It's frantic, with nearly everything we wanted, and just the game you need to bolster up that Saturn collection of yours

User Rating: 8.5 | Fighting Vipers SAT
If you've owned your Saturn for a while now, chances are you've already indulged yourselves into a few of the many arcade ports available on the system. Some are good (Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) while others are not so good (Daytona USA). Then came Virtua Fighter 2. VF 2 shocked us all with the most impressive visuals on Saturn to date, with the gameplay, sound and controls all being near arcade perfect.

As if Virtua Fighter 2 wasn't good enough though, Sega introduced us to Fighting Vipers. This adrenaline boosted fighting game made by AM2 was a very impressive Model 2 game in the arcade. Fighting Vipers is also now a very impressive Saturn title.

If you imagine a hyper charged version of Virtua Fighter with caged stages and crazy special moves, you must be thinking something on the line of Fighting Vipers. With a host of diversely skilled and unique fighters, highly animated stages and a blazing fast soundtrack to boot, Fighting Vipers won't fail to impress you on first impressions.

The three button system, to punch, kick and guard, borrowed from Virtua Fighter works like a charm in Fighting Vipers. Combos and timed attacks are key to being good at Fighting Vipers. There are also charged attacks unique to this game that are pretty cool and can be performed by double tapping a certain direction and pressing punch/kick.

It varies between each character but it is hilarious seeing a kid with a skateboard slam his trusty board right into a biker's face, or even better, seeing that biker get whacked straight off of the screen as you do it too. One of the fun things about Fighting Vipers is it is a lot more unpredictable than Virtua Fighter. While the combos can take time to learn, the general impression is the game is simple and easy to get into.

Fighting Vipers is a more casual fighter than Virtua Fighter for that reason. But the other impressive small touches still make non believes think twice. For one, the stages in Fighting Vipers are shockingly realistic.

Shadows, moving stages and other stage devices aren't left out of the game and give the game a livelier look than some other fighters on the market. It is an impressive looking game and builds on the already impressive design set out by Virtua Fighter 2.

The animation is sweet and stylish, the characters are bold and colourful, plus, the damage effects from the arcade version are still as cool as they were in the arcade version. There is no doubt that Fighting Vipers is one of the more better looking games on Sega Saturn, and kicking someone in the face and straight out of the ring never gets anymore exciting than this.

As far as lifespan is concerned, sadly Fighting Vipers suffers the same problems as Virtua Fighter 2 did when that was similarly released on Saturn earlier the same year. There are no real endings like you see in other fighters such as Tekken or Soul Blade.

On the other hand though, there are unlockables in the form of new characters, artwork and option tweaking to make the game more interesting. It is nice to know these features have been included but they still pale in comparison to what rewards other fighting games have offered also.

And with the traditional Sega formula of addictive, fast paced gameplay, rock soundtracks and cosmetically attractive looks, why bother arguing against Fighting Vipers? It is Virtua Fighter 2 but for the other people if you struggle to beat your friends in Virtua Fighter than you should have a huge sigh of relief when playing Fighting Vipers. It's frantic, with nearly everything we wanted, and just the game you need to bolster up that Saturn collection of yours.