I never would have thought that the zodiac would make for an interesting theme for an RPG, but Virgo Versus The Zodiac has certainly changed my perspective. Sure, it won’t be the best game you’ve played in the genre, but it’s certainly a very unique release that does things a bit differently to the norm – especially with its quirky but intriguing storytelling that puts players in the role of a villainous Virgo… I always knew you couldn’t trust a virgo.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Virgo Versus The Zodiac brings with it a unique premise that sees the various zodiac signs of astrology represented by physical beings who each take control of their own space in the galaxy. And, if the title didn’t give it away, you play as Virgo as she looks to travel between the various constellations seen in the stars and bring down anyone who gets in her way, all in the name of returning the galaxy to a ‘Golden Age’.
Yeah, if it wasn’t obvious, you’re not necessarily the hero of this tale, with some of the actions Virgo takes to complete her goal proving to be a little dubious to say the least. She’ll kill without a care in the world, and whilst she has her own justifications for doing so, it’ll often be clear to the player that you might not necessarily be in the right. But hey, that’s what makes the narrative so compelling, with Virgo Versus The Zodiac certainly keeping me enthralled as I witnessed the aftermath of Virgo’s actions.
You’ll even get to make choices at specific points of the story that can shape how events pan out, so Virgo doesn’t HAVE to be a complete villain all of the time. But you know what? It makes for some pretty comical (and even a little dark) sequences, so I found myself compelled to be the ‘bad guy’ wherever possible. There are multiple endings based upon your choices and actions though, so you’ll have to do multiple playthroughs if you want to see everything. Admittedly, the tone shifts in the plotline can be a little jarring with the narrative freedom that the game offers, but they don’t stop the story from being the highlight of the experience.
“You’ll even get to make choices at specific points of the story that can shape how events pan out, so Virgo doesn’t HAVE to be a complete villain all of the time. But you know what? It makes for some pretty comical (and even a little dark) sequences, so I found myself compelled to be the ‘bad guy’ wherever possible.”
Combat is of the typical turn-based variety, though Virgo Versus The Zodiac implements some QTE-style mechanics into each action to ensure players are kept on their toes. Defending an incoming attack from an enemy? A well-timed button press will soften the blow and ensure you don’t take too much damage. About to unleash an attack of your own? Watch a bar fill and hit the action button at the right moment to deal extra damage. It’s a system we’ve seen in plenty of other RPGs in the past so it’s hardly unique, but it works well here and ensures the turn-based nature of the game’s combat doesn’t slow the pace of the action down.
Outside of that, there are some other mechanics introduced to keep combat interesting. For one, the skills you use in battle are tied to one of three different elements, with a ‘rock-paper-scissors’ style system in place that can allow you to get the upper-hand over enemies. There’s also a counter-attack system that allows you to strike back at opponents if you build up your Purity bar, which occurs whenever you perform defensive manoeuvres – if you have Purity when struck, you can immediately strike the attacking enemy back without taking up a turn. It’s an interesting dynamic that plays into the mantra of ‘a best offence being a good defence’, with it showing that there’s a bit more depth to Virgo Versus The Zodiac’s combat than it might initially seem.
At the same time, whilst I enjoyed the combat, it didn’t take long before it could get a little bit repetitive. Standard battles with enemies felt a little formulaic with not much changing as I progressed, whilst the boss battles rarely innovated (but often brought on a sharp difficulty spike that caused more frustration than anything else). There is a surprisingly deep equipment system in place that allows you to change up your skillsets and strengths that can heavily influence your success in battle, but it’s often something you have to take advantage of AFTER you’ve been beaten in battle in order to figure out what would work best. I wouldn’t say combat is boring, but it could’ve done with a bit more oomph to keep things exciting and fair.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Despite this, there’s still a good time to be had with Virgo Versus The Zodiac, especially with the creative world design and peculiar scenarios you find yourself in (there’s even a shooting-themed mini-game which was a nice side endeavour). I was a big fan of the visuals too, with the old-school style giving the game a distinct vibe that worked well with the zodiac theme – even IF we’ve seen it used in plenty of similar indie RPGs over the last few years. There are plenty of unique and silly sights to be seen, but it fits in well with the game’s zanier side. And the soundtrack? It’s absolutely brilliant, with plenty of catchy tunes to be heard throughout that fit the peculiar events that are taking place perfectly.
Virgo Versus The Zodiac Review
Virgo Versus The Zodiac’s combat can feel a little repetitive in places, but the quirky narrative and creative presentation ensure it’s still good fun to play. I was a big fan of the storytelling and it was always a treat to explore the world, whilst there were plenty of silly little situations to find yourself in that keep the adventure strange (and I mean that in a good way).
It’s just a shame that the combat didn’t do enough to keep me excited. It certainly has some interesting ideas thanks to its emphasis on QTEs and skills being tied to your gear, but it rarely felt like it did much that made it stand out – especially with the difficulty spikes in boss battles that felt like they tested your patience more than your skills.
Still, Virgo Versus The Zodiac certainly kept me entertained, and whilst it might not be the best RPG you’ll play, it’s certainly a unique one that offers a very different kind of adventure.
Publisher: Serenity Forge
Platform(s): Xbox One (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC