Cyber Troopers Virtual On
Windows - 1997
Description of Cyber Troopers Virtual On
Virtual On Cybertroopers (which I will now refer to as VOOM, as it's sometimes called Virtual On: Operation Moongate) was developed by SEGA's Am3 team (now known as Hitmaker ...an appropriate name, if you ask me), and first released in arcades during 1996, using SEGA's Model 2 hardware (the hardware behind other excellent SEGA games such as Virtua Cop 2, Daytona USA, Fighting Vipers*, and Virtua Fighter 2).
The basic idea was mech fighting, although it wasn't exactly the most traditional fighting game ever created. The game was (and still is) very innovative, especially in terms of gameplay. Also, it had a very unique control scheme, which used a strange dual joystick setup (not to say it was the first game to do so). It was later ported (very well, I might add) to the SEGA Saturn, which is the first version of the game I was exposed to.
When I first played Virtual On in 1996 or so, I fell in love with it. I liked that is was an unlikely mix of a third person shooter and a fighting game, a bunch of agile mechs beating the parts out of each other, and incredible visuals, among other reasons. Granted, I only really thought of it as a fun diversion, just for dashing about and shooting your opponent. I had no idea what I was in for. The graphics are excellent, considering the time it was released. The arenas are somewhat simplistic, but well textured with beautiful backgrounds.
The VR's ("mechs" that the characters pilot) are nice looking, and all have great animations. I've heard that the game runs pretty bad on older PC's, and it was running poor on mine, until I switched the "motion type" option from "fast" to "smooth". Textured, transparent explosions, weapon trails, and projectiles are plentiful. Graphically, this port is one of SEGA's better Model 2-to-PC ports created. It is, graphically, the closest to the Model 2 version, and it's nice to see the somewhat better looking arenas and VR's after playing the Saturn version so long. The sound is what you'd expect from SEGA, which isn't exactly bad, yet it isn't exactly ground-breaking.
The sound effects all sound as you'd expect them to, and they are very plentiful. In fact, it's possible to tell what VR's are being used in a match simply by listening to the sound effects, which is saying something. I have noticed that the sound is somewhat inferior to the Saturn and Model 2 versions (in the sense that sometimes it doesn't play certain sounds), but it's hardly even noticeable. Also, The announcer sounds like Macintosh Simpletext speak, and fits well with the game. The music is good, yet not what I'd call "classic". It's all mostly of the J-popish sort, with some "heavier" songs in there. There are some songs, however, that really stand out, such as "Into Blue Sky" (Temjin's stage), and "Everything Merges with the Night" (Dorkas's stage).
Of course, the most remarkable aspect of this game is the gameplay. The gameplay is, as I said earlier, a mix of a third person shooter and a fighting game. Granted, it's probably nine-tenths fighting game and one-tenth shooter, but that's not quite apparent at first. You basically select a VR to pilot, and enter a small arena with one other mech. Each VR can sidestep, crouch, dash, and jump, among other things.
There are three weapons per VR, and it's possible to shoot countless variations of each. Also, there is a great close combat system, which allows for some incredible fights. Not only is it one of the most original fighting games ever made, but, like any other good fighting game, it is also VERY complex. The more you play it, the better you can get. A "newbie" at this game has absolutely NO chance of winning against an expert, and watching two great players fight is nothing short of breathtaking. There are plenty of small details that can be learned over time, and tons of room for players to create their own techniques and "style". The control scheme, if you have the twinsticks (or a twinstick setup), is dead on. I'm amazed that something this complex fits on two joysticks and four buttons, and everything works so well. Your VR does what you want it to do, the millisecond you want it to.
I do, however, have one minor quibble about the gameplay. When a lot of players start off, they have a tendency to do a lot of dash (namely side-dash) and jump attacking repeatedly. Usually, they see no logical reason why they shouldn't (the logical reason: Long pause afterwards, side-dash and jump attack shots aren't very powerful or homing). Second, they don't know about the little miracle called "jump-cancel". When you jump, you lock onto the other player. Since turning is very slow and clumsy, it is MUCH better to jump, then cancel the jump by guarding. The VR does a little hop, locking onto the enemy in less than a second.
So, for those who don't know about the above, the game could get repetitive fast. It would help if the game's manual explained these things, as they aren't very apparent at first. I have one huge overall problem with this port, but it isn't exactly the fault of the game's designers. This game is terrible with the keyboard. Most keyboards that I've tried this with simply can not "handle" the inputs that this game sometimes requires. A Saturn gamepad can easily remedy this, but finding a Saturn-> PC controller adapter isn't exactly easy. Another (and probably better) way this problem can be overcome with two joysticks, I hear, but I have yet to try it myself. The two-joystick setup would emulate the Model 2 Twinsticks quite well, I'd imagine.
All in all, this game is incredible. I'm glad SEGA decided to port some of their games over to PC. The PC doesn't get many good fighting games, so I'm glad that the PC at least got this. Granted, I feel it's somewhat inferior to the Saturn version, but it's a good port none the less.
The game's sequel, Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram, happens to be my most favorite game in existence, and is a worthy successor to VOOM in every way. If you happen to get addicted to VOOM, try to get your hands on the Dreamcast port of VO:OT (as I doubt a PC port will ever happen)... You certainly won't be sorry.
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
Avarice1of2 2021-09-16 1 point
What are the controls for keyboard as I have only figured out a few?
gundstaff 2020-05-17 1 point
It is an NGR file, for some reason if it is converted to ISO the game runs out of music. Burn to a disc or mount using Nero and the music will be there.
A fatty guy from Thailand 2019-11-04 1 point
The game works fine on my PC. (Windows 10 and Intel-i5 on it)
But the game crashes every time I lose the game.
Seem like I have to get back to the emulator way.
By the way, for those who want the music on the game, Download the ISO, click full installation and mount the image while playing.
Ballsdeep420lol 2019-09-05 2 points
Playing on the rip version but i cant get the music to play any ideas?
Rentgen 2019-04-04 0 point
ISO Version - best for Win 7 x64 ultimate.
Can play, here all sound and music, no problem with graphic.
But when loose round, always out of the game.
I remembe time when play it by arcades.
Thank you very much for this nostalgia. ; )
IsaacWolfen 2019-02-13 2 points
is there a way to make the game recognize usb controllers or similar? I can't find a way to play wothouth the keyboard (wanted to play with twinsticks, like in the PS2 Virtual on Marz, for example)
cobalteblue 2019-02-12 2 points
hello, i only get the sound effects in game and no music . also the screen blinks . can anyone help me ? thanks
f1r3hunt3rz 2019-02-07 0 point
Thanks to CAPTAINPKMN for his comment, it's really helpful. Now I can relive moments of my favorite arcade game!
Scotty Pipp 2018-08-17 1 point
I looked everywhere for the name of this game for years, i thought it was VR troopers, but i never could find it until i saw Temjins name on the trailer for Yakuza 2 Kiwami... I'm so excited to play!
CaptainPkmn 2018-06-11 0 point
The ISO file is actually a .nrg file. I didn't get it to work but the RIP file worked for me.
If you have a color issue:
Go into the game, press space-bar to go into the main menu so cut scene wont interrupt you, go to mode option or press F6, appendix, and click on color mode 64000. Now it looks way better.
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