VR Review: Space Pirate Trainer’s new “Arena” is massive and mandatory (if you can)


If you already think that the average use case of RV was too uncomfortable, you are absolutely not in the target market Space Pirate Arena. Today, this new mode is achieved as a free upgrade of five-year VR success Space pirate trainer (whose new name, Space Pirate Trainer DX, still only costs $ 15 and is a good VR action option even for the smallest and weakest VR platforms).

Like other popular RV games, Space Pirate Arena it requires tying in a headset that covers your face, which is quite uncomfortable. In good news, the new completely free mode of this game does not require cables, PCs or external sensors, due to its exclusivity on the standalone Oculus Quest platform. In a way, you’re pretty liberated like this brand of space pirate.

But ArenaThe playable convenience ends here, as the mode pushes the Quest and Quest 2 headphones to their room detection limit: an exact 10 mx 10 m (32.8 ft x 32.8 ft) square in the room. VR laser you choose, not an inch (less). This is because Space Pirate Arena is a facsimile of fully blown laser tags, intended to resemble real-life zap-a-rama that you can associate with 80s and 90s malls.

Ambitious, awkward and hard to do, even compared to other RV games? In that, I had to dive. As a result, my review of this unique mode is mindful ArenaThe funniest and funniest aspects as they cover the flaws and annoyances of this version. Also, I came across some Facebook-related rage that hampered my testing (and that I could do the same with yours).

Probably cheaper than the plastic gun option

As I wrote earlier, ArenaThe sales presentation is as follows: Would you like to play a two-player laser tag in 2021? If so, you I could buy a pair of laser-labeled plastic guns and sensors, and you I could build a unique, elaborate room, full of hallways, windows, and duck and roof debris, which means you’ll need the materials, time, and space where this physical magic can be temporarily erected. (This list obviously doesn’t take into account optional tastes like a black light, a proper 80s rug, or a sick stereo system that pumps a bit of disco, techno, and pop-punk fusion).

You can also buy two Quest virtual reality headsets, two copies of the game Space Pirate Trainer DXand have two players in the same large room. (You’ll also need Wi-Fi, which I’ll get.) That’s a base price of $ 630 before taxes and the cost can increase a bit more if you get a mission with higher memory capacity or to help you with convenience. upgrades like a face liner or a head strap. However, this buy-in also gives you all the general use cases of virtual reality, and you will no doubt get more general use of virtual reality headphones than a real-world laser tag team.

I make this comparison specifically because I imagined that I, a 12-year-old, would make the above as a spreadsheet, present it to my parents, and organize a short seminar on why I thought this was the best birthday present of all. the times, you pleeeeease give it to me.

Fit to be square (eventually)

However, for adult Sam, the problems started when I started looking for suitable play spaces. My first thought was to get to a garage near my Seattle apartment. It’s not massive, but it was big enough to fit previous off-home testing of “unbound” VR systems. Unfortunately, this garage offers a large rectangle, no Space Pirate Arenaspecific demand: an exact square of 100 square meters.

This is thanks to a specific limitation of the Oculus Quest platform. After staring at a Quest headset in a new real-world space, the system turns on the outward-facing cameras and then asks users to point to the nearby floor and be able to paint a “guardian” boundary. Tell your virtual reality system where the ground ends and the nearby walls begin so you can properly frame the virtual nonsense that is to come. It works pretty well in the middle surroundings, but reaches a hard tracking limit when you’re in a room big enough. A guard space larger than a square of 10 mx 10 m and its line may be painted straight and at right angles to any edge.

In addition, both Oculus Quest models struggle to track your exact presence in an open field with no static visual indicators on the ceiling. It will work in a bit of a hurry, but you generally want to be inside with these sets to ensure stable RV tracking.

So I looked for an ideal space to boot into Space Pirate Arena, as the loading screen responds with a flick of your finger if you have not confirmed a maximum size tracking square within the Quest system settings. Finally, I found a space like this at PAX West 2021 last weekend: the exhibition’s media team kindly offered an interview room where no interviews were taking place. (As I reported, it was a strange PAX.)

Finally, I’m playing the game and I’m having a great time

Once I had everything set up, I booted up Space Pirate Arena by myself, knowing that I could at least fight built-in AI “droid” opponents. ArenaThe pre-battle lobby shows several options on a virtual screen floating on one edge of the room. Shoot it with the virtual weapon in hand to choose from the game’s predefined levels, check out the friends list, pick a few options, and then wait, how do you get started? I kept shooting at the virtual screen hoping to find some “home” button.

Eventually, I realized I needed to walk into one of the four “teleporters” within the pre-battle vacuum of this mode, which is essential for Arenathe presumption of the real world. You and a second player must start each game standing at opposite ends of the tracked playing space. Until the game finds out that you are not directly next to a real world opponent, it will not take you to a much more elaborate virtual world. The same applies when playing in single player mode, which makes it possible to skip a somewhat annoying hoop. Either way, you’ll need to keep track of an open room to start the mode. You should be able to walk to a small initial teleporter.

Do all this, and the game will darken and you will load one of your battlefields. Each of the five pre-built worlds on offer is designed to fit perfectly into a 10 mx 10 m square, and each is designed for optimal high-speed performance on weak Quest hardware. Don’t expect attractive graphics. Some spaces are surrounded by walls, while others are observed in the open sky and shuffle details into the distance. The textures and geometry are utilitarian, not magnificent, although developer I-Illusions has made an effort to enliven each scene with unique differentiated architectural details and varied aesthetics.

Once you’re there, there’s no maneuvering to talk about. Everything you do Arena it revolves around physical movement. Walk, sneak in, crawl, and hide with your arms and legs. Aim a pistol with one hand (which you can define in the game menus). The other hand holds a decent sized shield, which is activated with the push of a button. The shield also has a load gauge, so if you hold the shield too long or absorb too many attacks, it temporarily moves away.

The first thing to note is that all Arena the line of sight is disordered and limited by a healthy variety of walls, windows, corridors, and chest disorders. Start firing your gun at one of these rooms, and you’ll quickly realize that the virtual reality experience has nothing like stopping in an open room and shooting directly at an enemy who is eight feet away. Aim and shoot at a virtual wall and the laser will stop on impact. Hold down the gun trigger to “charge,” on the other hand, and this can fire a bouncing laser, which will be reflected on approximately 2-3 surfaces, possibly around a corner, which is tactically useful. Still, this costs you a buzz that your opponent will not only hear, but will be able to triangulate, using Quest’s built-in 3D position audio.

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