8, 1999 (Japan)
> First created for Model 2 arcade systems, Virtual-On:
Cyber Troopers was also faithfully converted to the Saturn complete
with NetLink play. AM3 put the sequel, Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram
(VOOT), on Sega's mighty Model 3 Step 2 with various upgrades showing up
since its initial release. Version 5.45 for Dreamcast is the latest
which features new modes with the same graphics and gameplay.
> VOOT is basically a 3rd person view, 3D fighter that puts you in control
of huge mechs (Virtuaroids) in timed combat to the death. DNA and
RNA are the two Virtuaroid manufacturers whose machines you control.
Interestingly enough, each Virtuaroid has a Dreamcast console for its brain
and a GD-ROM for its program.
> If you're interested in importing VOOT, then fear not. This game
is almost entirely in English. The only Japanese of consequence is
the button names on the Controller Setting screen. Playing the game
is easy -- winning is another matter...
> I haven't seen the arcade version of this game, but VOOT for Dreamcast
looks as good as anything I've seen on Model 3 Step 2 systems -- especially
when using the VGA Box. Naturally, the 15 different locales are highly
detailed, polygon generated 3D realms. They include space station,
alien planet, desert, factory, and airport areas. Each locale also
has a variety of movement in the background. For instance, one entire
battlefield is moving on an inclined lift.
> The Virtuaroids consist of thousands of polygons which come together
to provide convincing, smooth animation. If you look closely (and
quickly), you can even read the word Dreamcast on the console attached
to each mech! Each Virtuaroid has different weapons ranging from
guns to energy rays for the main weapon, and bombs to missiles for the
secondary weapon. Matching special effects for each weapon show the
power of Dreamcast.
> Fantastic explosions occur both during and after a match. As you
can see below, there are various types of explosions depending on what
weapon is used and whether the target Virtuaroid is destroyed. The
view is 3rd person behind your Virtuaroid which can float depending on
the on-screen action. Lastly, there's a plethora of selectable views
available in the Watch mode which really lets you appreciate the action
(while not worrying about getting blown away).
> Using the Twin Stick
is definitely the preferred manner of control because the Virtuaroids control
like tanks. However, using the analog pad can be effective with some
practice, especially since there are different control modes. Anyway,
the gameplay remains the same as the first Virtual-On. You run or
jet around, dodge enemy fire, hide behind obstructions, jump-jet into position,
and fire away at the enemy! Hand-to-hand combat automatically occurs
when the combatants are in close proximity. The action is fast and
furious so practice is necessary to learn the techniques you'll need for
> You'll hear fast-paced Sega arcade music throughout the game which is
quite enjoyable. I would imagine it is the same as the arcade version,
but I'm not certain.
> The sound effects are clear, varied, and realistic -- excellent.
You'll hear gun shots, laser blasts, gliding metal, explosions galore,
warnings, and lots of computer speech.
> Creative... original... varied... Sega quality!
VOOT has four 2 player split-screen modes, 11 immediately selectable Virtuaroids,
15 locales, and bosses to boot. Choose from Dreamcast, Versus, Network
Versus, Cable Versus, Training, Watch, and Replay modes. Select Virtuaroid
Customize to change the colors and logo and save your new Virtuaroid (for
Versus use) to the VMS/VMU. All this plus graphics to die for, creative
gameplay, and a smart CPU or live opponent!