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  1. Viveport Review: Virtual Virtual Reality Step into a whacky adventure in this comedic narrative about the future of humankind, AI, and virtual reality. by Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content To call Virtual Virtual Reality an interesting virtual reality experience is a bit of an understatement. The game handles the idea of a dark future well—humans replaced by AI as the dominant “species” on the planet—but never takes itself too seriously. It’s a fantastic little romp that leaves the door open for a multitude of experiments to take place, experiments that will no doubt leave your stomach sore from laughing. One of the big features of Virtual Virtual Reality is the fact that the game contains over 50 unique experiences, each one broken down as a “job” that you the player—and resident human—must complete for various AI clients. It’s an interesting narrative point that works well within the game and begs the player to look deeper. If you happen to look below the surface, then that’s where you’ll find the big, underlying plot. According to a “group of humans” the AI—like Chaz your AI companion—have taken over the world, enslaving humankind and forcing them to work like animals to complete trivial tasks. It’s an interesting concept that works well alongside the normal flow of the game. As you progress further through the story, you’ll find yourself face to face with more of these revelations, and it’s up to you what you do with them. As far as the individual experiences go, Virtual Virtual Reality has a ton of different tasks for players complete, all nestled inside their own little virtual reality headsets. Place a headset over your face in the game and you’ll be transported to a new environment where you will need to complete tasks for different AI. During my time with the game, I completed tasks as simple as toasting bread and slapping it with a stick of butter, to more complex tasks like tending to a garden for a talking pinwheel and having to pot a freshly grown plant. Like the rest of the game, the experiences never take themselves too seriously, always offering a good bit of comedic gold in each one. However, you’ll want to be careful to complete your jobs on time and to the standards of the clients that hired you, otherwise you might find yourself dealing with some bad customer ratings. Virtual Virtual Reality is a blast to play and is easily one of the most enjoyable Vive titles I’ve had a chance to dive into. It’s easy to get lost in the experiences that are available and the narrative that flows underneath it all promises a dark and telling world that you’ll need to experience for yourself. If you’re looking for something that is a bit off the cuff, but is still highly recommended, then I’m more than happy to point you in the direction of Virtual Virtual Reality, where you’ll find a plethora of different experiences waiting to blow your mind. Virtual Virtual Reality is available on Viveport.
  2. Viveport Review: Kobold: Chapter 1 Kobold blends cinema and virtual reality to create a chilling and memorable horror experience. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content Kobold: Chapter 1 is the first installment in a horror series that thrusts players into the dark and creepy forests of Germany as they explore an abandoned villa on the quest for clues, answers, and the truth about a missing boy and his family. While the experience itself is outstanding, what really sets Kobold apart is the trans-media influences that it was built with, including a short film that explains the backstory for those looking to get more out of the entire experience. Before diving into the game, I headed over to the game’s website, where I watched the short film that the developers created to go along with the virtual reality experience. While you can play the entire experience without watching the film, taking the time to watch the short movie they’ve put together will tell you more about the world and the secrets that hide within it. The film is only 15 minutes long and serves as a very good introduction to the world, so that you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into. To help blur the line between the film and the virtual reality experience, the location in the film and the movie was recreated for the game using photogrammetry, which was used to meticulously capture the villa—a real location in Germany—and then transfer it to the game to give players the most realistic experience. The developers also captured the various actors using motion capture and advanced facial capture techniques to help bring each character to life as realistically as possible. To be honest, that’s what makes Kobold such a chilling tale. While the story itself isn’t that long—this is only the first chapter—the techniques used to bring the world to life help create a dark and immersive story that sends shivers through your body. Each step that I took in the world was anxiety inducing because of the environments and atmosphere alone. What I liked the most, though, is that Kobold doesn’t rely on cheap thrills to scare the player. Even if you take away the supernatural elements and the different characters you run into, Kobold’s beautiful and surreal world is good enough to induce anxiety all on its own, creating this skin-crawling sense as you explore the different hallways and rooms that lie within the abandoned villa as you strive to find the secrets behind Kaspar’s disappearance. In fact, the only real negative to Kobold is the game’s various controls. They can be a bit clunky at times—especially the locomotion system—which can lead to things feeling a little jarring when you’re put into very intense situations. Aside from the clunky controls, though, Kobold stands high as a shining example of just how good trans-media can be, as the combination of the short film and the extensive details that translate to the actual virtual reality experience come together to create a unique and exceptionally well-crafted experience that I highly recommend for any horror fans out there. Kobold: Chapter 1 is available on Viveport or with a Viveport subscription.
  3. Viveport Review: Witching Tower Step into a magic-filled adventure full of twists, turns, and puzzles galore. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content I absolutely love games that make you think, especially when they come in the form of old-school dungeon crawlers. Right from the start, Witching Tower does its best to build up a narrative that’s sure to entice players to want to explore the dark and magical world that Daily Magic Productions has created. Join Anna, a fugitive of the magical world, as she sets out on a quest to escape her Tower and defeat the Queen of the Undead. Many of the VR dungeon crawlers rely too heavily on combat to help keep them interesting, and while combat plays a large part in Witching Tower, the puzzles that you come across also provide a welcome challenge that rewards you for thinking with more than just your sword or torch. For me, dungeon crawlers have always been about more than just fighting endless waves of monsters, and Witching Tower does a really good job of bringing puzzles and mystery back to the forefront. While the developers have done a great job of creating a grand dungeon crawler in Witching Tower, the game falls into one of the same pitfalls that many other dungeon crawlers do. While the narrative starts out strong—promising a lore-filled journey as you fight to escape the Tower that the Queen of the Undead has placed you in—the story putters out quickly as you move from puzzle to puzzle, fighting enemies along the way. There are moments where the story pops up once more, but it’s just enough to entice players to continue forward with the promise that more lore awaits around the next bend in the path. Unfortunately, the promises of a great narrative are never really met, and the story ends with even more enticement as the game comes to a close. Now for many, this might not be a big issue, but as someone who enjoys diving into expert-crafted lore and the deep inner workings of the different worlds that we can explore, I found myself a bit disappointed that we didn’t see more out of the narrative. It was an entertaining enough story, which meant the developers had more than enough to work with to create an immersive, enjoyable and story-driven experience. Aside from this downfall, though, everything else about Witching Tower is excellent. The combat feels on point as you swing your sword and strike down your enemies. The visuals are also excellent, even though they have a more cartoony appeal. Movement is smooth, and the overall performance of the game is outstanding as well. It is a well put-together experience that’s sure to give you several hours of good fun. Altogether, Witching Tower is an excellent dungeon crawler experience that’s got plenty to offer players looking for a fun, action-packed fantasy world to explore. Just don’t come into things expecting a deeper narrative and you’ll find more than enough enjoyment here to justify the download. Witching Tower is available on Viveport or with a Viveport subscription.
  4. Viveport Review: The Body VR A fully immersive exploration of the human body at a cellular level, gain a first-hand lesson in biology from within the bloodstream through the power of virtual reality. The future of education is here! By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content Shrunken down in a travel pod and injected straight into a human artery, The Body VR is like going on a Magic School Bus tour of human biology as narrated by a suspiciously Michael Caine-like tour guide. The experience gives you an incredible and memorable journey though the bloodstream to discover how blood cells work while spreading life-giving oxygen throughout the human body. As the experience continues, you also enter into one of the billions of cells living inside our bodies to see first-hand how organelles manage to fight deadly viruses. As the tour marches onward, you’ll be introduced to all of the microbiological and molecular components of life with holographic diagrams presented in front of you for an up close and personal reference of how each component is shaped and composed. A small library of reference models accumulates in your pod and you can easily hold and manifest things like DNA proteins and microfilaments, to observe the shapes of the building blocks of life in ways previously impossible without the immersive presentation of virtual reality. The most fascinating thing about this roughly 15-minute experience is how much educational value and impact it seems to have in such a short matter of time. One may remember sitting in class through grade school reading about biology in a dusty old text book, but how many of those details are actually retained? This field trip inside the body manages to educate and fascinate in a way that simply wasn’t possible before this technology existed, and it’s the kind of experience that everyone should try. Experiences like this have the potential to replace entire education course methods that can’t compare to feeling this up close and personal with the subject matter itself. Where else can you shrink down to the size of a virus and watch a cloud of anti-bodies surround a cell as they protect it from an incoming attack? The Body VR impresses with its educational power and delights with its incredible animations of everything from Kinesin motor proteins walking along microtubules, to the scale of mitochondria and how it all relates to the size of a cell. It’s rare to see a piece of content be so incredibly attractive to teachers, students, doctors and gamers all at once. A true testament to the future of education, there’s never quite been anything like The Body VR that can deliver such a rich learning experience without putting anyone to sleep. It’s an experience that goes deeper and deeper into the wonderland of the cellular biology within us all, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to learn about how DNA is converted into RNA. Distributed completely for free, don’t pass up the opportunity for a world class education at no extra cost. The Body VR is available on Viveport.
  5. Viveport Review: Tilt Brush VR Google’s 3D art suite makes it easy to draw, create, and inspire others in virtual reality. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content When Google first announced Tilt Brush, fans of virtual reality were wowed by the simplicity and intuitiveness that the program brought to the table when it came to creating works of art in a full 3D environment. Now, two years after Tilt Brush launched with the HTC VIVE, the program still continues to be one of the strongest contenders in the art and creativity category, offering a simple experience that is leagues above almost every other one on the market. I am not an artist. I will be clear about that right up front. (The screenshots here are courtesy of Google!) I’ve dabbled with some different applications, as well as with some art stuff back in high school, but for the most part I stick to writing. There’s something about Tilt Brush, though, that makes it less foreboding to dive into creating things. Maybe it’s the lack of any real, tangible medium to have to worry about making messes in, or just the overall simplicity with which you can create and manage things. Either way, the program works great for those without any artistic skill at all, which makes for a huge positive compared to many of the more complex applications out there in this area of virtual reality. Part of what makes Tilt Brush so simple to use is its extremely well-crafted interface. The user interface is a huge part of any creative application’s appeal and Google has crafted one of the best in the creative market as far as I’m concerned. It’s easy to swap between your tools, to interact with your art work, and to move things around on the canvas—which just happens to be the entire room around you thanks to full, room-scale virtual reality. If you’re looking for a great way to draw or paint in virtual reality, then Tilt Brush is definitely an application you should check out. I can’t think of any complaints I have about the application, though there are a few things that serious artists should probably think about before picking it up. While it has a suite of useful tools and gadgets, Tilt Brush doesn’t offer the same focus and depth that some more professional-based applications offer. So, if you’re looking to use Tilt Brush for your daily work grind, then you might find it lacks some of the features that you require. Altogether, though, Tilt Brush is one of the best creative applications available and it has stood the test of time very well. If drawing is your thing—or even if it isn’t—then Tilt Brush has something to offer. Tilt Brush VR is available on Viveport or with a Viveport Subscription.
  6. Viveport Review: SUPERHOT VR Bullet time takes the forefront in this striking and unique virtual reality experience. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content The idea behind SUPERHOT is simple. Time stands still until you start moving, at which point all the threats around you become active, moving in on you. It’s a game that forces you to think on your toes and stay ten steps ahead of the action. When SUPERHOT originally released, it turned the idea of bullet time—the slow-motion, matrix-like movement system—directly on its head, forcing players to instead think about what their actions meant, how they would react to the world around them, and how to anticipate what might come next. The game itself was a hit, quickly pulling in a following of its own without any big issues. Now that SUPERHOT has made its way to virtual reality, the frustrating yet satisfying experience of dodging bullets and anticipating what might come next is even better. Sure, it’s a bit confusing at times—trying to move your head around and see what is behind you, only to have your head explode as a bullet or object you didn’t see strikes you—but overall the game has created a distinguished and amazing experience that really continues to draw you back in. In SUPERHOT VR, you take on the role of an unnamed person who must fight against an army of glass men trying to kill them. In order to make moves on your enemies—you can punch, shoot, stab, or even throw objects at them to destroy them—you’ll need to make them move too, as time begins to roll forward each time you make even the slightest movement. It’s a catch-22 of sorts, but one that you’ll need to learn to use to your advantage. The real shine of the game comes in these sticky situations. From dodging to the side at the last second, catching a gun as it falls from the hand of a now-shattered enemy, or even ducking behind cover as a hail of incoming rounds dash over your head, SUPERHOT VR offers a unique experience that has yet to be duplicated in non-VR or VR gaming, and honestly, it’s probably one of the best virtual reality experiences I’ve had a chance to get addicted to. With that in mind, SUPERHOT VR is a tough game to master. Not only is the game demanding on the mental side of things—forcing you to think ten steps ahead and determine what you need to do next to survive—but it’s also quit a physical game, as you’ll need to be able to bend behind cover, duck to the side, and even jump out of the way of incoming rounds. You’ll want to ensure you have enough room to work with here, and while you can do it with standing room only, you’ll want plenty of space around you to keep from hitting things. Altogether, SUPERHOT VR is one of the hottest games in virtual reality right now. The feeling of success that comes with each completed level and the overall way that the game forces you to stay on your toes—both physically and mentally—is something that few other titles have managed to do. It’s definitely at the top of the list for my most loved virtual reality games, and if you haven’t tried it out yet, then I highly recommend picking it up as soon as possible to get a taste of this unique and innovative world. SUPERHOT VR is available on Viveport.
  7. Viveport Review: Glider Island VR This gliding simulation brings the fun of old school retro games to virtual reality in a fresh new way. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content The idea behind Glider Island VR is simple. You take off from a launch point and then have ten minutes to glide around, collecting rings similar to those you might see in old retro games. It’s a simple idea for a simple application, and the simplicity pays off by offering a fun experience that never asks too much of the player. The overall premise behind Glider Island VR is to fly around and collect hoops while you try to stay in the air. You can do so by rotating between dipping and rising with your glider. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for boosters, which will allow you to gain more speed and stay in the air longer. As I said before, it’s a very simple system, and if you can survive in the air for the full ten minutes of each map, you’ll need to keep flying around and gather as many hoops as possible. The visuals in Glider Island VR aren’t the best, but for a game that’s more about being in the air than on the ground, it’s more than acceptable. FPS is a very important factor in an experience as fast-paced as Glider Island VR, so it’s a good thing that the developers chose to take a more realistic approach to graphics rather than trying to have the best-looking game around. You fly around in first-person (or third-person), and you’ll be glad that the developers have focused on FPS over visuals. I don’t get motion sick very often in virtual reality, but I even found myself a little nauseous feeling at the end of my first hour run. This means that other users who are more prone to motion sickness will want to be careful and take their time with the game, playing in smaller doses. Once you grow more accustomed to the movements and the speed, though, you should be fine to enjoy longer play sessions. Once nice thing about Glider Island VR is the replayability. While there are only a few levels included, it’s easy to replay each one and attack the levels from different directions. It reminds me of the old school retro games that I used to play—games like Sonic—that challenged you to collect as much as you could as you tried to stay alive and complete the level. It’s a nice change of pace from the more serious experiences that I’ve been playing in virtual reality, and it’s a welcomed buffer between slower-paced virtual reality experiences and more fast-paced games that require more attention and ability to deal with motion sickness. All around, Glider Island VR is a nice experience that has a lot of hours of fun, and it’s definitely one I’d recommend people check out when they have the chance. Glider Island VR is available on Viveport or as part of Viveport Subscription.
  8. Viveport Review: Sairento VR Dive into nonstop action and violence with this brilliant and addicting shooter. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content There is a lot to love about the first-person game, Sairento VR. When I say that the developers managed to pull off one of the smoothest feeling combat games in the entire VR catalogue, I’m not in any way joking. Gunplay is smooth, sword-based combat feels amazing, and all around, everything else just works. That being said, there’s more to this game than amazing combat, and that’s why it managed to garner such popular opinion. Player choice is huge in Sairento VR, and how you tackle the obstacles is completely up to you. Not looking for a challenge? Then drop the difficulty. Looking to amp things up a bit and get your blood flowing? Toss the difficulty up and ride the wave of violence coming in with the tide of enemies that flow your way. On top of this, your loadout is completely up to you as well, which is part of what makes combat feel so good. You never receive a lineup of weapons that you must use. Instead, the developers allow you to dive right in and customize your loadout from the start, before you even activate missions or take on objectives. Want to run in guns blazing with machine pistols? Go for it. Looking to take things to the next level and chop your enemies to bits with dual swords? You can do that, too. Another great thing that really stands out about Sairento VR is the avatar system. Right from the start, you are given a massive amount of options to customize the height and waist location of your avatar, which makes working inside of the game so much easier and more appealing, instead of being stuck with a default setup height and waist location. It really gives you more control of things, which leads to a smoother and more enjoyable experience. All around, Sairento VR is a shining beacon of hope for future VR games, as it shows that you can create a great feeling and very immersive experience that thrives within virtual reality. The gunplay and combat is amazing and feels smooth throughout every interaction, and the ability to customize your waist location, height, and other factors makes for a truly ‘real’ feeling and changes the way that the game plays for every player that tries it out. It is without question one of the best VR games in recent memory. Sairento VR is available on Viveport.
  9. Viveport Review: Arizona Sunshine + Dead Man DLC Step into the zombie apocalypse with this brutal and terrifying shooter. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content Arizona Sunshine was one of the first big titles to hit virtual reality devices, and while the game’s campaign is only a few hours long, it’s one of the premiere experiences available on the HTC Vive. If you dream of stepping into the zombie apocalypse (and why wouldn’t you), look no further. On top of having great gunplay that feels smooth and polished, Arizona Sunshine also excels at quality map design. All of the game’s maps are massive and give you a ton of room, and the various weapons at your disposal will more than make up for any brutal deaths that you might experience. That being said, there are a couple of inconsistencies to be aware of before you dive in. First, the game’s movement system can be a bit rough at times—especially if you’re having to work with the flashlight. It’s not too bad when you first get started, but as time wears on, it can get a bit tedious to walk around and explore the maps with this device. This is a shame, as the maps are all extremely detailed and beautifully crafted. The other thing to take into account is the niche market. While the single player campaign is great, the game really shines in its horde and co-op modes. However, because the virtual reality audience is a bit low due to the cost of hardware, it can often be tough to find matches and people to dive into the game with. This takes away a large portion of the replay value, because nobody wants to sit around waiting two to three hours to set up a match with random players online. Of course, if you have a dedicated VR buddy, this won’t be that big of an issue. Graphics are another high point. The zombie animations and movements look smooth, and it’s easy to get lost within the immersive world. Zombies swagger towards you, skin dripping from their pale bodies. As far as the aesthetics of the world go, everything feels apocalyptic. Vehicles are covered in dust and cobwebs, really bringing the feeling that they haven’t been touched in a long time. Kills feel satisfyingly brutal, as gore sputters from the zombies when you take them down; blood splatters, the crunch of bullets hit flesh and bone, and bodies slam to the floor. It all comes together to create a terrifying, yet thrilling game that’s hard to forget. The developers have started to release DLC for the game, starting out with a short expansion, Arizona: Sunshine - Dead Man, a prequel story that will take players roughly an hour to complete. It’s more of the same stuff you’ll see in the base game—though a few new guns and some new locations have made their way into the title. There’s not really much to say about the DLC—it’s tiny—but it is a nice addition to the world and story that they’ve already managed to craft. All around, Arizona Sunshine has a lot of promise. The DLC so far has delivered more of the same great content and hopefully that means we can still expect to see more content release for the zombie shooter in the coming months. No matter which way you slice it, though, Arizona Sunshine is one of the smoothest experiences available for action fans looking to dive into the zombie apocalypse and it’s easily one of the first games I’d recommend to those looking for an intense and satisfying first-person shooter experience. Arizona Sunshine and Arizone Sunshine - Dead Man DLC are available on Viveport.
  10. Viveport Review: Nevrosa: Escape GexagonVR has managed to create a must-play escape room experience that takes full advantage of room-scale VR. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content Room-scale virtual reality has been a very large selling point for the HTC Vive since its initial release, and while many games have employed room-scale VR to help coax in players, very few have ever really taken full advantage of the room-scale system that Vive offers to create a riveting and immersive experience that will keep you craving more. One of those few, though, is GexagonVR, the virtual reality developer responsible for creating Nevrosa: Escape, which is by far the best escape room experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of diving into. First up on the list: immersion. Immersion is such a huge part of virtual reality and Gexagon has managed to hit the pinnacle of immersion with Nevrosa: Escape. Set in an old, rustic house, Nevrosa: Escape pushes players to fully explore an old laboratory as they try to solve the puzzles left behind by their grandfather. The mystery is one worth investigating as well, and throughout the entire experience, the atmosphere and overall feeling of the setting really help to paint a vivid picture of the world around you. To help with this immersion, Nevrosa: Escape has done away with any artificial forms of locomotion. Instead, players will need to have a play space of at least 2m x 1.5m to even dive into the game and experience it, as you’ll need to move around your realistic playspace to explore the virtual world. Of course, I’d suggest going a little bit larger with your playspace if you can, as I managed to snag my hand on the wall a few times when trying to grab objects around me. Escape rooms are all about the puzzles that they have inside them, and making sure to balance the puzzles between challenging and impossible can be difficult to say the least. Gexagon have done a pretty solid job with Nevrosa: Escape, though, and each puzzle—while challenging—never feels impossible to progress past. This is something that a lot of other escape room experiences struggle with, so it was really nice to not see that as an issue in Nevrosa: Escape. On top of handling the usual pieces of an escape room well, Nevrosa: Escape also does a really good job of creating an atmosphere that puts the player on edge. This is something that I’ve noticed was missing from a lot of other experiences in this genre. Nevrosa handles this well, painting the world in a fog around you that you need to explore. The dark corners breed terror as you move closer to them; the dim flame from the candle in your hand slowly wavering as you move closer. There were several instances in the game where I noticed my hands shaking and my palms sweating as fear shivered down my spine. What’s so great about this atmosphere, though, is the developers never resort to jump scares for cheap thrills. Instead, they let the atmosphere do all the work, painting the entire picture in your mind. It’s a great setup that pays off in the end as you finish exploring the world and solving the puzzles that have been placed before you. As for dealing with the fatigue that can come with these types of experiences, Gexagon has crafted several different endings, giving players a reason to replay the experience and see it through to another ending. Nevrosa: Escape is by far one of the most atmospheric escape room experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to try out. The mechanics are simple, and the use of real-world locomotion versus teleportation or another artificial locomotion system helps to make an immersive environment that just begs you to explore it as deeply as possible. Multiple endings give players plenty of reason to replay the experience again and again. If you want to see what room-scale virtual reality has to offer and see what a well-crafted and immersive escape room experience can be, then Nevrosa: Escape should be at the top of your list of must-play Vive experiences. Nevrosa: Escape is available on Viveport and as part of Viveport Subscription.
  11. Viveport Review: Fruit Ninja VR The fruit-slicing, bomb-avoiding mobile smash hit is back and more immersive than ever. By Bill Loguidice, Greenlit Content When it was first released back in 2010, Fruit Ninja took the mobile gaming world by storm. From there, it received ports to various other platforms, including Microsoft's Xbox 360 console with Kinect, and even the arcade. In most versions of the game, players use a touchscreen to slice and splatter fruit, all while avoiding bombs, which are explosive when touched. In the Xbox 360 version, Fruit Ninja Kinect, the Kinect’s cameras make your arms the blades. While all of these previous Fruit Ninja experiences were an undeniable blast to play, there was always a certain sense of immersion lacking. Fortunately, Fruit Ninja VR takes the lessons learned from these past versions of the game and uses the unparalleled immersive possibilities of virtual reality to create the ultimate Fruit Ninja experience. Each Vive controller represents a katana (sword) whose blade you use to slice, juggle, and skewer various types of fruit, including watermelons, pineapples, and oranges. The more fruit you can hit at once, the better your combo bonus. Naturally, you also need to deflect or avoid any bombs. There are four different modes to choose from: Arcade, Classic, Zen, and Survival. In Arcade Mode, you have to slice as many fruit as you can in 60 seconds, using combos and special bananas to rack up huge scores. In Classic Mode, it's the original Fruit Ninja experience with simple fruit-slicing and bomb-avoiding fun. In Zen Mode, which doubles as a practice mode, you have 90 seconds to slice as many fruit as you want with no need to worry about bombs. In Survival Mode, the difficulty is ramped up as you face off against flying cannons, and, just like in Classic mode, three strikes (misses) mean you're out. As you would expect for this type of game, it's best played standing in a room-scale environment. You'll only need enough space to comfortably move your arms and controllers in a roughly 180-degree arc in front of you, but of course you'll also occasionally be raising your arms above you when the action gets heated, so for those with low ceilings, consider this your warning. Most modes also make great workouts. Audio-visually, Fruit Ninja VR is on point. The same type of satisfying music and sound effects from the other versions of the game complement the bright, cel-shaded graphics. Every object, be it the flying fruit or the buildings in the environment, is well rendered and easy to identify. If this were the first release of the game, Fruit Ninja VR would have likely caused the same type of sensation it did when it debuted on mobile devices all those years ago. As it is, some of Fruit Ninja's potential impact is a bit muted by the fact that we're already about a dozen platforms in. Despite its familiarity, Fruit Ninja VR has proven to be a sublime virtual reality experience, creating the best and most immersive version of the game to date. With its proven, short-form gameplay paired with an excellent physics model, super responsive motion tracking, and polished audio-visuals, Fruit Ninja VR is the type of game that can please virtual reality enthusiasts of every stripe. Fruit Ninja VR is available on Viveport or as part of Viveport Subscription.
  12. 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! Racket: Nx is available on Viveport and as part of Viveport Subscription.
  13. Viveport Review: Drone Fighters This arcade shooter delights and challenges players as they go head to head against each other in immersive and enthralling drone-based combat. By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content Drone Fighters is the sort of high intensity experience that VR was made for. As you face off against opponents—both AI and player controlled—you’re bound to come across some fun challenges that will leave you wanting to dive back into the game again and again. Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of Drone Fighters at first. The learning curve for the game is high because you need to focus on both movement and shooting at the same time. This is something I’ve done in previous VR games, but Drone Fighters is a bit tougher to grasp. By default, you shoot with your left hand and fly around with your right. The tricky thing, though, is that you’ll need to use both the direction the controller is facing, as well as the buttons on the controller to make the drone fly in different directions, which can take some getting used to. Audio is a huge part of the experience, and the developers did a great job with the 3D placement of sound and how it reverberates through the arena. It’s a good feeling as you fly your drone around, and the good news is that you can always tell where your drone is thanks to the audio; it’s nice not having to constantly figure out where you are—especially if you happen to fly the drone out of view. When it comes to customizing your drone, though, the options are limited. There is a good assortment of weapons to choose from, but the colors and different drone types are few and left me wanting more. This isn’t that big of a problem unless you really care about cosmetics, and you won’t get to have eyes on your drone most of the time anyway, so it isn’t a deal breaker. Thankfully it’s easy to unlock new cosmetics, as you only need to earn stars (which are rewarded for each fight that you complete against the AI), and there are multiple types of combat sims to run through. If you don’t enjoy going against other AI, you can always chill out and practice your movement and shooting skills in the target practice mode. You still receive rewards, but you’ll only have to worry about hitting moving targets, and none of them will fight back. This is more like an arcade than anything else, but it’s something to think about if you are having a tough time getting used to the game. That said, Drone Fighters is a ton of fun, especially once you get the hang of the controls; if you aren’t into the default control scheme, you can choose a different control option in the settings. The use of 3D audio, and the fun gameplay that offers a challenge to players of all skill levels is something that I love about this title, and those looking to challenge themselves against other players will find the online mode extremely fun and accessible. Drone Fighters is available on Viveport or as part of Viveport Subscription.
  14. Viveport Review: ReMind VR: Daily Meditation Become more relaxed and mindful through three different types of meditative experiences. By Bill Loguidice, Greenlit Content Meditation is probably as popular today as it's ever been. In our stressful world of work, partisan politics, social media, always-on technology, and general hustle-and-bustle of everyday life, it's no surprise that many of us seek out techniques for a daily reset. This mentally clear and emotionally calm state, where stress, anxiety, depression, and even pain can be greatly reduced, can be achieved through focus or mindfulness techniques. ReMind VR: Daily Meditation offers a guided method for achieving this more relaxed state of being, which, thanks to the power of virtual reality, can help transform even the most novice practitioners into a more Zen-like state. As you might expect, an experience like ReMind VR: Daily Meditation has minimal requirements, so it can be enjoyed by anyone with the base hardware and just about any size room. It supports Vive, Vive Pro, and Oculus Rift setups, and can be experienced standing or seated. In fact, as a further testament to its versatility and adaptability, one of the scenarios doesn't even use the Vive controllers and can be enjoyed while lying down. There are three short exercises, or scenarios, to choose from. The first, called "Letting Go," places you on top of a high building overlooking a peaceful city landscape filled with skyscrapers. From this vantage point, you toss paper airplanes, watching them slowly glide through the air. This scenario is meant to represent and encourage the release of negative thought patterns, leaving stress behind, replaced instead by feelings of peacefulness, happiness, and freedom. The second scenario is called "Drop the Habit." In this scenario, you're placed on the shore of a lake in the Japanese countryside and skip small, smooth rocks along the water's surface. This exercise is meant to represent and encourage observation of how a clear mind can be disturbed by the impact of negative thoughts as the ripples extend across the water's surface. In turn, you're meant to learn how to remain focused and centered despite the presence of disruptive thoughts and feelings. In the third and final scenario, "Infinite Lightness," you simply observe changes as the sun slowly moves and the sky changes colors. This exercise is meant to represent and encourage transformation of our perspective and clearing of the multi-tasking mind as you maintain a forward gaze. This is also the only scenario that can be fully experienced without use of the Vive controllers and works even if you wish to lie down. While ReMind VR: Daily Meditation is not the most attractive game, the clean, crisp visuals still suit the experience well. The soothing sounds and music are similarly effective in setting the mood. Meant simply as a brief, regular meditation experience, ReMind VR: Daily Meditation, delivers in spades. You don't need to be well-versed in meditation or meditative benefits to get full value out of this enjoyable, well-thought-out experience. With regular usage, this really should be a great way to become more relaxed and mindful. And putting the meditative benefits aside, the three experiences make for a nice, relaxing change of pace from the usual goal-driven games or hot-spot-driven educational titles. ReMind VR: Daily Meditation is available on Viveport or with a Viveport Subscription.
  15. Viveport Review: Guns'n'Stories: Bulletproof VR Play a story-driven, first-person wave shooter that stands out in a crowded genre by doing just about everything right. By Bill Loguidice, Greenlit Content First-person wave shooters are among the most common gaming genres in virtual reality. This take on old-fashioned shooting galleries commonly features many different types of weapons, various defensive capabilities like ducking and dodging, and a limited player movement area, as waves of typically fast-moving enemies intent on your demise emerge from on- and off-screen locations. It's a straightforward concept to implement and works particularly well when paired with virtual reality's inherent immersive properties. Unfortunately for developers, since we see this the type of game so much, whenever there's another release in this genre, our expectations are sky-high. And rightly so. If a first-person wave shooter isn't up-to-snuff, and in fact doesn't elevate itself well above the average, we may as well just play one of the other countless options that are available. That's the challenge that Guns'n'Stories: Bulletproof VR is up against. In the game, you take on the role of Grandpa Bill, regaling his grandson Robbie with wild tales from his younger days. In the stories, Grandpa Bill is a legendary cowboy who uses increasingly powerful and fantastic weapons as he battles countless enemies on his way to ultimately rescue his beloved Charlotte in a Hollywood-style Wild West. Your job is to play the young Grandpa Bill as the stories are set up and unfold, all while keeping Robbie's skepticism in check. It's a great conceit for what might otherwise be just another action-packed shooter and helps to set up a lot of the game's cheeky humor, as well as helping to give each of the three acts more purpose, meaning, and interest. While the fun backdrop might be enough on its own to keep you playing to advance the story, the gameplay is fortunately just as engaging. Although it's still just a first-person wave shooter at its core, the variety of weapons, defensive actions, and precise control put it at the top of its genre in those areas. A variety of modes and difficulty levels doesn't hurt either. Designed for Vive, Vive Pro, or Oculus Rift, Guns'n'Stories: Bulletproof VR can be played standing or seated in just about any size room. The Vive controllers are used to dual-wield various weapons, which are used not only to take out enemies, but also to shoot at and bat away projectiles. Combined with the usual ducking and dodging, this game can be quite the multi-tasking workout, particularly in the later stages of the game and when playing on the higher difficulty levels. Like the well-written, humorous story that book-ends the three levels and boss fights, and the excellent controls, the audio-visuals are also top-notch. Detailed environments, stylized character models, and smooth action all come together with strong sound design. Did we really need another first-person wave shooter? Prior to Guns'n'Stories: Bulletproof VR, I might have said no. Fortunately, this game proves there's still plenty of life left in the genre. When a game like this features such high production values and clearly pays real attention to what makes a game in this genre great, it’s proof you can still beat the odds and stand out. Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR is available on Viveport or with a Viveport Subscription.
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