For the most part, Virtua Fighter Remix acts as a visual upgrade over the original Virtua Fighter, with the core gameplay remaining unchanged from the Saturn's earlier incarnation.
Virtua Fighter had been released on the Saturn in a less-than-impressive state. Being created in conjunction with the hardware, the game suffers from often severe 3D rendering issues, with flickering (and sometimes disappearing) polygons and occasional animation glitches. Its choice to act as an accurate port of the Sega Model 1 arcade version also failed to do the game many favours in the eyes of the Western press, with untextured (and lower polygon) models comparing poorly to PlayStation launch title Battle Arena Toshinden. Although it offers a CD quality soundtrack, many claim it to be even worse than the Sega 32X version, thanks to the added CD loading times.
Virtua Fighter Remix was created to address many of these flaws, and was quietly launched in the Winter of 1995 as a replacement pack-in title for the Saturn console. In Remix models have a slightly higher polygon count (though still less than the Model 1 version) and are now completely texture-mapped, leading to a more modern looking game. Sega also claimed controller response time was improved.
The enhanced visuals are countered by some trade-offs, such as the removal of the original lighting system, making characters appear unnaturally bright in dark stages such as Sarah's (a stage which incidentally loses the smooth transition of its lit floor thanks to the new textures). Loading times are also slightly longer in Remix, and polygon glitching is not removed entirely. Other areas of the game, such as stage backgrounds, haven't changed at all.
In the West, a CG Portrait Collection Disc was also included in the Saturn bundle. North American owners would get Virtua Fighter Remix for free if they registered their Saturns before September 30, 1995, while Japanese customers would later receive a SegaNet compatible version. Sega would also bring Virtua Fighter Remix to Sega Titan Video arcade hardware.