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Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram

Score: 35%
ESRB: Unknown
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Sega
Media: GC/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Okay, I'm gonna have to say that the graphics are pretty bad. The entire game looks like a cute little cartoon anime, but a badly drawn one. Unfortunately, the graphics are the best part of the game, so I guess I have to say some good things about it. Although the game looks 'kiddish' and 'cartoony', it does have pretty good detail. And, although the Virtuaroids look horrible, the backgrounds and arenas looked great. Uh, the sound wasn't bad. The jewel case cover looks pretty neat. . I'm about out of good things to say about Virtual On. I thought the graphics to be a big disappointment and the best thing about the game.


Virtual On is a not-so-good looking, hard to control, hard to play fighting game. Basically, you're this robot type thing called a Virtuaroid. You fight other virtuaroids. The good thing is you can choose between about a dozen different Virtuaroids, each with unique traits and weapons. The bad news is the game is no fun. Single player, Multi-player . it's no good. I admit, two-player is more fun than vs. the CPU, but it's nothing magical. I really do want to like the game, but I just can't. It really has no distinct advantages over any other fighter. Actually, it has several disadvantages. First of all, this game has the worst controls that I have ever seen. Secondly, the graphics are bad. Third, the game is no fun. Need I go on? I hate to just blast the game, but there is not much here to redeem it.


Virtual On is a very difficult game. What makes the game hard is the very bad control. If you master the controls, I'm sure the game won't be too difficult (I never did). The game itself is not difficult, actually it's surprisingly easy, but the gameplay is near impossible. Please keep reading.

Game Mechanics:

This is one of the most fluid, responsive games that I have ever played for the Dreamcast. The game runs smooth as glass. The mechanics are very solid. Solid except for the whole control thing. So, why is the game so bad? The controls! Okay, you use both the triggers to shoot. Not so bad. All of the defensive buttons (jump, duck, guard, etc.) are on the right side buttons. To strafe left and right and walk forward and back, you use the D-Pad. To aim and turn, you use the analog pad. Now for those of you who have used the wonderful Dreamcast controller, you know that the analog and D-Pad are on the same side! Not only that, but they are right next to each other. How are you supposed to hold the controller? This game would be perfect for people with two thumbs on their left hand. For those of us blessed with a single thumb on each, a PlayStation controller would work beautifully. Hey, I just though of something. Virtual On is the best PlayStation game I have ever played on my Dreamcast. It just makes sense. Low bit quality graphics, dual analog control . it's a perfect PlayStation game. To bad it was made for the Dreamcast.

[Sunfall's Note: There are special Dual Stick controllers available in Japan that resolve this very problem with Virtual On. However, they have not been brought over to the States, and as such, are not available to the general public.]

-Storm, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jeremy Kelso

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