The Exigent Duality
PSVR2 and Sega CD - 10:22 CST, 5/19/24 (Sniper)
Sad to say, so far the PSVR2 has reminded me a bit of when my uncle got a Sega CD back in 1992-- really cool pieces of hardware, but the software lets them both down. So far I've tried:

  • Horizon Call of the Mountain: This is the closest I've had to a game which really grabs me. It has a very high gameplay-to-cutscene ratio, uses bleeding edge graphics by VR standards, and the core mechanics are simple yet have nuance. The problem is that it suffers from Sweet Baby Syndrome: the female characters are the typical over-the-top butch lesbian types with the most obnoxiously sarcastic and caustic personalities-- I thought the goal of game companions was to make them appealing to look at and fun to be around? After I beat this game, I lost all desire to play through it again due to the characters, and I uninstalled it.

  • Gran Turismo 7: The VR mode is really cool. Unfortunately, it's still the same mediocre Gran Turismo 7 in every other way. I wasn't a big fan of the "cafe" system, and besides that the post-credits content is not very much fun: you need to spend hours in front of spreadsheets to make your car even remotely competitive for each race. That's a little too hardcore for me.

  • Resident Evil VIII: Along with shmups, "survival horror" is probably my least-favorite genre-- but this was on sale for six bucks. It's amazing how they fully-implemented totally realistic gun operation, but the game isn't balanced to support it. Even with the simplified gun handling, this is a really tough game in VR because of spatial awareness. At least for a first playthrough, it seems like it would be a lot more fun on a flat TV.

  • Akka Arrh: This is a fun arcade game with plenty of depth and appealing graphics plus sound. But it's a lot easier on a normal TV, because things "fly into your face" in the VR mode, causing crucial milliseconds of "blindness".

  • C-Smash VRS: In theory this one should really fit the ticket, but I don't have the space to play it! You can't really play it kneeling because you can't hit the low balls then-- and I literally destroyed my ceiling fan operation when playing it standing, to the point where I need to replace that unit.

  • Cities: VR: This is an ancient game, and the graphics in the VR mode are significantly downgraded from that. It's still a competent city-building game, but not necessarily one I was just hankering to revisit almost a decade after it initially came out, especially with all of the graphics settings turned down so low.

  • Kayak VR: Mirage: Flat-out boring. A new "Wave Race" on this engine would be incredible, because the graphics in this title are incredible! But trying to row one of these finicky kayaks at a snail's pace is not my idea of fun.

Like the Sega CD, it's something you want to play, but then you reach for the shelf: "Sewer Shark"? "Prize Fighter"? "Gran Turismo 7"? Both platforms have the same issue. I kind of recognized the issue going in, but you don't really know for sure until you try a variety of games for yourself.

Thankfully, there are a few games which look like they will be up my alley: there is this Minecraft-aesthetic first-person dungeon crawler; there is a "Metro" game coming out, and I really enjoy that series; and there is this "Ruinsmagus" JRPG-looking thing, which seems like it'd be enjoyable. I've run out of self-granted allowance money, but I will keep an eye out for sales on those games nonetheless.