Does anyone remember the tutorial of Metal Gear Rising: Revengence and how awesome it was? Well, if you’re a fan of slicing up watermelons (and maybe other fruit) piece by piece and have just forked out hundreds for a VR headset, you’ll be pleased to hear that Halfbrick Studios have taken the liberty of bringing their mobile hit Fruit Ninja to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. Finally, instead of paying a fortune to buy real katanas and a bunch of fruit to slice up, you can instead pay a fortune to buy a game where you can slice up virtual fruit… and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t pretty fun.
Fruit Ninja VR uses the motion controls for your preferred virtual reality device (in my case, the PlayStation Move controllers) to put you in the shoes of the badass fruit-slaying anime swordsman you were always born to be with four different game modes: Classic, Arcade, Zen and Survival. Arcade mode sees the player trying to rack up as many points as possible within the time limit by performing combos while avoiding bombs that decrease the amount of time left. Classic mode is more akin to the original mobile version of the game where the player must slice up fruit and avoid bombs and only ends after either missing three pieces of fruit or hitting a bomb. Zen mode is almost a practice mode, throwing nothing but fruit at the player for 60 seconds with no challenges, but it ended up becoming my favourite mode regardless. Survival mode is the most challenging of the four gameplay styles as multiple cannons launch fruit at the player from multiple directions at once, requiring quick reflexes and reactions.
While it is as silly as it sounds in concept as it is in execution, Fruit Ninja VR is actually an enjoyable experience that blends virtual reality with arcade gameplay surprisingly well. It’s no deeper than simply slicing fruit, but there is a certain level of strategy involved when it comes to beating your personal best score and trying to climb the online leaderboards. Once you find yourself in a competitive mindset, the game can become quite a physical workout, and if you’re not careful, a violent home redecoration method. Be careful of your surroundings.
Sadly though, once you’ve tried all the modes and decided which is your favourite, Fruit Ninja VR fails to be anything more than an overpriced mini-game. Not mini-game collection. Mini-game. Generally speaking, it is just the same mini-game with very minor gameplay changes each turn, and before long the game becomes little more than a distraction. A fun distraction, but a distraction nonetheless that you won’t find yourself playing for more than 10 minutes a session. I mostly found myself only playing Fruit Ninja VR while taking breaks from trying other VR games. It is a fun game to show your friends and family what virtual reality is like, but it’s not worth the entry fee.
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Platforms: PS4 (PSVR), PC (Oculus, Vive)
Release Date: 20th December 2016