VR roundup: Moss, Moss Book II, Desperate Vladivostok & Vrickey

As PSVR2 appears in stores this week, it’s time to look at the VR scene and some new games that have come out. Included today are the new PS5 versions of Moss and Moss: Book II, Desperate: Vladivostok for the original PSVR and Vrickey for the Quest.

Moss & Moss: Book II review (PSVR2)

Our very first look at what PSVR2 can do came from two of our existing favorites in the VR realm – both Moss and Moss: Book II still rank among our all-time best and we consider them essential purchases for anyone with a headset. Luckily, it helps that they’ve been ported to most major headsets over the years, and now you can get them on PSVR2 as well.

As we pointed out in our review of the PSVR version of Moss: Book II, it was an excellent game but also one in which Sony’s first headset showed its age. From that perspective alone, it’s a good time to migrate to a new generation, and if you never jumped aboard the Moss train you can get both games in a bundle for the PS5 as well, saving yourself a bit of money in the process.

In terms of content and gameplay, these are the same games we’ve reviewed before and that many VR enthusiasts will have played before. The premise of controlling Quill, our hero mouse, through a series of dioramas is still magical – with you acting as the ‘reader’ who guides Quill through the story, controlling both Quill and moving objects in the environments during puzzles.


So what do the PSVR2 versions offer that we haven’t seen before? Well, that depends on your frame of reference. Visually, these are the best looking versions of the games thus far, with improved textures, lighting, resolution and frame rates. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing Moss on PSVR or the Quest before, then the new version is easily the best looking one. Controller-wise, the PSVR2 build is closer to the Quest version, with the new controllers giving you the ability to simultaneously control Quill and work on puzzles. It’s a more immersive way of playing, though we’re sure some people will still prefer traditional gamepad controls for a platformer like this.

What’s a shame is that there is no upgrade option for Moss and Moss: Book II on the PS5/PSVR2, either free or paid. If you already have the games on the PS4/PSVR then the leap forward isn’t enough to warrant another full price purchase. These are the best versions of two amazing VR titles, but they’re most interesting to those for whom PSVR2 is their entry model headset.

Desperate: Vladivostok review (PSVR)

Developer MiroWin has quite a bit of experience in the VR realm and previously gave us Guns ‘n Stories: Bulletproof VR, which we also reviewed on PSVR. It’s nice to see that they’re still supporting the platform in its later days, as they just released Desperate: Vladivostok for Sony’s original VR headset – with a PSVR2 version also in the works.

The setting for Desperate: Vladivostok is an interesting one, with a blend of post-Soviet and cyberpunk influences in which you play as a contract killer amidst a world that’s riddled with violence. With a story mode that features close to 50 individual scenes that are all hand-crafted to present you with challenging scenarios, our minds instantly went to Superhot, which must have been an inspiration here.


The problem, however, is that the story mode in Desperate: Vladivostok simply doesn’t work at launch. It’ll play the intro sequence, but after that there’s nothing you can really do, and we had the same result on two different consoles. Luckily, the arena mode that’s been included does work as intended – even though it was meant as a side option rather than the main attraction. Here, you get to sample the gameplay that the game offers, it’s a nice bit of bullet hell-like shooting fun – a bit like the most intense moments in Superhot where you’re constantly grabbing new weapons that fly towards you from defeated enemies and tossing the ones you’ve emptied. It can get pretty frantic and it’s entertaining, but we’d definitely recommend waiting for an update that fixes the story mode.

Vrickey review (Quest)

The App Lab for Quest titles is an interesting breeding ground for VR gaming concepts that manage to surprise with original twists on existing concept. Faviki Studio’s Vrickey is one such game, taking the classic vertical scrolling arcade shooter and putting a rather unique spin on it.

Vrickey is essentially a generic vertical scrolling shoot ’em up, with a generic looking spaceship that you have to get to the end of the level (of which there are 36). The way you control this ship is unlike any shooter you’ve ever played though, as you move it left and right by stepping sideways and adjust its speed by raising and lowering your arms. And yes, that does free up your hands – which you can use for some dual shooting action.


That’s right – Vrickey mixes traditional shoot ’em up action the ability to fire away at the scene and eliminate blockades that are in the way of your ship. It’s more intuitive than it sounds, and before you know it you’ll be doing all that and dodging incoming balls as well. Vrickey is a relatively simple to grasp arcade-like experience, and you can customize how sensitive the ship’s sideways movement is by making your guardian area bigger or smaller (as long as your playing space allows for that). Combine that with upbeat music and a cheap asking price, and this is worth checking out. One small caveat though – if you’re on an original Quest you can only play the game’s “Zen mode”, which is easier and not as exciting. Let’s hope the developers can optimize the game enough for the entire game to be playable on the Quest – otherwise this is one that’s most interesting for Quest 2 players.

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