There's no denying Sega's success in their arcade division. How many people have plunked down quarter after quarter for a game of Virtua Fighter 2 or Virtua Cop 2? There's also no denying that the home translations of some of these arcade hits are what put the Saturn on the map today. Following in Sega's tradition of bringing home excellent arcade translations comes Virtual On: Cyber Troopers, the one-on-one futuristic combat game.
Virtual On lets you choose one of eight giant mechanized warriors to bring onto various battlefields. There, you will meet your opponent, which will either be the computer or another human in split-screen action (see sidebar).
Don't confuse this with any Street Fighter-type of game, though. This is a full 3-D one-on-one battle style that is reminiscent of the arcade game, CyberSled. Virtual On is fast-paced and furious.
As soon as the fight begins, you can dash for various obstacles strewn across the battlefield for cover. Or, you can try to overwhelm your opponent with a full frontal assault. Either way, don't expect the battle to last too long. The game is meant to be fast and to the point-kill quickly, or be killed quickly (it's nice knowing that you'll save plenty of quarters on this home version though).
Virtual On goes beyond CyberSled by offering you the ability to jump high in the air. The jump jets that each warrior gets allows new techniques in play-cowering behind buildings may no longer work for the timid.
The unique weapons that each mech holds is another plus. Each fighter will have to utilize these to his or her best advantage. For example, VR.Raiden has a laser that is extremely powerful and takes off plenty of damage, if it connects. His laser's drawback is that it's quite slow and has to be aimed at a somewhat stationary target. Other mechs have homing attacks that may do less damage but lets you "fire and forget." Just shoot the weapon in your enemy's general vicinity of your sights are locked on), and you'll hit. Still, other mechs have wide area-affecting offensive moves, like VR.Belgdor's Napalm attack.
The nature of these weapons may lead to some gamers feeling that it takes less skill to play Virtual On than other games of its type. After all, how hard is it to kill someone by launching homing missiles at him?
The only balance lies in the fact that the robots are fast and maneuverable. Hopefully, if you are a target of VR. Viper li's 7-Way Missiles, you can run quickly and far enough to avoid getting hit.
Speaking of maneuverability, U.S. Saturn owners will have to make do by playing the game with a standard Saturn controller.
In Japan, Sega will release a dual joystick designed with Virtual On in mind. If you've ever played the arcade Virtual On, then you would know the value of controlling your robot with two joysticks. The home game will attempt to make up for this by offering various controller configurations, but hopefully, Sega will consider bringing out the dual joystick in America.
As we said, Sega has had great success with their home translations of their arcade hits. Although some of them were lacking in a few areas (Daytona USA comes to mind], Virtual On appears to be-dare we say-right on. Look to this month's Review Crew to see the inside scoop on Sega's newest action title, Virtual On.
MANUFACTURER - Sega
THEME - ACTION
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Okay, so the Saturn version isn't quite as good as the arcade but it is a great game nonetheless. The only problems I could find were the occasional polygon break-ups and the split screen being too small if played on anything smaller than a 19-inch TV. Other than that, the game was awesome. Some of the attacks were just incredible-shooting giant laser beams never felt so good. One-player Mode was as hectic as Two-player, although some of the Al could've been tweaked a little more. The control was fine even with the control pad, but if you can get your hands on the dual stick, it'd be even more fun.
It frustrates me greatly to say that this game could've been fantastic. When talking about a straight port from the arcade, Virtual On is dead-on. Every detail is about perfect, except for the fact that us Americans get the short end of the (joy)stick. Even though the Japanese get a dual joystick to play VO, you will eventually get used to playing on a Saturn pad. My gripes land on the original game design. It is too unbalanced. Almost everyone has homing attacks; this takes the skill out of the game. Some mechs' attacks are too powerful and can dish out over 50 percent damage in one hit! VO is a terrific, but flawed game.
Sega has done a grade-A job at bringing this arcade hit home. VO is one of the Saturn's most action-packed games. Its large selection of fleet-footed robots kept me leaning in my seat as I battled computer opponents and my coworkers. Despite the necessity of a split screen, the Two-player Mode looks fine and plays great (you can even choose between a horizontal or Vertical Split-screen Mode). VO's graphics are nearly identical to the arcade's, with nice little touches like instant replays and awesome explosions. Combat demands some strategic thinking, too, since each robot has its own strengths and weapons.
Wow! What a great port! Boo! What an average fighting game! I was really looking forward to an improved interface with the home version, but it appears that all the mistakes from the arcade have been included as well. The mindless action is really not for skilled fighters, as the control and number of attacks are VERY limited. While the premise is interesting, the execution is less than flattering. People looking for a beginner's fighting game will have a good time goofing around with this, but most serious gamers will want to stick to a more complex fighting engine like that of Virtua Fighter.
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode Multiplayer (Hotseat)
Virtual On Screenshots
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