Thursday, March 16, 2023

PSVR2: The Software

When last we left off on our VR adventures, I had acquired 10 games. That breaks down to one demo, four free upgrades, one paid but cheap upgrade, and five new titles. Not sure how to break it down but I think I’m just going to go least to most favorite, although none of them are bad.

Resident Evil Village: VR Demo

This is excellent. The entire tutorial sequence is excellent, the lighting is fabulous, the VR elements are well designed, it’s all great. Two minutes after the tutorial ends, a live bat tided to a tree was flapping in my face in 3D and I was done. VR really does a number on your desensitization and the visceral reaction this caused was not enjoyable. We’ll see how I feel when the RE4 Remake’s VR mode drops. That one’s not as horrory.

Job Simulator

I love Job Simulator. I love it so much I played through the whole thing and then some on PSVR1, despite the janky tracking that made making it work part of the game itself. The PSVR2 version looks great and tracks beautifully, but I’ve played it.

Vacation Simulator

See above. Except I didn’t play nearly as much Vacation Simulator as I did Job Simulator because I was using the headset less and less around that time. Gonna mess with this some more.

Synth Riders

Another free upgrade, another excellent port. I like Synth Riders just fine. It’s just, well, there’s another rhythm action game that had a free upgrade and it’ll be at the end of this list because it’s my favorite, so I’m playing that, not this.

Star Wars: Tales From The Galaxy’s Edge

Eventually, this will move higher on the list, I think. I’m a few hours in, and it’s pretty and fun in that VR way where they have weird game mechanics for shit like opening item boxes because it’s VR. But the checkpointing is dogshit, designed to extend the play time by making you redo a bunch of stuff over and over, so it can be discouraging. I’ve heard it gets better once you get through the original game to the bonus content, so we’ll see.

Rez Infinite

The paid upgrade. I will kind of always buy Rez when it’s available. The new version adds eye tracking aiming, which is kind of gimmicky but fun. Headset vibration and controller haptics bring us ever closer to recreating the experience of the Dreamcast game with its pulsating vest accessory that never made it to the US, which is hilarious to me.

What The Bat?

Solve wacky puzzles using two bats, usually to hit stuff, but sometimes to do other things. I love this, and would play it more except it’s my one true roomscale game, and I generally have to clean up my play area quite a bit to play full roomscale. A fun game in a group that can suggest possible solutions to what the hell you’re supposed to be doing.

Kayak VR Mirage

As graphical showcases go, Kayak VR, at under 20 bucks, is a very valid competitor to Horizon: Call of the Mountain. It’s got scenery, it’s got water, it’s fucking gorgeous. And as an exercise game, it’s pretty good too, especially if you don’t feel like standing up. It took me a while to learn how to steer with any kind of skill but man, is it immersive when you master it a little.


An absolute fucking delight. Such an absolute fucking delight that I find myself not playing it because I want to share it with people and also I don’t want it to be over. Which is dumb. I should just play it more. Help out around an adorable island community with your adorable monster tentacles as a story slowly unfolds.

Pistol Whip

The best free upgrade in the universe. The PSV$1 Pistol Whip was an amazing game rendered completely fucking unplayable by the inconsistent tracking and the fact that the wands made bad guns. 

The PSVR2 version seems like the game it was always meant to be. Adaptive triggers for gun feedback. Headset haptics for the many times you get shot in the face. Loaded with content, tracks perfectly, just infinitely playable. Many of the levels have a rhythmic pattern to enemies and obstacles to that feels great once you get into it, and the more you play, the better you get at reading trhe environment to spot the kinds of places enemies are likely to appear from.

That said, because I am fucking decrepit, I did wrench the shit out of my back once panic-punching a robot in the first campaign, so some caution may be required.

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