VOmania! logo
The 4th is the Force


:DATE 2000.12.23
:TIME 1600 - 2000

After a trip in Hokkaido our family stopped over in Tokyo briefly. I met Oli and Em at the west exit of the JR station and set off to pay our homage to where it all started - the legendary West Sport. After a little walk and confusion, we were greeted by a crowd gathering around some projection monitor at the corner of a small building. Hey! Is is not West Sport? There's a live screen showing 4 Virtuaroids battling out in a huge arena. The forth is the force.

And so I was there.

I found myself in the basement queueing up to play "FORCE". Most of the pilots came in pairs, since Force is now going to be a team game. A few loners came up and had to team up with the AI controlled partner VR. Each member takes turn to be the leader VR. Should the leader VR be defeated then the round is lost. In the case of time out, the squadron with the most total Energy (HP) wins the round. However since this is a test version you cannot win forever, so the machine was set so that it was game over after 3 wins.

Since most of the people were using Temjins, Raidens, Voxes and Apharmds, I decided to choose Myzr(ViperII was the 1st VR I ever piloted) to team with Oli's Temjin(He's always a big fan of Tem). When it was our turn, two pairs of opposing deluxe twin cabinets came into view. The side with white design patterns was DNA and the Raiden/Vox pair just won. We settled into RNA side with black design patterns and inserted our 200 yens...

... soon we were battered by the 'assumed-seasoned' pilots, had fun though.

Game play and response wasn't so good, but it's understandable for 1st location test version using a customised Naomi GD board. Graphics and effects, on the other hand, is a big improvement from VOOT. The glows from explosions, projectiles and beam weapons is spectacular (they finally realised there shouldn't be a shadow underneath a laser *LOL*). The background is no longer a big picture but became deep 3D structures. They seem to have done some work on atmospheric effects such as sunlight, illuminations on stages, dynamic shadows of VRs etc. The smoke trail of Vox's (type "Dan") missiles are pretty realistic.

The rescue dash is actually fast enough comparing with normal dash. In fact in many cases it was often used as an evasive maneuver. Close combat felt not so responsive and not too easy to be cancelled, but then this is only a test version...

After the game I was tempted to write something on the usual comment book next to the machines, but gave up the idea when I realised I've forgotten how to write some of the Hiragana characters. Then Oli & Em had to go, but I went back to spend a couple more hours playing against the elite pilots. You have no idea how excited I was when I won a full set against an expert Angelan pilot, despite the fact that I was having an advantage using Commander...

... and that was another memorable day in my piloting career.

Top | Back