Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram/FAQ

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How can I tell if this game is for me or not?

You might like VOOT if you…

  • like high speed action games & robots shooting stuff
  • enjoy games with airdashing and lots of animation/special cancels
  • don’t mind games with input heavy movement/neutral game
  • enjoy having a lot of room for freedom with movement: VOOT is a 3D airdasher with 5 degrees of freedom
  • enjoy characters having a large array of moves even if some of them are useless
  • enjoy having low commitment pressure that can be pushed further with execution
  • like strong defensive & wakeup options and lack of setplay
  • like games with short but tight to execute melee combos
  • like the idea of a 3D arena fighter with a strong focus on projectile combat. In a way VO can be thought of as a versus shoot’em’up in a 3D space.

You probably won’t enjoy VOOT if you...

  • don’t like focus on mecha/robot characters
  • dislike projectile-focused combat
  • dislike input-heavy gameplay in neutral
  • don’t like strong defensive options
  • hate timeouts and passive play
  • want to do long multi-hit combos and consistently get situations to land them
  • want to force opponents into true 50/50 situations & heavy wakeup pressure
  • hate looking at dated y2k 3D graphics
  • have problems with very rapidly moving camera angle
  • have problems with flashing lights

What makes VOOT different from other arena fighters or fighting games?

There is little focus on forcing your opponent to make guesses or pressuring their wakeup. More time is spent in ranged, neutral game situations. Many characters can create a heavy attack barrage akin to a bullet hell game. Combos are a rare sight, but when they happen are short but technical while dealing explosive damage.

At higher levels defensive play is very strong with how much control is given in terms of mobility and attack cancel routes. Aggressive play is still possible with enough execution and can look very flashy. There are characters who specialize in each of these concepts. Most high level players are character specialists, having spent years with one of the 15 playable characters.

The gameplay speed is debatably the highest of 3D arena fighters of this vein. Part of that is being a 1v1 game so the players can fully focus on one opponent and mastery of their own character.

Unlike some similar games such as Gundam EXVS series, you are not locked to face your opponent. There is additional freedom like rotating your camera/mecha horizontally. This creates unique qualities like manual aim of attacks and 3D movement irrespective of your opponents position.

Since there's a lot going on with each character, most players only stick to mastering one Virtuaroid. Many players spend years with just one of the 15 available characters before branching out (if at all).

Getting the game

How do I get the PS4 version of VOOT? I don't see it available in my region.

The Virtual-On Masterpiece collection is only available as a digital purchase on the japanese PlayStation Network marketplace. You have to create a Japanese PSN account (this can take a few minutes) and then obtain a PSN yen card (with enough value to purchase the game) from a reseller.
Most of these email you a redeemable code right after your purchase, which you then put in on your japanese PSN account.
Buy the game like normal on PSN using the redeemed currency and it will be playable on all accounts on that console.

Playing & Finding opponents

How do I set up offline locals for VOOT? Which versions are the best for this and which support it?

You can play offline versus in either the Xbox 360 or Dreamcast version via System Link (ie. with multiple consoles connected directly or to the same LAN), or play the dreamcast version in split-screen.

Basically the Xbox 360 version is recommended, as it is corresponds to the final version of the game while being mostly very accurate and having updated graphics. You can system link between Xbox 360 and Xbox One units and it will still work. The same can be done on the Virtual-On Force port.

The PS4 version does NOT support system link or other offline modes. Only the VOOT Dreamcast version supports split-screen (but has its own issues).

How do I go about finding online opponents on the PS4 or Xbox 360 versions?

This game only has a sizeable playerbase in japan, so finding random opponents is unlikely. On PS4 version there are japanese players around everyday and other regulars at least a few times a week. For the both versions you should try to organize times to host lobbies and get together.

What kind of netcode does this and other Virtual-On games use for online play?

The netcode is generic Delay-based. But due to some properties of the game latency matters a bit less than normal fighting games. Still highly recommended to play opponents closest to you. Things like Europe to east NA connections are known to work surprisingly well.

Twin Sticks & Controllers

Can I start playing this game without a Twin Stick controller? Is it competitive or fun without them?

Contrary to popular belief, both controller types can play the Virtual-On games just as well. That includes the highest levels of play. A twin-stick is not needed to enjoy or learn the game. Gamepad has its own small advantages which some minority of players might even consider unfair. In the end this is the same deal as most 2D fighting games: the control type doesn’t matter as long as it’s functional and the player is experienced with it. You see people using all kinds of controllers and a PS4 gamepad should be no exception.

In short, you don’t need to worry about the specifics of twin-stick operation while using a gamepad unless you:
A. You plan to buy one in a short time period.
B. Want to play on the arcade version in the future.

How should I go around buying Twin Sticks? (PS4 and 360 versions)

Tanita (precision scale manufacturer) in cooperation with Sanwa created 'Twin Stick Project Z' sticks for the PS4. These were initially only sold to crowdfunders but Sanwa opened limited time orders for them here and this may happen again. They're also sell spare parts for this new model even if orders for the whole stick are closed, so you may be able to buy the parts and build them into a custom base. This is a new model with additional buttons, redesigned so that the PS4/Vita exclusive game A Certain Magical Virtual-On could be played using Twin Sticks.

Hori produced the Twin Stick EX series of sticks for xbox 360, but these are out of production. You see them on resale every now and then. This model is often considered the most robust/durable of all, so if you can find one for a good price it might be a good investment. The new model arcade twin sticks, Twin Stick EX and PS4 twinsticks are known to be fairly durable. Dreamcast, Saturn and the weaker arcade model may break/wear easier.

Many players custom build their own stick from either one for a previous system like the Dreamcast, or using arcade hardware. The internals and wiring need to be changed to work with the target system. This is the same as modding any other controller to work on another platform.

Can I use Xbox 360 Twin Sticks or pad on PS4 with a controller converter/adapter?

These are known to work nicely with the PS4 version. For example Brooks xbox360->PS4 converter should map exactly the same by default (Back = Touchpad button).
The 'Special' button is unfortunately hardlocked to the touchpad button in the PS4 port. If the particular converter does not map the touchpad button in a convenient way, PS4 accessibility functions might allow you to remap it?

What kind of button layout should I use on controller? Is the default OK?

Check Controls / Layouts for some recommended setups. The default is a good starting point. It's mostly down to your own preference but worth noting that using analog sticks to move around may wear your gamepad down quickly.

Notation, Glossary
Advanced Advanced TechniquesMatchup charts & TiersVersions
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