Since the arrival of PlayStation VR, gaming is in this weird situation where VR titles seem to be easily accepted — regardless of quality — because the experience is so fresh and new. There’s little outrage when a mediocre/watered-down version of the NBA 2K franchise gets released with a far-too expensive price point, because hey, it’s basketball in VR! Meanwhile, full-retail prices are attached to games that may not be horrible, but they lack the depth or length to really warrant the dough.
However, VR being accepted with open arms allows for the ability to dive into games that one probably would have never touched if it hadn’t been spruced up with the new technology. That’s where Starship Disco comes in. Simple at its core, the effort from Solus Games is a serviceable VR journey that makes use of its features incredibly well.
It doesn’t take long after having a go with VR to realize that music and rhythm-based games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero would flourish in this environment. While Rock Band is set to be an Oculus Rift exclusive in the near future, Starship Disco is here to help scratch the itch of wanting a music-centric playground. Of course, there’s no plastic instrument peripherals here — just the controller (the DualShock or Move controllers) and the head-tracking.
Set in a space atmosphere, the game is a rhythm-based shooter that will have the player firing at incoming ships and projectiles to the beat of the music playing, and the more in line you are at firing while the enemy is close to the sweet spot, the better the progress. There’s the option of using the headset to aim, but the real way to play is by way of the aforementioned Move controllers — they make the experience much more fun, but that also comes with a new level of difficulty, too. Starting off, making your way through levels isn’t all that hard, but the challenge ramps up quickly. Like most rhythm games, they’re rather simple to learn, tough to master, and the payoff is well worth it
The graphics here aren’t anything to write home about, as they largely look like the stock visualizers you’d see in Windows Media Player, but with something like this, visuals don’t really matter as much. For what it’s worth, it is pretty neat seeing all the colors fly around, and considering how space games have the tendency to cause motion sickness more so than others, that thankfully isn’t the case here.
Whether you opt to play with one Move controller, both, or just the headset, there’s a lot of variety and options packed into Starship Disco. There aren’t too many songs that come in-game (there’s seven upbeat disco-indie-hybrid jams), but with the ability to import your own music via USB stick (and it works quite well), the opportunities for replayability are endless, and really, that’s the most intriguing and satisfying part. For VR this early in its life-cycle, it’s essential that when a game is released, it’s worth its price of admission — no matter if it’s an indie effort or a triple-A powerhouse. Starship Disco accomplishes that here with ease, and even if it isn’t the prettiest game available for VR, it’s certainly up there as one of the more worthwhile ones.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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