Viveport Review: Racket: Nx
Stylish visuals and clever audio make this VR fitness game stand far apart from the crowd.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
Loading up Racket: Nx feels nothing short of stepping into a cybernetic alien thunderdome from the future. Billed as an Arcade Space Sport, this game turns racquetball into an impossibly fast-paced fever dream that will genuinely have you breaking a sweat in minutes. There are plenty of other tennis and racquetball-based experiences in VR to choose from, so it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. That said, Racket: Nx is in a league of its own, with such incredible presentation and style that it feels impossible not to recommend to anyone looking to get their heart rate pumping to some of the most impressive sights, sounds, and physics available in a virtual sport.
You emerge at the center of a geodesic cybersphere with only a racket in hand and a ball floating within arm’s reach waiting for you to practice your swing at the pulsating hotspots on the walls that surround your field of view. You smash the ball and quickly learn that it’s all in the wrist, as you must clear out the targets before your energy-based timer ticks to zero. You can collect more energy to increase your time available to pluck out the rest of the hotspots, all of which surround you on a wall that curves 360 degrees around your play space.
What’s important here is that Racket: Nx uses some incredibly impressive 3D audio tech that gives you ridiculously accurate real-time positional sound effects, which are key to understanding where the ball is coming from as it smashes, whizzes, and slings around your head like a pinball from another dimension. Listening to these audio cues are essential to success, and as Solo Mode eases you through the basic mechanics, you’ll soon be quickly challenged to more and more complications to the core gameplay, like energy depleting hot spots and score multiplying trick shots.
Beyond Solo and Arcade Mode that let you endlessly thwack your way to the top of the leaderboards, there are also two multiplayer modes that let Racket: Nx take a prime space in the rapidly emerging virtual eSports landscape. You can choose to connect online to stand side by side to play cooperatively, or go head to head in a versus match to see who has the skills to stay on top. The learning curve will take a while to perfect your skills, but the tight physics and precision accuracy that comes with the experience makes everything feel completely fair and challenging at the same time. Also, be sure to check around the web for active Racket: Nx community members with leagues of their own, and don’t be shy about challenging other players, even if they’re well beyond your skill level.
The quality of visuals and stunning electronic soundtrack in Racket: Nx is unparalleled, and it’s the type of VR workout that demands and embodies that sense of flow in your play sessions that can also dilate time to a seriously impressive degree. Don’t plan on spending just a few minutes inside of Racket: Nx once you get rolling. By the time you emerge with your arm sore and endorphins rushing, you’ll be surprised by the hour that just flew by while you were in the dome for what may have only seemed like a few minutes. It’s an experience that must be played to be understood, and it gets a top recommendation on Viveport for VR sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Don’t miss this one!