I figured I may as well check out at least one more VR game before the end of the year, a feeling that just happened to coincide with “oh yeah, I have a Gear VR sitting over there”, which I find myself saying once every few months. In all honesty, I’ve been reluctant to say too much on the virtual reality front, half because I don’t think that my experiences with the technology, as someone that refuses to spend money on software, are typical, but also because there’s really just not a whole lot going on. I think VR is going to be fine in the long term, but the growing pains are rough.
Limiting myself only to free software has been an… interesting journey to say the least. I liken it to someone trying to find out what Steam is all about only playing the shovelware that populates the storefront every day. But with new technology comes the thrill of seeing it at its most raw and unrefined, which sums up most of what I’ve seen; a lot of people excited to make something for VR without really knowing what consumers are looking for.
New to the Oculus Store this go-round was a section known as the “Gallery Apps”. Far as I can tell, this is the Wild West of VR, the place for the mostly unregulated to roam free, warning players to try at their own risk. Most notably is the lack of any information when it comes to the comfort level of a lot of these titles, something that VERTI-GO HOME! seems to use as a selling point. It brags about how it’s “intense, crazy, sickness inducing” and “like a rollercoaster”. As a theme park enthusiast, I was intrigued, hoping that I may be able to somehow emulate the thrills of The American Eagle without having to purchase a day pass at Six Flags.
Placing you in a tunnel, traveling at an ever-increasing speed whilst dodging obstacles with your head movements, it feels less like a coaster and more like the tea cups; but a more demented version of the tea cups, perhaps while squeezed between two other people that like to elbow you in the sternum at every turn. Within a matter of minutes, I felt as if I had been superglued to the inside of a supercharged cement mixer. Not only did I want to vomit, but I felt as if the remainder of my time on Earth was going to consist of nothing but groans of despair in between bouts of more vomiting.
In fairness, it works as advertised.