Interactive dark rides can be some of the best rides that you can go on. Some have you moving on a track as you try and hit targets, while others may have you seated to have a 4D experience. But they usually have one thing in common, the score. Not only are you trying to compete against others, but for those with a competitive nature, try to outscore ourselves. But before you know it, the experience you had is over in just a few minutes and then in order to try again, you would have to stand in a line. But has Developer Ivanovich Games found a way to allow us to enter into a world with no waiting and being able to show everyone that you are the best in the world? Let’s find out with Beat Blaster for the PlayStation VR.
Beat Blaster is a first and foremost, a runner game. But I will say I did not get the feeling like I was actually running as much as I felt like I was on a ride. Your job is to shoot your way through the levels while getting to certain checkpoints within a certain amount of time all while trying to avoid obstacles that may come your way. But this is not a typical runner or sorts as you have to really get used to two parts. The first part is the firing of your weapon that can fire at a regular pace or rapid-fire (that can and will overheat). The second part is the moving part is the moving. I say this because you lean forward to move forward, move your head side to side to go from left to right, and slow down or stop by leaning back. It honestly did not take me that long to get used to it and once I did, the fun never stopped.
The first thing you will notice before you really start Beat Blaster is your control choices. You can select from DualShock 4, Move controllers or the Aim Controller with upcoming support for the 3DRudder.
When I first started, I decided to go with the Move controllers. By selecting this scheme allows you to have a weapon in each hand, which is nice. But when you add the learning of the movement, which again did not take that long) and a weapon in each hand, my thought early on was really? Not in a bad way by any means as the Move controllers work extremely well. It was just getting used to everything.
The second thing you will notice is there are no instructions. To the left basically shows the control movement you can select from which is by analog stick, tilting or moving your head. I went with the movement option so I would just move my head. Is this the best option? Maybe…maybe not as that will depend on you. Directly in front of you is where you shoot in order to enter the first level, and to the left, you will see the mighty, the ones that have come before you to try and have their legacy upon the mighty boards. Needless to say, aim for each and every single one of them and become the best Beat Blaster player you can be.
But one of the things that make Beat Blaster a blast to play is that each level, no matter how many times you may die, is never the same. So if you get to a part that tripped you up, you are immediately put back to the room where you first started, but you don’t have to go back all the way at the beginning as you just continue the start of the newest level.
But along with starting the level over as I mentioned, is the level is not the same. So trying to memorize a certain path and you think you go this, will change it up so that what you thought you have, you never really had, and just shows the ones on those leaderboards are trying to prove that they are in fact, somewhat better than you at that level. Don’t let them keep you down. You stand up, you rise up, and you shot your way through that level in the fastest time possible.
Obstacles in the levels vary from cannons on the walls to cannons that are protected by shields to laser beams to targets to even floating ones that will shoot balls at you. And just when you think you have a turn made, here comes a ball or a shot that has been fired from the cannon from above that hits you at that one moment that you realize you were so close to the end that you could see it, it was your victory, and you got robbed of your moment. Speaking of obstacles, things start to change up and get added the further you go. When you start adding pathways that can move you forward at a faster speed or even to the left or right or even crossing both, it can add to the intense action-packed shooting and dodging fun that is within Beat Blaster.
But it wasn’t until a little bit later that as much fun as I was having with the Move controllers, I kinda forgot about using the Aim controller. But I am more than happy to say that if you own the Aim controller then the aiming is spot on and it feels so right playing Beat Blaster with it, that I never went back to the Move controllers nor did I even attempt to use the DualShock 4. It was just that good.
Beat Blaster is doesn’t go heavy on the graphics and it doesn’t need to. Would some love a pro patch, possibly. But with everything going on from moving and shooting to obstacles that are trying to end your reign to doors that have to be unlocked to even those that revolve, I never once looked at a cannon on the wall or flying obstacles and thought this could be sharper. There is something almost like a Virtual Reality within a Virtual Reality look that is going on here and that is something I can really appreciate.
With the sound, you are getting some pretty cool music where each level is a different song. The way the environment reacts to the music is wonderfully done and not once did I ever get tired of the music or find it too loud as I was just enjoying it as much as I was experiencing it.
If there is anything I would love to see added would be the ability to add your own music. Imagine going down a level to some of your favorite bands would be an awesome addition. But then if that got added, could then leaderboards based on a particular song then be added so you could see who would be the best in the world for that particular song or band? Stranger things have happened.
Beat Blaster opens the doorway to a no waiting in lines ride and allows us to show how good we are all while bringing the addiction that pulls you in the type of attitude. In our daily lives, we tend to overlook the smaller things while sometimes over appreciating the bigger things. Maybe if we all start overlooking some of the bigger things and appreciate the smaller things in life, who knows how better of a place we would all be in life.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to climb.