Join us as we check out brand new content for Beat Saber, Synth Riders, RUINSMAGUS and Escape Simulator. Lots of VR-themed DLC this time, so it’s time to dust off those headsets.
Beat Saber – Rock Mixtape review (Quest)
When it comes to new content, Beat Saber has really been on fire this year. It hasn’t been that long since the previous pack with tracks by The Weeknd came out, and already there’s a new collection out there – the Rock Mixtape. As with previous mixtapes, it’s a collection of tracks from multiple artists bound together by a musical genre – though there is more diversification to the pack than you’d think.
Included this time are classics like Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild and I Was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS, but also more ‘recent’ tracks like Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses – which to the younger crowd will probably still feel ancient. Where the artist-centered packs gravitate towards modern stuff, the mixtapes tend to lean towards classics, which we think is great – though we wouldn’t mind having a classic artist featured, or a mixtape of current/recent tracks.
What’s especially interesting is that, beyond the music, these new tracks also offer some very diverse gameplay experiences. Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger leans into its Rocky-themed history, and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird is a monster of a track at almost nine minutes long. If you enjoy some classics that are quite different from the current catalogue, this is a great addition to the Beat Saber lineup.
Synth Riders gets Bruno Mars DLC
Just when we thought that high profile additions in the rhythm-based genre were Beat Saber’s domain, Synth Riders has announced a collaboration with none other than Bruno Mars. In the brand new “Groovin’ Essentials Music Pack”, you’ll find three Bruno Mars tracks, as well as two songs (Manuals and Supersymmetry) by Starcadian.
The tracklist is as surprising as it is short, as some of Bruno Mars’ biggest hits are missing from the pack. Locked Out Of Heaven, Treasure, The Lazy Song, Grenade and Just The Way You Are are unaccounted for, as is his monster hit with Mark Ronson. Instead, you get a nice little slice of his career from an older track (Runaway Baby) up to Skate, his collaboration with Silk Sonic. In between is arguably the biggest track of the pack – 24K Magic, which has been an instant favorite with us.
Linking these songs together is a tie to disco, funk and synthwave beats and melodies – from which perspective it makes sense that some of the more “poppy” songs aren’t included here. The choice of tracks also works well when you look at the developer’s collaboration with Phil “SACBxY” Tayag, who is a choreographer from Bruno Mars as well as a member of the Jabbawockeez. He helped design the track layouts for the new pack, which definitely adds another layer to the experience. What a pleasant surprise at the end of the year.
RUINSMAGUS “The Warrior and the Tailor” DLC review (Quest)
When we reviewed RUINSMAGUS on the Quest this summer, we loved how it refined how a JRPG can work in virtual reality. Now, a brand new DLC for the game is out, entitled The Warrior and the Tailor.
The new DLC adds a brand new area to the game, which becomes accessible after you wrap up chapter five. This area also contains an additional story mission that revolves around a mysterious shop you can find in this area – a quest that even includes a new boss to fight at the end of it. It’s somewhat short, but if you enjoyed RUINSMAGUS this new quest line will fit right in and feels like an organic part of the game. Skeptics might consider it “cut content”, but we enjoyed diving back into this one.
As an additional bonus, the new pack also contains over a dozen new cosmetic items, with headwear and costumes to change Iris into. If you’re not into cosmetic items then the pack will seem light on content, but it’s priced accordingly, and this is a safe purchase if you already enjoyed the base game.
Escape Simulator Wild West DLC review (PC)
We really like Pine Studio’s Escape Simulator, with its mix of developer-created assets and escape rooms and a ton of user generated content to try out as well. It offers great value for money, and they’re making sure that the game regularly gets updated with new content so that people can keep creating new stuff. On top of that, paid DLC packs offer an even bigger push forward, and the new Wild West pack is no exception.
If offers four new escape rooms, that together tell a story which puts you in the Wild West of the old western movies, full of stereotypes and tropes. Starting off trapped in the sheriff’s jail cell, you’ll later head to the saloon before embarking on a heist at the local bank. Unlock the vault, and it’s off by train, which presents one last escape room challenge.
All of the rooms are very well designed from a visual point of view, and although none of the puzzles struck us are extremely memorable (quite a few are number/calculation-based this time), we had a blast completing the new rooms, which as a pack are just over a Dollar/Euro each. A total steal if you ask us, especially because it’s another gateway towards more user generated content down the road.