Despite usually being so reliable, SSM dropped the ball with its coverage of Fighting Vipers, which to this day still proves a source for people who (wrongly) believe that particular game didn't use the console's high resolution mode. In reality, while all polygons - such as characters and walls - are displayed in a lower resolution than Virtua Fighter 2, the actual background layers are rendered in the same high resolution, and from past experience I can confirm that FV also uses interlacing. Fighters Megamix features the same mix of high and low resolution elements with interlaced frames, but as with its predecessor the slight downgrading allowed for more graphical features such as source lighting and Gouraud shading, both severly lacking in VF2.
On the subject of AM2 games and their frame rates, did you know the Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 2 not only has a higher resolution than the arcade version but also a slightly higher frame rate? In fact, the first home version to feature the arcade's 57.9fps was the PS2 port released as part of the AGES 2500 budget series, which was spoiled by some rough texture mapping and lighting effects. Considering the improvements in resolution and frame rate (the latter being only in its NTSC form, of course), it's easy to forgive Saturn VF2 for lacking the odd piece of background eye candy - especially when the actual game is so incredible! Besides, not even the Model 2 original included characters with moving heads and fingers. I seem to recall a showcase in SSM where lead programmer Keiji Okayasu revealed how he implemented these extra touches because development was ahead of schedule as a result of so much work being put into the early Tokyo Game Show demo that was sourced for so much of the end product. Even today and despite their obvious downgrades, I personally feel we'll have to wait a long time before someone comes up with anything like the big three of VF2, Sega Rally and Virtua Cop. Vipers did look better, but on a technical level VF2 was part of something really special that not even more recent ports and remakes can emulate - if they really wanted to AM2 could have done a 100% recreation of any Model 2 (and perhaps even Model 3?) game on a contemporary system, and the fact they have failed shows just how much they've stopped caring... which makes me wish we'd seen Saturn VF3 all the more, as that had the potential to be a flawed yet still unbelievable conversion capable of silencing even the most fierce of critics!
Yeah, I knew about the fps, still the difference between 57.9fps and 60fps... is not exactly notable... to say the least.
The main reason I think, behind PS2 VF2 lacking, is the texturing that Model 2 uses.
Model 2 actually uses monochromatic textures, and colours them in real time, that means in order to port VF2 to modern hardware, they would have to:
a) Create a program that emulates the colourisation process of the Model 2 texture rendering
b) Photoshop every texture and colorize them, having them loaded as normal textures
For a budget release on Sega Ages 2500 budget label, I can understand they might not have been willing to undertake that work.
However - if we look at more recent PS2 titles such as Sega Rally 95, Fighting Vipers and Virtual On, any differences they have between their Arcade counterparts are negligable to the point where I haven't been able to notice them.
If we take into account the fact the PAL version of Saturn VF2 had no borders depite outputting at standard PAL resolution, it in theory, is even higher resolution than the NTSC version, despite lacking the extra 10fps, am I right?
Either way, all versions of the game looked amazing for the time, the PS2 version is lacking but the bridge on Shun's stage is still something that I like to see
The Saturn Junkyard has some "screenshots" of VF3 Saturn...
Although, I call bullshit on them though, they simply look like the Model 3 version being emulated with mangled rendering, never mind that AM2 have never released it or screenshots of it.
Those pictures come from an early Model 3 emulator, as proved by their native resolution of 496x384 that can't even be reproduced on the Saturn. Also, the PAL version of VF2 does indeed run in a higher display mode than the NTSC edition, but even considering the difference in texture colouring I never had any problems with how AM2 recreated this game back then. Of course, the PS2 treatment could have looked pixel perfect, though at least more recent AGES 2500 titles are closer graphically to their coin-op counterparts.