Posted on Jan 19th 2022 at 01:00:00 PM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under vr, gaming

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Tetris Effect - Like many before me I wondered "how can they make Tetris worth playing in VR?" before firing this up. I tried it out last year when I acquired my physical copy from Limited Run, but it didn't get its hooks in me at the time. In my search for VR titles to play, I discovered that the main game mode for this game (which is all I have played), is rather short, so I dove back in. The pull of Tetris Effect is that yes, it's the Tetris that we all know and love but set against some beautiful and fantastic backdrops and integrated with an amazing soundtrack by Hydelic.

While not exactly a rhythm game, the music is cued to your progress in whatever level you are on. Each level requires you to make 30 lines, while the final level requires 90. I'll admit, I really got stuck on the final level, even on the lowest difficulty, mainly because once you get 60 lines the speed ramps up to level 10 until you complete the level. I banged my head against this level for about an hour before giving up. The next day I played on the tv screen as "practice" and ended up beating it. Sometimes you just have to walk away from the game and come back to it. The soundtrack is available on Spotify and although at first listen it may seem a little generic, some of the tracks stuck in my head and I've been listening to them in real life quite a bit, especially the song Always Been but Never Dreamed, which I like so much I've made it my PS4 theme.

AstroBot Rescue Mission - This may be the original 'killer app' on PSVR and although I highly enjoyed the demo when I first got my rig, it took me a while to get around to the full game simply because platformers aren't really my favorite genre. I'll cut right to the chase, this game is indeed a must-play for PSVR owners. You control a bot named Astro with the Dualshock 4, navigating levels which contain eight other bots who need rescuing. Progression is gated in that each boss battle requires twenty bots (in increasing increments) to unlock. I abhor gated progression but in this game the bar is so low that it didn't bother me. AstroBot is the most polished game I have played on PSVR. It is so beautiful and interesting to look at and the music and sound effects are awesome. Difficulty is not adjustable, and while I had a few moments of frustration I would say the challenge level is perfect for a casual playthrough. The real fun is trying to find all eight bots in each level. As the game progressed I found myself taking more time to find them all, though I did not 100% the game.

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners - Of all the games I have played in VR thus far, Saints and Sinners comes the closest to fulfilling the promise of immersion made possible only in the VR realm. This survival rogue-like finds you trying to uncover a stash of weapons and resources known as the Armory while avoiding zombies and conflicting factions of survivors. The game is set up on a day and night cycle where you must venture out into one of a set of environments to fill your backpack with resources and return to the safety of your home base before the church bells ring, signaling nightfall, and an overwhelming horde of undead. The main appeal of this game is the state of immersion it allows. The game is only playable with Move controllers, and you'll use them to view your journal, use your flashlight, fill your backpack, and of course take out zombies with a variety of found and crafted weapons. The satisfaction of holding a zombie's head steady with one hand while you impale it with the other never gets old. Another thing I loved about this game were the narrative choices. While this game is not nearly as deep as something like Fallout: New Vegas, there are many choices you can make. A few times in the game I was able to murder a quest-giver and steal whatever item they were holding out from handing over. This adds to replayability, though sadly I'm pretty sure there is no new game plus option. I would love to replay the game from the start with all the resources I have and do a pacifist run or a kill everybody run, but sadly as the game is configured now I'd have to start over. There is a free DLC campaign called Aftershocks that is definitely worth playing through, though the ending was a little disappointing. After everything is done you can see how many days you can survive, and that's where the game ended for me, for now. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners is widely known as the gold standard for VR on all platforms, and the reputation is well deserved. I have only scratched the surface of the experience here. It is so good that it makes other VR games seem disappointing by comparison. If you have access to VR, you must play this game. 

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