The 3-D fighting game Virtua Fighter 2 is a freakish phenomenon in Japan - so huge that it inspired Sega to crank out Virtua Fighter Kids, sort of a Muppet Babies version of VF2. The game's characters have been turned into six-year-old versions of themselves, with huge heads and eyes in the classic Japanese anime style. The sound bites of each fighter are raised in pitch, making the characters sound cuter. Hard-core VF2 fans may find this adorable; however, the gaming community at large may find the prospects of two children beating the hell out of each other a little disturbing.
The fighters' moves are the same as in VF2 - although the smaller size of the characters shortens their range. A few gameplay features have been added. The Combo Maker enables players to create up to 20 combos and save them to the Saturn's memory. This is a complicated and time consuming process, which may prove to be more effort than it's worth (though die-hard VF2 fans may love it).
Other features include significantly faster gameplay (probably the result of the smaller characters rather than improved programming), a one-button combo function (so that even the inept can stay competitive), and a viewing mode that enables gamers to watch any two CPU-controlled characters fight (a souped-up demonstration mode, in other words).
Virtua Fighter Kids is a fine, fun game. However, with the exception of extreme Virtua Fighter 2 zealots, players who already have VF2 shouldn't plunk down the dough for this title. The original VF2 and VF Remix satisfy Saturn beat-'em-up urges just fine.