Many people play video or computer games to get away from the drudgeries of a workday and for the 21st century rock star hero of Virtuoso, life is no different. Donning a virtual reality headset to whisk himself away from the suffocating atmosphere of stardom, he enters a world known as Virtuoso.
In the role of this heavy metal rocker, your task is to sit back, relax and blast your way through three available missions. Control of this long haired, leather-wearing dude is from a third-person perspective, allowing you to move in any direction in the linear environments, strafe to either side avoiding enemies, or press against a wall and sidestep to avoid enemy fire.
Each of three selectable missions is made up of eight levels, and each requires you to collect a key to access a portal, which warps you to the next. Levels include Mars, which is littered with giant insects, marauding robots and other mechanical foes; a haunted house is surrounded by snow and fog, with giant, unfriendly snowmen and crows surrounding the perimeter, and a Marine area, filled with crabs, seagulls and a large amount of underwater foes. Each level is filled with equally nasty hazards you must avoid, including giant pitfalls or pools of ice water, automated guns and traps such as spikes and blades.
When you start out, you're armed with merely two double-barreled shotguns to shoot your foes, but you can find spheres hidden about containing power-ups, such as Plasma Blasts, Laser Bolts and Guided Missiles. In addition, map icons activate your radar, allowing you to see your location in proximity to the goal and enemies, hearts replenish your health, and Smart Bombs damage all onscreen foes and 1-Ups yield an extra life.
Virtuoso's action is backed by a soundtrack created by independent rock band Thai Dyed Suicide and allows you to save your progress and high scores to your hard drive four times. Four difficulty levels allow you to increase or decrease the challenge depending on how relaxing you want this experience to be. Step into the world of Virtuoso, leather jacket and sunglasses not required.
Fight all sorts of virtual enemies as Our Hero, a rock star. Your shotgun is your only friend as you travel from world to world fighting enemies in 3rd-person 3D.
3D shooters of the old kind were known for having somewhat constructed game stories. But this one beats them all. Obviously Motivetime thought: "Let's make a 3D shooter with a rock'n roll hero and cool rock'n roll music!" But then they face a tough question: in what context should such a game take place and would still make sense... Probably a little rock'n rolling gang fight? No! Motivetime had the glory idea to simply let their rock'n roll hero play in a virtual reality computer game which happens to be the game Virtuoso. Whooo, so you are actually playing a computer game in which the hero is playing a computer game. And so Motivetime were able to put their rock'n roll hero in all kinds of absurd scenarios...
Ok, the story is stupid. The game? Not much better. A simple 3D shooter, very Doom-like, just with boring levels, worse graphics and hardly any new ideas. One of the few positive things to mention is the nice music and the average till good sound effects. This is the floppy version of the game that doesn't include the terrible CD music tracks.
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