdown as of now has no new characters so 5FS already had 19 + Dural. Game sequels can kinda evolve in other ways even with the same characters you know. Not that 20 is little when there are no clones with slightly different movesets/priorities.

Personally I could even do with them removing the likes of Brad and Goh, maybe Jean and the button masher wannabe of 4, Lei-Fei, in a sequel even if they don't replace them with any new ones, lol.
 
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Virtua Fighter had mobile game, an anime, cross-over games, and was a guest character itself. Also how many fireballs and lasers does DOA have? Zero. It's not needed.
Well I didn't know that. I don't know if it proves my point of VF not being "seen" or if it's my bias of my familiarity with Tekken but I do know Akira and Sarah was a guest character in DOA 5. Also I'm not saying VF needs lasers and fireballs but my point is Tekken took risks and added multiple guest characters with 2D game mechanics that appealed to fans of different forms of third party media. Although I hate Negan and Noctis being in the game and I'm not too fond of Akuma and Geese. Them being in the game introduced people to the game of Tekken and that's all what matters to me, it was great for marketing. SEGA needs to take more risk with VF and not only need to try to appeal to the purists. It doesn't need to nerf the gameplay.
 
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ManaByte

Gold Member
Virtua Fighter 5 - Wikipedia

I just checked the roster. VF 5 has 19 characters (22 if you include Ultimate Showdown). And that includes Dural.

Out of those characters, 11 are the same as VF2, 13 from VF3, and 14 from VF4 (or 16 if you include Evo).

In other words, VF games since VF2 barely even add more characters each game. On average they add 2-3 new characters per game.

Same shit.

Because most hardcore VF players learn one character and spend their life mastering it. I won't play anyone but Jacky. Been playing since VF1.
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Short Version: Virtua Fighter is significantly more difficult to learn and involves hours of study and practice to learn and become skilled. Tekken, and most of the major fighting games, can be played at an entry level by mashing buttons. It's two very different worlds.

Long Version: It's interesting how VF became so popular in Japan while never reaching more than minor cult status in the West, and even then only with Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn and VF4 on Playstation 2. It just never found a critical mass of fans who embraced it. But I've always felt that was because most players were never properly taught how it plays, combined with the overall casual-oriented nature of the genre. Most kids want fighting or wrestling games to be simple button-mashing affairs where you just crash on a couch and have fun with friends. They're not looking for a martial arts simulation that plays like algebra mashed with speed chess and rock-paper-scissors.

I say this, of course, as a diehard VF fan. But I freely admit that the series is unique in the genre and too complex for most players' tastes. At least in the mid 1990s, there were older gamers who enjoyed Karate Champ and International Karate, which were the spiritual ancestors to VF and focused on martial arts tactics. Today, I can't imagine that anybody under 35 has ever heard of KC or IK/IK+, aside from maybe super-diehard Amiga freaks.

In any case, Virtua Fighter involves many elements to study and master in order to become good. You can't just mash the punch button or find some secret move to use over and over and over. For example, here's a quick list of the skills you need to learn:

- Your fighter's move list.
- Your opponent's move list.
- The rock-paper-scissors structure of attacks, blocks and throws.
- The difference between minor and major counters.
- The difference between an attack's execution time and recovery time.
- Understanding of frame rate data and the difference between "punch counterable" and "throw counterable."
- The concept of throw escapes and an understanding of positioning (where you end up afterwards).
- Foot stance and the difference between "closed" and "open" stance.
- The difference between "canned" and "rolled" (or custom) combos.
- The use of guard-cancel to cease a canned combo.
- The uses of crouch dashing to save frames and set up attacks.
- Understanding different weight classes and how that affects floating.
- If you're playing VF 1-3, learning NOT to jump! Don't use those damned floaty jumps!

Let's compare this to Tekken 3 as an example. Here's how to play:

- Choose Eddy Gordo.
- Mash the kick buttons to perform his spectacular 10-hit breakdancing routine.
- Rinse and repeat.

See the difference?

Virtua Fighter just involves so much more, and the learning curve at the start is far higher than just about any major fighting videogame series. That depth and complexity is celebrated by fans because it really does reward practice, but this also has the downside of alienating rookies, who will always get their butts handed to them by more experienced players. It can be very discouraging and frustrating and Sega never really found a way to balance beginners and experts, even with the later installments of the series that added a lot of easy canned combos to the game.

For most gamers, fighting games are a casual affair, something that is just played for quick fun and not taken too seriously. They just want to mash buttons and have something cool happen. They don't want to spend an hour in a college course about a dozen different things they have to think about all at once while playing. They just want to play.

I never understood why Sega of America never bothered to teach gamers how to play VF the way it's meant to be played. They never released any strategy guides (the books that were published here only listed the moves and made no mention of any of my bullet points, especially the frame data, which is probably the most crucial element of gameplay). They never released any videotapes or DVDs showing competitions or tournaments or cool custom combos. They never built up a professional tournament scene like in Japan. They should have brought over the Tatsujin guys like Bun Bun Maru and Ikebukuro Sarah (they also should have released Anarchy in the Nippon, Zero Divide and DOA on Saturn, but that's another rant) to show the kids how it's done.

Unfortunately, for most casual gamers back in the day, VF was seen as nothing more than "punch-punch-kick" and an interesting curiosity, but lacking the polish and flash and simple joy of Tekken 3. Have I mentioned Eddy Gordo lately? That dude was literally the only thing pulling University of Minnesota boys away from Goldeneye, and lemmie tell you, that was a near-impossible feat. I'll bet half those guys still have their Nintendo 64's plugged into the television set to play Bond, that is, if their wives allow them to do so.
 
Tekken was on PlayStation.
Tekken got more mainstream attention because it was on PS1,

So was Street Fighter EX, Toshinden, Tobal, Bushido Blade, Dead or Alive, Ehrgeiz, Psychic Force, Fatal Fury Wild Ambition, Rival Schools, Star Gladiator, and Bloody Roar.

But none of those sold 8 million copies. Not even a third of that.

Prior to Playstation, coin-op was the best graphical experience for these types of games.
Uh, and it still was.
 

celsowmbr

Banned
Short Version: Virtua Fighter is significantly more difficult to learn and involves hours of study and practice to learn and become skilled. Tekken, and most of the major fighting games, can be played at an entry level by mashing buttons. It's two very different worlds.

Long Version: It's interesting how VF became so popular in Japan while never reaching more than minor cult status in the West, and even then only with Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn and VF4 on Playstation 2. It just never found a critical mass of fans who embraced it. But I've always felt that was because most players were never properly taught how it plays, combined with the overall casual-oriented nature of the genre. Most kids want fighting or wrestling games to be simple button-mashing affairs where you just crash on a couch and have fun with friends. They're not looking for a martial arts simulation that plays like algebra mashed with speed chess and rock-paper-scissors.

I say this, of course, as a diehard VF fan. But I freely admit that the series is unique in the genre and too complex for most players' tastes. At least in the mid 1990s, there were older gamers who enjoyed Karate Champ and International Karate, which were the spiritual ancestors to VF and focused on martial arts tactics. Today, I can't imagine that anybody under 35 has ever heard of KC or IK/IK+, aside from maybe super-diehard Amiga freaks.

In any case, Virtua Fighter involves many elements to study and master in order to become good. You can't just mash the punch button or find some secret move to use over and over and over. For example, here's a quick list of the skills you need to learn:

- Your fighter's move list.
- Your opponent's move list.
- The rock-paper-scissors structure of attacks, blocks and throws.
- The difference between minor and major counters.
- The difference between an attack's execution time and recovery time.
- Understanding of frame rate data and the difference between "punch counterable" and "throw counterable."
- The concept of throw escapes and an understanding of positioning (where you end up afterwards).
- Foot stance and the difference between "closed" and "open" stance.
- The difference between "canned" and "rolled" (or custom) combos.
- The use of guard-cancel to cease a canned combo.
- The uses of crouch dashing to save frames and set up attacks.
- Understanding different weight classes and how that affects floating.
- If you're playing VF 1-3, learning NOT to jump! Don't use those damned floaty jumps!

Let's compare this to Tekken 3 as an example. Here's how to play:

- Choose Eddy Gordo.
- Mash the kick buttons to perform his spectacular 10-hit breakdancing routine.
- Rinse and repeat.

See the difference?

Virtua Fighter just involves so much more, and the learning curve at the start is far higher than just about any major fighting videogame series. That depth and complexity is celebrated by fans because it really does reward practice, but this also has the downside of alienating rookies, who will always get their butts handed to them by more experienced players. It can be very discouraging and frustrating and Sega never really found a way to balance beginners and experts, even with the later installments of the series that added a lot of easy canned combos to the game.

For most gamers, fighting games are a casual affair, something that is just played for quick fun and not taken too seriously. They just want to mash buttons and have something cool happen. They don't want to spend an hour in a college course about a dozen different things they have to think about all at once while playing. They just want to play.

I never understood why Sega of America never bothered to teach gamers how to play VF the way it's meant to be played. They never released any strategy guides (the books that were published here only listed the moves and made no mention of any of my bullet points, especially the frame data, which is probably the most crucial element of gameplay). They never released any videotapes or DVDs showing competitions or tournaments or cool custom combos. They never built up a professional tournament scene like in Japan. They should have brought over the Tatsujin guys like Bun Bun Maru and Ikebukuro Sarah (they also should have released Anarchy in the Nippon, Zero Divide and DOA on Saturn, but that's another rant) to show the kids how it's done.

Unfortunately, for most casual gamers back in the day, VF was seen as nothing more than "punch-punch-kick" and an interesting curiosity, but lacking the polish and flash and simple joy of Tekken 3. Have I mentioned Eddy Gordo lately? That dude was literally the only thing pulling University of Minnesota boys away from Goldeneye, and lemmie tell you, that was a near-impossible feat. I'll bet half those guys still have their Nintendo 64's plugged into the television set to play Bond, that is, if their wives allow them to do so.
 

Heimdall_Xtreme

Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
At least for me, I feel that VF's movements are Artificial and not shocking, in tekken they tend to be very realistic. Anyway for Pai, I like VF

Only for her i give a chance to Virtua Fighter



But my girls in Tekken are












Conclusion....

So this is the balance.


* You have a Good simulation in VF....

* But in Tekken you can put the girls in facedown with the butt in the air.

So tekken with this reference... Wins xD
 
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MastaKiiLA

Member
A combination of things already mentioned:
  • Tekken was the flagship fighter on the dominant console, at the very time that arcades were sent to Valhalla.
  • Tekken was easier to get into, and also had a very unique control scheme with the limbs, that allowed for depth despite the ease. Beginners and pros alike could have fun. VF had depth, but actually required it, as the game was hard as fuck to learn properly.
  • Tekken was cheaper. I don't think anyone mentioned this, but in many arcades, Tekken cabinets there 25 cents, while VF2/3 were 50 cents. That actually got me to play Tekken 1 a lot when it first came out. You get double the reps.
  • Tekken had more games in a short period of time. Namco did a great job of bringing new characters and ideas to the franchise, which helped to breathe life into it, whereas Sega seemed to abandon their arcade legacy.
I love VF, but it was pretty much killed by Sega being Sega. If they were committed to the franchise like Namco was to Tekken, and if they kept bolstering the roster of fighters, while also committing to faithful home ports on Playstation consoles, it might be a totally different story today.
 
Virtua Fighter 5 - Wikipedia

I just checked the roster. VF 5 has 19 characters (22 if you include Ultimate Showdown). And that includes Dural.

Out of those characters, 11 are the same as VF2, 13 from VF3, and 14 from VF4 (or 16 if you include Evo).

In other words, VF games since VF2 barely even add more characters each game. On average they add 2-3 new characters per game.

Same shit.
I like how people hate on MK between MKT and armageddon for adding 4-5 characters as too much, but VF adds 2-3 per game and it's like they add nothing. You guys nuts.
 
S

SpongebobSquaredance

Unconfirmed Member
So was Street Fighter EX, Toshinden, Tobal, Bushido Blade, Dead or Alive, Ehrgeiz, Psychic Force, Fatal Fury Wild Ambition, Rival Schools, Star Gladiator, and Bloody Roar.

But none of those sold 8 million copies. Not even a third of that.
Only Toshinden and Tekken were considered flagship titles though. Tekken used to be synonymous with the Playstation brand and it obviously got a lot more attention. I don't even know some of those, like what the hell is Star Gladiator?
 

DT MEDIA

GAF's Resident Saturn Omnibus
Both games seemed fairly close in popularity in their early years during their first two games. I think Tekken 3 was about the time where that series pulled ahead noticeably. If I recall correctly, the arcade game Virtua Fighter 3 was very expensive, so it likely didn't appear in as many arcades as Tekken 3.

In the home market, Tekken took the lead almost immediately. The original version of Virtua Fighter for Saturn was rushed in development, and had some noticeable graphical glitches, whereas Tekken on PlayStation was much more impressive looking, both as an arcade conversion and in comparison to VF on Saturn. Sega later released Virtua Fighter Remix, and then a very nice port of Virtua Fighter 2, but by this time the PlayStation already had a sizable lead on the Saturn, and Tekken 2 was no slouch.

When Tekken 3 reached PlayStation, there was no home version of Virtua Fighter 3 in response at that time (that wouldn't arrive until the Dreamcast). Tekken had run away with the ball, and there was no looking back.


That's one thing that gets overlooked in these discussions. The Virtua Fighter 3 arcade game was monstrously expensive. It cost a ton of money for arcade operators to buy and you had to put in $1.00 to play. This was when everything was 50 cents. It was just too much, despite the gobsmacking spectacular graphics for its time. There just weren't enough Western fans to really make it economically worthwhile.

Tekken 3, meanwhile, ran on essentially a Sony Playstation board, so it was far cheaper to sell and resulted in the more reasonable $0.50 per play. The home version was perfect, of course, and that was when PSX was really exploding in popularity. And have I mentioned Eddy Gordo? I feel like his name should be brought up at least once every five minutes, because, well, let's face it, all you have to do is mash the kick buttons and you get that amazing breakdance routine. You can play while holding a pizza or beer in your other hand.

Virtua Fighter, again, required you to take at least one evening class studying mathematics and game theory. And VF3 really complicated the hell out of everything with the dodge button (one of those design decisions that's perfect on a Sega Saturn controller but awful otherwise) and elevated stages, which muck up the whole high-mid-low striking and especially the combos. The bare-bones Dreamcast version of VF3 Team Battle did no favors by offering no assistance or tutorials whatsoever, and it was completely eclipsed by Namco's spectacular Soul Calibur (which might still be the best 3D fighting game ever made).
 

BabyYoda

Member
Because the Playstation was a much bigger hit than the Saturn (including follow up consoles). I suppose VF is less mainstream as well as others have said, but that maybe wouldn't be the case if Sega's consoles had been more successful, that success would've likely affected how they designed the series going forward (to appeal to the mass market, as opposed to the niche arcade scene), likely causing the console and arcade versions of VF to diverge, with a more fleshed out and casual experience (including a bigger budget) for those at home, but of course that's mostly conjecture!

I still think VF2 was by far the best 3D fighter of that gen, it was also the last fighter I truly got into tbh...it really was an incredible game and the Saturn had no right running it as well as it did!
 
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Short Version: Virtua Fighter is significantly more difficult to learn and involves hours of study and practice to learn and become skilled. Tekken, and most of the major fighting games, can be played at an entry level by mashing buttons. It's two very different worlds.

Long Version: It's interesting how VF became so popular in Japan while never reaching more than minor cult status in the West, and even then only with Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn and VF4 on Playstation 2. It just never found a critical mass of fans who embraced it. But I've always felt that was because most players were never properly taught how it plays, combined with the overall casual-oriented nature of the genre. Most kids want fighting or wrestling games to be simple button-mashing affairs where you just crash on a couch and have fun with friends. They're not looking for a martial arts simulation that plays like algebra mashed with speed chess and rock-paper-scissors.

I say this, of course, as a diehard VF fan. But I freely admit that the series is unique in the genre and too complex for most players' tastes. At least in the mid 1990s, there were older gamers who enjoyed Karate Champ and International Karate, which were the spiritual ancestors to VF and focused on martial arts tactics. Today, I can't imagine that anybody under 35 has ever heard of KC or IK/IK+, aside from maybe super-diehard Amiga freaks.

In any case, Virtua Fighter involves many elements to study and master in order to become good. You can't just mash the punch button or find some secret move to use over and over and over. For example, here's a quick list of the skills you need to learn:

- Your fighter's move list.
- Your opponent's move list.
- The rock-paper-scissors structure of attacks, blocks and throws.
- The difference between minor and major counters.
- The difference between an attack's execution time and recovery time.
- Understanding of frame rate data and the difference between "punch counterable" and "throw counterable."
- The concept of throw escapes and an understanding of positioning (where you end up afterwards).
- Foot stance and the difference between "closed" and "open" stance.
- The difference between "canned" and "rolled" (or custom) combos.
- The use of guard-cancel to cease a canned combo.
- The uses of crouch dashing to save frames and set up attacks.
- Understanding different weight classes and how that affects floating.
- If you're playing VF 1-3, learning NOT to jump! Don't use those damned floaty jumps!

Let's compare this to Tekken 3 as an example. Here's how to play:

- Choose Eddy Gordo.
- Mash the kick buttons to perform his spectacular 10-hit breakdancing routine.
- Rinse and repeat.

See the difference?

Virtua Fighter just involves so much more, and the learning curve at the start is far higher than just about any major fighting videogame series. That depth and complexity is celebrated by fans because it really does reward practice, but this also has the downside of alienating rookies, who will always get their butts handed to them by more experienced players. It can be very discouraging and frustrating and Sega never really found a way to balance beginners and experts, even with the later installments of the series that added a lot of easy canned combos to the game.

For most gamers, fighting games are a casual affair, something that is just played for quick fun and not taken too seriously. They just want to mash buttons and have something cool happen. They don't want to spend an hour in a college course about a dozen different things they have to think about all at once while playing. They just want to play.

I never understood why Sega of America never bothered to teach gamers how to play VF the way it's meant to be played. They never released any strategy guides (the books that were published here only listed the moves and made no mention of any of my bullet points, especially the frame data, which is probably the most crucial element of gameplay). They never released any videotapes or DVDs showing competitions or tournaments or cool custom combos. They never built up a professional tournament scene like in Japan. They should have brought over the Tatsujin guys like Bun Bun Maru and Ikebukuro Sarah (they also should have released Anarchy in the Nippon, Zero Divide and DOA on Saturn, but that's another rant) to show the kids how it's done.

Unfortunately, for most casual gamers back in the day, VF was seen as nothing more than "punch-punch-kick" and an interesting curiosity, but lacking the polish and flash and simple joy of Tekken 3. Have I mentioned Eddy Gordo lately? That dude was literally the only thing pulling University of Minnesota boys away from Goldeneye, and lemmie tell you, that was a near-impossible feat. I'll bet half those guys still have their Nintendo 64's plugged into the television set to play Bond, that is, if their wives allow them to do so.
So you're saying Tekken is less complex in this pointless rant because of ONE broken character ignoring all the other characters and tournament scene surrounding Tekken?

Lol, you have to learn more stuff than what you listed to be competitive at Tekken, what a load of cow manure.
 
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