Saturday , 18 May 2024
Meta Quest GamesReviews

C-Smash VRS Review

One thing I love about VR is, development is going back to those take a creative-risk days, and C-Smash VRS does exactly that, by bringing SEGA’s Cosmic Smash to Virtual Reality. Originally released on PSVR2, its now found it’s way to the Quest 2 and Quest 3.

Release Date: April 4th 2024
Developer: Wolf & Wood Interactive
Publisher: RapidEyeMovers
Price: £14.99
Reviewed On: Meta Quest 3
* Code Provided For Review *

COSMIC SQUASH

C-Smash VRS carries on with the core gameplay of Cosmic Smash, but now in a first-person perspective. Taking on elements of classic games like Atari’s Breakout, but using a racket and hitting the ball back at the blocks, making it have a feeling a Squash.

However, C-Smash stands out to others that have approached this in VR already, as they added extras in to the design to make feel better than it ever has. This is due to the low gravity in the stages, meaning the ball will not always behave as you would expect – giving it a bit of learning curve to start with. You will also be charging your racket as you are hitting the blocks, and once it is charged you will be able to use it at any point – this generates more power on the shot, that will allow it travel through multiple blocks before bouncing back.

There are plenty of modes to chose from across single player, co-op and multiplayer. These are;

Zen mode (single player) is the more laid back mode, that allows you to plan your journey on the orbit map – picking levels along your journey. These will have different difficulties, time bonuses or upgrades for set levels. You will then play out these levels and the aim is to complete them as quick as possible, meaning you need to try and take out the blocks in the best order or even try and trap the ball behind the blocks making the stage do all the work for you. The reason your time is so important, is you will be getting time bonuses as you go along, which determine how much time you have to defeat the boss at the end of your journey, and having less time makes this a lot more of a challenge.

Journey mode (single player) follows the exact same loop as Zen Mode, but if you fail a level on your journey it’s journey over – where as on Zen mode you can keep trying and restarting the levels. For me Journey mode is the best single-player mode, as it comes with that risk and makes you plan your shots more.

Infinity mode (single player and co-op) which will have you taking on an endless number of stages where the blocks are travelling towards you. This is until all the blocks behind you are broken if you miss the returns or you take consecutive hits by not dodging the walls you missed. The dodging and making the shots sometimes needs the correct management, and this adds the challenge in this mode.

Then you have single player vs AI or PVP Multiplayer which is broken up into four modes. These are all two players and these modes are;

Head-to-Head: This has the same gameplay loop as the single-player, but each person will have a wall of blocks behind them, with the aim or clearing the opposite players blocks first.

Body Shots: The aim of this mode is to hit the other player in order to score points. This will see two balls simultaneously on the very narrow stage at the same time. Which is the closest players will get to what SPARC offered.

Firewall: In this mode, the more blocks you have adjoining in your colour the more points you get. This is the most tactical multiplayer mode available and I am sure it will be a popular one.

Quick Shot: A small block will appear in the stage, and the first person to hit it will receive the point. Making this mode for those who like to practice or are very good with the precision of their shots.

With all of these options for ways of playing there are plenty of reason to keep returning the C-Smash VRS, be it for single players fun, a work out or playing with friends. With an addictive gameplay-loop and challenging yourself to keep getting better and better. With the addition of cross-platform play meaning you can come together never mind your chosen platform to challenge each other or team up to dominate the leaderboards.

STRIKING DESIGN

Wolf & Wood have also stayed true to the visual style of Cosmic Smash, using very simple and clean design to the stages – this has allowed the game look just as nice on the Quest 3, as it did on the PSVR2. With blocks being semi-transparent with circles on them, which allows them to show if a block has a set power-up or how many times the block will need to be hit easily by lighting up the circles. With your character models reminding me of SUPERHOT with the low poly glass look to them. Where all this might sound simple, it all comes together perfectly to allow C-Smash VRS to look great.

The audio is designed perfectly to go with the game, outside of the noises from you hitting the ball, the blocks being hit and the ball bouncing of the stage, you get a great soundtrack. This includes original tracks by DJ Ken Ishii (Rez Infinite), synth master Danalogue (The Comet is Coming) and UK music legends UNKLE, which finishes off the overall design of the game.

COMFORT

Does C-SMASH VRS sound like its for you? Why not listen to Episode 27 of The VRverse, with special guest Jörg Tittel from RapidEyeMovers.

90%
THE VERDICT
Summary

C-Smash VRS brings obscure but brilliant Dreamcast and Arcade title Cosmic Smash to VR. With everything done elegantly from gameplay, audio and visuals – all kept inline with Cosmic Smash perfectly. Showing how a simple concept that has been around in gaming for so long can be done exquisitely in Virtual Reality. The tether-less approach of the Quest devices being the perfect fit of the game, as you are not worried about the cable that is present on the PSVR2, and the design of the game allowing it look just as nice on the device as well. With plenty of modes across single player, multiplayer and co-op being available with cross-platform play, you can take on sessions in the game however you would like. Also with the great work the team has done with the accessibility options in C-Smash VRS with things like one-handed mode, making it available to anyone.

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