VR, to boldly game like we never gamed before...

I noticed that https://vrdb.app/ has interesting historical data, with it, we can know what games has sold* the most in Quest in 2021.
Ratings gained from 2021/01/01 to 2021/12/31

Beat Saber: 10696 ratings
RecRoom: 10364 ratings (free)
Walking Dead S&S : 8856 ratings
Blade & Sorcery: 7241 ratings (released on 11/14)
VRChat: 5895 ratings (free)
Gorn: 5644 ratings
Resident Evil 4: 5634 ratings (released on 10/31)
Onward: 5622 ratings
Population One: 5535 ratings
Superhot VR: 5175 ratings
The Room Vr: 5085 ratings
Supernatural: 4208 ratings
Walkabout Minigolf: 4060 ratings
A Township Tale: 4038 ratings (released on 07/25)
Job Simulator: 3757 ratings
Demeo: 3648 ratings (released on 05/09)
The Thrill of Fight: 3260 ratings
Five Nights at Freddys: 2627 ratings
Pistol Whip: 2384 ratings

*: not really, but we can correlate number of ratings to number of units sold, more or less

It seems finally in 2022 a game will surpass Beat Saber, I’m talking of Blade & Sorcery ETA for the studio to be bought by FB?. RE4VR sold less but it did pretty well, taking in account it costs twice as much.

The very highly rated InDeath Unchained is an example of the dearth of quality content in VR. It’s a decent enough archery game, but it’s so lacking as a full experience. It would be trounced if something like this would release on the non-VR market. Let’s hope the entire market starts to heat up in 2022.

What the game does it right?
-Art. It looks nice for a Quest title.

In what other areas is mediocre, if not bad? In most of them. Some of my complaints:

-Half the enemies are ‘elite’ reskins. Real enemy variety is actually lower than I’d like.
-There isn’t basically anything beyond normal archery. There aren’t traps that you have to avoid or use against the enemies.
-Or there isn’t anything interactive like breaking a oil barrel and then putting it on fire with a fire arrow, or elemental effects like using an ice arrow to make a icey patch in the ground.
-There isn’t any player progression in a run, beyond getting money, health or arrows (and money only serves to get the latter in shops). No attribute progression, no randoms perks like wall climbing or arrow splitting or faster running. No builds or combos to do with perks (imagine if you combine the previous example with 'extra damage depending on your speed).
-No weapon random traits, weapon levels, or ugprades.
-This is obvious, but being an archery game, there are no other player classes, and in fact only two weapons, normal bow and crossbow.
-There is a big difficulty curve in between the trivial first level and the second one, much harder (combo of open spaces, more enemies, enemies that fly high in the sky are hard to hit, even the traversal is harder given the verticality).
-The game fails on important stuff like sound feedback. There is a special sound f/x that sound when an enemy teleports, but there is no good indication of where they are , nor they make a sound if someone in walking towars you from behind. They are strangely silent (well, they are spirits and shit so it makes sense in the lore, but still gameplay wise, it’s a bad choice!).

But because it’s a bit more involved than a shooting gallery, it’s considered good.

It’s a classic example of a game being more than the sum of its parts. Sure, if you break it down like that you’ll find it lacking, but in execution I found it compelling.

No there isn’t any player progression, but there is arrrow type and enemy progression through unlocking certain achievements. That counts because it enables a balance between further progression and greater challenge as you get further. Admittedly it’s pretty limited compared with your standard roguelite, but does everything need to have that kind of meta structure?

I mean you’re right, a lot of VR games seem like excellent proof of concept projects with much unrealised potential, but that’s also very indie. As for In Death: Unchained, I think it achieves what it sets out to do.

I agree with that… picked it up on sale, and for £10, I’ve easily spent six hours and I haven’t tired of the gameplay yet. It fricken hard though… I’ve yet to beat either of the two bosses I’ve met. And yes, at times I wondered if I had met my limit, but then I killed that bat and it opened up the next nevel, and it’s very pretty… not sure when I’ll ever unlock the one that requires me to beat the boss six times, but the mechanics are so sharp, I’ll always come back for a quick session here and there and keep trying.

I think that’s key with VR games… if you’re not going to provide a deep story campaign, make sure your core game is very replayable, and a lot of the games on the quest are.

That’s a good example where progressing to the point of unlocking… uh… certain arrow types makes that boss considerably easier. It feels like the game is rewarding you for having persevered and learned its systems sufficiently to give you a pass, if you need it, to the second area. I love the second area.

The explosive arrow (Cataclysm) makes short work of the first boss. In fact imo there is too much difference in fighting him with it vs fighting whim wihout it.

Yup… I unlocked the ricochet cataclysm arrow right at the same time I got the amulet that lowers the bosses’ health… I think I had previously tried the bomb arrows on him but wasn’t able to kill him before the swarm of red priests got me, and so thought I was forced to do cat and mouse no matter what… but with his health down I just unloaded on him till he went down.

The level you move on to is really impressive, floating in the clouds, and the women wraiths and little Cupid dudes are no joke.

The arrow you unlock by killing the boss also makes that fight far easier in the future, making the six kills unlock quite possible.

Especially when you hear them teleport in above your head.

I still haven’t been able to complete any of those haunted cathedral window portals in the first area. It’s a serious challenge with nowhere to retreat.

Quest v37

Does anyone actually use Stationary Guardian? I just turn the Guardian off completely if I’m seated. I mean, I know I’m not going anywhere so it serves no purpose, and it removes the occasional immersion breaking trigger if I move a controller within range. I guess the only downside is that double tap to turn on passthrough doesn’t work if the Guardian is disabled, but I can live with that.

I think only Dev mode lets you turn it off.

Not really; when I’m seated with Quest it’s on the couch, so I’m using the couch mode!

I set that up once, then the Quest forgot my Guardian for the billionth time two days later, and I thought… let me see if I can remember the exact words that came to mind… oh yes, that’s right… “fuck this shit”.

You’re right, I’ve had it on for so long I’d forgotten it wasn’t a default option.

Has Airlink been updated? The beta setting in the Oculus desktop app seems to have disappeared for me.

A pair of trailers

Ultrawings 2 is releasing soon

I’m all in. And thank god they have normal machine gun sounds in there now, the laser zappy sounds in the first one are extremely grating.

Steam Lunar Sale - VR edition

(and many more…)