Smash. Touch. Plunder. Flush. Repeat.

You always hear stories from people who get motion sickness by playing VR games. It's mess. Darn, when I watched this game, I had all my roommates try out the virtual reality for the first time and even a real blurry of us was celebrating. I do not know if one in four is a correct statistic or not, but it is striking.

Fortunately, VR does not make me sick. What makes me sick is when the potential of a VR game is wasted by a lack of ingenuity. Virtual reality is really cool and can offer some unique interactive experiences, but when it is not used outside of a cool premise, it quickly loses its luster.

Smash Hit Plunder (PS4 [reviewed on a PS4 Pro])
Developer: Triangular Pixels
Publisher: Triangular Pixels
Released: December 11, 2018
MSRP: $ 29.99

In Smash Hit Plunder, you play as a caretaker of an ancestral mansion that has been overtaken by greedy spirits. You have to go through each level and collect plenty of loot to pay the lousy ghosts and free the castle from their influence. Said booty is invariably in the random objects that can be found throughout the stay. The best way to reveal it? Smash the shit out of everything. If you use the DualShock 4 or the PS Move wands (which is absolutely the best method to play this game), pick up everything, shake it, throw in it, smash it and plunder the richness inside. The name really describes the gameplay on a tee.

That's kind of a problem. Most of the game's action runs through the largely lifeless mansion, grabbing things and throwing them down to collect loot. Each level has a target that gives you one, two or three crowns, which are then used to unlock more levels. Honestly, it's really nice for the first few levels to just pick up the mess and throw it around like a happy child who was just denied a candy store by their evil stepfather Terry. After that first burst of fun, it is aimlessly wandering, crushing as The Incredible Hulk was behind on his college loan.

There are additional game modes to try to add a varied game. & # 39; Scavenger Hunt & # 39; for example, you will see wandering around in the levels that try to pick up specific items that appear randomly every time you play. The biggest problem here is that their locations are constant; after a few rounds in each level you know exactly where you can find these objects. The dagger will always be in the drawer, there will always be a million books on the shelf, that a specific stupid painting will always be above the bed. You understand the essence. Because this mode discourages vomiting (because you might break items that you might need later on), the problem of wandering around on huge levels is getting worse. You just go from one point to another until the time runs out, hoping to collect enough points to not have to do it again.

Once you have collected 50 crowns (or have defeated the story, not sure what, because I did both at the same time), you also unlock Free Run, where you can run any level without goals or time impulse. I played the very first level in this mode and spent about fifteen minutes with everything in the fire. Because there really is not much else to do in this mode, except that I get to know the levels and burn things, I do not have much more to say about it. However, all three single player modes can be played in co-op. Other players can help by plundering and plundering in an isometric view on the TV. Her there, if nothing else.

In addition to the game modes mentioned above, there are two versus modes. "Jewel Duel" pits players against each other to try to collect a jewelry … sphere? … hidden in every room. Because the non-VR players play as small goblins with limited function, this mode is almost guaranteed a guarantee for the headset wearer. You can literally take the ball from the hands of the other players and there is almost nothing they can do about it. They can throw something at you to beat it out of your hand, but you can get it straight out of the air. Very strange design choice, here.

"Poltergeist Panic" allows the headset player to free up a number of ghosts. The other players can not see you unless you pick something up, or they use a weird spell that is available in every game mode, but only has a real function here. I'm not sure how the other players should avoid getting rid of the ghosts, all you have to do is collect jewels and they're free. Again, the design is strange.

Apart from the somewhat disappointing nature of the game, there are a number of mechanisms and design choices that really drag the game. After clearing each level, you are returned to the hub world where you have to sit and fly all the jewels and gold that you have collected, from the card to a piggy bank. If you have done particularly well, it will take longer. I have been sitting for more than twenty seconds, just looking at gold that flies out of a map, but that does not sound that long, but it certainly is true. Also, in the Scavenger Hunt mode, the game does not tell you on the screen what to collect – you have to pause the game to see the next goal. Placing the item in the HUD would have been an easy solution, but as it is now, you spend the entire level pausing the game. It is frustrating and annoying, two words that you never want to link to your game.

If it sounds like I'm negative about the game, it's because I'm largely disappointed. The game is actually pretty fun in small doses and sometimes even partial catharsis. Turn up some Limp Bizkit and break things to "Break Stuff", and you have fun stress relief. But more than a few levels at a time and the game really starts to wear out on its rather superficial gameplay hook.

Despite the inherent flaws and strange design choices, it is by no means a bad game. It is really not a very good one. You can have fun with it, and it might even be a good way to introduce new people to VR. But at the end of the day Smash Hit Plunder feels more like a technical demo that extends to a complete game, without adding anything to justify that decision. And that makes me sicker than any travel sickness ever could.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Smash Hit Plunder reviewed by Wes Tacos

5.5

MEDIOCRE

An exercise in apathy, neither solid nor liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good. Just a little "eh," really.
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