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PAX East 2016 – Newegg Media Demo

by on April 22, 2016

Newegg invited us to check out a laptop with the capability of running VR Games. Their core message was to show proof that laptops can also run VR and that there was no need for a beefy rig.
The demo in question was Space Pirate Trainer.

As soon as I put on the HTC Vive I felt that I was thrown into a dark virtual room. My first reaction was to explore. I look at my surroundings and see all sorts of lights and mechanisms. Moving my head for a game feels new since I’m so used to focusing on a screen in front of me but it is a natural movement so I adapted easily. I looked down and see a nice pair of guns. I needed a little guidance to grab them as the perception made it seem like they were laying on the ground but they were really in the hands of the demonstrator.

Once set with my laser pistol in hands and wrist strap properly equipped, it’s game time! Or should I say simulation time? It’s part of every space pirate in training. You shoot the guns at the selections on the menu to initiate the session. At this point anxiety kicks in as I wait for the targets to show up. I was expecting aliens as the darkness of the environment reminded me of the old school arcade game Space Invaders. Old pixelated games refined and come to life. No that is not the case here. There was no Adam Sandler, nor snowman from Frozen. Here we have rocket propelled androids out to school you. Simple moving patterns that actually reminded me of the movement enemies from Galaga performed. Zig-zag around, shoot, then float for a bit. That being said I’m not saying the game isn’t challenging. Being that it’s a simulation they are really downing the integrity of the real enemy.

The real challenge here is the number of enemies sent to you as the round count goes up. There’s only one of you and a handful of enemies shooting at you to make you look like you’re ready to dance salsa. Move side to side, back and forth and sway your hands to take aim and shoot back. Once you get into the action you forget that this is just a game. Your brain just tells you what to do. The power of virtual reality. My mind was guiding me to live, not play.

I forgot that this is a simulator. I have truly fallen into the digital world. I forgot that only my hands and head is the only thing being tracked. Until I tried side stepping to dodge a laser beam and noticed that i still got hit. Momentum kept my head and my hands in place while I moved to the side. The best method to keep it accurate is to dodge like a boxer (Wii Boxing). I forgot to reach back for my shield to cover up. My aggressive offense was overcome by multiple bogeys attacking. Being a space pirate isn’t easy.

Thank you Newegg for giving me the opportunity to test out the HTC Vive.
I’ll keep on training until I’m worthy.