Roller Coaster Legends II - Thor's Hammer
I love to see developers show improvement. When a developer seems to take a critical eye at their own work and incorporates feedback to produce a better product, it shows that with a bit of investment, a developer’s promise can come to fruition. As such, I want to support “Roller Coaster Legends II - Thor’s Hammer” as an investment.
Quick Facts Genre: Roller Coaster Experience Price: $5.99 Game Length: 7 minutes Controller: Dual Shock or 2 Move Controllers PlayPSVR Score: 6.0
If you played the first “Roller Coaster Legends” title, you likely were met with an eye-catching and interesting roller coaster set upon a barebones presentation. Criticisms were that there was nothing to do and that there was not even a menu to help ease the player into the situation of riding a coaster. For immersive media, abrupt transitions can be too jarring to ignore.
Fortunately, with “Thor’s Hammer,” the developers have taken the feedback and improved on the formula of their previous title. As I rode past dragons atop snowy mountain peaks, or weave in and out of the branches of Yggdrasil, there was much to see and eye catching elements abound. And now, there were things to shoot! When using the Move controllers, I was equipped with two wooden lightning pistols, with which I could shoot at relics hovering around the track. There were even a couple of vikings volleying arrows at my cart, and I was able to return fire and take them out.
Though the interactivity was welcome, it was all inconsequential. The ride ends rather suddenly, to the point that I felt certain if I were to collect all 50 relics I would see a full conclusion to the ride. But after collecting everything, nothing had changed. One of the downfalls of this type of experience is that I know this is not a game that can be won or lost, and as a result, any of the exciting situations, like a giant troll stomping towards your cart, feel a bit hollow and without a sense of danger. You’re on rails, and you know you’ll get through it.
That said, the combination of collectibles and gunplay added extra elements that motivated me to ride the coaster multiple times, which is more than can be said for their first title. With the addition of an introductory menu, replete with various comfort settings, I get the sense that War Ducks is learning a lot about making games in VR. And it’s apparent that until they get fully up to speed, they might be targeting players who are learning how to be in VR.
To test out the efficacy of the ride on a person without their VR legs, I had my wife play this game as well, to a surprising result. Halfway through the coaster, I had to stop the game so that she could get out of the chair she was sitting in and sit instead on what she perceived as terra firma. The coaster had gotten to her, not in a nauseating way, but in a manner similar to a real roller coaster. She enjoyed the ride and the environments it explored, and afterward she expressed a rush much like one would feel after having just stepped off an actual coaster.
Roller Coaster Legends II might not be exhilarating if you’ve burned through other exciting and taxing VR titles. It simply can’t compete with the thrill of other, riskier titles. But for people looking to explore the world of Norse gods, or looking for a title to have on hand as a safe-but-exciting VR showcase, then “Roller Coaster Legends II - Thor’s Hammer” wants to take you on that ride.