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  • Gungrave VR Set To Shoot Up PSVR Next Month
    Gungrave VR Set To Shoot Up PSVR Next Month

    Beat Saber may be out, but there are at least two more PSVR release to keep an eye on this year. One is Borderlands 2 VR, the other is something a little different.

    Iggymob’s Gungrave VR, a PSVR-exclusive port of a cult classic shooter, will be hitting the platform on December 11th 2018, which is just a few days ahead of Borderlands. The game will arrive with two editions: a standard version costs $29.99 but the deluxe ‘Loaded Coffin’ edition also includes a second standalone game, Gungrave U.N., for $39.99. Also playable in VR, Gungrave U.N. expands on the story of the original game with three new levels.

    In the standard game, you control a stylish assassin named Beyond The Grabe (really) that blasts his way through levels. Gameplay is comprised both of the free-moving third-person sequences seen in the original game and new first-person sequences in which you’ll either be moving on-rails or standing still and fending off hordes of enemies. Gungrave U.N. will also introduce new side-scrolling missions. You’ll be able to pick it up separately for $14.99.

    Gungrave VR came out in Japan late last year though we’re still not exactly sure how the game’s going to turn out. There isn’t much left on the PSVR front for the year, though, so it may be worth keeping an eye on this.

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  • Space Pirate Trainer Blasts Its Way Onto PSVR Next Week
    Space Pirate Trainer Blasts Its Way Onto PSVR Next Week

    Space Pirate Trainer was, for many VR early adopters, one of the very first games to ever grace the lenses of their HTC Vive headsets. The game debuted on Steam in  Early Access right alongside the Vive itself and was a picture-perfect example of how to do a wave shooter in VR that was both fun and challenging.

    Last year it finally released out of Early Access and now, on November 27th (next week!) PSVR users will get their chance to take a shot at the swarming hordes of robot enemies. That’s the same date that bow and arrow roguelike shooter, In Death, also releases on PSVR.

    We’ve been working super hard on delivering a kick-ass #PSVR version of SPACE PIRATE TRAINER and guess what… It’s coming next week! Get off your sofa on November 27th 2018 to dance yourself into the SPT hall of fame. pic.twitter.com/ppWWGt5T3e

    — Dirk Van Welden (@quarkcannon) November 20, 2018

    We found out about the news by way of a tweet from Project Lead at developer I-Illusions, Dirk Van Welden. According to Van Welden in follow-up tweets, the only differences between the existing PC VR version and the upcoming PSVR version is a “a custom chaperone system which keeps you in the tracking area in a stylized and natural way” due to Sony’s 180-degree front-facing tracking limitations. Anyone that’s played Space Pirate Trainer will tell you though that the majority of the game plays like that naturally anyway.

    This is good news for PSVR owners as more and more of the best PC VR titles continue to make their way to the flagship console gaming VR device.

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  • London Communities Re-design a Local Park Using VR Hobs 3D studio and Peabody lead the Claridge Way Community Co-Design Initiative.
  • Marvel: Powers United VR Continues To Add Much-Needed Variety
    Marvel: Powers United VR Continues To Add Much-Needed Variety

    One of our biggest complaints about Oculus Studios’ Marvel: Powers United VR is that it didn’t have much in the way of variety. Outside of a few unique heroes, you’d seen pretty much everything the game had to offer within the first few matches. But developer Sanzaru Games is slowly but surely changing that.

    This week sees the launch of the game’s third major patch, which adds another new objective phase into the arena-based battler. The phase, named Planetary Assault, has you fighting through enemies to activate cannons that will take out enemy frigates. It’s a random phase that can trigger on any map, and is complemented by tweaks to boss battles, character tuning, UI fixes and more.

    But Sanzaru isn’t stopping there. In the next patch the developer will introduce yet another new phase, Nuke Defense, in which you’ll have to scan the map for nuclear bombs and deactivate them as a team. If they go off, the team fails the mission. On top of that, Patch 4 will introduce the Data Runner enemy type, which will hide in spots on the map and transmit data to the Masters of Evil. Taking them out rewards you with a temporary buff and extra points.

    It’s great to see Sanzaru addressing Powers United’s core issues like this, though we still have two big questions on our minds: when are new heroes coming (including Iron Man) and is the game going to launch on Oculus Quest? Hopefully we’ll have these answers soon.

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  • VR Furballs Coming to Oculus Quest & PlayStation VR in 2019 The casual VR title has recently left Early Access.
  • Firewall’s Second DLC Adds New Class, Weapons And More
    Firewall’s Second DLC Adds New Class, Weapons And More

    It may have been a busy time for new PSVR releases of late but you shouldn’t forget about one of our favorite games of the year, Firewall Zero Hour. In fact, there’s a bunch of new content for the online shooter this week.

    Developer First Contact just launched its second batch of DLC for the game, which is headlined by a new contractor named Nash. She brings a new skill to the game, Binary, which lets you bring an additional C4 pack on a mission. You can pick her up for $3.99 and then there’s a bunch of cosmetic releases like weapons and character skins going for $0.99 a piece of in bundles of $2.99 each. PS Plus members can also get a free ‘Lil Skp’ trinket.

    DLC #2 is live! Introducing a new Contractor, Nash, w/ Binary skill (skill allows Double C4 and is achievable by all players) + new weapons, skins, camo, & a free Lil’ Skip Trinket for PS Plus users! pic.twitter.com/Cwn2gcY4cP

    — First Contact Entertainment (@firstcontactent) November 20, 2018

    Finally, First Contact has added some new weapons to unlock, including the XM-R 90, G6 Commando, and Spitfire.

    We think Firewall is one of the best games on PSVR right now, so it’s great to see it getting more content. That said, we’re still holding out to see some core improvements to the game like increasing the amount of time players spend in matches and more.

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  • Beat Saber DLC: Devloper Planning 30 New Songs
    Beat Saber DLC: Devloper Planning 30 New Songs

    Still enjoying Beat Saber on your Rift, Vive, or now on PSVR? Well that’s good, because there’s plenty of new content on the way.

    During a livestream celebrating this week’s launch of the PSVR version of the VR hit (which you can see below), Beat Games talked about its plans for adding new songs. The team said it’s already planning to add 30 news songs across three upcoming DLC packs (10 tracks a pack). The developer said each of these packs should cost around $9.99 and will hopefully arrive “soon”. The first pack is apparently locked in and the second is nearing completion.

    “And this is not just regular songs,” said Beat Games CEO Jaroslav Beck. “I think you will be really excited for these coming because the quality is really the best part for us so I’m trying to get really interesting music.” He assured that these new packs won’t just include songs from “major labels” but also more independent creators.

    “So basically the whole thing with the music is that it will evolve. Like the whole game, it will evolve pretty rapidly,” said Beck. He talked about the struggles the team had faced getting new music into the game thus far, including scrapping plans for Spotify support which that found out was legally “not possible”.

    “We are trying to search for options on how to make more tracks and more songs,” Beck added, also noting that packs with certain themes like K-Pop may also tweak the game’s visuals somewhat to better suit the music. As for the Level Editor and Multiplayer modes? They’re still very much on the way, the developer says. Just hold out a little longer, Beat Saber fans.

    It’s great to see that Beat Saber will be getting more songs. As we said in our review this week, we absolutely adore the game.

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  • Oculus Go Standalone VR Headset, Accessory And Game Buying Guide
    Oculus Go Standalone VR Headset, Accessory And Game Buying Guide

    Oculus Go is an all-in-one VR headset — it is a “standalone’ with no need for a PC or phone — and it comes with simple 3DoF movement tracking for both the headset and its single hand controller.

    This means Oculus Go is best used seated and many of the most compelling VR games like Beat Saber and Superhot will never work on this system. Even so, Oculus Go can be quite compelling for private video viewing or for occasional games. Here’s our guide to the headset itself, accessories you might want to think about and the first games and experiences you should buy for the headset if you decide to pick one up.

    What is Oculus Go?

    Oculus Go’s $200 pricing was leaked in mid-2017, but the headset was formally revealed at the Oculus Connect 4 VR developer’s conference. The system started shipping in May 2018 starting at $200 in two versions that differ only in storage capacity — either 32 GB or 64GB for around $250.

    Facebook advertises Oculus Go as supporting more than 1,000 apps and games because it is built on the framework the company built years earlier for the Samsung Gear VR. Millions of people received Gear VR bundled for free with the purchase of a Samsung phone, but because the VR mode on these phones drained power so quickly not many people wanted to expend the energy and time to use their phone this way.

    While it doesn’t require a phone to operate, Oculus Go uses an app on Android and iPhone to manage the headset and activate a casting feature so that a friend can see what the player in VR sees. Oculus Go features integrated audio, so it has a microphone built in and sound comes out of the sides of the headset near the ears. You can also connect standard 3.5 mm headphones.

    Advice: Oculus Go is a dedicated standalone VR headset that solves some of the problems facing phone-based VR combined with the strongest library of content you will find in this price range.

    32 GB or 64 GB

    The best VR games available on Oculus Go range in size considerably from Virtual Virtual Reality at 315 MB to Eclipse: Edge of Light at around 1 GB. Hopefully, apps like Netflix add support for locally downloaded videos but that’s not the case as of this writing, so there isn’t a huge reason to upgrade for the extra storage since you can re-download apps at any time.

    As long as you’ve got solid Wi-Fi connectivity, there’s YouTube VR and Netflix apps as well as a robust Internet browser for other Web-based services and videos. If you’re not connected to the Internet, Oculus offers video rentals and purchases that can be locally downloaded and it is possible to sideload content onto the device with some work.

    Advice: 32 GB is plenty of storage for most Oculus Go owners, but if you opt to buy 64 GB it is because you like having lots of local content and are expecting to store lots

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  • Check Out These 2018 Black Friday VR Deals

    Make the most of your holiday savings with these discounted offers. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many families find themselves in crunch mode as they prepare for the unbridled chaos of the upcoming holiday season. Whether it be visiting family members or entertaining friends, most can agree there are few celebrations more stressful than

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  • Robert Rodriguez Takes Viewers to ‘The Limit’ in his Latest Film The 360 film stars Michelle Rodriguez and Norman Reedus.
  • Gungrave VR is Coming to PlayStation VR in December Pre-orders are now available.
  • Squishies Review: A Cutesy Puzzler At Its Best When You Let Go
    Squishies Review: A Cutesy Puzzler At Its Best When You Let Go

    Don’t let Squishies’ plush exterior fool you; this is a challenging PSVR puzzler. The VR debut from Typoman developer Brainseed may not have the immediate ingenuity of the game the team made its name on, but there’s something here for VR fans in search of a challenge.

    In Squishies, you use two Move controllers to guide rotund and utterly adorable little critters towards a goal zone, collecting optional crystals along the way. Levels are presented as dioramas that are a joy to explore, trying to find hidden items and secret passages within. Pulling the Move’s triggers will blow air, pushing a Squishy away from them, whilst the Move button will pull it back towards you. It’s a tricky mechanic that requires deep concentration and quick reactions to master, otherwise, you’ll send your pudgy little balls of goo careening off of cliff sides and straight into other perils.

    Brainseed’s genius, though, is to allow the player to decide what kind of challenge they want from the game. Each of Squishes’ 100 levels ranks you based on how many of the optional crystals you collect, how many Squishies you get to the goal and how quickly you reach the finish. There’s no fail state and often plenty of checkpoints; you can take as many tries as you like to get to the finish without worrying about starting over, meaning planning and patience will be all you need to see through the entire game. That said, there are a fair amount of lengthy and demanding levels, which will sometimes leave you infuriated. It’s a balance Squishies doesn’t always get right.

    Getting all crystals and beating time trials is, however, another story. Even Squishes’ earliest levels are frankly hellishly difficult if you aim for these goals. It’s great that the challenge is there for those that want it but I was more than satisfied aiming for level completion alone. Tight spots and difficulty spikes mean that’s trying enough as it is.

    There are some unfortunate hiccups with the controls too. Brainseed has done a pretty good job getting the best out of the Move controllers, allowing you to pull yourself through the world and scale it both up and down with a few button presses, but the nature of Squishes’ reaction-based marble maze means that you’ll sometimes be putting the Move controllers in places that PSVR’s camera will disagree with. Add to that the fact that it’s easy to mix up pushing and pulling on the controller and you’ll have a lot of accidental deaths on your hands. It’s frustrating to have to wrestle with the controls on especially difficult spots, though it’s never game-breakingly bad.

    Otherwise, there’s little reason to complain. With those 100 pre-made levels you’re already looking at hours of entertaining content with Squishies, and the campaign makes some welcome twists and turns by introducing new mechanics along the way. It is, quite simply, a very playable puzzler, and something that I was happy to kill time in. If you’re looking for anything deeper than that,

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  • WITHIN’s ‘Wonderscope’ App Provides Reading Education Through AR Storytelling

    ‘Wonderscope’ is a magical window into an interactive world where kids learn to read using augmented reality. The Los Angeles based start-up Within has a released a new storytelling app called ‘Wonderscope’, and its creative approach to storytelling will make you feel a whole lot better about letting your child spend all day an iPad

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  • Scraper: First Strike — Meet The Humans And Humechs
    Scraper: First Strike — Meet The Humans And Humechs

    The sci-fi shooter Scraper: First Strike is almost out, and we thought we’d take a look at some of the characters in the game to give you an idea of some of the humans you’ll be protecting and the self-aware automatons – the Humechs — looking to destroy humankind in order to save them all.

    Set in New Austin in 2075, Scraper: First Strike pits the human race against a band of highly-organized sentient robots. You’ll have to take back the city skyscraper by skyscraper (eg. “scrapers”), each one built for a specific purpose such as providing power, growing food or serving as a medical facility.

    Humans

    In Scraper, you play as Casey Maxwell, an elite operative in the Human Resistance Force. With the help of your armed Modified Hover Pod, your mission is to defend the human race from the AI uprising.

     

    Humechs

    The Humechs are led by Cifer, an ultra-intelligent AI created to design and build additional robotic units. After seeing countless wars and the greedy, aggressive nature of mankind, Cifer came to realize the principal reason AIs existed – to aid humans — was a grand paradox, and ultimately the only way to protect humankind was to eliminate them completely as humans were the primary danger to themselves.

     

     

    Scraper: First Strike is the premiere episode in a five-part episodic series. It will be available on Rift, Vive and Windows MR on November 21, and on PSVR on December 18.

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  • IAAPA: The 10 Biggest Insights From The World’s Largest Amusement Expo
    IAAPA: The 10 Biggest Insights From The World’s Largest Amusement Expo

    Whether you are in the market for a roller coaster, a water slide, or the latest VR experience – last week’s annual IAAPA Attractions Expo showcased the best of everything that an operator in the amusement park and attractions industry could need, with a trade show floor spanning over 600,000 square feet. Among the 42,000 attendees, nearly 27,000 of them were buyers, some of them spending millions of dollars each, over the span of a few days at the event.

    VR had a noticeable presence at IAAPA this year, and there were some very successful VR companies with strong sales. But with VR competing against non-VR experiences for buyers’ dollars, it is valuable for VR experience companies to learn more about what entertainment center operators are seeking.

    Entertainment Center Operators Don’t Want VR Experiences

    Operators are not looking for VR experiences. Let me elaborate. Entertainment center operators from around the world do not want VR experiences — they want attractions. Any VR offering needs to engage as much guest interest as the top non-VR attractions, driving guests to the entertainment center that it is in. The VOID is an attraction, but a simple VR headset setup with content you can also get at home, is not.

    To learn more about what entertainment center operators are looking for, I sat down with George Wendt, Owner-Operator of Arcade Rev Share. He owns 18 centers and spends between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 on attractions annually, equating to about 8-10 new units. Wendt has purchased a range of VR simulations, along with other attractions such as bowling, go carts, mini golf and laser tag. He explains the necessary elements of an attraction in order for him to be interested in a purchase:

    First, it needs to be fun – the type of fun that his guests would want to do again and again.
    Second, it needs to command attention: “The bigger, the brighter, the better it earns.”
    Third, it needs to be able to pay for itself after the first 6-9 months in market.
    And finally, it needs to come from a manufacturer that can be trusted.

    While a VR attraction may not always make as much as his ‘redemption’ games, where guests earn points or tickets to be able to ‘buy’ prizes, it needs to attract guests to try it out, and then spend on redemption games.

    Redemption Games Are the Top Money Makers

    “I make my money $1 at a time,” explains Wendt.

    Among the many attractions he purchased at IAAPA this year is the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory experience pictured above. With simple mechanics and short game play, guests enjoy these experiences as they have the chance to win big on tickets or reward points that can then be used to redeem for prizes.

    I have yet to see a VR attraction integrate redemption functionality, despite many of the games tracking individual and team points. But as large entertainment center operators start to purchase and invest in these attractions, I have no doubt that this will soon be done, and it will help

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