Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Virtual catching up

In the post Christmas lull I have found myself adjacent to my keyboard with a few moments to spare. I am not going to rehash my top ten games of the year, that was best presented in the season finale episode of our podcast (which you really should listen to, it was a great episode). Instead I will give you a brief reaction to my most recent silly purchase: the PSVR.

It was not until very recently that the PSVR had any appeal for me. Consoles are simply a conveyance for games and there were no games on the PSVR that I wanted to play.  It only takes one game, my Switch is evidence enough of that, and when that game arrived my wallet audibly groaned. Then the whole package went on sale right before Christmas and it was unavoidable: I would own Beat Saber. And I suppose I should try a few other games, too.

Many, many years ago I stopped going to amusement parks and riding roller coasters. I remember the last time and it was terrible, just a nausea that started in the pit of my stomach and radiated outwards. It rose and rose but never quite sent me running to the bathroom. Vomiting would have almost been a relief. This is exactly how Rez HD and Rush of Blood made me feel.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The PSVR helmet itself takes some getting used to. There are more dials to adjust the fit that I expected but once it is dialed in it just works. Connecting the PSVR to the PS4 creates a small rat's nest of cords and the adapter box itself requires its own power outlet. The remotes don't come with their own charging cables.

In other words, the assembly portion of the first evening was not idea. But then I started up Beat Saber.

It's a simple game: block float towards you in sync to the music. You slash them in a specific direction. Repeat, look foolish, knock picture off the of walls, etc. On the first night I played until the controllers batteries died and finished most of the songs on hard. I have since completed almost all of of them on expert and while it is not an especially difficult game that needs more (and better) music it is so much fun that it very nearly validates the purchased.

Nearly. Almost. It worked because the 'VR' nature of the game is less important than the camera and controllers tracking your movement in a 3D space. When I tried other more traditional VR games I was left feeling quite ill after around thirty minutes. Rush of Blood is a literal roller coaster. There are other games that will probably work for me, games like Moss and Astro Bot Rescue Mission, which are more interested in placing the player in a 3D space than sending them rocketing through it.

I will try Borderlands 2 VR. Eventually. Because Assassin's Creed Odyssey is going to end eventually. Probably.

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