Eolia debuts on the Quest platform today with support for English voice and text, with text localization for additional languages coming post-launch.
Eolia, is a virtual reality fantasy-adventure follow-up to Ionia (review) as part of the Rhythm of the Universe series. Hopefully the issues that plagued the first game have been corrected so players can save the land from climate crisis. It’s available on the Quest platform.
Developer ROTU Entertainment announced they will donate a portion of the sales of this sequel to a climate-conscious non-profit group, as selected by the ROTU social media community.
Here, you are exploring the world on the back of the mythical horse-like Lhargo as explorer Conga Dholak on a mission to protect his once-thriving planet from an ecological disaster. Extreme weather and drought plague Eolia’s deserts, peppered with the ruins of a lost civilization and on the brink of environmental collapse.
Disclaimer: The PlayStation version was provided for evaluation
The VR game, Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia is an intro to a grander project that’s still in development. The potential hasn’t been pushed because the graphics have to be easy to migrate from PC to the PSVR and Oculus platforms. This product is developed through Unity, and I hope what’s offered next will be an improvement when compared to what this sampler offers. Hopefully by then, ROTU Entertainment will have figured out the issues.
The developers recommendation is a mid-tier PC with the HTC Vive as the headset of choice. I understand why this rig is the best. When the computer is powered by the best high-end video cards, the in-game visuals can sparkle. The highly positionable base stations (cameras) for this particular VR rig do a better job to make wandering around in Ionia feel more natural. I visited a friend’s home with a proper setup to get a taste of what the developers really intended.
The Oculus uses 6DOF motion tracking and the PSVR uses a stereo camera with a lighted head unit to compute where people are. Sadly, the controls with the Sony unit are clunky. Grabbing onto virtual items and trying to use them isn’t as fluid. Stray off camera, and tracking is lost. Using the PS Move controller to play the xylophone was hard. If you’re not in the sweet spot, it’s easy to appear through objects and not be able to drum. This crucial part needs improved error detection. I had to often reset.
Just how often new content gets added after this game is out of beta will define this game’s success in a tough gaming market.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
God of Riffs is available to preview on Steam, and it has a long way to go before becoming a playable product in a virtual reality market where there’s at least 30 rhythm-based games in this genre. It’s currently limited to the Oculus Rift, Rift S, and Quest. Strangely, the Quest 2 is not included despite being an update to the prior model. Also, both units can operate standalone. I am surprised a VR ready PC is required when the Quest’s biggest selling point is that it can work standalone.
The early access version shows potential as an optional version of Beat Saber to play. Officially, this highly popular game prefers modern alt-pop over other genres, and without a high-end PC, I can’t access the mods offered by fellow rhythm game enthusiasts (I’m a Apple Macintosh devotee with a PC laptop).
Five percent of proceeds from the sales of this game will benefit environmental non-profit Wildlife Warriors. Established in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin, Wildlife Warriors continues Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin’s legacy of protecting injured, threatened or endangered wildlife. The latest trailer reveals this family’s involvement with this product:
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Rhythm of the Universe is alive in Ionia, the first in a series of virtual reality games about preserving the environment with the power of music. There’ll be seven in total. The first game that’s due soon is a single-player fantasy-adventure puzzle and the trailer was unveiled during UploadVR Summer Showcase by ROTU Entertainment. They are planning on making it available in Q3 for the Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and VR capable PC. It’s expected to sell for $9.99.
Five percent of proceeds from the sales of this game will benefit environmental non-profit Wildlife Warriors. Established in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin, Wildlife Warriors continues Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin‘s legacy of protecting injured, threatened or endangered wildlife. The latest trailer reveals this family’s involvement with this product:
I’m particularly excited about this rhythm game as it’s bound to be different from current products like Beat Saber (the most well known) or Beat the Rhythm. Add on top the fact that I’m a fan of Steve’s mission and his works, the recognition is most likely to get even casual gamers to check this new game out. The fact creature designer Neville Page of Avatar fame (James Cameron) is involved in the design guarantees a certain level of quality control in the final product. In the trailer, the visuals says it all. It feels like the world is borne from Mononoke Hime and Avatar, and what it’ll become is going to be Fantasia 2021. The scale of the fauna found in this world may well put Shadow of the Colossus to shame. Not only are players composing music, but also they must (I assume) use it to tame the various beasts encountered during gameplay.
The teaser trailer (see below) shows off the exquisite beauty of how this world will look like on high-powered VR gaming machines. It’s bound to shine on properly decked out virtual reality PC systems and the PS5 than with older generation machines. Hopefully the mistakes made from Cyberpunk 2027 will not be repeated, to ensure playability across the multiple platforms this game is destined for. Continue reading “The Power of Music in Ionia VR”
Fans of The Matrix will get the sense of humour being used with this virtual reality meeting and conversation with the director of this documentary Rodney Ascher and actress Felicia Day. It’s a free event for those with the Oculus’ headgear to watch in a 3D space. But for those without, a 2D version of this Q&A will be posted to Magnolia Picture’s YouTube Channel after the event.
if we are living in a simulation, and the world as we know it is not real? To tackle this mind-bending idea, acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Ascher (Room 237, The Nightmare) uses a noted speech from Philip K. Dick to dive down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy, and conspiracy theory.
Leaving no stone unturned in exploring the unprovable, the film uses contemporary cultural touchstones like The Matrix, interviews with real people shrouded in digital avatars, and a wide array of voices, expert and amateur alike. If simulation theory is not science fiction but fact, and life is a video game being played by some unknowable entity, then who are we, really? A Glitch in the Matrix attempts to find out.