Fruit Ninja VR
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £13.99 ($14.99)
Controllers: One Move Controllers Required (Two Recommended)
Game Length: Depends on Player (Three minutes upwards)
Chances are you’ve probably had a dabble with Fruit Ninja before. But how does the game fair in VR? And is it worth another purchase?
Fruit Ninja is a popular mobile game that was originally released way back in 2010. It sees players frantically swiping their phone/tablet screen in an attempt to slice, cut, and destroy as many kinds of fruit as possible, whilst evading bombs, and trying to stay alive as long as they can.
The game has proved so popular over the years, having been downloaded over one billion times, it has now been fully transformed and updated for the world of VR – and even has a film adaptation in the works, though whether that actually comes to fruition is another story entirely.
Fruit Ninja VR is the same game at its core as its mobile counterpart. But here, rather than swiping the fruit for points, you wield one or two (depending on how many Move controllers you own) katanas and slice the fruit yourself in a ‘real’, three-dimensional world. The Move tracking is dead-on here and one of the best I’ve experienced in PSVR. Not only do you always slice the fruit you’re aiming for, but you can also turn the katanas on their sides and balance fruit on the blade. It’s a feature that I found almost useless to begin with beyond it being very cool, but then I realised you could use the side of your katana to propel bombs out of the way.
Fruit Ninja VR comes with four modes: Arcade, in which you keep slicing until the time rounds out; Classic, in which you keep going until either a total of three fruit hit the ground or you slice a bomb; Zen, which is essentially Classic mode without the bombs; and Survival mode, which sees a cannon firing rounds of fruit at the player, who must let no more than three pieces of fruit hit the ground.
The four modes work on the same principle: gain as high a score as possible. Surviving a long time in all modes will help the player to accomplish this as will performing combos: slicing as many fruits at once as you can, and slicing fruit straight through the middle. Performing an impressive combo feels great and really tugs at the reward centre of the brain. There are also power-ups which can help the player attain a high score. For example, the freeze banana slows down time, enabling the player to wait for just the right moment to strike. If you’re anything like me you won’t survive very long but the game is definitely one of those “one more go” titles.
The gameplay is fast and frenetic and you’re always kept on your toes. It can feel overwhelming at first but you soon acclimatise to the mayhem.
Fruit Ninja looks great in VR; the immersion factor is high. The world is colourful and the katanas look sharp, both in graphical terms and as weapons. It’s certainly one of the best looking PSVR games. The only downside here is there is only one ‘level’ or play area. It would be great if they added more variety down the line as a change of scenery every once and a while could add to the games replayability factor. More levels won’t change the core gameplay, but it would be nice to look at something different every now and then.
The music is chirpy and perfectly suited to the title and the sound effects are exactly what you would want and expect. The sound of slicing fruit is almost therapeutic, as is the swiping sound of the katanas.
There’s no multiplayer here past the leaderboards. However, if you’re anything like myself then you could turn it into a great local multiplayer game when showcasing the hardware to friends and family.
The title is a little pricey for what you get. Although you do get a title with almost limitless replayability, if chasing high-scores and coveted leaderboard positions is your thing; there are only four modes and no unlockables or customisation for your katanas, and you play in the same surroundings every time. If the title was five pound less a purchase would be a no-brainer, but as it stands it definitely depends on the player as to whether it’s worth the price tag.
Verdict: 7/10 – Great fun and immersive, but slightly expensive for what you get.