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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Major Titles from PlayStation Experience

PlayStation Experience will be continuing until Sunday night, but in the meantime quite a few games have already been announced. Here's just a handful of what we've seen today, as well as their trailers.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy -

Not much is known about this game at the moment, besides the fact it stars Uncharted 2 and 3's Chloe as the new main character, as well as a familiar face from Uncharted 4.

The Last of Us: Part II -

Uncharted isn't the only Naughty Dog series to get a sequel! The Last of Us 2 (Part II) has officially been announced, and confirms the rumors we've heard over the years. Just like the "fan art" that was released quite some time ago, Ellie seems to be much older now, and can be seen playing a guitar in this brand new trailer.

Ace Combat 7 -

Although it's not a new announcement, Ace Combat 7 finally got it's first real trailer. This new PS4 title also supports PlayStation VR, and is the first mainline entry in the series since Ace Combat 6 on the Xbox 360.

Knack 2 -

Putting aside our own feelings on Knack, Knack 2 is sure to be something fans of the game will enjoy. Featuring true co-op this time, the game also seems to have other improvements including updated combat and mechanics. This game was also rumored to be in the works back when it was leaked on a resume, but it is now official.

Gravity Rush 2: Raven's Story -

Those who have played Gravity Rush and are looking forward to the sequel will be happy to hear about this new free DLC releasing in March of next year. For the first time, the character Raven will now be playable in a story of her very own. The DLC seems to be telling her story from the beginning, which we will not discuss here due to GR1 spoilers, so be warned before you watch this next trailer.

Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite -

We knew this one was coming, or at least we hoped it was. Marvel Vs Capcom "4" is here, and Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 will be hitting the PSN store tonight for PS4 to hold you over. Not much was shown off about the game in this trailer, but more news will be coming tonight at PlayStation Experience.

Yakuza Kiwami & Yakuza 6 -

Fan of the Yakuza series, or want to get into the series? The PS4 remake of Yakuza 1 (Kiwami) has officially been announced for a western release, and so has Yakuza 6. This goes perfectly along with Yakuza 0, the prequel, that is also releasing for us early next year.

Resident Evil VII Demo -

In other news a brand new update for the Resident Evil VII demo will also be released tonight. While the content of this demo wasn't specified, it was said to be "major," and will be playable in VR at home for the first time.

Danganronpa V3 -

We knew this one was coming, but it's still nice to see it be official. Danganronpa V3 is coming to the west, and we have an English trailer. Fans of the series, get ready for the new chapter. (And to clear up any possible confusion, no, this is not Danganronpa 3, that was released as an anime. This is the start of a brand new story in the universe.)

Well, that about covers it. A few other games were also shown off and announced, but many of which are titles of old returning. The PSP series Patapon and Locoroco are getting HD remastered collections on PS4, a few gameplay clips of the new Crash remasters were shown off (which they are just that, the classic crash games remade with updated graphics), and even a port of the PC game Ys Origins for PS4 and Vita was announced. The classic PS1 title Parappa is also coming to PS4 updated/remastered.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My 10 Years of Final Fantasy

The wait is over. After 10 long years, Final Fantasy XV is now here. Originally announced back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the game quickly became somewhat of a legend among gamers. It was one of them games that we would hear about, but never actually see any evidence that it was "real." Year after year Square-Enix would show up at E3s, TGS, and other events just to say "more news coming soon," and then walk off the stage. At one point there was even a cancellation scare, where it was said that Versus XIII was no longer a thing. Of course Square denied these rumors not long after, but it wasn't until 2013 that we learned the truth. The original game had been canceled, and development had been shifted to the project's new form -- Final Fantasy XV.

Although Final Fantasy XV is technically a new game, a lot of Versus XIII was carried over to it. Most of the main cast is here, multiple story points remained, the battle system is still action based, and the modern day setting was not changed. Of course we don't actually know how Versus XIII would have been (as we rarely got information about it), but from what we do know, it seems it's heart is still here in FFXV. Yes other things have changed, including the character of Stella, but this is still very much the game we saw all them years ago in a new form.

Anyway, this actually isn't what today's post is about. Instead, I want all of you to look back to when you first heard about this game, and look where you are today. Ten years is a very long time to wait for a single game, and just like how Versus XIII changed, I'm sure you've changed as well. I know I have. It's also when I got my start with this series.

When Versus XIII was first announced, I really wasn't much of a fan. I was 14 going on 15, and at that time I was more focused on Kingdom Hearts 2 and the upcoming Nintendo Wii. Just a few months before E3 friends had gotten me interested in the Kingdom Hearts series, and I was doing all I could to catch up. I ran through the first one my friend let me barrow, I looked up everything I could over Chain of Memories, and I bought a copy of KH2 with money I had saved up. Needless to say, I was turning into a fan of the series, and because of that my interest in Final Fantasy went up slightly as well. Of course I knew what Final Fantasy was, but until that moment I never really had a chance to play anything related to it. I would see the games in the local movie rental place, but not once did it cross my mind to play. It took the cast of characters I liked in Kingdom Hearts to give me that push, and my friend recommending IV and VI before I actually picked it up and began playing.

After playing both games, the series faded from my view once again. The Nintendo Wii was getting closer to release, and that was the one thing I wanted more than anything else. When Versus XIII was shown off at E3, I was a bit interested, but it was something I never expected to own. The first time I actually saw it was a picture in some guy's avatar on the official SEGA forums, and when a friend began talking about it on MSN I quickly passed it off as a "I will never be able to get this" sort of thing. It was a PlayStation 3 exclusive, I was a 15 year old kid, I had no way to get money, and I knew my parents wouldn't get me a PS3 as well as a Wii. Versus XIII was completely out of the question, and no matter how cool it looked, I knew I would regret choosing a PS3 (or the Xbox 360 which also had games I wanted) over the Wii. Instead, I figured I'd just get Final Fantasy My Life as a King instead... Yeah...

One massive ice storm that trapped me at home for a week later, Christmas came and went, I got the Wii, and went back to school happy with my present. During the next few years Final Fantasy was completely off my radar. I didn't get My Life as a King, I didn't really follow the news of the new games (although Crisis Core had me interested), and I went about living my normal high school life. Going to school, doing homework, talking to friends, etc. The Nintendo Wii was the main system I stuck with, with my only non Nintendo purchase being Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and a PSP with a few games after my 16th birthday. Then things changed.

When I was 17 my uncle opened the bakery, I began working, and my life started to change. For the first time I had a small taste of what the adult world was like, and I started to notice things about me changing. The way I acted, the things I liked, and other things just started to change. The video games I once loved? I didn't seem to care about them anymore. The shy me who would avoid people? While not completely gone, I became a lot more talkative thanks to dealing with customers day after day (maybe a bit too talkative looking at this post?). I guess it's all just a part of growing up, but I can still remember that year and how different things were for me. When it came to games, I finally had money of my own to spend, and I had bought an Xbox 360. This opened a whole new world to me. Thanks to this I made quite a few new friends, I began my life as an online gamer, and I discovered many new series that I still love to this day. It's also why I went back to Final Fantasy.

After I finished high school, I went onto college and began working to become a draftsmen. I had taken a drafting class my last year of high school and loved it, so I figured it would be the best thing for me. While I didn't talk to my friends from high school as much (due to us being apart), I would still see them online from time to time and send them messages. That's when one day a guy I had known all throughout school showed up on my Xbox Live friends list playing the newly released Final Fantasy XIII. The year before when we both had the same drafting class we would often talk about the different games on Xbox, and a lot of the time he would recommend me some really good games. So when I asked him if FFXIII was any good, and he said yes, I went out and bought it. And no, I don't regret it.

Sadly the first night I had XIII a bad storm came through and I was unable to play for more than a half an hour, but the good news was I was home the entire next day and free to play. So, I did just that. Although XIII was vastly different from the previous two games I had played (and linear), I fell in love with it. I liked the characters, the story kept me going, I liked the battle system, I liked the setting, and I didn't want to stop playing. That game became my life for quite awhile after it came out, and I continued playing even after I finished. Around that time things were also changing at the bakery, I got to meet new coworkers, and my college life was getting better as well. I was finishing the semester, the next semester looked like it was going to be great, and I was getting much more free time during the week to do what I wanted. So, what did I do? Well, when the next semester started, and Easter came around, I finally went out and got the game I had been wanting to play since Kingdom Hearts 1 -- Final Fantasy VII.

Rather than starting with VII, I actually picked up Crisis Core on my way home from college. It was getting closer to Easter break, and I wanted something to play... But that didn't work out. In less than two days I had finished the game and was wanting more. Then, on Easter Day, I went to Walmart with my dad, spent 60 bucks on a PSP memory card, then went back to my Grandpa's to use his router to download FFVII to my PSP. It was a long few hour wait, but when it was all said and done I set out on the FF adventure of a lifetime.

I could go on and on about how much I love FFVII, but I won't. Instead I'll talk about what happened next. I went full on FF crazy... I bought Dissidia, I got FFIV and FFVI's GBA version and played through them during my breaks in college (even car pooled with someone the day before winter break, despite having only one class to go to, just so I could sit there and play VI), and I bought every spin off I could get my hands on. From that point on I had become a full Final Fantasy fan, and I couldn't wait for more. Then Versus XIII reentered the picture.

Using tip money I had saved from the bakery, I finally bought myself a PS3 with hopes of using it to play Versus XIII. It had been a long time since I first heard about it, but I was finally at a point where it could be mine. After that I kept track of all of the game's news, I watched every event hoping to find out more about it, and I would often talk about it with other fans. It was the one game I really wanted, and the wait was getting harder and harder. When it was finally shown off in 2013 as FFXV, it was just even more of a reason for me to buy a PS4. Of course by this point I had just finished college, I was in the middle of looking for a full time job, and I had already played most of the other games. Going by my plan, I would save up for a PS4, get it on launch, and buy the game as soon as possible. Sadly, it didn't all go according to plan.

In 2013 I did manage to find my dream job, but what I wasn't counting on was losing my uncle and the bakery with him. So many people were cut out of my life, and since then things have never been the same. Although it's been three years it can still be hard to accept what happened, and to see how my life has completely changed. Now here we are in 2016, and although ten years was a long wait, I also can't help but think about how fast it went by and how so much changed. I'm no longer the 15 year old sitting there playing Kingdom Hearts 2, and the world I now live in is vastly different from where I used to be. The game I had waited for all this time is finally here, but I guess a part of me is a bit sad about that. The wait is one thing that has remained the same all this time, and now that has come to an end. Of course I'm glad to finally have it, but that doesn't mean I don't miss the past. If I could do it all over again, would I? Maybe, but that's not how life works. Instead here I am now looking forward to the future instead. The Final Fantasy series has become a big part of my life during these past ten years, and I still can't wait to see what's to come.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Jackal Assault VR Experience - Review

With the PSVR being so new, and with multiple non VR games coming out around the time of it's release, it's really no wonder that companies are trying to make use of this new hardware any way they can. VR is a new experience for a lot of people, the PSVR units are selling, and developers want to give people even more of a reason to buy their games. So when Call of Duty Infinite Warfare was announced to have a VR mode included, it wasn't really that much of a shock; however, what did come as a shock is the fact that they decided to release this "VR Experience" for free, and allow even non CoD: IW owners to download and play it. So with that being said, how is it? Well, you could go out and download it yourself right this moment, or you could continue reading to see if it's worth your time. Spoilers: it most likely... isn't...

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Jackal Assault VR Experience (wow that's a mouth full) is a free game that doesn't really even feel like a game -- it's more like a demo without a main game to go with it. In this game you play as a pilot inside the Jackal transforming space ship from Infinite Warfare, and you fly around within a small area in space shooting at enemies. That's it. While the game starts out cool with you in the cockpit, you quickly get launched into space, fly on a set path to get used to controls, and then fly around and shoot at targets as they pop up. The game tracks how many enemies you kill before your time runs out, but that's it. There's no real story here (besides bad guys are attacking), and it seems to only last around five minutes at most. Of course you can instantly hit replay and keep shooting, but it wont take long before it gets old. The only other thing you can really try to do is crash into the massive battleships floating around in space, but since there's no collisions in this you'll simply just slide off  of whatever it is you hit. Of course you could also spin your ship around in circles, and attempt to make yourself dizzy/see just how much you can handle in VR, but honestly that may not be a good idea. Since you are moving at faster speeds in this game, and it is possible to become motion sick, you may want to think twice before you start doing anything crazy.

Although Jackal Assault is free, there's really not much of a reason to download the large file. It may be something nice that you could show off to others just to give them an idea of what VR can do, but it's not something you'll keep playing. The game is shorter than most demos, without a full version to go along with it, so it doesn't even give you anything to look forward to. If anything it may sell you on other VR games similar to it (such as the PvP high speed action space shooter EVE Valkyrie), but it won't sell you on CoD IW if that's what you were hoping for.

Sorry to say, while it's fun the first or second time, Jackal Assault just isn't something worth keeping on your system. It's not as fun of a "ride" as other VR experiences out there, and it only leaves you wanting more. Check it out if you wish, but don't get your hopes up.
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Loading Human: Episode 1 - Review

Thanks to the launch of the brand new PlayStation VR, virtual reality has gone from a sci-fi fantasy, to a "reality" for many gamers. People are now able to experience this whole new world for themselves, and multiple games are being released to give the hungry players something new to bite into. Of course because of this games releasing for it are a mixed bag of both good and bad, and it's nearly impossible to tell what you'll be getting without either trying it yourself first -- or reading a review. Sure, sometimes these games turn out as you might expect (or better), but other times their ideas may sound cool, but the game itself might fall flat once the "newness" wears off. It's very similar to what we saw happen when motion control was first introduced, and it's a pattern that is sure to repeat for years to come.

Loading Human: Episode 1 is one such game that repeats this pattern. With many of us so new to the VR world, Loading Human attempts to take the classic PC adventure genre, and turn it into something new for us to dive into. On paper it sounds like an interesting idea, but how is it really? Is Loading Human something worth loading up? Let's find out.

The Story:

As like with most games of this style, the main focus of Loading Human is it's story, or rather living the life of it's main character. After being summoned to a lab by his dying father, Prometheus learns that he must undertake a mission to be the first human to leave our solar system. While living and working along side a young woman named Alice, Prometheus trains day in and out for his upcoming mission. Although originally he remains only focused on helping his dad, he soon starts to learn what love is, and things take a turn.

With the current game, the story in Loading Human is actually pretty lite. Rather than focusing on the main plot, the game is more about the main character's life, and his growing relationship with Alice. While the story actually begins near the episode's ending, it soon turns into a series of flash backs that highlights key moments in the main character's life -- at least, life at the lab. Watching TVs, reading data pads, and interacting with objects will tell you more about the game's destruction filled world and it's characters, the story itself only hits key moments and then keeps moving on. This can feel a bit rushed at times, and a bit awkward, but it's understandable seeing as this is just an intro to what will hopefully be a much larger story. While what we currently have isn't anything too special, it does it's job setting up what is to come.

The Gameplay:

Loading Human is a full VR game, and cannot be played without the VR headset. When you put the headset on, you're instantly put into the shoes of our hero. You look around the world by actually looking around, each of the PlayStation Move controllers becomes one of your hands, and you're asked to follow different objectives. While this may not seem like anything special when you're looking through a TV, being in the world with the headset on is a completely different story.

A big part of the gameplay revolves around you interacting with the world around you. By holding the back trigger of one of the move controllers you're able to open/close the corresponding hand, and by doing so you'll be able to accomplish different tasks just like you would in the real world. To put it simple, you're in the game, and you have control over your hands. You can pick objects up, examine them, chuck them across the room, smash bottles off the table tops, attempt to flush your tooth brush down the toilet, throw books in the bath tub, and so on. If it's something you can grab, it's something that can be interacted with and used in different ways. Of course this also means you can lose important items as well, so it may be a good idea to think twice before you throw that data pad across the room. Either way, this is a classic PC adventure style game through and through, and the only real difference is that you are now within the world yourself.

While picking up things and trashing the room can be fun for awhile, eventually you will move on and see the game's puzzles. Sadly episode 1 doesn't have much when it comes to puzzles, but it does give examples on how VR can be used in different ways. At one point in the story you'll come across "mini games" to play that change things up, but the puzzles themselves are very small and more about carrying objects from point A to B than they are about actually solving something. Once in awhile you do have to consider the chain of events of something and figure out what happened, but these "puzzles" turn into basic guessing games. Although, this really isn't the point of this game... Or at least not this chapter.

As mentioned before, Loading Human is more about living the life of our protagonist, and that is where it succeeds in a way. The lab is small, and the scenes do jump around quite a bit, but thanks to the VR headset you do feel like you're living within this world. You go through the motions of your day to day life, you interact with Alice and become closer to her, you see the state of your dying father, and you get treated to some impressive sights that you most likely will never see in your real life. The game uses it's hardware to create as realistic of an experience as possible, and it does make your time playing this game much more enjoyable. What may seem like a generic point and click style game through the screen, is transformed into something completely different the moment the headset goes on. Of course the "wow factor" will eventually wear off upon repeat returns to this world, but during it's 4-5 hour adventure that shouldn't be a problem. The fact this is also just an intro to a larger story makes it easier to overlook it's shortcomings as well.

The Good and the Bad (and Possible VR Issues):

Games like these can sometimes be hard to judge, especially considering everyone enjoys different types of games. While Loading Human isn't much different from other motion control and PC adventure games we've seen in the past, VR does add a whole new level to the experience. Being in Loading Human is an interesting experience from start to finish. If this is one of the first VR games you've played, it's sure to impress you in that regard. The sunset when looking out the window, your trip into the lab near the start of the game, and the hologram in the lab are just a handful of things you'll never forget about this game. Also, as simple as the mechanics might be, everything else about the game does work and helps it feel more "real." Being able to pick up almost anything harkens back to the early days of the Wii and motion control, and using both hands to hold and operate tablets and other devices feels natural. A lot of the things you do in game are simplistic, but the experience itself makes up for it.

While the game may be enjoyable for many simply because it's in VR, that may not be the case for all, and the game does have some flaws that are hard to overlook. First of all, if the VR element doesn't impress you, you'll find the game to be more of the same. Simple puzzles, slowly walking from room to room looking at things, standard commentary, and a lack of a full story. Sure, it's just the start, but what's there can be a bit odd on it's own; especially the quick moving romance that happens thanks to the scenes jumping. Again, it's going to depend what each person likes, but no matter how you look at it, it can be odd considering all that happens (such as the VR kiss scene). The higher price tag, and the 4-5 hours of content could also possibly be a turn off for some, but at least you can return to this as many times as you like (assuming you like it that is).

The only real issue with Loading Human is something everyone could possibly run into -- the game's controls and VR itself. While reaching out for objects is great, movement within VR can cause problems. In this game movement is done by holding the top button on the move controller to move in the direction you're looking, and pointing the move controller left/right and tapping it allows you to "snap" to another direction. This snapping is done to avoid motion sickness, but sadly nothing can be done about moving forward. For anyone who has never played VR before, this will be quite the shock. While you're physically sitting in one location in the real world, your character in game will move forward, and this is where it gets odd. Because you are not moving, it will feel as if the world around you is moving instead. You're sitting still, while the walls and objects around you fly by at fast speeds. You'll often feel like you're going to crash into a wall, you may get dizzy as you see the floor move, and reaching out for objects can only add to that or possibly even confuse you when you realize the counter you go to lean on is not there. It's a strange feeling, and it's something a lot of people will have to overcome if this is their first experience. The good news is, over time your brain does adapt. While Loading Human may make you sick and confused the first time you play it, eventually you can get to the point where there's no issues what so ever -- this applies for other VR games as well.

Overall, Loading Human isn't a good or bad game. It's a pretty cool VR experience with some nice things to look at (and an intractable world), but it's also not the best adventure game out there. The story is good enough to keep you going, but it's also lacking enough to make you feel let down when the "to be continued" screen pops up. Of course this also means it leaves you wanting more, and more is to come... This is what makes it so hard to judge it. Really, this is one of those games that you'll have to decide for yourself. If you're someone with a PSVR who likes adventure and story driven games, and would like to try something new in VR, then Loading Human is worth it. If you're someone who normally doesn't like these type of games, or someone who is expecting some sort of grand story -- then you may want to wait until more episodes are released. It's true the VR element itself may cause you to like the game, but you never know how you'll feel once that initial shock of VR wears off.

To put it simple, Loading Human shows a lot of promise and offers an interesting VR experience, but it's that same uncertain future and current lack of content that holds it back.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

PlayStation VR - First Impressions Review

And we are back! With all of the hype around VR these days, I figured I'd go ahead and take the time to tell you guys about my experience with it as well. A lot of people are still on the fence with this thing (wondering if it's worth getting, if the games are fun, if it's a fad, etc), so hopefully I can answer some of the things you'd like to know about it. Of course I'd actually recommend you track one down yourself and try it (it's seriously hard to explain to someone who's never experienced it), but for anyone who is unable to, this should give you more of an idea on what it's like.

The Headset and Setup:

The headset itself is actually pretty nice, but it takes quite a lot of wires to get this thing going. First of all since the PS4 isn't strong enough to run VR on it's own, the headset comes with a little processor box. This box is roughly the size of a Vita or PSP (except not as wide and a bit taller), and is meant to sit either next to your PS4 or even on top of it. Although this box doesn't take up much space, what it all has to connect to does. For starters, the box itself needs to plug into a power outlet (meaning you'll need at least two plugs now for your PS4 set up), and it has a USB cable that comes from the back of it and plugs into the front of your PS4 (PS4 does not have a back USB port). Once you've done that, you can unplug the HDMI cable from the back of your PS4, plug it into the "TV" HDMI slot on the back of the processor unit, and then plug a second HDMI into the PS4 and the processor unit's "PS4" slot. That's two HDMI cables, and the one that comes with the PSVR is quite long. (Might be a good idea to get a short one for wire management?) After that is taken care of, you pull half of the processor unit back to reveal the PSVR connectors, which is what you plug the headset's two cables into. These cables are labeled with the four PlayStation button icons so it's easy to tell what goes where. Finally after all this is done, you can then plug the headphones into the PSVR and start -- that is assuming you already have a PS4 PlayStation Camera set up (which is required). If all of that confuses you, here's a quick list of how many cables there are:
  • PS4 power cable
  • VR power cable
  • VR to PS4 USB
  • TV to VR HDMI
  • VR to PS4 HDMI
  • USB from PS4 to VR
  • PlayStation Camera
  • Headset connector cables
  • Headphones plugged into headset
Total: 9 in all. In short, you'll have to do some cable management if you want to keep things looking nice, but I'm sure most people will figure out something. If worse come to worse you could always disconnect the headset when not in use.

Now that the unit is setup though, the headset itself has some options. In general this thing actually feels really nice. It's a bit heavy, but most people should be able to wear it for hours at a time without it causing pain. The headband goes back and forth easily, there's a little wheel to tighten it to your head (similar to a hardhat), and there's also a button to bring the face part in closer or back it off from your face. It's made to fit every type of head, and it feels pretty nice against your face when you bring it in close. Thanks to the little flaps inside, you feel the headset hug you around your nose and eyes, and it also blocks out the light from the outside. The fact that this works perfectly with glasses on is also a plus, and I've found that taking my glasses off (as I'm near sighted) really didn't help me any. The headset was only brought closer to my face slightly, and my vision actually got worse. In other words, those who wear glasses, keep them on and the headset will still fully cover your eyes -- to an extent.

How VR Looks:

What some were wondering about is how the headset actually looks inside of it, and that can mean multiple things. How the games look, can you see any light, how wide is your vision, etc, so I'm just going to answer all of those questions. To begin, I'll talk about the light from the outside. Yes it's mostly blocked out, but SOME can get in. This is more like a single thin line from where the soft material on the headset is, and at least 98% of the time is not noticeable at all. The only time I really saw this gap of light was when games asked me to bring the move controller up to my hear, and the giant glowing ball on top let off a blue light to my left/right. It wasn't a problem, but again that's when I noticed it. As for how the rest of the headset looks though, that's the main reason why the light being let it won't bother you.

The lenses inside this thing are pretty big. If anyone has ever went to the eye doctor for an eye test, you're actually going to be somewhat familiar with how these lenses work. They are very similar to what eye doctors use, they are big enough to cover the entire front of your eye and your glasses, and they are what allow you to see the VR world in full on 3D. While you don't have any real peripheral vision, that isn't a problem. The easiest way for you to see what this is like now is to just take your fingers and rest them on the corner of your eyes. While this will block out a little bit of your vision, you'll still be able to see everything in front of you and off at different angles when looking ahead. Shockingly (as you may see right now) the view range is actually quite large, and it really helps bring you into the experience. As for how the games actually look though, well, that's a mixed bag.

Before you actually start playing VR games the PS Camera has some settings you can change within your PS4 menu under the VR device. You can have the camera take pictures of your eyes so that it can measure the distance between them (to help with the 3D effect), there's options calibrate where your play area is, and there's also a mode that shows you text. Similar to an eye test (yet again), this text may show up clear or blurry, and it's up to you to adjust the headset on your face to get things looking as best you can. I'm telling you now that you'll never get a very sharp clear image here, but getting it to look as good as possible is the ideal. Once all of that is set though, you can start playing games.

What VR games actually look like is a mixed bag (as I said above). The headset itself is running at 1080p for each eye on an OLED screen, but there is still what has become known as the "screen door effect" -- although in this case it's more like a bug net effect. instead of seeing things crystal clear like in the real world, you can see each and every pixel on the screen and the lines between them. Again the PSVR's effect is so small though, it's more like you're looking through a bug net you would put over an open door, or use for whatever kind of outdoor setup you may have (such as a tent and whatnot). While you may notice this at first, it does quickly fade away and in most games it is nearly 100% invisible (even when looking for it I wasn't able to see it in many cases). Sadly, the same can't be said for the issues with the "realistic games."

The graphical quality in VR could be described as a mix between the PS2, PS3, and Vita. In the more realistic games many objects are a bit blurry and "out of focus" looking. This is really noticeable in games like DriveClub where you sit inside the car and are unable to read whatever it says on the dashboard. Instead you can see blurry text, and have to focus a bit harder than normal to make out what it is you are actually looking at there. It gives you the feeling of someone without their glasses (I know, I keep going back to this but we are talking about vision here), and is something they could definitely improve on in the future; however, again this is only an issue in some games. Step away from the realistic experiences like DriveClub, and you have games like Job Simulator that are set in a cartoony world. These games look AMAZING and do not suffer the same problems. Everything is crisp and clear, you can read all of the text, and even that screen door effect fades away. Games like these seem to be made perfectly for VR, and are optimized extremely well. When it comes down to it, the blurry vision in other games is most likely because the game either isn't as optimized as it could be, or simply because the PS4 isn't strong enough to increase it's resolution. Like I said, this is something that could be fixed in the future with the PS4 Pro, but for now it's fine. Although you may be bothered by it at first, things quickly change as you get into the game.

What it is like in a VR World:

This is going to be the hardest thing to explain, "what it's like in a VR world." When many people think VR they think it's just a screen in front of their face. Well, I'm here to tell you that THAT'S NOT TRUE! Even if you were to move in all the way up to your TV and block out the rest of your vision, that is nowhere near the experience of VR. What makes VR amazing is what it does to your senses. For starters, the two lenses over your two eyes make it so you have full depth perception. Simply look across your room in real life, and you'll see what this is like (after all most of you have seen in 3D your entire life I'm sure). It's really hard to convey this to others, but sitting in VR isn't any different from you sitting wherever you are right now reading this. Sure the graphics don't look realistic like the real world, but that's the only change. As for the sound in VR? It too is in full 3D. When you mix these two things together, sight and sound, your brain begins to wonder "what is going on." While you yourself know what you are seeing isn't real, what your brain goes off of is it's senses, and when two of them tell it something is real, it begins to believe that as fact. That's what true VR is.

While it may sound a bit stupid, entering into a VR world can be a bit unsettling. As someone who chose VR Worlds as their first experience, I'll admit I felt a bit scared. Never seeing VR before, I went into this thinking "this is a screen in front of my face," but instead I was sitting in a dark museum room with a massive shark statue in front of me, and nothing but darkness all around. At that moment my brain went from "I'm playing a game" to "I'm actually in this dark place alone... It's not safe here." Of course when I jumped into the Ocean Decent things became even worse. No longer was I sitting in my chair safe at home, and no longer was I in the dark museum, but instead I was underwater diving into the deep unknown... And it was nerve wrecking. Of course it was also pretty amazing, and I was constantly looking around at what was going on, but all sense of security was gone, and when the shark came it was even worse -- that's when reflexes kicked in. Pulling my legs back as it tried to bite me, and flinching when it slammed into my cage. No matter how many times I told myself "this isn't real," my brain couldn't help but react. It's a really strange sensation, and it is even stranger when you start jumping into other games and experiences as well. Remember the horror games that didn't look that scary? Yeah, tell your brain that when you're looking at it in the face.

The Games and Experiences:

Another concern about VR is if it's games are worth it. Well I can only talk about what we have right now, but so far it does seem promising. While VR Worlds is mostly experiences, it does offer a wide verity of things to do. The shark attack is a fun ride that everyone should try at least once, and using your head to play a life sized version of 3D Pong is a lot of fun as well. London the Heist is a fun on rail experience, and the built in shooting range is a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys that sort of thing. Picking up your gun, ducking behind cover, changing out the clip -- it all feels so natural and gives you an idea of how shooting mechanics can work in the future. On the other hand you have classic PC Adventure style games/"walking simulators" where you explore a game world, examining objects, choosing what to say/do, and making your way through a story. These games also work very well in VR, and help you invest into their stories and worlds even more. While not everyone may like the ones we currently have, they show that this genre has a home in VR. Other games on the console are more like what we saw back when Nintendo first released the Wii, or when Xbox released Kinect. They aren't games for "gamers," but that doesn't mean they aren't fun. These games make use of the motion controls to allow you to do real world activities inside this virtual space. You can play pool, there's the shooting range I mentioned, a golf game where you play as a giant robot (ok, not quite the everyday thing), and so on. While many may pass these off as shovelware, that doesn't mean you can't have fun with them and come back to them from time to time. Of course developers will only be able to make so many of these games before they run out of things to do (again, look at the Wii), but they are still nice -- at least for now.

Moving onto the next category of games, we have what gamers might call "real games." There's DriveClub VR for those who like racing games (also a new GT is coming as well as other racers), Rez is an amazing rail shooting experience that EVERYONE should try at least once, there's competitive games like EVE Valkyrie, and then there's heavy hitters like Ace Combat 7 and Resident Evil 7 on their way. These are games that are more for the gamers out there, and they prove that mainstream games can in fact work in VR as well. While some people may also think that only first person games can work with this thing, that too is a complete lie. DriveClub VR actually has all of the standard racing game view points, including the 3rd person view, and it shows that 3rd person games could in fact use VR if they wanted to do so. In this case you're a floating camera behind whatever it is you are looking at, but the world still flies by you, and you get a greater sense of it's scale. Being able to look all around your character from a 3rd person point of view actually feels great, and it can help you see things you might not have noticed before. Play Room VR is another game that allows you to see this in action, where you can play a 3D platforming game from this point of view. You, as your own character, float above this world as you use the controller to guide the platforming character on where to go. Rather than turning the camera with the analog stick, you physically look at what's around you, and follow the character with your own eyes as you try to navigate them there. It's a really interesting concept, and it's something I personally would like to see more of.

In short, VR is something that can work with a wide verity of games, but it will be some time before we see where it actually goes. What we have now does work great, and currently the future does look promising.

Extra Modes:

VR isn't just for gaming, it can be used in other ways as well. Currently these other modes are limited, but you can use the headset to put yourself in a movie theater like area to watch movies and play games on the big screen (giant floating screen). There's also support for VR movies within some apps, and even Hulu has a special VR viewing space where you can watch their shows and movies in different living room settings and what not. While there's not too many of these extras on PS4 at the moment, it's nice that non gamers have at least some use for it, and it's very likely more content will be added in the future.

VR Sickness:

Sorry but this is something I have to talk about -- VR Sickness. VR isn't all sunshine and rainbows, and it's going to have a different effect on different people. While I can talk about my own personal experiences with VR, not everyone reading this will have the same issues as me. For example, the shark attack, London Heist, and Danger Ball in VR Worlds were completely fine for me. I had no issues playing these games, but VR Luge (you're going down hill on a skateboard very fast) did make me feel really funny at first. The more I played the more I got used to it, but the first time I did it I almost fell over. Meanwhile Scavenger's Odyssey where you're in a giant mech thing that spins around and can stick to walls DID make me sick. I had to stop after finishing the first part because my head was spinning and I felt like vomiting... This feeling lasted for quite some time even after I took the headset off. Other games that I was fine with strangely included Rez. Even though I was  flying at high speeds with the camera spinning all around in this cyber world like space, I was fine with it. Yes some parts made me a bit dizzy, but the feeling only lasted a moment and I was able to continue on. It wasn't really until the end where flying higher made me feel odd, but that could have been due to my fear of heights. As for another game that made me sick? Loading Human is the one. It's a 3D first person classic adventure game where you explore a room, pick up objects to examine them, and solve puzzles. Moving around this 3D space myself made me feel very unwell, and I had the exact same issue with other games that allowed free movement including Here They Lie.

The Assembly is another game that's similar to Loading Human, which I was able to make myself sick playing by running around the room, but the good news is it has a "snap" option. With only a handful of games currently using this system, the snap and teleport option was invented to help prevent people from getting sick in VR games. With this set up instead of walking to where you move, you warp a short distance in the direction you press on the analog stick, with a quick fade in and out to black. This is also how turning works, and there's also an option to look in a direction, place a marker, and instantly warp to that point. This way you're always standing still, and lessen your chance of getting motion sick. This is something the extra mode in Rise of the Tomb Raider does as well, and while Here They Lie has free movement (as mentioned above), turning is handled with snapping as well. Of course snapping most likely wont work for all 3D games out there, at least it does work for some and that could possibly help people get more used to VR. It may take some time, but eventually most should be able to work up to handling "more demanding" games without throwing up.

The Good and the Bad:

PSVR is nice. The headset feels nice on your head, it works with glasses (in almost all cases), and it actually works. Putting this thing on transports you to a new world, and it's something everyone should experience at least once. There's a handful of really fun games for it as well, and it can be a lot of fun at parties or when you have friends and family over. Thanks to the social screen on the TV everyone can see what it is you see, and there's even some games out there that use this for local multiplayer games. The ability to play any game or watch movies on the big screen is a nice feature (especially if your PSVR is set up in a family room where others want to watch TV or possibly play another game console), and the extra modes such as VR movies and other experiences even give non gamers something to try out. In general it's a nice addition to the PS4, but that's not to say that it is perfect.

The only real issues with the PSVR is it's resolution, and motion sickness. Sadly most games do look like PS2, Vita, and in some cases PS3 games, and sadly there are objects that are blurry and hard to see, but for the time being it is good enough. Again maybe in the future we'll be seeing improvements to this, but for now it's just something we'll have to deal with. This also means games played in the "movie theater" mode will also look slightly worse than on your actual TV, but it's not that big of an issue. What is an issue though is the fact that this may make you motion sick, so it's entirely possible that you'll buy it only to find out you can't play it at all. Of course I doubt that'll be the case (as I mentioned only a few games made me sick), but it may be a good idea to try one out before you actually buy. At least some games are doing whatever it is they can to cut back on this, but with others you'll just have to learn to deal with it...

Overall though I'd still say the PSVR is worth it if there are games on it you'd like to play. It's something you should experience (at least as a demo in stores), but if you should own it or not all depends on what it is you want. Looking forward to Resident Evil 7 or Ace Combat 7 in VR? Could be worth it then. Want to play some classic adventure games like The Assembly, or another horror game like Here They Lie? Then go for it. What about EVE Valkyrie? Want to get into crazy tense dog fights in space? Well, then that game could be worth it alone! Honestly it all comes down to you, so before you pick one of these up it's a good idea to pick out a library of games first. The bottom line is, the PSVR is only fun if it has something fun for you. Hopefully this helped you with deciding that.
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