My favorite things of 2018 - Day #22

I didn't expect to have any VR games on this list, let alone a second one. The Black Friday sales tempted me into picking up the PSVR unit, and one game has made the purchase worth it all on it's own.

Beat Saber is a pure distillation of rhythm gaming that works perfectly for the platform it is designed for.

Quite apart from the Jedi fantasy that it plays into (we see what you did with the title!), the gameplay is so very pure that it fits the format almost perfectly. 

The mechanics are simple. You hold two light swords, one in each hand, and slash through blocks as they move towards you in the 3D space to the beat of the music. It's effectively a physical version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band. 

Its' purity is the game's strength.

Everything is intuitive, but the challenge ratchets up in a satisfying manner. What's more, in the freeplay mode the game very much lets you define your own difficulty. There are modifiers for all of the difficulty challenges that can be toggled on and off as you desire.

The game makes you feel like a sword master. There is a wonderful flow to the experience that most definitely puts you in the proverbial 'zone'.

Even the base set of tracks will keep you going for a while. Alas the PSVR version doesn't offer custom tracks, but the PC version does, and there is already a vibrant community creating tracks for the game.

This is a game that speaks to the potential of the tech platform itself. VR is a space with a lot of challenges as to how you can make great experiences that fit the format. Beat Saber is a good early lesson in how to best use the technology.