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News: Virtual On Force Hands-on Impressions

Posted on : 18-09-2010 | By : | In : News, Videos



We managed to not only have several playthroughs on the upcoming port of Virtual On Force but also try out the HORI TwinStick EX peripheral that will be compatible with the game on its release in December. From what we saw, pretty much all the VR and their variants were playable and the following impressions were undertaken using Temjin 747. We’ve also linked a video at the end of the post to show the sticks in action with the game (we aren’t the ones playing though, in case you’re wondering).

Firstly, for those that have been on the fence about the HORI TwinSticks then you really need not bother. If you mod a pair of, much cheaper, Dreamcast sticks (like we’ve already done) then you’ll be far better off. The main problem with the HORI sticks is that the turbo buttons have a lot of give in them and feel a bit vague, as there is a deadzone. This understandably causes some issues on accuracy of dash cancels, amongst other things. The triggers are a bit better but the base of the sticks are also a bit lacking in terms of precision too. This is compared to the Dreamcast sticks of twelve years ago and even the Saturn sticks were better than this.

Force doesn’t help matters much as the game, even in the arcades, was very sluggish in terms of input (especially in terms of the Watari dashing) when compared to Oratan. So in that sense, this new port is wholly accurate to the original. For those that wanted a meaningful follow-on to Oratan, then this port of Force still isn’t it. This is still much better than the nonsense that was Marz but Force was very much the core of that game and this new port really shows that, but now in the upcoming comfort of your own home.

The game also looks very dated now, especially in the environments and their texturing. Admittedly, the VR’s themselves have been made to look nicer, from HDR effects on the VRs various lightsources (such as bloom) to a rather nice effect for surface reflection. The VRs literally look more than a little shiny now.

The demo clearly had the full singleplayer runthrough available but the demo stopped at Jaguarandi, though you could thankfully pick the difficulty from “Easy” to “Very Hard” to spice things up a bit. It’s also worth pointing out that if you’re an adept Oratan player, all the timings and ranges you have programmed into your brain no longer apply in Force. Even between the original Virtual On and Oratan there was some crossover but with Force it’s still much more restrictive in terms of the dash attacks, especially in how they track targets.

Overall, then this is a faithful port of a not particularly great arcade game and the dedicated peripheral for it (that’s mightily expensive no less) is less responsive compared to one from twelve years ago.

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Comments (1)

Shame about the sticks and Force in general, but still holding out for a western release so I can finally play Fei Yen with Vivid Heart.

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