A game that already made gentle waves on PC-based headsets, Fujii is now available for Playstation VR as well. We decided to try it out ourselves and see why the original release was so well-received.
Fujii is a game that emphasizes relaxation and serenity – an escape from the busy everyday world by means of virtual reality. This isn’t the first time a game has used this premise though – I remember playing Perfect by nDreams before, which was built on the same principles. But where I quickly grew tired of Perfect – which was more an experience that let you travel to serene places – I found that Fujii was far more engaging and something I was far more eager to go back to.
The main reason for this is that Fujii is a far more interactive experience than Perfect, without becoming an intense, hectic or overwhelming experience. With its somewhat alien yet organic-looking visuals it’s something a bit like Avatar’s Pandora at times, but with gameplay that seems to blend exploration and interactivity with casual puzzles that help you grow a garden of your own.
A lot of this gardening is done by interacting with the environment, something that often involves musical notes or melodies to help bring plants and creatures to life around you. There’s a storyline as well, but you can keep interacting with the world around you even after the narrative has ended. A lot of that is tied to your ability to grow and shape your own garden to relax in, so your mileage here may vary.
Movement in the game is done through teleportation, with your Move controllers being your way to interact with the world around you. It’s a shame you can’t just walk through your colorful garden and look around since having to teleport takes you out of the immersion for a few seconds, but it’s a minor oversight knowing this is mostly just a limitation of the hardware.
There’s absolutely no combat at all in the game, which offers up diversity through the different game sections that you have to traverse during the story – all of which look distinct and offer their own (small) challenges and rewards. In Fujii, however, it’s more about the journey than the destination – or rather the process of discovery and interaction than the seeds you might get at the end. Pushing on means you get more options to personalize your own garden as well, so if you’re into that aspect that’s an engaging gameplay loop.
For others, the campaign itself feels like a leisurely stroll through a beautiful and dream-like landscape that’s happy to let you interact with it. It’s not about getting to the end but about being in the middle of it, and I realize that makes this a game that is not going to resonate with every gamer out there (although yes, there are trophies if you’re interested in nabbing those).
In many ways, Fujii feels like the natural evolution of the promise that a title like Perfect had when it was released. It uses VR as an effective medium to transport you to another world and lets you enjoy a game environment with an absolute minimal amount of stress. It borders the line between a game and an experience just as much as it does the line between fun and relaxation, but if that’s a border area that speaks to you then Fujii is one of the best examples you can get.