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Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series The Final: Dural (Saturn) artwork

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series The Final: Dural (Saturn) review


"If, like me, you haven’t played a lot of Virtua Fighter, you might not know who Dural is. In this case your first several seconds spent with her portrait series will be rife with confusion as you try to come to terms with the fact that what you are watching is a series of pictures of a textureless CG model. Horror will truly set in when you realize that that’s what Dural is... a bad CG model which left its skin at home. Virtua Fighter fans call her a robot."



I’ve never played much of the Virtua Fighters series. For one thing, the name really pissed me off. Isn’t it supposed to be Virtual Fighters? Speaking the name aloud hurts me physically, as if someone is forcing me to be illiterate. That said, HonestGamers’ brave insistence on reviewing those bizarre CG Portrait games got me interested enough to do a little research.

Apparently, in addition to advertising its poor grasp of the English language, the Virtua Fighters series is one of the most popular and successful fighting games ever made, having won 7 world records, numerous gaming awards, and even being recognized as culturally significant by the Smithsonian Institution. Online fans were eager to point these facts out to me and direct me to long lists of links proving their assertions.

That said, I couldn’t find anyone willing to talk about the CG Portrait Series. The minute I asked about it, the interviewee would remember they’d left their oven on or that their parents were coming over for supper and they’d log off faster than a beta player for The Matrix Online. But I wasn’t about to be dissuaded by an almost universally supernatural fear of this series. I took the plunge. I found a rare online copy of Virtua Fighter CG Portrait 11: the Final Dural and downloaded it.

Ten minutes later, I came away confused, frightened, and possibly scarred for life. And angry. Really angry.

HonestGamers had prepared me somewhat for what to expect from this game. Such as the fact that it wouldn’t be a game but instead would be a collection of some of the worst CG art to ever be compiled and set to a soundtrack consisting of 80’s Japanese pop-rock. That sounded laughably bad. But there’s nothing laughable about CG Portrait 11: the Final Dural. It is a sin against all that is right in this world.

If, like me, you haven’t played a lot of Virtua Fighter, you might not know who Dural is. In this case your first several seconds spent with her portrait series will be rife with confusion as you try to come to terms with the fact that what you are watching is a series of pictures of a textureless CG model. Horror will truly set in when you realize that that’s what Dural is... a bad CG model which left its skin at home. Virtua Fighter fans call her a robot. I suppose, then, it’s as if someone choose to do a picture series of the T-1000... only with worse graphics. And instead of having him do cool things like walk away from a burning semi truck, or reform after being blasted by a shotgun, they had him pose against neon coloured Magic Eye backgrounds. There is no hidden sailboat. There is only pain.

So what do we learn from The Final Dural? Well, as GI Joe once said, “knowing is half the battle.” Having been sufficiently warned by HonestGamers and the response of the fanbase, I never should’ve gone searching for the CG Portrait series. It’s only fitting that I would come across the worst of the entire bunch. Because there can be nothing more terrible than this. I don’t care how many Dalmatians Jacky Bryant pets. At least he has a face.

We also learn just what it takes to be culturally significant in this country. I'm not kidding around when I say that you can go to the Smithsonian, one of the most respected Institutions in the world, and see an exhibit about Dural. And, hey... if the Smithsonian thinks it's great, who am I to argue?

Rating: 10/10

zippdementia's avatar
Freelance review by Jonathan Stark (May 04, 2009)

Zipp has spent most of his life standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox there. Sometimes he writes reviews and puts them in the mailbox.

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