Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Arrives

The Dreamcast Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram arrives at videogames.com. New screens and impressions inside.

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Ah, today was a joyful day at the videogames.com offices.... The imported version of Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram for the Sega Dreamcast has arrived. And just as we've been hooked on Chu-Chu Rocket for the past few weeks, VO:OT will no doubt devour much of our time in the coming days. It's simply a blast to play. And from what we've seen so far, it's just about arcade perfect. The game offers no fewer than four ways to play via a split screen, the option to play using a link cable, and most importantly, full Internet play (provided you're in Japan and are willing to pay to play) between two players.

The graphics are lush, moving at a rock-solid 60fps, and the controls work fine with the normal DC controller, although there is an optional Virtual On stick that simulates the arcade experience to a T. Sega also released a VO stick for the Saturn version when that game released, although no other game except the Gundam Side-Stories used it. When VO:OT makes the inevitable journey stateside, it wouldn't be a surprise if Sega released yet another peripheral here. Perhaps ASCII will pick up the rights to making the new VO:OT peripheral.

There is also a nifty Virtuaroid customization feature that lets you customize your mech's appearance, including the colors of any body parts, decals, and logos, and you can even change your mech's name.

While, we can assume we won't be getting the supernice presentation in the states, it should be noted that the Japanese version of the game features an immaculately produced rice-paper-esque booklet, filled with full-color illustrations and one of those extra-thick CD cases. Gotta love imports.

The most important question that should be in everyone's mind right now is when is Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram coming out in the US, and will the US Dreamcast Internet servers be up and running in time to get it on? As soon as we know, you'll know, so sit tight. We'll be delivering full impressions on the game in the coming days, but for now, check out these new screens and video.

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