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Astro Bot - PSVR - best game of all time?


dumpster
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16 hours ago, FozZ said:

My housemate offered to get me this for my birthday (which was a week ago now). He forgot to collect it at the weekend, and now there's nowhere with it in stock nearby or available for delivery :( (well at least for £25 like Argos has been doing it).

 

You're all making me jealous, it sounds so fun!

Tell your flat mate that Amazon now have it in stock again for delivery tomorrow (unless you’ve already sorted it). 

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1 minute ago, spacedinvader said:

Tell your flat mate that Amazon now have it in stock again for delivery tomorrow (unless you’ve already sorted it). 

Apparently he managed to get an order in for it this morning :) Cheers though.

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3 hours ago, cohen205 said:

I haven't played this yet.... but better than Mario Odyssey.... come on now :facepalm:

 

I have both, and I agree that it is better than Mario Odyssey.  Mario Odyssey is great, but this take the same gameplay and exploits VR in ways I'd never thought of.  It makes you laugh out loud, with the sheer joy of the inventiveness.  It's another world and it makes me think that once they invent a VR headset that doesn't steam up (etc.) that this will be the future of gaming.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

 

"I haven't had sex yet... but better than wanking... come on now." :coffee:

 

You can also apply that to anyone commenting on VR who hasn't actually tried VR. 

 

Bad analogy? Sex is better than wanking surely?

 

Just to explain, I meant no offence when comparing the 2, but i find it hard that a platformer from Sony is better than (arguably) the pinnacle of platforming from Nintendo.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

Just to explain, I meant no offence when comparing the 2, but i find it hard that a platformer from Sony is better than (arguably) the pinnacle of platforming from Nintendo.

 

Maybe you should just try them both and see which one you prefer?

 

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Just now, catinthehat said:

 

Maybe you should just try them both and see which one you prefer?

 

Probably best to wait for the ‘Sony first party game of the generation’ hype which happens every time to die down. 

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16 minutes ago, catinthehat said:

 

Maybe you should just try them both and see which one you prefer?

 

 

I will, my friend has PSVR and is getting a copy of Astrobot, so will be playing it in the next week or so.

 

Like i said, no offence was meant with my comment, i just find it really hard to believe that its a better game than odyssey. I think my view might be tainted a little by recently reading reviews of 'A hat in time' where comparisons were made to Mario Odyssey. Some of the impressions stated that Mario Odyssey has some 'serious competition'. I played a hat in time, and it is complete shit!

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My problem is when something half decent comes out on VR, everyone praises it as the second coming, and its forgotten about in a few weeks. 

 

I'm not saying its not good, i just always worry that a lot of these first impressions are people vocally justifying the prices of their VR headsets. I know a number of people who have PSVR, and they were very impressed at the start (as was I, as I played a lot of it at launch at my friends), but when i ask them what they have been playing lately, and they tell me they haven't switched it on for months.

 

Surely if these experiences were so spectacular, more people would have jumped on board by now? 

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6 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

Surely if these experiences were so spectacular, more people would have jumped on board by now? 

 

I always assumed that my VR headset would be a white elephant, just as Kinect etc have been in the past.  I paid £350 for mine on launch day, having played with an Oculous Rift DK2 a year earlier.  I am an early adopter of VR and expected it to receive a lukewarm reception.  VR has too many obstructions to mass market, whether you are put off by spaghetti cabling, lenses that steam up meaning you need to wear it for 5 minutes then wipe it down before you play your new game, the motion sickness that stops at least 3 of my friends even playing it at all. 

 

There are too many issues with VR, and all the comments in this thread are being given by people who are VR owners that stuck with it after that first feeling of nausea, and we're all big video game fans because we spend spare time talking about them on here.  But the mass market needs convincing.  This is definitely the game to do it, but when you're trying to sell a peripheral device that costs as much as the console it attaches to, it's no surprise to me that VR isn't setting the world alight.  

 

I saw Sony at the Manchester Arndale doing free demos of Driveclub VR and couldn't think of a worse game to have chosen.  What a great way to convince people that VR makes you want to vomit.   Astrobot is the best game to show off to a gamesplayer how VR is a gamechanger, but I don't see anything being a system seller at this stage in the game.  

 

For the mass market, this generation is the introduction to VR that shows people the potential, and the next generation will be the one where VR becomes commonplace. That's what I reckon at least.

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16 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

My problem is when something half decent comes out on VR, everyone praises it as the second coming, and its forgotten about in a few weeks. 

 

I'm not saying its not good, i just always worry that a lot of these first impressions are people vocally justifying the prices of their VR headsets. I know a number of people who have PSVR, and they were very impressed at the start (as was I, as I played a lot of it at launch at my friends), but when i ask them what they have been playing lately, and they tell me they haven't switched it on for months.

 

Surely if these experiences were so spectacular, more people would have jumped on board by now? 


The experiences can be spectacular, but there aren't that many. From the top of my head, this year basically has Moss, The Persistence, Firewall and now Astro Bot. That's four quality games in a little less than ten months. PS4 sometimes has four great titles released in a week. Add to that the other issues with VR (like the price, the convoluted set-up and nausea) and you can see why it doesn't fly off the shelves. That doesn't detract from the quality of certain titles though.

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36 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

My problem is when something half decent comes out on VR, everyone praises it as the second coming, and its forgotten about in a few weeks. 

 

I'm not saying its not good, i just always worry that a lot of these first impressions are people vocally justifying the prices of their VR headsets. I know a number of people who have PSVR, and they were very impressed at the start (as was I, as I played a lot of it at launch at my friends), but when i ask them what they have been playing lately, and they tell me they haven't switched it on for months.

 

Surely if these experiences were so spectacular, more people would have jumped on board by now? 

I  Make an excellent lasagne . I mean it is absolutely stupendous . But man it’s a faff . Creates a load of mess and take ages and it’s just a load of effort . Or I can just knock something up quick in the fraction of the time that’s almost as good . But when I do make the effort , man alive ..

 

psvr is absolutely fucking incredible , but Jesus what a pain in the arse it is . Cables everywhere , I have to switch hdmi cables around because it doesn’t pass through HDR , I have to pull I the office chair to get the right seating position , and you can get extremely sweaty playing it . It’s just a load of effort . But when you do make the effort , man alive ...

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Do I enjoy the PSVR games I have? Absolutely. Can I justify buying every hot new PSVR release that people are going nuts over right now? Probably not. Am I following new and upcoming VR releases keenly enough to justify keeping the thing? Yes.

 

There are numerous VR games I’m keen to play... but there are numerous games I’m keen to play in general, so my VR hype can be kind of sporadic!

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7 hours ago, dumpster said:

I want to put into words how I feel about this game, but it's really difficult to express it.  The thing is, most of the points have been made - 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 


The gorilla teeth pulling, the beanstalk level when you lift up, the flowers that you water to make platforms.....
 

 

and all the other moments that make you smile...  but it's more than that.

 

I've got older for the last few years I feel like I'm playing video games because it's something I enjoy doing, rather than necessarily actually being something I enjoy doing. I've played video games since I was 5, and I've seen the industry grow from nothing into the massive worldwide mass-market activity it is today.  There are specific moments in gaming that stick in my mind along the lines of "I can't believe they made this" and there's a sense of wonder that gaming can provide that no other medium does.  For me, I remember the first time I played WEC Le Mans on the Spectrum. One of the reviews explained that the cars on the track were "real".  That is, if you overtake a car and it goes off screen behind you, then slow down, it overtakes you again.  The cars were not just obstacles that appeared in front of you and disappeared behind you, they were actual opponents. It sounds silly now, but that was a real leap forward, and I'd never seen it before.

 

Every previous generation of gaming has brought with it something new that you could not do before and this provides you with a reason to buy a new machine.  Sticking with racing games for an example, the first time I played Lotus on the Amiga made me really, really want an Amiga.  You couldn't do Lotus on the Spectrum, it's the way the music, the sound effects, the responsive controls, the speed, all coming together to make a great game.  Then you see Ridge Racer on the PS1 and it's time to upgrade again.  Every generation needs a moment where the game just couldn't have been made earlier and the new hardware has created something that just wows you.  It's already been said here how Mario 64 was a great demonstration of the N64's capability but was as much a demonstration of the possibilities of analogue control pads as it was a showpiece for the new console. You couldn't do Mario 64 on a Megadrive, but Mario 64 seems just as responsible for the adoption of analogue controls on other consoles because playing a 3D platformer on a digital pad just felt wrong.

 

As someone who was born in the 1970s I've seen every new generation of gaming.  The Atari 2600 brought colour and character into the world of Pong games.  The C64 had the music, the Megadrive had the arcade action.  But today there's an expectation that every game should look amazing.  A first person shooter on the PS2 is fundamentally the same gameplay as on the PS3 and PS4.  Graphics improve per generation, but the difference gets smaller each time and now you need a 4K screen to see the difference.  We seem to have reached a peak in performance and that revolutionary "holy shit, look at this" moments don't happen so often any more. 

 

I'm being flippant about Mario Odyssey in my earlier post.  It's a massive, great game, but even though I loved it, it's "only" an improvement on what's gone before, and is fundamentally the same as what's gone before.  How could it be anything other than that?  It's definitely a game that could have been done on a Wii in 2008 and although it wouldn't have been in HD, it wouldn't have looked especially different.  Check out Mario Galaxy on Dolphin emulator, it's the same quality just by upscaling the old graphics.

 

What AstroBot does is it takes the 3D platformer and puts it into a VR environment, but that's just the start of it. What AstroBot is doing suggests to me that the programmers got the OK to make a full game of that Playroom demo two years ago, and they've been working on the ideas ever since.  AstroBot ticks all my boxes here because it uses the VR to actively enhance the game in ways that you couldn't have done before.  Just as PS1 racing games  could not have been done on previous generations (using the 3D models to create actual physics and car handling models), AstroBot creates a world that you couldn't do without the VR.  It has been written by people who obviously have been following the VR market, looking at what works and learning from other mistakes.  As a result it has graphics that are crisp and clear (even on a regular PS4), and motion that is smooth, level and doesn't make you feel nausea at all.  It uses VR in ways that I shouldn't talk about here because pretty much every minute of play introduces a new moment of absolute joy that exploits VR in a new and interesting way.  Notice that you have unlimited lives because continually replaying sections would be frustrating, and that's not what this game is all about.  It's about FUN, that same fun I bang on about all the time when I compare Burnout 2 to Gran Turismo, and Outrun 2 to Project Cars.  

 

Every level brings new surprises and when you laugh (as has been said here a lot) you are not laughing because it's funny, but with delight of how unbelievably good the game is.  It's rammed with brilliant ideas. The water level is surely the best swimming section of any game ever, the bosses are so well designed, the worlds are full of brilliant little touches (weeds stuck to your hair as you leave the water etc) and it reminds you of that feeling of "oh my good, look what they made".  You can't believe there's a programming team out there that have taken the idea of the 3D platformer and completely nailed the transition to VR.  AstroBot creates a whole new type of platformer that would only work in VR.  They keep throwing new ideas at you, and you find yourself not wanting to continue playing because you want to save the surprises for later.  I'm going back through the first 2 worlds to try for 100% completion before I being world 3, because I don't want it to be over.  It's the single most FUN game I have played in years, and it's a testament to what they can do with VR when the programmers understand and exploit its potential.  Mario Odyssey is the best, most recent Mario game.  Astro Bot is new, exciting, inventive and is the first thing in this new genre of VR platforming.  It's redefined the VR headset in my opinion, and it's the first big leap forward in years.  

 

Every generation needs its own games that you couldn't have done on the previous generation. AstroBot is the biggest "fucking hell, this is outstanding" feeling I have felt since the PS1 replaced my Megadrive.  

 

What a fantastic post. Chimes with my own video gaming journey. I am ordering the game tonight and getting my PSVR out for the first time in 6 months.

 

I enjoyed Mario Odyssey but it left me cold at the same time.

 

Can't wait to try this!

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.. amazing posts @dumpster and as a gamer of a similar generation to yourself I’m equally blown away by VR (and this title in particular).

 

Im still constantly amazed at just how far things have come.. and feel privileged to have been able to experience gamings development first hand over the years.

 

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Yeah Dumpster that's a great post and as someone who was born in the 60's (jesus) i feel the same. I can't stop laughing playing Astro Bot. It's just pure joy.

 

I've just 100%'ed world 3. Then i tried the challenges for the first time. Wow, how addictive are those. Those gold times are definitely for the platform kings. 

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17 hours ago, Paulando said:

 

Steady on :lol:

No really. I haven't played a 3D platform game this wonderful and this polished, since Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. Mario Odyssey felt like a bit of a comedown and a little step backwards from Galaxy II. This game is like Mario Galaxy 3, it's that good and so well made 

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17 hours ago, dumpster said:

I want to put into words how I feel about this game [snip]

 

Fantastic post! Innovation has stagnated for quite a while in peripheral tech... not 100% sure why, but I guess the mass market seeing the Wii as a gimmick, the Wii U failing and Kinnect not living up to any expectations will have had an impact.

 

Funnily enough, VR proves the worth (well, absolute essential need for) 'waggle' but in itself is just a halfway house. It does what it does fantastically well, but with enormous faff.

 

VR's not the 8-track, but it's something like Laserdisc or Minidisc: better than what came before, but only a 1.5 version rather than a revolutionary 2.0. I still love it, though - it's worth having for WipEout Omega alone!

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Arrived today - only gone up to 2-2 and giving it a break now to be back in the real world for a bit....

 

Holy shit, you guys weren't joking with all the praise. It's like Sony worked out how to package pure joy :D Even just mucking about in the shop is fun, and the music is delightful. I've had the PSVR since launch, and a Vive for a couple of years, and nothing in VR has made me smile like this has. Incredible!

 

The one and only problem I've had, and it's probly more to do with my setup, is there was a starfish I was meant to headbutt, but no matter where I moved, the game didn't think I got close enough to activate it. Oh well, i'll work it out next time I'm on.

 

 

Edit: Just wanted to add, great post @dumpster - I've given it some digital love, but as a games artist, I find your repeated suggestion that only programmers make games highly offensive sir :P;) 

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Looking around for some info I've seen some suggestion that the multiplayer aspect of the playroom version has been dropped entirely?

 

I thought I would be able to play with the headset while my daughter helped out as the little bot in the UFO. Not possible?

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