Search

The Experience – PS VR

Review, discussion, analysis of PS VR Games

HoloBall

You see the ball coming in…

You wind up all the way…

HoloBall_20170303114348

You release all your anger on that ball. Except for one problem… you probably missed the ball! HoloBall is available for $15 on PSN right now (and on Steam for the HTC Vive) and is a you vs AI in racquetball type of game. You use a move controller which becomes a racquet and volley it out the best you can.

 

TL;DR= No, don’t get this game for PS VR unless you would specifically enjoy a racquetball-type game.

 holoball HoloBall PSN Online HoloBall TreeFortress Studios

Campaign Mode = Win against a series of AI opponents at increasing levels of difficulty to unlock the next difficulty in the campaign.

Easy = Slow ball speed. Slow AI target move and recenter speed. What is an AI fast shot?

Medium = Slow ball speed, starts getting faster. AI target move and recenter speed improved. AI fast-shot is like a little league fastball.

Hard = Faster ball speed. AI target moves quickly and re centers quickly after each volley. AI fast-shot is pretty hard.

Expert = Lightning ball speed. AI target is on point. AI fast-shot is freaking fast.

Custom = Thank god, a developer that will add a nice custom mode right off the bat. You can customize the AI settings of speed, accuracy, move speed. You can customize the game settings of max points allowed, ball size, or power boost max. You can also adjust the room settings!

HoloBall_20170303115830

Arcade Mode

Zen= Bounce the ball back and forth of the wall at your own pace for as long as you’d like. Take your time. Set all your own dimensions. Find your zen.

HoloBall_20170303125632

Score Attack= Arguably the most mode in the game. You have 3 balls and 20 rounds of increasing difficulties. These rounds are chalked full of multipliers for time efficiency and trick shots and stuff like that. Your goal is to score as much as possible.

Endurance= Quite simply endurance… how many times can you hit it back without missing against an increasingly difficult opponent. No score bonuses, just one point per return.

This game is quite engaging (even if a little rude to you for being human and not AI) and fun. It can be really frustrating sometimes too if you just can’t seem to get the timing of your swings quite right.

Now in the tl;dr I say that you shouldn’t buy this game. Well, I have a couple of problems with it that I would like to raise attention to that lead me to believe your $15 could go somewhere better for PS VR than this if you don’t really care for racquetball.

  1. Move controller. My main issue is that PlayStation forces developers to use the PS4 controller or the Move controller. My personal opinion is that Move controllers are the cheap, lazy version of doing VR controllers for the PS VR system. This is because the controller is not as responsive and lags more than it should (enough to mess up game play a little bit).I haven’t played the HTC Vive version, but I imagine it’s much better for this reason.
  2. Replay-ability. You can’t play with your friends in the room interchangeably(or at least not easily). Hell, you can’t even play in your room if there isn’t a good amount of open space. You need a good 7 foot by 3 foot big area to move in at least, and there is no multiplayer, just high score setting and comparing. So, unless you really enjoy racquetball type games, or the competitive leaderboards, you will probably get bored kind of quickly since it isn’t quite as easy/pretty as something like Fruit Ninja.

HoloBall_20170303114423

Fruit Ninja VR

TL;DR = Yes I would buy this again.

FruitNinjaVR_20170227122441

Fruit Ninja VR brings the beloved fruit cutting game into VR with four different modes:

Arcade = 60 seconds to go for the high score in fruit slicing. Bombs are tossed into the mix to subtract 10 seconds when hit and there are time freezing fruits and time adding fruits as well.

Classic = You’re allowed to miss only 3 fruit, but if you hit a bomb you lose!

Zen = 90 seconds to just hit fruit and combos. No bombs or drops to worry about.

Survival = Similar to classic, except little flying guy(s) shoot the fruits at you in increasingly difficult to handle manners.

Now this isn’t a new game so I won’t take long here.It’s available for $15 on PSN right now and I would say that this is a good pick up for VR. The move controllers(which you can use either one or two) and everything in-game was pretty responsive even though it won’t be the prettiest game you have seen in the VR headset. The depth perception is also very well done. It is super easy to switch people in and out of the headset to play with groups of people and compete for the high scores. Since PS VR displays on your main display if you choose to have it on as well, everyone can watch what is going on. High replay-ability comes from competitiveness with local friends more than anything else… although becoming a dual-blade wielding ninja is great stress relief sometimes.

FruitNinjaVR_20170227122502

RIGS: Mechanized Combat League

Ahhh RIGS… one of my favorite VR games out of the twenty some that I have had the luxury to play so far. You are a world class pilot of these mechanical monsters facing off in teams of 3 in various game modes such as Team Takedown (Team Deathmatch) or Endzone (football variation). The game’s intro and game intros are very cool, as are the stadiums’ sounds and the feelings of being in the arena.

Game Title PSN Store Game’s Website Developer
RIGS Mechanized Combat League PSN Online Guerrilla’s RIGS Guerrilla Cambridge

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104211056

This is one of the games included in the PS demo disc. You get to play one half of Powerslam (150 seconds in-game) and it can be a little bit overwhelming to be thrust into the 3v3 game with scoring rules to learn too. They key question…

Is RIGS worth the purchase (currently $49.99 on PSN) for VR?

TL;DR = YES

Upon purchasing/installing/updating/starting the game, you will be greeted by the immersive start-up .. action moves from other pilots making spectacular moves to win the game!… according to the announcer.

You load in as a pilot dressed in competition suit, with your Coach in front of you dressed in a jumpsuit with a helmet (racing style) on. You are in the middle of what looks to be a large, well lit, well financed RIGS pilot’s HQ. Using your bumpers, you can switch between the 4 different modes: RIGS HQ, Showroom, Offline Play, and Online Play. You’re also holding a controller looking like a projections-based iPad which displays information for you.

Showroom

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104155620

The place where you can look at and buy new/different RIGS to pilot for games and challenges. There are 3 different types of RIGS… heavy, fast, short & can hover for short periods. They also have advanced versions and versions with many different abilities. (Examples of abilities would be nuclear explosions upon death or restore all health upon melee kills.) Overall, it is not super balanced and you can’t customize the weaponry on your machine. It’s unbalanced in the fact that the later, more expensive machines are just better in overall damage and shield strength. I don’t know why you wouldn’t allow players to pick their type of robot and their weapon load-out but I guess the presets are alright. Oh, and the AI only seems to have two moderate difficulty settings.

RIGS HQ

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104155810

 The RIGS HQ is the home for pilot News, Customization, Challenges, sponsors, awards, and tutorial. The news will keep track of new unlocks and stuff as you progress through your career. Customization allows full pilot customization from jumpsuit to helmet visors… all of which have more to be unlocked thru in-game actions, challenges, or sponsors. Challenges are actually pretty interesting, as there is a Basic and Advanced version of each different challenge in each different stadium. There is a new weekly challenge every week at a different stadium with 6 randomly chosen challenges from that stadium (randomly advanced and basic) and you pay a credit entry fee, then get rewards for every round you complete. The trick is you lose all rewards if you fail a round before banking your rewards. They also have each individual challenge available to practice and play and compete for high best scores and best times. Sponsors are a way to earn extra credits by doing in-game tasks. As your pilot fame level increases and you gain enough followers(RIGS way of progressing your career with experience), you will gain access to different sponsors with different rewards (visors, suits, credits) upon completing a task such as a 6 takedown streak or 3 MVP awards in a row. The awards section keeps track of all your unlocked trophies as a pilot (and locked trophies yet to grab).

Offline Play

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104211324

Offline mode is where you set-up a season and pick a team to battle it out within the competitive scene to try and rise through the ranks in division 2 and rise to be a division 1 champion and league MVP. Ever played Rocket League’s season mode with computer players? Same thing, except there are mini tournaments each season and you can buy and replace your teammates with better ones whenever you have the credits. This is actually kind of fun to build your “perfect” team and face-off against the best in-game AI but it is a little boring and repetitive after winning MVP and going undefeated in the top League. Especially since credit generation is heavily favored towards the challenges and the betting system with the weekly challenge (very reliable way to make credits usually and good practice, just boring).

Online Play = Ugh… online play. In RIGS this was the part that I was most excited about. Unfortunately it is hard for me to say it is any fun right now without a consistent online player base. Match times are usually kinda long and they are usually unfair. If you go in without a teammate, you will most likely be with 2 bots against a team that has more human players than you. Starting in Division 10, each season lasts for 10 online matches. You are awarded points every match (up to 10 for match MVP) and need to hit a certain level of points depending on the league you are in to advance to the next league. If you don’t get enough points throughout the season then you are relegated down a division. There just isn’t a large enough number of active players for this because, as I am writing this, I just lost multiple games in a row due to being placed with 2 AI teammates against a 3 man human team. It’s just not a fair fight. I had a couple games that were 1v1 human or 2v2 human (yet to have a 3v3 human) and a 3v2 human and those are all pretty fun and competitive usually. I just think matchmaking defaults to (what I consider crappy) AI’s.

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104195430

Some main features that I like:

  • In between deaths, you have vision of the whole field if you’d like, not even losing vision beyond machine destruction
  • Using your head motion to turn your RIG… I loved playing this way. I think more games should try to fine tune player character movements to follow where the user looks. It was actually quite natural after I got used to it.
  • Beautiful stadium designs

RIGS Mechanized Combat League™_20170104163536

So all-in-all I’d have to say that I’d recommend this game. The crowd cheering in your headset and everything is very cool the first time you load in and are playing this game. I find it to be quite immersive and with the competitive yet quick 5-10 minute matches, I have a hard time saying when I might actually stop playing this game altogether.

PlayStation Virtual Reality Intro

THE EXPERIENCE –

AN AVID PLAYSTATION USER’S GUIDE TO PICKING UP THE LATEST AND GREATEST IN GAMING TECHNOLOGY… THE VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET!

PlayStation VR was released October 13th, 2016 as, and remains, the only VR headset for a gaming console. Virtual Reality is still rather unappreciated but this is mainly due to the lack of advertising as everyone tries to get the technology right before marketing it and Sony has no direct competition in their corner right now. The cheaper VR headsets like Samsung’s VR Gear will never have the gaming/entertainment support the PlayStation will offer. Only the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive even compete (and arguably perform better) but they are more expensive AND require a more expensive set up to use (i.e. expensive computer set up).

Back to the point of this blog. It will be to provide information about different PS VR games and experiences on the PlayStation VR system because I was having a hard time finding reviews for stuff myself while trying to figure out which games would be fun, which would suck, what experiences might be a laggy waste of time… stuff like that. There are a lot of things in the works and that have also been recently released for the PS VR but anyone who has a set up like mine knows that after spending around $900 after taxes and everything (ps4 pro + PSVR + PS Camera + Move Controllers), you aren’t looking to WASTE money on a game that you might not like and not everyone that has the money necessarily has the time to figure it out either.

As a die-hard gamer and tech geek since I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get a VR system to personally play with all night long, every night. Now I don’t know about a lot of you, but my first thoughts are Call of Duty or Battlefield style FPS’s would be crazy in VR. One problem is that this is still relatively new technology that game developers haven’t had long to mess with. Another is that some of Sony’s equipment is out of date, even though the system’s power is there. This is especially evident with their move controllers. It would be nice if they released move style controllers that were at least updated and maybe even specially tailored to VR rather than just rolling with the out of date Move controllers they released in PS3 days. In the games that utilize them they feel closer to Wii remotes than Virtual Reality compatible gear. Of course, all of that being said, it is important to bear in mind how new this technology is.

At the time of writing this I have 16 VR games in my PSN library/linked with my account and I have owned the VR for about a month now. It hasn’t given me ample time to 100% everything, but I hope to be able to give a good amount of evidence from personal playing to discuss the system and the games and see where the problems lie and what they might stem from, as well as admire everything that has been done well.

OPENING THE PS VR BOX

qikdyg5

Other than being awe-struck by your new toy, you might feel a little overwhelmed with all the cords that come with to be hooked up. I know it is kind of to be expected, but with the charging cords plugged in also, it’s enough to scare me away from moving it very often. Of course Sony does a great job of having all of the cords and plugs labeled and well organized (my cords for the control switch were all numbered!)

And what VR set-up would be complete without the demo disc?

(BTW TRY IT OUT IF YOU HAVE IT AND DIDN’T)

psvr_demo

Game Title PSN Store Game’s Website Developer
PSVR Demo Disc PSN Online Sony’s Blog Sony Interactive Entertainment America

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Demo discs usually are a crap shoot with the type of content they provide. Sometimes they have well put together demos of some really well done games. Other times… not so much.

Games shown on disc:

Within = Immersive VR videos/experiences… 3 are unlocked

Eve:Valkyrie = Quick space dogfighting mission

Bound= BUY ONLY

Hustle Kings VR= BUY ONLY

MCL’s RIGS = Half game of Powerslam(game mode)

SuperHyperCube= BUY ONLY

Tumble VR= 4 Puzzle based games based on stacking bricks with the controller

Job Simulator= An intro to what it’ll be like when humans forget what jobs were

Kitchen= Horror, first-person strapped down in a room

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood= Riding on a creepy, twisted carnival ride to rid the area of evil

Harmonix Music VR= Crazy visuals to all of your music and 4 different modes! (their music in demo)

Driveclub VR = Race and Time Trial with some really fast cars

Rez Infinite= Take a trippy ride while locking onto foes before they kill you

Thumper= Ride the rail and jump at the appropriate times… and don’t get confused by all the twisting and turning!

Wayward Sky= Help guide a stranded adventurer find her lost lover

Allumette= Animated movie of a girl that lives in a town in the clouds with her mother intro

Here They Lie= Creepy and twisted first-person adventure/nightmare intro

Gnog= Strange puzzle modes (LittleBigPlanet strange, not bad strange)

PS VR Worlds= Experience the different worlds PlayStation has to offer (only half the modes unlocked)

Battlezone= Pilot your own tank into battle against AI foes

Headmaster= The ultimate soccer header practice!

That’s 21 games that Sony offers a taste of for free (well OK 18 since 3 don’t have demos?). Personally, I find this demo disc to be rather comprehensive and a great idea on Sony’s part to get some excitement built towards the different styles of play that will be allowed with the VR set-up. The best part was probably that I didn’t experience any game crashes or extraordinarily long wait times while I was playing and switching in and out of games (I will say initial download of demos while in-game takes a bit) and there is a decent amount of content to explore so I spent a decent amount of time on it!

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑