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The Next Level
To conclude, I believe a well-placed question is in order. Remember the days when you could immerse yourself in a game such that you'd find yourself pulling the controller towards the far end of the screen in a futile but valiant attempt to shift the momentum in your favor? I thought so. With Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram, that euphoric experience is given life once again. Lack of Twin Sticks and netplay aside, Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram's hellafied gameplay, beautiful graphics, excellent array of mechs, and unrivaled depth have made it my top Dreamcast release so far this year, decisively dethroning Dead Or Alive 2. If you pride yourself on being a "true" gamer, I strongly urge you not to sell yourself short and give VOOT a well-deserved shot.
Fans of the original Virtual-On will surely enjoy the sequel for Dreamcast. If you've ever wondered what smooth, gorgeous, free roaming 3D combat would be like, then look no further. Sega hasn't announced VOOT for America so importing is the only sure thing for now. Before you start to belly-ache, consider this: there are only a handful of VOOT arcade units in America as the first one did not do well here in arcades or homes. Finally, the only suggestions I have to Sega regarding VOOT are to bring it here, and make another one...
Regardless of those glaring omissions which most certainly prevent a perfect score, Virtual On; Oratorio Tangram is a great and unique game that continues to be relevant, whether the main stream remembers it or not. Here we see a classic that is not outdated or surpassed, and until I get another good Virtual On game, it never will be surpassed (at least not to me and the Virtual On faithful).
VOOT is a must have game for anyone who owns a DC. This is one of the games that we will be talking about and playing for ages. Don't be left out! Run...don't walk to your nearest DC retailer and buy it! Otherwise I'm going to have to call Temjin and he's mighty ticked already from no twinsticks out...and I just gave him a new baseball bat...and a car.... and a plane ticket to your town/city...and directions to your house...
Armchair Empire, The
While most other 3D fighters concentrate on the world of martial arts it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air to have a title like Virtual On: Oratorio Tanrgram come along. Fast-paced action with flashy visuals makes this game a winner, despite its control issues.
Virtual On: Oratario Tangram is a great game with stunning graphics. The gameplay is nicely balanced, and the computer puts up a good enough fight to keep you involved after your friends leave. The lack of Twin Sticks and netplay, however, severely hurt its playability and replayability, respectively. VO:OT is a keeper, but it could have been so much more.
Game Informer Magazine
The one-player game is limited with no story, and the Vs. could make you permanently squint with its minuscule split-screen.
Some may wonder why there is no mention of how Virtual On's play changes with the wondrous twin sticks. After all, the truly devoted gaming fanatic will find ways of acquiring this unique one-time controller for a pretty penny for play at home. But as it stands, the vast majority of us will end up using the regular controller, and it is on this basis that I can't help but recommend this game only to die-hard fans of the arcade cabinet, fans of mech games in general, or gamers who can afford the pricey peripherals. The best games are more fun when played at home with the same special arcade devices, but maintain their playability with the standard controller as well. It is according to this definition that Virtual On is nothing more then a passing title.
The Video Game Critic
Virtual On can be played with a normal controller with much difficulty! You can bump up the grade by a letter if you own the twin stick controller, but only serious collectors will consider it a worthwhile investment.