Overall, Puzzle Bobble VR: Vacation Odyssey is a decent title and a fun time for a solid few hours of casual enjoyment. You can play it standing or sitting, which is a plus. But it’s got some annoyances that will get on your nerves after a while. Besides the finicky aiming mechanic, there isn’t really the mind-blowing immersion that we look for in a great VR game; this is an experience that would have been pretty much the same if it were in 2D: a casual, amusing little puzzler that you pick up for short periods and then put away. When you’re asking players to strap on a fairly heavy VR headset for longer periods, you really need to give them a more thrilling and unique experience than this.
It’s set-up is ludicrous, it’s biomes are beautiful but sparse, and it’s story is convoluted; but even still, I enjoyed Maskmaker and I recommend you take up the chisel and mallet and experience it for yourself. There’s a clever and unique use of VR in this game that make it worth trying on, despite everything.
I should mention that Traffic Jams does have a multiplayer component, but it isn’t very appealing. Up to four non-VR players can join you via their cellphones, but their roles are limited and frankly, I don’t see this being a popular way to play. Traffic Jams is, at it’s core, a single-player experience but even then, it is a rather thin one. While there are some fun and clever ideas here, and a few hours of genuine fun to be had, there’s just too much sameness to the experience to keep you coming back. But if nothing else, Traffic Jams’ arm-flailing madness could be a decent way to do a daily 30 minute workout if you’re looking for a change from your usual fitness routine.
But unfortunately, even the different modes, slick visuals and silky-smooth frame rate can’t make up for the fact that World Tennis Tour 2 Complete Edition’s core experience, playing tennis, is a huge let-down. It is extremely disappointing that Big Ant Studios has failed to adequately address the basic gameplay shortcomings that have been around since the first Tennis World Tour back in 2018. As a fan of the sport I badly wanted this game to be better, but Tennis World Tour 2 Complete Edition will make even the most die-hard tennis fanatic want to smash their racquet and head to the dressing room.
You’ll finish Flow Weaver in anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how long it takes you to figure things out. That’s not a lot of content, even for a VR game. Flow Weaver is a solid escape room-style puzzler, and it has some nice rooms and a few interesting characters to interact with, but overall the limited gameplay and short playtime are a let-down. Try this VR game if you really love the escape room genre, but if you want to feel like a real wizard, there are better VR titles already out there.
The glum visuals aren’t a deal-breaker though. The gameplay in Yupitergrad makes up for the shortcomings, as the swinging action will keep you hooked. Thanks to a pretty robust main story and the added bonus of Time Attack challenges, it will hook you in for longer than most VR titles. This is a slick title optimized for VR’s unique movement requirements, and it offers lots of fun Spider Man-style content for not many Rubles. Do your duty for the Motherland and check Yupitergrad out.
The Yakuza Remastered Collection is not a complete rebuild a la Yakuza Kiwami 1 and 2. While the visuals are much improved over what they looked like as much as 10 years ago, they are definitely showing their age. But with so much story, so many great characters, so many beat-downs to deliver, this is a trio of games that gives you great value for the price (especially if you get it on Game Pass). For series old-timers or newcomers alike, the Yakuza Remastered Collection is a game every Xbox owner needs to check out.
Despite some irritations, though, I enjoyed Pumpkin Jack. There are a lot of things it does right — from the boo-tiful visuals to the haunting music, to the mostly-fun gameplay. It could use a bit more work in its jumping mechanic, and there are some segments that go on longer than they should. But I had a hell of a good time overall and Pumpkin Jack is much more treat than trick.
Cloudpunk looks gorgeous, especially in first hour of playtime. The ability to just visit and fly over that huge, neon-soaked city of Nivalis is quite an accomplishment and for some, that will be enough to make it worth playing. It’s just a shame that there couldn’t be more to actually do among those beautiful, sparkling towers above the clouds.