I didn’t quite realise it until I saw and played it, but VR needs these slightly mad cap social games as much as it needs racers and shooters, the kind of game where you hop in with friends for a bit of a laugh. Much like hanging out at an arcade or bowling alley, there’s only so much time before you’ll tire of the games on offer and want to head home. The VR Pool at the heart of this is great, and the other games are fun to try out as well, but your fondest memories will be of pushing the game’s limits and seeing what shenanigans you can get up to.
While Sports Bar VR captures the look and feel of a sports bar, the control scheme combined with Hulk Mode made me feel drunk, complete with hangover. The four games on offer are hampered by inconsistent physics, resulting in an unsurprisingly uneven experience. None of that, somehow, interferes with the game being a stupid-fun experience with friends.
SportsBarVR is a solid collection of multiplayer sports bar games, with pool and darts being the stand out experiences. However, the other experiences on show seem to have been rushed a little to hit PlayStation VR's release date, and the small pool of online players detracts from the overall appeal of the package a little.
Over-sensitity of Move controllers can be frustrating as can the incredible efficient A.I., but overall Sports Bar VR is a fun party game when playing online.
Sports Bar VR needs a couple of important patches and some polishing here and there, but what it already offers is unique; even unforgettable, if you are lucky enough to find the right company in its virtual environment.
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At last call, SportsBarVR does some incredible things for virtual reality, proving the kind of presence and depth that a social VR game can provide.
You'll probably not enjoy playing SportsBar VR if you only intend to play offline. The game was designed for friends to hangout and socialize online, and play some of the more popular bar games against each other. While it isn't a perfect substitution for hanging with friends in real life, for those with friends scattered across the country (or world) it can be an engaging experience. That said, I haven’t seen more than a couple of open lobbies at a time randomly throughout the day. With the holidays approaching, hopefully, it can help boost the game's online community.
Sports Bar VR is the most social PSVR game of the bunch and benefits from playing it with your TV’s speakers and having friends around you.
That said, it would have been nice to have the best of both worlds.
Social VR is something I was really excited about leading up to the PlayStation VR launch and after playing SportsBar VR It’s easy to see why. Just being in the same virtual environment with other players and able to play things, chat, and just goof off makes this one of the most fun VR experiences on the platform right now. It has it’s issues as it can get old after awhile and the others games besides pool aren’t as fun. The technical issues and random disconnects hurt it a bit for me but with more free content updates coming in the future I’m excited to come back to this bar again.
Sports Bar VR is probably going to be remembered as VR shovelware in the future, but despite that, it seems like there was some effort to make it fun by allowing emergent mischief. When alcoholics die, Sports Bar VR is their purgatory: a bar with empty bottles and cans that can't ever be opened, a bunch of games that nobody will play seriously, and creepy stock automatons that never leave. The mini-games just needed to be more fleshed out and polished, and the core package needs a much lower price.
Overall, Sports Bar VR is a great experience if you’re new to VR or want to understand some of the social implications of the platform. At $20, you might find it slightly light on single-player content – but if you’re looking for a place to meet up with friends or random players in PlayStation VR, I haven’t seen a more compelling option yet.
Technical issues aside, Sports Bar VR is solid interactive fun with quirky elements that help it stay fresh and authentic at the same time.
The shining beacon of SportsBarVR is the social opportunities it brings. It’s a fun hang out spot for you and your friends in VR. You may decide you don’t like any of the games within it, but you’ll find ways to entertain yourselves. Even if it is just throwing bottles around whilst watching your friends fail to hit a ball in to the pocket for the 11th time.
SportsBar VR from Perilous Orbit and Cherry Pop Games is now available for the PlayStation VR (PS VR), and while in theory it may sound like a fun experience, its technical mishaps leave it feeling underwhelming and somewhat broken.