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Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 4: Pai Chan (Saturn) artwork

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 4: Pai Chan (Saturn) review

"V is for Victory Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 4: Pai Chan"

Pai Chanís story is a little bit tragic. A child prodigy in Mizongquan martial arts, she trained relentlessly with her father, Lau, until the death of her mother. Realising that her motherís death was due to the extreme physical and emotional burden of supporting her family while they endlessly trained, she alienated her father to whom she attributed blame. From there, she used all her martial arts talents to become a movie star in Hong Kong. Despite her huge fame and adoring fanbase, she was unable to discard the hatred she felt towards her father so, when he entered the first World Fighting Tournament, which would be the stage Virtua Fighter was set upon, she followed suit. Determined to gain a measure of revenge by defeating him.

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 4: Pai Chan captures exactly none of that. None of that at all!

I canít say Iím honestly surprised; previous CG Portrait titles ignored Sarah Bryantís brainwashed state to instead show her getting wasted poolside in a bikini, or portrayed seriously serious Iím-nothing-like-Ryu-please-stop-saying-that warrior Akira Yuki as a wandering vagabond constantly stalked by small animals. Paiís unique chapter has some brief stills of her flapping her arms around in what, I guess, might be considered some kind of martial arts training, but it mostly tries to showcase her as a germ-phobic dullard.

Exactly one clip hints at her movie star status; near the start, where she sits in a directorís chair wearing a Chinese dress with studio lights in the background. This and many other still-framed CGI still-shots (which are still and non-animated) are splashed on screen using differing presentation to a backing track entitled ďOh, My Shininí StarĒ. Why no g? I donít know. Pai wears a lot of ĺ trousers during Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 4: Pai Chan; maybe itís a hilarious pun sadly lacking in hilarity?

Instead of showcasing her awesome career or her awesome talent, a lot of Paiís intimate adventure shows her lazing around at home in ugly red and white striped trousers, sitting at a kitchen counter with empty cutlery set out for exactly no one to eat from, or examining a stainless steel urn with grim fascination. She then retires to the bathroom to, er, have a bath, her naked body tastefully covered in bubbles even when the screen stops only hinting at this with her bathing image pictured only in the lettering of Paiís name. Why be discreet when you can instead blow that right up to full screen? Perhaps Pai is made to feel dirty by SEGAís blatant voyeurism, because after finishing her bath, she immediately afterwards takes a shower. This gets splashed up in full screen, too. She follows this up by getting the hell out of there by riding a bicycle with massive, massive wheels, but not before feeding a random horse.

She rides past a poster of her face which might be another nod to her movie career but, I donít know, maybe sheís hopelessly vain. She has just let you watch her take both a bath and a shower in the same sitting, after all. But one thing is clear; she loves her cycling which she partakes in for so long that the stills suddenly change from day to night. She finally reaches her destination after what I assume is hours and hours of exhausting travel, wherein she rewards herself by sitting on a stone step and playing with fireworks.

But then! Itís daytime again. I know this to be true because the camera makes a big point about zooming to a powder blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds. Beneath this calming sky, Pai either trains or has an awkward fight displayed in still screens against her sworn enemy, her own father a street lamp. She follows this up by going out for an ice cream cone Ė but it's night again because thatís the perfect time to enjoy delicious ice cream. She playfully offers the viewer Ė which, I would assume is you, by the way Ė a lick of her frosty treat, but pulls it away before you can have any! Sheís already let you ogle her naked during a marathon bathing session, but draws the line at sharing her food with you. Then itís daytime again. The last frame has her eating her ice cream, looking you dead in the eye as she does so. This is her ice cream, sheís silently telling you. You go buy your own.

I donít understand why the Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series exists.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (December 10, 2015)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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