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Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 3: Akira Yuki (Saturn) artwork

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 3: Akira Yuki (Saturn) review


"Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 3 is a tale about one warrior versus mother nature. A non-interactive, grainy tale that’s over in five minutes. Pity poor Akira’s plight, but don’t line the pockets of those who wish to profit from it with shoddy Saturn imports!"



Akira Yuki is many things within the hallowed lore of Virtua Fighter. In the early days, he was the poster child for the series; a serious and disciplined martial artists dressed much like Street Fighter‘s Ryu and, as such, won the second tournament and always ranks highly in others. He was also made the lead in the awful anime adaptation of the series, where he's portrayed as a goofy gluttonous hobo in almost a stark contradiction to his in-game persona. When the chance to take a few private snapshots of his life presented itself with Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 3 surprising information is leaked. Information that ensures you never look at Akira the same way again!

He is constantly attacked by small animals.

Before that, it’s important to categorise just what the CG Portrait Series is. In the tail-end of 1995, SEGA released 12 Japanese-exclusive titles on the Sega Saturn, each one of them featuring one of the main characters from the initial Virtua Fighter. These volumes took CG stills of the fighters, backed them to J-pop, then tried really hard to convince gullible buyers that they were real titles rather than five minutes of dodgy 3D screens.

While Sarah Bryant’s reveals she’s resigned to a life plagued with stalkers while her brother, Jacky, leads a lonely existence where popular night spots instantly empty as soon as he draws near, Akira reveals the reason behind his nomadic existence; small animals.

Here, we see Akira wandering the streets of Japan, hair spiked and duffel bag thrown over his shoulder. He wanders through the crowds who pay him little heed, but there’s a look on his face. Anxiety perhaps, or maybe fear. He expels these negative feelings by stealing away to a secure location and practising some dynamic martial arts, kicking bits of wood and shattering concrete blocks with radical stomps.

BUT THEN!


A kitten.


Akira is sleepy. Who wouldn’t be after stamping on public walkways until they shatter underfoot, so has taken a nap against a convenient tree. The kitten tries to use this as a chance to strike, but years of intense training and the highly-strung paranoia only found in drug-crazed criminals mean his sleep is light. He hears the tiny padding of paws and spots his attacker seconds before it is too late.


Not this time, you little shit!


Akira flees, leaving the urban Tokyo in his wake and heading towards more rustic settings. Bamboo walkways creak underfoot while traditional and ancient Asian architecture provide backdrop. Feeling safer in his new location, Akira eats the hell out of some steamed pork buns then kicks some trees down for the insolent crime of growing in his way. Maybe here, maybe finally here, he is safe.

BUT THEN!


Chickens.



And a goat!



Akira’s in a lot of trouble!


We never learn how he escapes this sticky situation, and can only guess how deep the horrible scars lay. The next still shows him training furiously by smashing (probably stolen) roof tiles with desperate aggression before glaring moodily at a sunset. In a display of pure manliness, this does not make him weep uncontrollably.

The last few shots show Akira staring at more sunsets, beating people up and moving around a lot to try and keep one step ahead of his animal pursuers. Perhaps some credit should be given here; it’s easily the most intimate look into any of the combatant’s lives and explains so much about Akira’s constant striving to improve. If you were attacked by animals every time you tried to sleep, strong martial arts abilities would be a must.

Akira is still going strong, still competing in Virtua Fighter tournaments, though often shrugs off questions about the claw and bite marks that scar every inch of his body.

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 3 is a tale about one warrior versus mother nature. A non-interactive, grainy tale that’s over in five minutes. Pity poor Akira’s plight, but don’t line the pockets of those who wish to profit from it with shoddy Saturn imports!

Rating: 2/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (September 06, 2010)

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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Masters posted September 07, 2010:

WTF?

They actually sold this?

And... you actually bought it?
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EmP posted September 07, 2010:

I'm a collector and admirer of all things. Including struggling 3D galleries backed by awful J-pop.

And they actually made TWELVE ELEVEN of these.
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CoarseDragon posted September 07, 2010:

Very funny and probably the best way to handle this. I could have done without the last three paragraphs, but that is just me.

So, did you ever karaoke to the music?

Do you have the others in the collection?
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Felix_Arabia posted September 07, 2010:

There are actually 11 of these damn "games." We've reviewed 9 of them. Gary, you can have Lau and Shun Di.

CD: there's only one song to karaoke to per title, and they're in Japanese. So in other words, anyone who sings along to these games is a fruit basket.
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CoarseDragon posted September 07, 2010:

I didn't think anyone would admit to singing along but I had to ask. My friend had a few of these and would not really sing but tried to read the words.
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zippdementia posted September 07, 2010:

I might do one more. I enjoyed reviewing the first one, even if it was painful to actually watch it.

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