Review by GraveFiller613
"Mario 64 and Fighter Maker's abandonned child"
I have seen previews for this game and have been mildly intrigued by it. Well I picked up a copy of the Virtua Quest, and I've found it to be a fun little bundle of cliches.
If you've seen the Matrix, Tron, or Megaman NT, then you should be familiar with the concept. Boy goes online into a virtual world. Boy is cast into a large struggle against a hidden enemy. Boy is confused and betrayed. Boy finds he's special in this world. Boy saves virtual world.
I found the controls easy to use. Like all decent games, virtua quest trains you and increases your skill on a modest curve. Though it's an action rpg, this game explores like a platformer. Your skills are basic. A slow run, wall run, double jump and limited grappling wire. Though mastering these skills is crucial to advancing in the game. Since the player is tested and must make rank to advance.
Combat is simple but off balance. Most enemies are either too easy to pummel or require a hit hard, recover your special meter, hit hard, and repeat. The wire is kind of a neat feature in combat. It allows you to zip to airborne enemies that are flying of their own free will or victoms of your juggles. Combos are stressed in this game. The higher your combo is when you defeat the enemy, the better the chance of you getting recovery items.
Specials are learned by finding virtua souls, in otherwords the lost memories of virtua fighters. After beating said fighter, the player earns a 1-3 star move. All these moves require special energy. Which is replenished after taking or giving a beating. Virtua souls also allow for a bomb attack, which does heavy damage to surrounding enemies, but drains health. Which also allows for a chance to get lost data. This lost data improves virtua move powers.
Then there's Bit, a pet/navigator. I found raising Bit to be one of the more original innovations I've seen in a game. depending on how you feed the creature, it will assume one of 13 forms. All with varying abilities, such as attacking, item detection and stock piling healing items for the player.
Finally, there's the upgrade tools. It's like building on your stats in a rubix cube. Kinda neat, but it can get annoying. The player has a 3 by 3 cube with access to all but one segment. upgrades can be 1 to 5 segments that need to be fit in to use. some increase your health, attack and so on. Others add to your simple combo. And a few increase odds of getting more money heath ups. Then there's a couple that give the character new abilities, like rolling. It's neat at first but then the player realises, he has to completely rearrange his cube to try to use a part that wasn't great anyhow.
This game has some ok but repetitive tunes, most with a nostalgic feel for them. The are similar to some of SEGA's older works. Not a bad touch, but they are over played.
The voice acting is atrocious though. Poorly synched and providing no emotion whatsoever. It wouldn't be so bad if you could skip through the cutscenes, but you can't do that unless you've already suffered once through them.
Overall it's a fun game, though it could use a bit of polish.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 03/14/05
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