Virtua Striker 2 Ver.2000.1 is that rarest of beasts - an ‘arcade perfect’ conversion. Visually, it takes the sports genre to a new level, while the player animation is the most fluid yet. In gameplay terms, it’s incredibly simple to pick up because there are so few moves to learn - pass, long pass, tackle and shoot. Nonetheless, mastering Virtua Striker is a difficult task because you get very little time on the ball. It takes a couple of hours before you get a feel for the game, but perseverance is the key.
We’ve had to put up with unrealistic, angular polygon players for too long but Virtua Striker 2 breaks the mould. The players run, pass, shoot and tackle like their real-life counterparts. The ball looks like a real ball, even down to its FIFA livery. It’s this sheer attention to detail that really impresses; the ripples in the shirts, the names and numbers on the shirts… And the player animation is phenomenally fluid. Digital football is finally entering the 21st century.
Virtua Striker is identical to its arcade parent in terms of how it plays. Player movement is controlled by the D-pad as opposed to the analogue stick because, like the arcade version, it’s digital only. You simply concentrate on the business of winning matches as opposed to attempting fancy flicks and overhead kicks.
Best of all, Dreamcast once and forever will decide whose goal is the best. The “Golden Goals” option utilises Dreamcast’s silicon brain to rank all your saved goals and avoid those 4am squabbles.