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So I Tried… Virgo Versus The Zodiac

So I Tried… Virgo Versus The Zodiac

Each edition of So I Tried… sees a member of staff trying a game that they have never played before. Will I find something new to add to my list of favourite games? Or will I find something that isn’t worth talking about outside this article? Playing through a full half hour, no matter how infuriating it gets or how many times I fail, to see if this is the game for me. This time around, I tried the newly released console version of Virgo Versus the Zodiac.

What I thought it was

Having a quick glance at images online, I assumed that Virgo Versus the Zodiac would be a turn-based RPG with a story centred around the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Although, that guess was mainly due to the name! It looked like a simplistic throwback to 2D RPGs of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, and having played my fair share of the likes of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, I was looking forward to that nostalgia hit.

In relation to that, because I assumed it was an RPG harkening back to simpler times, I decided in my tiny brain that the story would be one-note, most likely featuring a quest to save the world (if it even went that deep) with one-dimensional characters offering little to no personality. Oh, and probably a silent protagonist as well, urgh!


What it actually is

Well, some good news first. There’s actually more to the story than I initially thought! Our main character — Virgo — isn’t a silent protagonist either, so that’ll teach me to judge a book by its cover! Unfortunately, in the short time I played, there wasn’t too much context given to the narrative. Virgo and her companion Ginger (a sentient gingerbread person, would you believe?) have made their way to Capricorn’s corporate headquarters in the midst of a worker's strike. Why? Well, from what I could gather thus far, to retrieve a set of blueprints that will pinpoint the location of the Zodiacs’ Crowns, whatever they are. There’s a fair bit of dialogue with very little meaning behind it, although it did leave me curious to discover the purpose of these crowns.

You’ll explore an overworld brimming with personality, with almost every object having an optional text bubble appears to provide a humorous anecdote or quip. The starting environment itself was also a mysteriously intriguing area, unlike anything I’ve seen before. Think generic corporate skyscraper that’s collided with space debris and left to float in the cosmos (difficult, I know) and you have Virgo Versus The Zodiac’s opening section. There’s a heavy emphasis on combat, though, so it didn’t take too long exploring before I was entering my first enemy encounter.

Battles are turn-based with a sort of rock-paper-scissors type system, with each of the three attack types being strong or weak against the others. It’s simple enough, mainly thanks to the slew of tutorials that guide you through the opening few battles, although I did find some of the enemy attacks were difficult to pre-empt due to the on-screen text disappearing before I was able to finish reading it. Although turn-based, there is a lot of interactivity involved when attacking and defending, reminding me of the Mario & Luigi RPGs that I loved so much as a teenager. The difference is that I didn’t enjoy this title's combat half as much as I did with the brothers’ charming escapades, the main reason being the iffy hit detection. Pressing a button when prompted within the time limit will see you deal extra damage (or lessen the impact on your own health bar when you get hit) but more often than not, despite nailing the prompt dead in the centre of the zone, I missed completely. Think of a time when you’ve missed a quick-time event or pressed a button too early but for an entire game's combat system. I figured out that hitting the prompt way too early would more often than not cause the moving reticle to hit the “perfect” zone — despite it clearly not stopping on that point — but this wasn’t exactly ideal and often led to quick deaths. The image below gives a much clearer explanation than my ramblings, but it very quickly led to some frustration!


Will I keep playing

Probably not quite yet, no. Whilst the first half an hour of gameplay didn’t exactly turn me away from playing the game, my backlog is piling up, and there are several games I’d rather get stuck into. As much as the story has me intrigued, it isn’t quite enough to push me into committing myself to see it through to the end for now. I’m also unaware if the PC version has the same timing issues in combat, so hopefully, a patch can be released to remedy this somewhere down the line, but I’m sure I’d get the hang of having to input the button press earlier after a while.

Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

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