Throw Anything HTC Vive VR Game Review

Throw Anything – An Early Access Zombie VR game with a whole new direction in gameplay.

What Is The Game Like?

I was introduced to this game suddenly. I had no idea what to expect beyond the name “Throw Anything.” As you can see, it’s an apt description. The breakdown of the game so far is that you are in a room, and zombies are climbing the building. Throw stuff and knock them down. Very simple concept, but simplicity doesn’t make it any easier on your arms.

Gameplay First Impressions

In fact, simplicity in this context is meaningless. One of the first impressions I had about the game was that it was hard. Physically and in terms of gameplay… and difficult gameplay is oftentimes difficult in this medium. How hard can an enemy be to fight with a sword in VR if you can just stick the weapon at them, and wiggle it around to hit them a hundred times in five seconds? It’s not difficult at all.

Final Thoughts

This game had me, for lack of a better term, desperate at times to move my body faster to keep these seemingly cartoonish zombies from climbing into the window. They wouldn’t be scary but they’re so big, they’re at least a whole head taller than me. And here’s the thing: no matter how quickly I could throw stuff it never seemed to be enough. It’s just hands down a difficult game.

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The Last Day Defense Virtual Reality HTC Vive Review

The Last Day Defense Virtual Reality review

Now, my first reaction when being offered this game was pure excitement. I had this board game when I was a kid that I loved so much, it was very unique. Basically, there was a castle on one side, a fort on the other, and you’d place catapults and trebuchets and such on your battlements. Then, you’d lead your troops down a lane, turn by turn, to attack the enemy. The enemy would do the same, and you’d both first your siege machines at the troops and at the enemy’s castle until it all exploded.
That was my very first exposure to the concept of Tower Defense, and I’ve loved it ever since. Like I said, when I got offered this game I was really excited. Rather than a board game with old siege equipment, it was a new Virtual Reality game in some weird dystopian future. Futuristic soldiers and tanks and flamethrowers everywhere. That’s a great way to sum up the game though: futuristic tower defense in VR with flamethrowers and mortars.

As far as a tower defense game goes The Last Day Defense by ARVI LLC is really good. You get three basic options of defensive towers – Mortar Towers, Infantry Bunkers, and Turrets. Each have different effectiveness’ against the four different types of units – Infantry, Light Truck, Tank, Aircraft. Each type of tower upgrades into three distinct types of each top level unit, each with their own different levels of effectiveness versus the various enemy types.

Gameplay itself starts off easy on the tutorial table, but by the time you get to the second table (which is where most of the gifs are from,) things start ramping up quickly, with multiple lanes of approach and different waves of enemies providing a different type of challenge. A lot of tower defense games I’ve played stay fairly easy, as just stocking up enough towers and upgrading them sufficiently was enough to mow down every enemy before they even got halfway through the board.

As is par for ARVI, this game gets difficult quickly. One thing I can say about this game is that it is not one that you pick up and beat in the same sitting. I started in on the third table recently and if I could have grabbed my hair while still holding my Vive wands, I would have started ripping my hair out. Which is actually great for a strategy game like this – like I said too many make it too easy. I found myself frantically moving myself around to try to and micromanage upgrades, selling unneeded towers, and rebuilding towers that I needed for the upcoming wave… or more usually, for the current wave that is quickly creeping toward the end of the map and my UFO base.

The maps are varied, with several different biome types. I haven’t explored them all yet, and frankly I took most of the .gifs from the first two levels, as I don’t like to spoil too much. That being said, you can find more representative screenshots of the levels on the actual steam store page. They’re also quite varied in style and how the enemies approach and attack. Above you see one of the first levels you’ll play that has two spawn points, and both sets of troops actually work toward the middle, with that bridge being the end of the line.
Graphically speaking, the game looks great. The screen can get really busy, and everything still looks good. The individual models on the boards aren’t bad at all. One thing I did notice is that there doesn’t seem to be much variation in the troop types and their appearance, which could be a lack of assets, or could be intentional. The way this game plays out, it’s good to know exactly what type of troop is moving where at what time so you can plan accordingly.

Now, as good of a tower defense game as it is, I hate to say but I didn’t see a lot of Virtual Reality interactions. At first, I thought I was missing something, but at this point I don’t think so. The controllers stay controllers – you can adjust the speed of the game with them – but otherwise they’re just like 3D mouse pointers that let you select which pad to place a new tower on. Which leads me back to my first point about the old tower defense board game I used to play. What was interesting there was, as it’s all manual and in real life, you had to aim each shot manually and do it yourself. A line of enemies could be in a terrible position ready to be wiped out, but one bad shot could lose you your turn. A great shot could have you taking out your enemy’s troops in multiple areas just because the little balls you would launch would roll.
I can’t help but think that the game could have gone from good to mind-blowing great if the Virtual Reality aspect had been focused on alongside the tower defense aspects. While I’m not a game dev (yet,) as soon as I started playing I saw a few opportunities for more VR interactions. Firstly, the premise is the world is destroyed and you fly around on a UFO to these post-apocalyptic locations. I found it strange that the UFO that you see on the map isn’t your base, you don’t see the world below you if you walk to the edge of the room you’re in. Maybe they could have let us take control of the various towers and actually manually operate one, in order to use the VR aspect to gain a little more ground or be more accurate or something, while the rest of them work on auto. Even something like controlling the game from inside the map, and just using a sense of massive scale while having you stand, Infantry-sized, on a tower commanding a ship to drop and construct giant mortars that start firing. Really, adding any aspect of VR interaction would make this game jump from a good game, and great Tower Defense game to an incredible Virtual Reality Tower Defense Game.

Ultimately, it’s a game I enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy – and I want to thank ARVI for giving me these opportunities to review their games. As a reviewer though, I have to say if the actual Virtual Reality interactions of VR are important to you – this game could be lacking. It’s a strong and difficult Tower Defense game, the strategy is engaging, there are plenty of tables and maps and overall a great amount of content for the purchase price. I still can’t help feeling, as I’ve said, that it could be so much more with more Virtual Reality presence.

For $19.99 though, any person who likes tower defense games would be silly not to give The Last Day Defense a playthrough. As the game is Early Access according to the steam page, they have a lot of updates planned as well, including Multiplayer, Mini bosses, more tower types it seems, as well as more troop types. They also mention more interaction, so they may already be working on further VR interaction like I mention. I’m looking forward to their updates.

The Last Day Defense on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/813670/The_Last_Day_Defense/

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Thank you to ARVI LLC for the game! You can find more from me, crimsonBZD at twitch.tv/crimsonBZD , twitter.com/crimsonBZD , and on Instagram!

Light Tracer VR Review for the HTC Vive – An old-school platforming game for the new school of gaming.

Light Tracer VR Review for the HTC Vive – An old school platforming game for the new school of gaming.

Light Tracer, originally for the PSVR, is reminiscent of an old-school platformer/puzzle game, made from the ground up for Virtual Reality. In it, you follow a small lost Princess guiding her up an ever-growing tower, helping her solve puzzles and avoid bad guys (and falling to her death) while learning about what exactly drives her climb up this tower as you progress through the game.

Controlling the character is simple, you point the beam of light from your want and put your thumb on the trackpad and away she goes. Jumping is achieved through pressing in the trackpad on the Vive controllers. You can freely move yourself around the environment by grabbing and pulling, pushing or twisting your view around. The entire game is based on 3D pathways set up in a manner that they continuously go around in a perpetual square that climbs upwards, mimicking the old 2D platforms in a 3D space. It’s really quite ingenious.

I think a lot of platforming and puzzle games I’ve played in the past have failed because either their platforming was boring, or worse, frustrating – or because their puzzles were either too easy, or too hard. I haven’t played all of this game yet (judging by the trailer and how much I’ve played, I think I have a long way to go actually) but even so far I’ve been introduced to fun new mechanics – some cool puzzles, a lot of platforming sections that were really fun to play through, and the game even features bosses that require a bit of skill and critical thinking to figure out. I think they were looking for a “Just right” approach, and I think they found it.

The puzzles don’t start off exactly easy, but they don’t seem to be getting into frustrating-level difficulty either. So far they’ve all felt difficult enough to make me pause for a minute (too many minutes on the puzzle in the gif above,) but not enough to make me quit the game in frustration. All in all, the puzzles are good, and the eureka moments when figuring out the boss puzzles are really enjoyable. The platforming is generally good – the only complaints I could have in this area are some minor parts where the Princess will get physically stuck, usually when a flat area meets a ramp. Also, depending on which angle you’re looking from, sometimes higher up parts of the level can move in-between your light and the character, causing unintended movements and even made me fall once. There are a few platforming sections I had small difficulty with simply because it seemed I had to do an absolutely perfect jump off of a jump-pad which was pretty hard to time due to how you control the game – but these are very rare instances so far.

One thing that I was very surprised, and glad about, was the varied looks of the environment – and I feel like at time of writing this I haven’t seen close to all the different areas yet. While the gifs provided are from a very early part of the game not to reveal too much – even as I’ve progressed further I’ve seen some really cool tile and block sets. The gif above shows a desert style block set, and the rock throwing guys, and frankly every part of the aesthetics come together to make a really cool world. We’ve already seen the basic Forest one, and the boss for that area has a different tileset too. The stark differences of the areas remind me of the different zones in early Sonic games and other platformers, which is not only impressive for VR – but impressive overall in a gaming industry that likes to make one map or style of map and continuously re-use it. This is another area for me that, if their trailer is anything to go buy, I have a ton more environments to see even where I’m at in the game. What I’m showing in these gifs is just the start.

On a similar vein, I was as highly impressed by the music in the game – even more so than I was by the environment. I can’t even count the different sound track pieces I’ve heard in how far I am – and just like the environments, I’m sure there’s a lot more. There’s tons of different styles, instruments, and inspirations from different genres – and it’s all real music. The game is high quality in-and-of itself, but the soundtrack is on even a higher level than that. As a huge music fan I can’t praise it enough – I was so inspired I almost want to sample some of those tracks for my own music! I can’t praise it enough though, the music is a solid 10/10 for sure.

I do want to say, however, that I did notice some issues related to what I think is the porting of the game – on the HTC Vive, the logos and the tutorials for the game are right up in your face. To best describe it, it looks like the logo is pasted on top of the actual HTC Vive screens – which is really strange looking considering you’re always looking through the lenses, rather than focusing directly on them. It’s not anything you don’t get used to, but it’s physically surprising to have that appear so closely at first. You almost have to cross your eyes to read it. The only other thing is that the controls aren’t mapped to the Vive wand in the most common ways – things that would be normally controlled by a trigger (like grabbing objects) are instead controlled by pressing the thumpad – re-center yourself is mapped to grip, which could probably be top menu button – et cetera. The version I have I believe is Beta – so not only is likely these issues could be fixed in the future, however they aren’t anything that should affect how you play or enjoy this game.

Overall, this game is a well-made VR game, and that’s pretty high praise in the first place. It’s a fun and engaging platformer and puzzle game on its own – it’d be a great game if it wasn’t in VR. However, the specific way the square tower keeps progressing upwards, and how you interact with the world in the Virtual Reality play space takes Light Tracer from a great platformer game, to an amazing VR game that’s tied together with really incredible music, great graphics, and visually pleasing levels.
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Thanks for reading! If you want to see more, you can find my Twitch stream at twitch.tv/crimsonBZD – I not only play virtual reality, but a wide variety of games. Fun and friends are more important than playing like a pro. This article is just a glimpse of what I and VR have to offer. I plan on making more virtual reality videos and articles for you to enjoy. I want to give a huge shoutout to @ChelzBZD for being awesome thanks ya’ll!

Duck Season VR Game Review on HTC Vive

FTC: This article contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.


Duck Season VR: SNES’s Classic game with a modern twist.

When I logged in to Duck Season on the HTC Vive, I felt a familiar nostalgia. While I wasn’t alive in the late 70’s, early 80’s – being a kid sitting down to a brand new rental is a mostly universal feeling.

Our story here starts with our young protagonist getting a one-rental of “Duck Season,” the hottest new game. While the world outside is full of adult problems such as murders and kidnappings, our character isn’t worried about all of that. He’s just a kid, enjoying his time, eating bananas and hanging out while his mom works.

(All those games on the floor are actually playable, as are the movies.)

Despite being much higher resolution than the original, real-world game, the “duck hunt” part of *Duck Season is much like you’d expect. As for most VR games, the reloading is a more complicated process than “pressing R” or anything of the sort. You have to put both hands on the shotgun, and there is some skill to it. It’s overall pretty mindless and fun.


(As you can see, it’s pretty smooth.)

Here comes the hard part for me. Let’s just say that… if that’s all the game Duck Season VR was, would my review be any longer? No, it wouldn’t, would it? It doesn’t take too, too long of playing the game to realize that there may be more going on. Much like from a real child’s perspective, it can get easy to get lost in the game itself and forget to notice little details… important details.


(I don’t think he should be smoking, should he? This is a kid’s game!)

And if stuff like that isn’t weird enough, sometimes it can be very important to turn around and see what you might be missing.

I wish I could say more. I really, really do. I haven’t even seen it all yet, but suffice to say two things about this game: It’s an amazingly smooth, engaging, fun and thrilling VR experience. The other thing? Never let a kid play this game. Ever. It might look like it’s suitable for kids, but you’ll quickly find out its not.

Ultimately, I highly recommend this game for anyone playing Virtual Reality. It’s a highly memorable experience that will compel you to play it again and again to see the various endings. Again, don’t traumatize any children with it – it’s NOT a kid’s game!

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Thanks for reading! If you want to see more, you can find my Twitch stream at: twitch.tv/crimsonBZD – I play virtual reality, and a wide variety of games. Fun and friends are more important than playing like a pro.

You can also Tweet me at: https://www.Twitter.com/crimsonBZD
Join our LFG Discord to meet up and play games with other members bit.ly/BZDChats

This article is just a glimpse of what I and VR have to offer. I plan on making more virtual reality videos and articles for you to enjoy.
Thanks to my girlfriend @ChelzBZD for editing this thanks ya’ll!

 

*Indicates that an affiliate link has been used.

Fallout 4 VR PC Game Review | HTC Vive|

Fallout 4 VR – What was the Controversy About & Why It’s A Must Have for any Virtual Reality Fan.

The release of Fallout 4 in virtual reality was just too big for the VR world not to have controversy, but like any good controversy there are real issues and perceived ones. These perceived issues are simply old issues that people aren’t even aware have been fixed. This leaves the question what really happened with Fallout 4 VR?

1) The game released in VR with a major glitch that made it extremely blurry, and mainly unusable. This issue was entirely RESOLVED within 24 hours via a beta update from Bethesda. Essentially, the game was bugged to run at the desktop resolution, not the HTC Vive resolution. As a result, people with 1080p monitors had an extremely blurry experience. On the other hand, people with 4K monitors still had a pretty clear picture.

Since the patch was released to beta, they have updated it a few times. The patch is currently live to anyone who has the game. The issue was a bothersome, but even at its worst, Fallout 4 VR still looked better than many of the older VR games I’ve played.

(This is not the blur issue, I just wanted to show you these ghouls.)

2) The game came with less than desirable anti-aliasing settings enabled by default. At time of writing, these settings cannot be disabled in the game settings. You need to go in and change the settings manually. You can either add a line to an .ini file, or open the console using tilde (~) enter the command ‘TAA off’ to turn TAA off. To be clear, the game is still entirely playable, and comfortable with these settings enabled – but removing them does make the game clearer. I don’t have a way to show you the difference, since it’s only apparent in VR. I can’t even capture it using the display mirror that I use to make the gifs.

Hopefully Bethesda implements options to adjust features from the VR menus soon. There are already several fixes made by the community that are readily available online.

If I had to fault Bethesda for anything, it’s that they should include a robust set of options in their games at this point, considering that for every Bethesda release you eventually end up having to adjust an .ini file.


(More Ghouls! They’re terrifying in VR. Seeing their limbs rip off in real scale is incredible.)

3) The game is a port, so it’s not built for VR from the ground-up. What does this mean? To put it literally – you are playing the entirety of the flat, desktop version of Fallout 4 – in VR. In many VR shooting games, you manually remove the magazine from a weapon and then insert a new one to reload, oftentimes using both hands on the weapon to stabilize and fire it correctly.

In Fallout 4 VR, you don’t do any of this. Instead to reload, you grab the grip buttons on your main controller. The magazine flies out of the weapon, waits for a second, and flies back in. A lot of people were expecting VR-specific features akin to the reloading found in virtual reality FPS games like Pavlov or Onward.

One issue that I’ve personally noted is that the scopes don’t work in the game… Sure, stuff like red-dot sight attachments do, but not the actual scopes such as the “Night Vision Pipe Rifle” below. In the 2D version, I recall that the entire screen changed to give you a night-vision effect and zoomed in your screen slightly. The same experience in VR, is just the same dark texture from the 2D version – you can’t even look through the scope. There are mods that make the scope see-through, but right now, you’re better off removing any zoomed scopes in the game or avoiding weapons that have them. This is something I expect and hope is resolved in the future, as it does cause aiming issues with some weapons.

Here’s an example:

In combat, it’s not awful, but I highly recommend iron sights…

We’ve discussed a lot of the problems of Fallout 4 VR, but I hope I didn’t give you the impression that the game is any less for having those issues. The largest issues are fixed, some issues aren’t even really with the game, but with other hardware. What does the game get right? The short answer is its Fallout 4 in Virtual Reality. It’s exactly as awesome as that sounds. There has never been a VR game that I have been able to personally point at a distant hill and say, “I can walk all the way from the top of that hill to this far off hill on the other visible side without loading anything. Oh, and that isn’t even half the map!”


(When I heard the Super Mutant Suicider’s bomb get closer to exploding I had to run away quickly!)

Ultimately, Fallout 4 is an incredible game in 2D, and none of that is lost in it’s transition to Virtual Reality. Instead, it puts you right in the Sole Survivor’s shoes. Simple interactions in the 2D version that were little more than a distracting sob story feel very real. The first cut scene at the start of the game… (No spoilers) gave me two options. Joke about it or cry and I had trouble doing either.

Have you ever met Dogmeat in these games?

(These hounds are freaky, especially in slo-mo!)

He’s a bit larger in Virtual Reality than I expected. As soon as I got to Red Rocket for the first time with Dogmeat waiting for me, I was all smiles! The wasteland is an intimidating place on a computer screen – but it’s downright terrifying in person. Having a companion – especially one as fearless and noble as Dogmeat – really helps take that terrifying edge off…

Well, it can take the edge off. Nothing will save you from the jumpscare of a freakin’ over-leveled Radscorpion jumping out of the floor!


(Even the workshop features transfer over to VR seamlessly. While I haven’t tried it yet, some of the regular Fallout 4 mods work in VR too.)

All said and done, in full roomscale VR, Fallout 4 is beautiful. This is the must have game of 2017 for the HTC Vive. I’ll recommend plenty more as time goes on, but you cannot pass up this game (assuming you have the hardware to play it!) Fallout 4 VR is only the start – Skyrim PC VR is confirmed for 2018!
Thanks for reading! If you want to see more, you can find my Twitch stream at twitch.tv/crimsonBZD – I not only play virtual reality, but a wide variety of games. Fun and friends are more important than playing like a pro. This article is just a glimpse of what I and VR have to offer. I plan on making more virtual reality videos and articles for you to enjoy. I want to give a huge shoutout to @ChelzBZD for editing this article

Thanks ya’ll!