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Recent reviews by Catlinman

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40.3 hrs on record (36.5 hrs at review time)
While some find that Beat Saber's pricing model going from the early-access price to the one it is now was an unprecedented move; having played the game for a good deal of time online and offline I can say that I'd gladly pay the full price that it is at right now.

Beat Saber is probably the most accessible, fun and by far the most engaging VR experience I have had the chance to play. The controls are tight and extremely responsive, the gameplay is simple and easy to learn but leaves vast room for mastery, the visuals are clean and don't get in your way while still making the game feel slick and refined.

One of the greatest pitfalls when it comes to rhythm games are beatmaps, songs or which ever other name you'd like to give them. Other games like Audioshield that came out early in the VR life-cycle allowed you to play any music you have but very much lacked impact when it came to playing songs. I didn't feel rewarding to complete a map, the music didn't feel synced and although the game was fun, it lacked the long term variety that other "real" rhythm games carry along with it. Luckily, Beat Saber isn't one of those games.

The music that you receive with the core game is perfectly tuned to give you the best beginner experience. Hitting notes is satisfying and keeps you wanting to push yourself more and more. That one retry, the step up to the next difficulty and then from there difficulty modifiers to give yourself that final push. Well, and where then? This is where the game just like other popular rhythm games absolutely shines. The community. There's countless mods out there that tweak the game just slightly but once you go beyond those and start loading in song loaders and explore what the community has created you will see just how far this game can be pushed in terms of style and creativity.

Let me say, contrary to the early release cycle of the game, in my opinion the developers have really stepped up the pace over the last year. With the two additional free content releases where the maps and difficulties feel challenging and more along the lines of what the community has created to adding absolute break-neck maps that only the most advanced and over the top players will master is fantastic. That in a base game alone without modifications is a big tell that the developers respect the community and their efforts to a degree.

If you are looking for a game that you can get into, learn and have it take you further than you expected; Beat Saber is that game!
Posted November 28, 2019.
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2 people found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record (2.8 hrs at review time)
To kick things off: Easily one of the best VR games I have played so far. If you want to try out a game that makes the most of what VR has to offer right now then go get it. Its presentation and responsiveness give it a place right next to the likes of Beat Saber and other high quality titles. The game is easy to learn but has enough mechanics to make later gameplay complex and demanding while not cluttering things too much. As such newcomers and veteran gamers should find the same level of enjoyment from this title.

The core premise is to use a bat to hit a ball into a dome around the player, striking tiles that are highlighted and making the ball pass over them until their heath is depleted. If you have ever played Breakout or Arkanoid the concept of the game should make sense to you right from the get-go. Racket: Nx introduces some interesting concepts by not having the actual game be a representation of blocks but to be a dome around the player. This allows the game to add what I would call a power slam. Hitting the ball at high force makes it stick to the wall for multiple tiles so you can combo hits together. Aim it right and hit a wall to make it ricochet into further tiles making you chain multiple hits together. Add in boost pads, a charged power slam and more mechanics down the line and you have yourself a very fun and satisfying game formula. On top of that you have leaderboards you can try to best by since each level is timed and not random which add a lot of replayability to the game.

Talking about some other aspects: The game has a stunning soundtrack that perfectly fits the vibe of the cyber/future technology art style of Racket: Nx. Bundle that with the custom spatial audio setup this game boasts and you really feel like you are stepping into the game the moment you put on the headset. The visuals also fit the entire aesthetic making you feel rather immersed after a few rounds. From a user interface standpoint (which to me is rather important to get right in a VR title) it does everything flawlessly. Nothing felt unresponsive. Everything from hitting the ball to navigating menus is simple, snappy and uncomplicated. The game also has a multiplayer mode which is a lot of fun, where you and a friend get to alternate hitting the ball on a level that is procedurally expanded. There is also a PvP mode which I have yet to try out but judging from playing with friends I'd say that this mode runs just as well as that but brings in a new competitive aspect beside the leaderboards! That brings me to the modes of the game: You have your normal Arcade and the Campaign. Arcade mode differs but having you run agains your ever decreasing health while trying to rack up as high of a score as possible. Pretty neat and good if you know the mechanics and just want to jump in for a few quick games!

One of my worries going into Racket: Nx was that I would find myself playing the game for an hour and then dropping it as I had seen everything it has to offer. I was rather surprised with how many new gameplay elements were introduced as levels got more difficult. Normally, games introduce shorter time limits, less lives and other simple tweaks to the core gameplay but Racket: Nx keeps one-upping itself by adding completely new elements that make you have to reconsider your playstyle and approach new levels with a strategy that you haven't tried before. This is probably the most important thing in the long run since you want to get your money's worth and that I can guarantee.

All in all, probably one of the best titles to make use of all that the current generation of VR has to offer.

I'm giving this one a 9/10 overall.
Posted August 14, 2018.
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