Virtua Fighter 32X Promotional Tape (featuring vaporware)


The Video



 

Analysis

Virtua Fighter title Virtua Fighter

Back in 1995-1996 I was stuck in my loser phase and working at a Waldensoftware store. Waldensoftware was basically Electronics Boutique (EBGames) at the time if you're not familiar with the defunct chain. We had a pre-order promotion for Virtua Fighter for 32X where customers would receive a t-shirt, promotional tape, and some other junk. Since I couldn't afford a Saturn I decided to pre-order the game. All and all it's not a bad version of Virtua Fighter, close enough to the arcade to get by. The promotional tape was a bit unimpressive at the time though. Seven measly minutes of hints and previews of upcoming games. The hints were just the special moves which had been published in a 1,000 magazines and early web sites already. The game previews are worth looking back on though.


Spider-Man Web of Fire title Doom cartridge

Spider-man: Web of Fire would be the last 32X game released. In the video it shows the title screen then jumps to a picture of the cartridge in the system.. well, except that it's actually Doom. Minor mistake, whatever. The game wasn't finished at the time so they obviously didn't have a cartridge ready. Anyway, the clips are really brief but the game looks nearly finished. Odd that it would take roughly a year for it to see daylight.


Virtual Golf title Virtual Golf

The part that's most interesting to me is the vaporware. The 32X fell into oblivion at an incredible rate. The Saturn launch hurt it a lot, by fall of 1995 it was basically done. Several games in development were cancelled or ported to another system. Some are listed in the "coming soon" splash at the end of the tape. Two of them actually make an appearance, the first is Virtual Golf. It definitely looks like an unfinished game. The animation is rough and backgrounds bland. It does show a hint of potential though.


Soulstar X title Soulstar X

The second vaporware title is Soulstar X. The few seconds of game play shown are furious. It looks like a fast, Afterburner-like, shooter. Still, it doesn't look as good as Shadow Squadron and probably wouldn't have fared too well. I wonder if prototypes for either of these are floating around? They were obviously finished enough to show footage so I suspect there are unlabelled carts in a closet somewhere.


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