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"Virtuoso" is a DOOM-a-like game. The concept is a bit strange but it did not bother me too much. You are playing a mega rock'n'roll star in the twenty-first century. Your too many adoring fans always want to see you or touch you. Maybe it is because of your music or look, or they are simply head-bangers. Because of them you are confined to your hotel suite, and you decide to try the adventure of virtual reality to escape this world. Fortunately I read the manual to get this information and here is the game as it really is. You are playing this hard rock mega star whose description is long hair, black shades, leather jacket, and a gun in each hand. You can choose from three different episodes: Mars, The Haunted House, and Marine.
Let us begin with Mars. Your screen presentation is like a third person perspective, a bit above and behind the guy. You can move in every direction you like with smooth turning and going about like in "DOOM". You shoot everything that moves or floats. Even to pick up the power-ups, you have to shoot them first. This is not a major concern because you have unlimited ammunition for each of your weapons. You begin outside shooting 'bots, scorpions, bugs, gigantic spiders and some other flying things.
In the Marine episode you begin by being attacked on a beach by crabs and seagulls. While you are making your way to the underwater base, you have 'bots and marine dudes shooting at you.
The Haunted House episode begins in the snow where your enemies are snowmen, giant rolling snowballs and crows. I found the game a bit too stiff to play. The only choice available is the level of difficulty. There are no detail selections, no large arsenal of weapons (you do not even know which one you have in your hand, but always have the most powerful that you have found), no counting your three last bullets while being cornered by a mob of enemies because the ammunition is unlimited. One pretty annoying fact is that you have to aim to shoot, so you cannot walk and shoot at the same time. You can not even run because it was not designed like that (no running in the corridors!!). The controls are done with the keyboard or joystick; mouse users are out of luck.
One of the new things in this game is that your cool hero can move real close to the walls with his back against them. You can also get a radar from a power-up which can be very handy in the future. Each episode consists of seven or eight maps. Once you have found the power-up map, you have access to the complete map. The levels are completely flat with no steps, high buildings or lifts, which I found to be a bit simple. The real goal of this game is the score you make in each level without leaving the level, which is rather easy to do. Unfortunately, you can only save a game at the end of a map, and some of them are quite large.
To get in the destructive mood, you can listen to seven CD audio tracks played during the game (naturally CD version only). These tracks are from a new rock band. At first, I felt like Beavis and Butthead, listening to loud rock music, shooting everything I saw, watching it explode and saying "let's burn something".
Elite Systems Ltd. GRAPHICS ------------------ 75% Anchor House, Anchor Road, Aldridge, SOUND ------------------ 80% Walsall, West Midlands WS9 8PW, England. MUSIC ------------------ 78% Tel: +44-(0)922-55852 GAMEPLAY ------------------ 72% INTEREST ------------------ 65% Vic Tokai Inc, 22904 Lockness Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501. OVERALL ------------------ 73% Tel: 800-478-0217