Tag Archives: Simon Brown

Jumping the Soapbox: Games of 2019 (Part 3) – VR-A-PALOOZA!!

Back in November I finally took the VR plunge and got myself a (VERY EXPENSIVE) Oculus Quest.  Now sure, it may not be the BE ALL END ALL of interactive experiences, but it’s definitely the most interesting new gimmick for the medium in a while.  The best way I’ve been able to describe it is the difference between beer and hard liquor.  Both are unique in their own way with pros and cons to each, but there’s no doubt that one is a more POWERFUL experience and that you can’t have as much of it without getting sick.  It’s amazing to be immersed in the virtual world in a way that no other gaming console can adequately replicate, but the weight of the hardware itself as well as the strain on your senses trying to understand the disconnect between what you’re seeing and what’s in the real world means that it’s best for short bursts rather than longer sessions.  In any case, we’ll take a look at many of the games I’ve played for it as well as any other impressions I had of the hardware.  Some games are from the built in Oculus store, some were side-loaded to the console through other means, all are worth talking about today!  Let’s get started!!

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Beat Saber

GAMES2019-18

Develop by Beat Games

Alright, I’ll admit it!  I mostly bought this ridiculous headset just to play this one game!  ARE YOU HAPPY!?  I’ve always been a huge fan of rhythm games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution, and after playing this at a convention a year or so back I knew I had to get it as well.  The gameplay is ridiculously intuitive with the many slash patters becoming second nature after a surprising short amount of time; though some of that might be due to my experience with other rhythm games.  I don’t want to BRAG and say that I’m an AMAZING arm waver, but over time the connection between the visual cues and the body movement become more and more abstracted and the thought process between seeing a block on screen and knowing what to do with my arms became instantaneous and I was racking up high scores in no time; even if I STILL can’t do a good chunk of those absurdly difficult EXPERT+ songs, and that brings me to something worth discussing about this game.  The big elephant in the room is the custom songs you can add to the game through mods with very little effort; even on the Quest which is designed to be much more self-contained and therefore harder to mod.  Look, I love the game play on its own, but if I couldn’t play Shut Up And Dance, You Get What You Give, and Eating Food In The shower, my interest would have faded away almost instantaneously.  People uploading tracks that they do not have the right to upload is frankly the lifeblood of this game and the paltry tracks that come with your thirty dollar purchase as well as the small handful of downloadable tracks are simply not enough to sustain interest.  I don’t know if Beat Games has said much on the use of unlicensed music in their game, but they sure haven’t fixed the “problem” yet and I’m curious if this is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.  Until it does though, this is easily the most fun experience there is to find in VR, and the first thing you should buy if you get a headset!

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