XBLA Review: Virtual On OT

The classic Dreamcast game blasts onto XBLA…

I must admit, back when the Dreamcast came out I owned an N64 and despite desperately wanting to play the likes of Sonic Adventure, I had to settle with Mario and Banjo. Virtual On is one of those games that I missed out on and after playing it on XBLA; I can see exactly why it was successful back in the day.
Virtual On is a game in which two robots trying to kill each other. Controls are fairly simple and the enemies aren’t that difficult, but against human opponents it can be quite tough. The game comes with a standard arcade mode in which you go through a list of robots to beat, then there’s multiplayer and that’s about it. Having said that, Virtual On is more than worth its price tag because it’s fun to play. It does have a few teething problems over manoeuvring the camera with the right analog stick, but other than that the controls are responsive and easy to learn.

The game has that typical arcade feel that is lacking from games these days, it doesn’t have to do much to impress because of the pure nostalgia feeling you get from playing it. I never played it, but I can appreciate just how good it must have been when the Dreamcast was around. It may not have the same class as games like Soul Calibur, DOA or Street Fighter…but it is memorable in its own way.

The achievements in Virtual On are fairly easy, I got 90 points in about 5 minutes. Here is the full list:

FIRST WIN (20) Defeated an opponent in Single Player or Multiplayer mode.

PERFECT (25) Earn a PERFECT in a Single Player or Multiplayer match.

INFIGHT (25) Scored a close-range attack in Single Player or Multiplayer mode.

300 HITS (25) Scored a total of 300 hits in Single Player or Multiplayer mode.

RANK IN (15) Uploaded a Score Attack score to rankings.

1 RANKED MATCH (10) Played one ranked match.

10 RANKED MATCHES (20) Played 10 ranked matches.

WATCH A GAME (10) Watched one match.

CUSTOM VR (10) Used a customized VR in Single Player mode.

VS. AJIM (20) Battled Ajim (Ajim appears after winning repeatedly by letting time expire in Arcade mode.)

BRADTOS (10) Defeated Bradtos in Arcade mode.

TANGRAM (10) Defeated Tangram in Arcade mode. Letting time expire does not count as a win

It’s a fairly easy 200 since you don’t even need to win any ranked matches, just participate in them and the rest just pop up as you play arcade mode. I’m surprised that the achievements are as easy as they are, but there are no complaints from me since I love adding more points to my gamertags.
Visually, Virtual On does look a bit dated but it’s hardly surprising and looks fairly good on my HDTV. It’s not the most stunning game out there, but it does the job well. Music is a mixed bag but overall good, there are some weird bits of dialogue that fit into the odd feeling that the game has.

The Verdict

Virtual On: OT isn’t the greatest game out there, nor does it offer much of a challenge. But what it does offer is a game that is fun to play and something that is reminiscent of the good old days of the Dreamcast and for 800 Microsoft Points, you can’t really ask for any more than that.