Review: Super Stardust Ultra VR (PS4).
I have been with the Stardust series from the very beginning of its appearance on Sony consoles. I played every version for hours – PS3, PSP, Vita and PS4. I exhausted the PS3 release the most, but I was enthusiastic about the VR version. Unfortunately, here the developer lost some ideas with their implementation.
Bearing in mind the fact that almost all of the previous versions of Super Stardust HD offered unique features for their platforms, I expected VR to be properly used as well. Unfortunately, the only novelty available only for virtual reality is the Invasion Zone mode, where we sit at the controls of the ship and fly in a small location, shooting at enemies known from other modes. First impression – damn, even good! As in other sights, head movements are responsible for aiming, and the L2 and R2 buttons are responsible for firing the selected weapon. The rules are the same as in the regular game – we destroy successive waves of enemies and collect boosters to upgrade our weapons. I thought it was something that I would be able to spend more time with. Everything was in the best order as I was shooting what I saw by moving the left stick. But when it came to the camera rotation with the right analog, moving and tracking – I couldn’t stand it. Within seconds, I felt hot, then faint, and I felt the supper rising up my throat. I capitulated instantly, leaving this mode so as not to throw up.
The problem only affects this mode. Although people who are more resistant to the negative effects of VR may not feel discomfort, the matter is very individual. But I couldn’t stand it. I was also surprised that I didn’t have to turn off the game. Contrary to my common sense, I immediately launched the normal game modes, where we can see the action from above while sitting in space. The nausea was over immediately, and for the next hour it didn’t come back. This shows a certain pattern – when in a game we move with analogs, rotate the camera in the same way, and aim with head movements – the chances of nausea increase.
However, let’s go back to the usual modes, present in the basic version of the game on PS4 without the word VR. Here, in fact, my greatest disappointment happened. Super Stardust HD has always had a very nice graphics and special effects. On VR, of course, the graphics were hit very hard. In other games, it compensates for the effect of being in the game, which is missing here, because watching the planet from above, we are not in action. Yes, sometimes an enemy or a rock will fly past our ear, and the explosions after defeating the boss send particle effects around us, but this is temporary and in the case of rocks flying in front of our eyes – annoying, because it makes it difficult for us to play, which on further planets often determines will we be able to slip past the threat with surgical precision. Anyway, even without obstructing our view, there is a problem with it, because the lower quality of graphics in VR does not allow us to accurately calculate how much space we still have next to the obstacle or where we are at all.
Super Stardust Ultra VR (PS4) appears to be a title to which VR was quickly added, because Sony asked us to prepare something for the start of the equipment and to make it as much as possible. The title without VR will do, and I will even say that it is much better played, and one game mode does not compensate for the lower image quality. Probably one of the few advantages of releasing the game for VR is the presence of a boxed version in stores, which collectors will be pleased with.