I just made a post about this exact topic two days ago, and now I've really decided to expand on the idea. A contest for front-page glory is nice, but that's not my impetus, my real goal is in spreading the word that such a game existed once - and we'd be damn
lucky to see its return. To those who have played it, you know of what I speak. To those who haven't, you aren't even aware of what you missed out on, and it's almost better that way. It sure beats wondering where that virtual friend I spent time sparring against after school back in the day has gone away to.
What's worse is if you were in the know, you know what happened to that series. You know how the arcade originals were radically different from all the other varieties of cabinet candy in the shop. You probably know that a set of Twin Sticks for the Saturn fetch a price that equates a kidney in gamer-cash. You probably played the Dreamcast version of the vastly more refined sequel and saw how it played so awkwardly without those sticks (and seat) that made the arcade version such an incredible experience. You probably may have heard how the PS2 version of the 3rd game in the series suffers from being plain uninspired and lackluster. I want to change this game, and I want to resurrect it. Imagine the future of mecha combat with me.
I want to see a version of VO on the newer consoles. I want online combat. I want team-based Virtuaroid action. I want it now, but I know that Sega won't be working on that anytime soon, if ever. If they are, then damn them for holding out on me, that's just cruel.
What I'd change are these four aspects, either fully or partially:
Part One: Controls
It seems that a lot of games these days require either a plastic add-on controller shell or an entirely brand-new peripheral controller that's sold along with it (see Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Mario Kart Wii, Ace Combat 6, etc.). The best comparison I could think of with this game was that of Steel Battalion - a game that involved mechs and a cool control scheme for it, but SB was far more complex and slower-paced. VO is meant to be a fast-paced game with a ton of action, and I think that since the dual-stick controller is now standard with every console, it's a better setup for the game right from the start (especially with 4 shoulder buttons/triggers - it's how the original cabinets were designed, basically). You should be able to buy a "Limited Edition" with the new Twin Sticks for authentic VO play, but if there's anything I know about VO Twin Sticks, Limited Edition would mean all of 15 get made - which would have to be bumped to at least 50. Come on, Sega...show more people the true art of controlling those Virtuaroids, or at least give more people the option to experience it in its purest form.
Part Two: Graphics
It's the HD era. VO wasn't all that taxing on any hardware that it was running on. It was fairly basic in order to facilitate the maximum framerate, and I think that could be built upon to a great degree. Sega could build that game to be run in 1080p using the DC models and polygon counts, and then just bump-map the crap out of the details. It'd still look amazing overall, because there's not really time to admire the pretty colors when those same pretty colors are filling the sky and closing in on your face. But still, it could use some form of a facelift, maybe a nosejob and Botox along with it. However, there's no need to go crazy with the beautification process...framerate is far more crucial to the overall experience.
Part Three: Sound
Most everyone has a surround sound system these days (at least people I know do, regardless of their paycheck size), or some semblance of it. The arcade cabinets had cockpits that you would sit in, and your head would be flanked by speakers that would literally bring you directly
into the battle from a sonic standpoint. Apply the same surround technology that most FPS games use these days and we've got a recipe for Baked Awesome. Imagine the sound of massive explosions all around you - some of them your own. Imagine that many, many times over. That mental image brings me to my most important point, actually:
Part Four: Versus
Ahh, multiplayer. Back in the days of the original VO arcade game (and the Saturn version, for that matter), you sat down face-to-face and fought your opponent right alongside him, mano a mano until one of you left that cockpit seat. With the advent of online multiplayer, that seat has done nothing but gotten a lot more comfortable than molded plastic and Plexiglas, and the competition has increased exponentially in number. There's more people online playing videogames than ever before, and I would love to see how a fully-realized, multiplayer (as in more than two players) Virtual ON experience would be to play. I'd probably defecate myself with glee. I don't know what inspires nerdgasms for you fine folks, but 8-PLAYER GIANT ROBOT DEATHMATCH
gets me off, quite frankly. Or, I should say that it would, if it existed in the first place. Which brings me to my final point of the post:
It should exist. There's no reason why it shouldn't. And yet it doesn't, which saddens and confuses me to no end. Come on, Sega...can't you see that I need