Why did I play this?Why did I play this?

Posted on Nov 25th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under Sega, saturn, arcade, pc, dreamcast, light gun, shooter, stunner

The first Virtua Cop is a true light gun classic, and you can read why in my review of it here: http://www.rfgeneration.c...views-Virtua-Cop-3041.php. It reset the standard for excellence, and brought the genre into the 3rd dimension all at the same time. It was inevitable for there to be a follow up. Virtua Cop 2 was released for the arcade in 1995 by AM2 at Sega. A port to the Sega Saturn was released the following year, with another port for PC in 1997, and even a Japan exclusive individual Dreamcast release in 2000. This version was packaged with 11 other games on the Sega Smash Pack for North American release.

I played the Saturn version using my Stunner light gun accessory courtesy of the fine folks at Sega. The first issue I ran into was a problem with the calibration. The game uses a single point calibration system that seemed to work on the target screen, but after shooting off-screen, the game messed up the calibration. I never had a problem with the initial calibration, only when the gun was fired off screen. The first time I played, I didn't notice the issue and went into the game with an inaccurate gun. It took a few tries, but eventually, I got the gun to keep its calibration by keeping the off screen firing closer to the edge of the screen.

In the first Virtua Cop, every level is part of a main, overarching story. You are out to take down a large, violent, criminal gang. In Virtua Cop 2, each level is its own self-contained story. There are even branching paths in the levels to encourage replays. This adds an extra element to the memorization aspect of these levels. In the arcade, this was an added challenge meant to test your supply of quarters, but at home, it adds a nice breath of fresh air.

Video belongs to TigonVLiger.

Technically, everything about Virtua Cop 2 is superior to the first one, especially the home console ports. This was a machine I played a bit of when I took my vacation to Oregon; Ground Kontrol had a machine upstairs that I put a couple credits into. Playing it there gave me a good idea of some of the differences to watch out for. At home, I already had Virtua Cop 2 for my Saturn, packaged with a Stunner and in a nice, big box no less. These package bundles for both Virtua Cop games, and the fact that both games and the Stunner are extremely cheap for Saturn pieces, shows how much commercial success Sega had from these two games.

Despite all the additions that added to the standards for 3D light gun games set by the first, I can't help but find this one a bit lacking. There's not much to complain about for this game, but I find that the first Virtua Cop is much better for pick up and play. I think part of it for me is that I find the soundtrack for the first Virtua Cop to be vastly superior to this second game. Everything about the experience of the first just feels a bit tighter compared to the second, which could be a result of the overarching story in the first game, compared to the three mini stories in the second. Virtua Cop 2 is also harder than the first game, which may factor into this feeling. A good example includes the guys who shoot at you from cars in the Beginner stage, "Big Chase." These guys are hard to hit since they're in the distance, they move with the car, and they shoot incredibly fast. This is the exact stage that I burned both of my credits in at Ground Kontrol.

I would still highly recommend this game to anybody looking for more arcade action for their Saturn. It can be found for a pittance by Saturn standards and is still one of the best games for the system. As usual, AM2 does not disappoint.

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Virtua Cop 2 is on Dreamcast in the US as well. It was one of the 12 games compiled on the Sega Smash Pack.
@noiseredux: I never could find the Smash Pack so haven't really looked into it. I'll get it added to the top!
Nice write-up.  I've considered picking up the first Virtua Cop game when I've seen it in the wild, but I don't have a Saturn gun yet, and my Saturn is hooked to my LCD, rather than my CRT, so I'd have to really want to play it to plunk down the cash.  Still, I like Time Crisis, and I bet I'd enjoy this as well.
@MetalFRO: Light gun games are why I keep my CRTs nice and warm.

I've picked up a GunCon 2 and 3 lately, so I have some PS2 and PS3 stuff to check out.

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