DolphinVR – Playing Gamecube Games in Virtual Reality

Dispite being reasonably dated at this point and fairly difficult to understand at times, DolphinVR is a great example of emulation and VR support going hand in hand. The games that really shine in my opinion from what I’ve tried is The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX and Super Smash Bros Melee.

It’s compatible with Gamecube games, Wii games, and various Virtual Console titles. Word of warning however, all sorts of graphical glitches can occur even on supported games. You’re going to have to optimize most of these games individually, and it will be tedious. The creator of the emulator doesn’t update DolphinVR much, if at all so your main hope is to find other users who’ve dabbled in playing the games you’re interested in to find out optimal per game settings. The DolphinVR mantra is certainly trial and error, but for me it was definitely worth it just to inhabit the worlds of my youth. Sometimes it’s fun to throw a random Gamecube game at it from time to time just to see if it’s compatible or not. Even if it seems like it’s not, I tend to take some time to troubleshoot the graphical settings until I can determine¬†whether or not the game is a bust for the time being. For instance, I got Beyblade V-Force running at one point and it was surprisingly immersive. Here’s the footage of that if you’re interested in getting a glimpse for yourself.

Beyblade V-Force

I also tried out some Virtual Console titles which enabled me to play Super Mario 64 and Starfox 64 in VR as well. It was a blast, although Super Mario 64 has a flickering sky bug so you’ll either have to install a texture pack or use OpenGL’s Free Look plugin in order to move the camera so that the clouds don’t cause any discomfort.

Either way, it’s up to you but I highly recommend trying out one of the games listed above in DolphinVR if you have an Oculus or a Vive. You can download the latest version of it by clicking on the link below as it will redirect you the site.

Download

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates!

 

PSVR Impressions: The Playroom VR

Along with Farpoint I looked into the free experiences on PSN that utilized PSVR and noticed a game titled “The Playroom VR” and gave it a shot. I had a lot more fun than I expected, especially given the fact that The Playroom is designed more as a family-oriented game or something to bust out when you have friends over to win them over to VR.

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The game itself has numerous minigames, some of which can be played on your own and others which are more geared at people playing alongside others. An example of this would be Wanted, where you’re a gunslinger visiting an old fashioned saloon and trying to figure out which one of the characters is the culprit. The way the multiplayer is integrated is quite creative, as your friends can give you information regarding the identity of the culprit from outside of the headset and relay it to you. It reminds me of the mechanics from “Shut Up And Nobody Explodes” in a sense.

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There’s also Monster Escape, which has you play as a Godzilla variant wrecking havoc upon a city. I found this one quite compelling as it tracks your head movements, so you can actually head-butt buildings. That being said, I would advise freeing up a lot of space around you before attempting this mini-game in particular seeing as you could easily cause yourself an injury otherwise.

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Easily my favorite of the bunch was Robot Rescue, which plays as a traditional 3D platformer in many ways, but implements VR mechanics in a very non-gimmicky fashion that truly increases the replay value and makes you wish this was an actual full-length game. The Dualshock controller plays quite a huge role in this entry, as it is literally used as a form of progression in-game. A hook can be shot out of the controller and attached to provide a tightrope for the character to walk on. An interesting addition is the fact that the game technically isn’t being played in third person, even though you have an overhead perspective of the robot character you’re controlling because if enemies collide with the camera it ends up damaging you as well. So essentially, you’re controlling another character while in the first person view of the character guiding the robot character. Is that confusing enough for ya?

Throughout Robot Rescue you collect small coins, but some are unobtainable unless you’re playing with friends so if you’re a completionist of sorts you might want to invite a few friends along for the ride. As mentioned previously, the game ends way too soon and has a surprising amount of potential as a stand-alone title. I’d say for the price of free, this mini-game alone makes this title definitely worth downloading if you own a PSVR.

 

 

 

 

PSVR Impressions: Farpoint

Hi there! I’ve just recently acquired a PSVR and have tried it out a bit so I’m going to write out my first impressions of it. If you don’t know what it is, it’s essentially a VR headset designed for certain PS4 games that support VR.

 

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In either case, it came with a game called Farpoint. Seeing as I haven’t used any other HMDs (Head-mounted display) as opposed to the Oculus DK2 prior to this I was surprised by how quickly I got immersed. The intro was especially breath-taking. I really liked how accurately the game tracked the in-game gun I was holding during gameplay. The bundle I purchased came with a separate accessory specifically for the gun, but I didn’t want to knock everything over so I went with the Dualshock controller instead. In case you’re wondering how that works, the Playstation Camera tracks your controller while you’re playing and has it serve as the weapon while playing.

Some neat mechanics have been added to the weapon in order to add a little variety. A scanner is incorporated into the rifle as well to give the player the option to utilize it for plot development purposes in certain areas. I also liked the fact that if you lean your head towards the center of the rifle, you can actually use the iron-sight. It’s a nice touch that adds a layer of interactivity to the gunplay.

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While playing the game I did feel a little tense at times due to the devs getting into the habit of regularly sending spiders your way at the worst of times. You wouldn’t think that it would be that bad, but once you’re in the game world it can be a definite concern at times. Most definitely wouldn’t recommend this game if you have arachnophobia.

That being said, the surroundings are gorgeous and in my opinion a great way to introduce a newcomer to VR. A lot of times I’d just look around in awe and observe the environmental effects and take in the vistas far beyond.

I also didn’t get motion sick from playing the game, which is a definite plus. It’s designed around your player not being able to turn around completely, but you still get the chance to observe your whereabouts by looking around. I’d describe it in a similar fashion to a walking simulator in terms of movement options.

Overall, I found this game to be a great introduction into the world of PSVR and a blast to play through. Just, y’know, be vary of spiders. They’ll straight up lunge at you.

 

 

 

 

 

VR The Future

When I first heard about VR (Virtual Reality) gaming, my curiosity was peaked although I still had the initial skepticism concerning if the tech of today was up to par to deliver an experience that could be classified as true VR. In fact, I didn’t even know what true VR was since I had never truly experienced it for myself.

Dispite being very intrigued by the concept early on, I didn’t buy into the Oculus Kickstarter and didn’t purchase a VR headset until much later when I finally settled for an Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2) which was still prior to the release of the consumer edition a lot of you are familar with today.

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Nonetheless, I strapped it on and when I saw the Oculus Home screen for the first time I completely lost it. I had read so many initial reactions to VR before trying it myself, but the instant I was in it and immersed myself with my new surroundings I knew this was way more than a mere gimmick. This was the future. Not just for gaming either, it’s mind-boggling imagining the practical applications it could have in all kinds of different fields just by utilizing the technology in new and interesting ways. Plus, this is just the beginning. Imagine how much it can evolve with time. The consumer edition of the Oculus has touch controls which further add to the immersion of being in a separate reality, so imagine what nifty additions can be thought of and implemented with time.

More and more casual gamers are growing increasingly aware and interested in VR with time. Especially with the addition of the Vive and PSVR as competitors, it’s clear to see that VR is here to stay. 3DTV’s didn’t even have a chance. Not when you can physically be inside the world. It’s escapism on a whole new level. Trust me, you can’t determine this based on the clips you’ve seen on Youtube. This has to be experienced first-hand in order to truly know what it feels like.

I’ll be making quite a few entries concerning VR and my experiences within, but I thought I’d ease everyone in with my first one. I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and stay tuned for updates!