Mom, We Can’t Pause #20: VR and Sifu Talk
Welcome back to the newsletter, folks. This week, I wanna get into some mini reviews that aren’t really reviews. I’ll be giving some thoughts about the Oculus Quest and VR as a whole, while also giving some expanded thoughts about Sifu. Let’s get right into it.
Oculus Quest 2 Has No Business Being This Cool
It’s kind of weird that the Oculus Quest 2 works so well. A less powerful spinoff of a Kickstarter-backed VR headset that works internally without an unnecessarily complicated system of plugs? That shit sounds way, way too good to be true. Yet here we are with the latest Oculus headset.
Let me be forthcoming: I haven’t spent that much time with the headset. My girlfriend and I got it as a belated Christmas present just a few days ago, so my time with it has been limited. Still, I do have experience with other headsets, as we’ve also had our hands on the HTC VIVE (not ours) for a bit. While the Vive was cool, there was one main issue we had with it: the fucking thing takes up way too many plugs. Three power adapters for one device is already asking a lot, but then having to wire the headset to a device that plugs into your PC? Too many goddamn wires! Otherwise, the headset worked just fine.
Still, this new (to me) Quest 2? Pretty goddamn sweet. For starters: the thing doesn’t have any wires in the box. Everything that you need is literally built into the headset. The only wire the thing needs is a charger, which is included in the box. If you lose it you probably already have another charger on deck, as the Quest 2 takes the all-too-common USB-C. Already superior to the VIVE in that aspect. With the software built into the device, you’ve got everything you need once you turn on and set up your device. The OS is pretty similar if you’re remotely familiar with Android devices, as it runs a version of Android 10 off of it.
But you don’t really give a shit about the technical stuff, you just wanna know if the thing runs games well. Well, it does. I haven’t had all the time in the world with it but I can confidently say it runs games pretty well, both natively and through Steam. Running games through Steam works pretty well, too. You have the option of running it via USB-C on your PC, or wirelessly through a beta feature called Air Link. While it’s still in beta, Air Link works well enough to enjoy your games with little-to-no latency issues. Even so, I can run Beat Saber with little-to-no latency, and that right there is worth the price of admission alone.
So would I recommend you buy the Quest 2? Maybe! VR is a fascinating piece of technology in a vacuum. VR is very cool tech that has an expectedly high barrier of entry in price. The Quest 2, however, is 300 bucks at entry level. If you can afford it, I don’t see a real reason to avoid buying the headset if you’re looking to get into VR. Could you get a better headset for more money? Sure! Are you going to do that if you’re looking for an entry into the space? Hell no! Why would you do that? Just get the Quest 2. You can buy Resident Evil 4 in VR on it, and RE4 is one of the greatest games ever! If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will.
Sifu’s Lame Ass Bad Ending Makes Replaying It A Hard Recommendation
I finally toughed it out and beat Sifu last week. I found it to be a pretty fun experience overall, even though the difficulty got to me at times. I found it similar to a Souls game at times and approached it as such: throw shit at the wall and see what sticks. Whatever works? Keep doing that. Whatever doesn’t work? Try something else. With that mindset, I found myself at the final boss of the game. I’m going to try to do this section without spoiling anything, so bare with me if any of this sounds vague.
Once you beat Sifu, you’re going to realize that you fucked up along the way. Something happens that sends you right back to the start of the game. You’ll have to complete the levels again and find the differentiating factor that allows you to get the good ending of the game. Here’s the problem, though: the game doesn’t exactly clue you in as to what that factor is. If you look it up online, you’ll find out what changes if you do things a certain way in your boss battles. Unless you happen upon it by being that damn good at the game, however, you’re shit out of luck.
This takes me back to the old days of gaming, both in a nostalgic and frustrating way. On one hand, it’s always interesting to see games pull the ol’ “real ending” move. When it works, I find myself looking forward to playing through a game over again. On the other hand, in Sifu’s case, why the hell would they pull this without even hinting at it? It doesn’t take away from the quality of the game, of which there’s plenty. It’s more-so frustrating to recommend with this caveat in mind. The grind of Sifu isn’t necessarily made for every player out there. To have to grind and figure out the minutia of a game to get the “good” ending can’t be worthwhile for everyone. If I decide to do this, I’ll come back and report how that went. I doubt that’ll be anytime soon with all these damn games coming out, but we’ll see.
Odds and Ends
Got a few odds and ends to address this week, including:
- Street Fighter 6 was finally announced (on my birthday no less), and the reaction has been… mixed. Let’s call it mixed. Ryu looks wide! Luke’s smile looks weird! The logo is bad! Ryu showed feet! All of these are true, but none of it really matters until they actually show gameplay. Let’s keep that in mind for the eventual Summer Games Fest showcase.
- I’m currently playing Horizon Forbidden West. I haven’t made enough of a dent to have a real opinion on the game, but I can say this: damn, this thing is pretty. More on this next week, probably.
- I’ll be picking up Elden Ring a little later than most, but all these reviews posted have me excited to get into it. The little slice I played during the network test a few months back was just so goddamn interesting. Haven’t stopped thinking about it since I played it.
- Nintendo is shutting down the Wii U and 3DS E-Shops by 2023. This absolutely sucks. You should probably go back and buy some games on the 3DS (you never had a Wii U, let’s be honest). Or get ‘em another way, if you catch my drift.
- If you haven’t heard, I started a spin-off podcast of sorts for this newsletter. It’s called “Mom, We Can’t Pause!” I’ll be posting episodes weekly and having guests on to discuss their favorite video games, and what they love about ’em. Let’s call it a deconstruction of sorts. Why not subscribe to the podcast while checking it out here? I would greatly appreciate that!
As always: Thanks for checking this out, everyone! Much love!