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Is full-body PSVR2 game C-Smash VRS a smash or a pass?

Breakout in a sweat.

Thank God for air conditioning. Here in the UK there's a bit of a heat wave going on at the moment and without it there's no way I'd have gone anywhere near my PSVR2 this week, let alone played a full-body immersion VR game like C-Smash VRS.

I realise I'm in the air-con owning minority where I live though, so I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, launching an intensly physical VR game like this one at this time of year may hurt its sales figures a bit. Which is a shame because C-Smash VRS is a lot of fun. But honestly, it's not fun enough to risk your health for.

Now obviously the above criticism doesn't apply to countries with easy access to aircon and whose houses are built to keep heat out rather than keep it in, that's mainly a European problem. Even still, please do bear in mind that I did feel a bit of sweat run down my face after about 30 minutes of play time, even with my aircon unit set to 20°C.

In a big win for VR accessibility, I found out that C-Smash VRS is perfectly playable from a seated position (or a stationary standing position for those with limited space) thanks to the thumbstick controls and crouch button.

For those of you unaware, C-Smash VRS is a VR adaption of Sega's Dreamcast classic, Cosmic Smash. The gameplay is simple, think Pong meets Breakout in space, and it's all presented in a stylishly minimalistic graphical style with a banging soundtrack from Rez Infinite co-composer Ken Ishii.

Due to attending a foreign press trip this week, and a lack of online players pre-release, I've only had time to try out the campaign mode for this week's VR Corner. Nevertheless, I think I got a pretty good feel for the game during the 60+ minutes I played it for and you can watch the edited version of that play test in the video player at the top of the page.

The campaign mode for C-Smash VRS can be playing in either Zen Mode, which allows you to retry stages that you've failed, or in Challenge Mode, a mode for practiced players that ends as soon as you fail. Zen Mode, which I spent the majority of my time on, is a nice introduction to the gameplay and it provides a gentle way to practice your ball control and get to grips with the power-ups and Power Smash mechanic.

The gentle Dual Sense haptics and the ASMR-ish 'thwack' noise that plays when you successfully hit the ball come together to provide such great sensory satisfaction.
There's definitely something incredibly moreish about C-Smash VRS. The arcade simplicity will leave you itching for just one more go, especially once the gameplay clicks and you've learnt how to accurately aim your shots. It's not just the aesthetics that seem minimalistic though and, while the Zen and Challenge Mode stages do seem to have a huge amount of variety in terms of always being slightly different, really it all boils down to simply hitting squares with balls.

From what I gather after reading other reviews, C-Smash VRS' online multiplayer is the place to be, and it's the space that offers you the most fun and the most challenge so it's disappointing I've not been able to test that yet. Whilst the solo modes will offer some addictive score attack challenges, it really sounds like the four multiplayer modes will be the things that keep players coming back for more.

So, C-Smash VRS then. Smash Or Pass? For me, with my limited play time, it does feel like it's set to be a Smash, especially once the online community gets involved. Perhaps wait until things cool down a bit before you try it though - otherwise there's a good chance you'll Pass out whilst playing it.

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