When virtual reality made its debut for consumers, and Audio shield liberated, it was almost like a transcendental experience. And it got even better since then with games like Audio travel and Beat the saber become popular. Beat the saber is considered the standard for VR rhythm games, and I haven’t played a game that has the same addicting draw until Ragnarock.
Ragnarock is a virtual reality rhythm game in which you play as a viking drummer hitting four drums to motivate his rowers. Each note enters, engraved with a rune, and must be smashed on the drum to the beat of the song. The better you do, the faster (and therefore further) the boat goes to the end of the song. You can further speed up the boat by spending combo points and smashing a gong to motivate your rowers. It’s organized like a dragon boat race: the drummers sit in the bow, drumming to synchronize the rowers. Except in this case, the drummer plays Viking and pirate inspired music.
At first glance, Ragnarock looks a bit like Beat the saber– tickets fly towards you, which you must then hit. But that’s about where the similarities end. Ragnarock doesn’t require you to hit specific notes with one hand or the other – instead, you can decide to attack by Ragnarock lick however you like – crossing your arms or using your left hand for the two left drums and your right hand for the two right drums. Each drum has a circular bubble-shaped target in the middle that rewards you with extra points and speed if hit, and is considered a “perfect” hit. Hits register if the rune is anywhere above the skin of the drum while being struck, unlike Beat the saber which rewards you just for hitting the target. Ragnarock doesn’t really have a state of failure, however. Even in versus modes, whether you’re racing against ghost ships or real players, you can’t “miss” the song prematurely, only lose the race at the end. This is great for players who struggle with certain sections, as missing multiple notes in a row will not prevent you from completing. The combo system also provides a layer of strategy. Hitting the gongs on the left or right side “spends” your combined meter, speeding up the rowing or your Vikings. That’s a bit of the risk versus the reward, as trying to hit either gong can cause you to miss a note and lose your combo. Hitting the combo gongs (whether during a combo or not) gets an “a woo!” satisfactory! of your rowers. Sometimes I hit the gong just for encouragement, or to punctuate the music at the right time.
Another huge difference between Beat the saber and Ragnarock that’s what it feels like to play. While my Beat Saber-primed brain wanted to play them the same, the moment I got down to it more, Ragnarock felt closer to playing a real instrument than other VR based rhythm games. Comparisons with Beat the saber started to leave my mind, and I felt like I was drumming in Rock band again – a feeling I haven’t really had in over a decade, and something other VR rhythm games haven’t quite come close to. If you are afraid that Ragnarock wouldn’t be a good substitute or addition to your VR workout routine, the VR Drum is extremely physical – it will definitely give you a workout, especially on the harder ones.
Difficulty in Ragnarock is handled much more like Japanese-style rhythm games, with some songs having inherently more difficult difficulty than others, which is indicated by a number, 1-10, with 10 being the most difficult. It’s a bit more informative than the difficulty of Beat Saber, which can vary wildly from song to song in the same difficulty level. It can help you know how crazy Ragnarock Vr drum beats are going to get.
While it certainly rivals Beat Saber in terms of fun, it’s worth noting that Ragnarock may not be as accessible as Beat the saber to those who are new to rhythm games. Ragnarock is not as intuitive as Beat the saber, although both revolve around extremely primitive gameplay, as they’re both games where you basically hit things with sticks. In by Ragnarock In this case, the positioning must be taken into account. There are a ton of options to be able to move the height of the drums in Ragnarock, as well as a number of different mallet designs and configurations. Even so, it’s easy to lose sight of where your battery is when you’re focusing heavily on by Ragnarock lick harder.
There are things that Ragnarock did to make his rhythm playing style a bit easier to analyze. For example, each of the notes is engraved with runes that indicate where in their measure they should be struck – whether on the beat, the offbeat, etc. It’s a great idea in theory, however, in practice it doesn’t really work. that well without practice. In fact, I think it really only helps in the practice modes, as the notes often come in too quickly to determine their position in the music. Practice mode is great for harder songs, and even essential for getting off tough, repetitive beats or drum breaks that might give you trouble. In practice mode, you can start a song anywhere and adjust the playback speed so you can work through the more difficult sections at your own pace.
As for the selection of songs available, I don’t think I would have discovered organically by Ragnarock music, but I’m glad I did. It launched with around 30 songs, and a lot of them are surprisingly fantastic. While some are Viking themed, there seems to be a mix of other nautical themes. Although most of the available music works well, Ragnarock works best when songs are heavy and punchy. You can also add your own custom songs to use solo if you are bored of the available selection.
i didn’t expect to like Ragnarock as much as I have. It’s really good, and the rivals Defeat Saber, which is the gold standard for VR rhythm games. If you have a SteamVR compatible headset, you should definitely get this game – it’s definitely one of the best virtual games I’ve played, and easily the best I’ve played this year.
Ragnarock is no longer in early access, and available on SteamVR now.
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