Name: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram (100.00% in 6 votes)
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
What comes to mind when I say; Anime, mechs, and big explosions? Well that equals a lot of things in the Japanese world, but here in the western world it equals practically nothing. In Japan though, people would say Macross or Gundam. How about if someone put both of those together and made a game of it? Are you salivating yet? Well, first off if you don't like mecha, chances are you won't like this game that much and will probably toss it aside the next day you get it. However, of the majority of people who like Anime, like mecha one way or another and this game is THE game for just that.
Ok, you're probably wondering; "Hm...how good will this game be?" Afterall, it's just a console game on the underrated Sega Dreamcast. Ah yes, but in Japan, Virtual On is the symbol for Anime mecha gaming madness. I can't explain how large of a phenomenon Virtual On is in Japan, but I can tell you it has reached many, many people all over the world. Through different cultures and differences, Virtual On is a cult classic spanning multitudes of arcades, tournaments, consoles and platforms; Virtual On is the ultimate in skill and gaming technique. There is no other fighting game much like Virtual On, as it requires the most dedicated mind if not dedicated already; your time and schedules will succumb to this game's depth and dyanmic gameplay.
Virtual On in general is a 3D fighting game where a numerous variety of Anime-style robots duel in an enclosed arena. Now let me tell you that these arenas aren't small at all, but instead large areas where you can dash, walk, jump and fly while using 3 weapons interchangably to defeat your opponent. Virtual On can be played alone against the computer or against another foe. If you're looking for more information on Virtual On, just check the web; there's bounds of it.
Anyway, on with the show with Oratorio Tangram. OT for short is definitely a much improved game over it's predecessor; Operation Moongate. The gameplay is quite similar and will welcome old VO players to the new system. To avoid repeating what has already been said about OT, I'm going to just compare the arcade to the DC version.
Basically, the DC version is a perfect conversion to the Arcade version which is running on the Model 3 board. Quite incredible as the DC is only a Power VR 2 chipset, and isn't based off a super computer. Touting all the VR's from the arcade in your choice playable through standard DC controllers, or a buyable twin stick. Controller is fine though as you can perform nastier combos and techniques with lightning speed relative to the twin sticks. People are worried about the inability to customize controls on the DC version, but I believe that the default control scheme OT comes in is perfect already.
The game's extras are plentiful; Internet capabilities (but it's a pay as you go thing), Network capabilities (but again it's a pay as you go thing), Virtuaroid Customization (where you can customize your VR's colors, name, elblem for network/net play), DC link play (where you hook up two DC's running on OT via a cable to play OT like the twin screen arcade cabinets), a nifty replay mode, a training mode, versus mode, and two single player modes. Each of the single player mode's game dynamics vary as one is based primarily on the arcade (version 5.4) and the DC (version 5.45). I like version 5.45 better as it has more balanced game dynamics.
For graphical errors it's a practical null and I haven't met any foul ups whatsoever with my 3 continuous months of play. For sound, it's the same ol' same ol', and will probably have your ears ring due to the massive amount of explosion effects during the game. For music, it's cheesy compared to the Operation Moongate, but several tracks are good; they are drowned out by the sound though anyway.
In finality, there isn't a reason this game shouldn't be bought. In fact, this is the reason why I bought a Dreamcast as I've been waiting for this game for 2 and a half years. It's what dreams are made of (for mecha fans), and it could be your salvation towards better, more religious gaming. However, if you're not into that kinda stuff and usually shy away from hardcore gaming, then Virtual On Oratorio Tangram will definitely entertain you for a week or two. But if you're open to new worlds, then this game will do that for you.
Graphics (technical) - 4.5/5
Graphics (creative) - 4.5/5
Sound (technical) - 4.5/5
Sound (creative) - 4.5/5
Technical Gameplay - 5/5
Fun Factor - 5/5
Diversity of Features - 4.5/5
Story - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 5/5
[ Demo Music ]
[ Screen Shots ]
[ Voting ]