If you were a fan of Sega games in the 90’s, then you no doubt remember the classic Virtual On, a mech game where you could battle against other players, both AI and human, in an effort to become the last robot standing. The game has seen a number of sequels over the years, including Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram for the Xbox 360, and now it appears to be making another comeback – but not in the way that you’d expect.
Sega has confirmed that it’s bringing back Virtual On, but will be combining it with the novel-turned anime series A Certain Magical Index, to create A Certain Magical Virtual On (Toaru Majutsu no Virtual On). It’s set for release on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita sometime early next year, and will make an appearance at the company’s booth at Tokyo Game Show later this month.
The game will feature a number of “Virtualoids” (giant robots) and pilot characters based on characters from the series, according to Dengeki, and the gameplay will take advantage of classic Virtual On features, but will also introduce new ones, including Transition, where you can dash while kneeling to get a better vantage point on your opponent.
There will also be a new Point Scoring system, where you can earn points by shooting down your opponent. This will factor into who wins each match, instead of just seeing who has the most energy when it’s over.
As you can see from the screens, A Certain Magical Virtual On is going for a fun, anime-style presentation, while retaining some of the content we’ve come to expect from the series, creating a familiar yet new setting for the game. And being able to use a number of weapons, including the Boost Weapon, will help turn the tide of the match in your favor.
Currently, A Certain Magical Virtual On is only scheduled for Japanese release, as Sega has no plans to release it on our shores. This could change, especially considering the growth of anime fandom over here, but nothing’s been finalized yet. For the time being, enjoy the screenshots, and remember that you can import the game, if you really, really want to get your robot destruction on.