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Virtua Striker

virtua striker game

Many of us have spent plenty of hours and what seems like endless amounts of money playing arcade games, and if you are a football fan then none more so than Virtua Striker. Virtua Striker is without a doubt the most popular arcade football simulation of all time, and is a game that has been successfully re-invented time and time again. In this guide, we will explore Virtua Striker in more detail.

Versions

Currently on its 11th version, Virtua Striker has been around for 17 years (since 1994). While the game has gone through plenty of developments, it has only released; Virtua Striker, Virtua Striker 2, Virtua Striker 3 and Virtua Striker 4. The other 13 versions were all developments on the previous games.

Virtua Striker has also been released on the Dreamcast in 2000 and the GameCube in 2002. Both games did very well; however, neither of them compares to the success of the arcade format.

Competition

Technically, Virtua Striker had limited or no competition on the market because there was nothing else nearly on the same level in the arcade. However, 1994 (the year of Virtua Strikers) release saw the release of FIFA and ISS. Personally, I believe these games are not considered rivals because even though they were in the same genre they were played differently.

Graphics

Virtua Striker was a visually pleasing game. In fact, I believe it had the perfect graphical interface for the arcade. Colourful, large and almost cartoon like graphics made the game very pleasing on the eye. Another positive point of the game was the crowd and the atmosphere that it brought to the arcade. For many there was nothing better than a loud Virtua Striker system, which drew the attention to your game. Without a doubt, the atmosphere in Virtua Striker easily surpassed anything that FIFA or ISS could produce at the time. However, this did have a lot to do with the huge speakers and sound system that came within the arcade base.

Licensing

Unfortunately, licensing was not a strong point of any of the Virtua Striker series; in fact, apart from country names there was absolutely no other licensing, which was a shame, but something that the game did not need to be playable.

Gameplay

Due to the atmosphere that the game produced, the Gameplay was second to none. Even though the game came from the Virtua brand, which was often known to allow certain 'rule breaking', players could not do this in this game. All the regular football rules applied to the game, in fact, plenty of players believed that it was too easy to get a player sent off.

If you enjoyed playing down the arcade and liked football then the chances are you would have loved the Gameplay that Virtua Striker had to offer.

Unfortunately, the game did have a couple of Gameplay downfalls. First, you only ever had two Gameplay choices, and they were; play your friend, or play the computer in a knockout format. On top of this, every game you played was very similar. The only differences between each game would be the level of difficulty, the kit colours and the random names.

Tip - You may remember that every player instantly becomes quicker than your player when you are in possession of the ball. This meant, unless you had plenty of space you would be quickly caught. Therefore, you need to make sure that you kept an eye on the radar at the bottom in order to make a pass, and try not to stay on the ball for too long.

Sound

Walking into an arcade it would be a surprise if you did not hear the sounds of Virtua Striker, and for many this game was the definition of a great arcade. With an up tempo beat and a loud crowd behind you everything slotted into place nicely in terms of sound.

Verdict

Virtua Striker will always be known as the godfather of arcade football simulations; in fact, there are thousands of people that will remember it as their favourite arcade game of all time.

Game Analysis

Visuals

For an arcade game, the graphics were sharp and colourful. At the time, the game was often compared to the graphics of FIFA, which was quite an accomplishment.

Controls and Play

To start, playing against your friends or the AI was great; in fact, you can probably remember times when you had to scramble for your last pound or remember pushing people away from the change machine. However, the one downfall is if you continue to play the game you will soon complete it and what then? There is nothing different, the only thing you can do is to play other human players and try and build up a bit of a reputation. At the same time, the same can be said for any arcade game.

Unique Concept

At the time, there was not another arcade football simulation on the market, and up until now there is still not one that comes close in terms of playability. However, what had actually been done was no different to any other football simulation on a console. This game did not break any moulds but the fact that it was an arcade game was its unique selling point.

Game Detail

Playing the game to completion is one thing, but having the strength to continue playing the computer after you have completed the game was the test. In order to win the final you had to win 5 back to back games, and once you had done this its essentially game over. The only benefit is that the game was so addictive; the next time that you went down to the arcade you would probably give it another crack.

Addictiveness

New players or seasoned veterans of the game will all tell you that they believe this game is great because of its high levels of addictiveness, even though they may struggle to tell you why. I believe it was the games atmosphere paired with the rush of beating your opponents, which made the game so addictive.

Price

On release playing the game at $1.50/1 a time (50p or 30p if you were lucky) was not cheap; however, if you were decent enough then the chances are you could play 5 or more games for just a pound. The games value for money depended on how good you were.

Rating

Virtua Striker is clearly the finest arcade football simulation available on the market. Even though the last Virtua Striker was released six years ago, all of their releases can be found throughout various arcades around the world, and there is nothing more satisfying than coming across the original if you are a retro arcade game player.

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