Monday, December 18, 2023

Asgard's Wrath II is simply amazing

Asgard's Wrath II launched just 3 days ago on Dec 15th, and it made a huge splash. I mean, those who play VR knew it was going to be huge, but I think everyone's collective jaws dropped when IGN gave it the coveted perfect 10

My first really wow moment with the game happened when I loaded it up and it took 10 minutes to get to the title screen as I was treated to a theme-park-esque ride through the lore. Don't skip it. They have you grab on the reigns of a giant crow and soar through a story of the gods while the game catches you up on what happened in the first Asgard's Wrath game. Truly a treat.

Golden memories of glowing musicians in the Asgard Tavern

One of the best features of this game is the dungeon puzzles you'll encounter where you bounce back and forth between your god mode and the human host you can inhabit. For me, it was reminiscent of playing A Fisherman's Tale mixed with the miniature model sets of Moss or Lucky's Tale. It makes for some really fun gameplay that gives you a breather from the hack-and-slash combat that will be giving you a workout.

Raising my human up on a platform by hooking a pull cord as a god.

The combat is great by the way. It's every bit as action-packed as playing Dungeons of Eternity with even more complexity in how enemies react, show their weak spots, and just fight with you. Even better, after rescuing your first companion in Act 2 you can use them in the fight as well. Not to mention there's a whole skill tree system so you can customize your combat. And that's just the stuff I've discovered so far! There are still 3 other human forms I can play as, but I've only unlocked the warrior so far.

Die Servent of Set!

But wait, there's more! That's right, there's a side system dungeon crawl where you can be ranked and earn cool stuff along the way! The Uncharted Rifts offer you a chance to test your mettle against friends and foes alike. It's kind of crazy. When you die in an uncharted rift you can leave behind a helpful companion to assist those in need or a shadow of yourself to strike down your friends. How far can you go is the name of the game.

The D.M. will show you the way into the uncharted rifts.

But wait, there's EVEN MORE! While out in the desert riding around you can actually visit tears in the space-time reality and fight enemies in an MR mode! I wish I would have captured some footage of this. It was really fun. Basically, the Quest 3's passthrough mode enabled, and enemies would tear through my office walls and strike at me.

It has everything! I just can't even with this game. It's all just so incredibly well-made and cool. I really love it, and it's definitely my new favorite Quest game. If you're looking for someone to push you over the edge to buy it, look no further. I'll be writing more about it on the blog here as I play through it.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Many Wonders of Meow Wolf in a Masterful Minigolf Menagerie

Just last week, the fine folks at Meow Wolf and Walkabout Minigolf teamed up to deliver us a DLC course that is simply breathtaking. My family is no stranger to the Meow Wolf exhibits, and, as I posted about recently, my son and I love a good game of Walkabout Minigolf, so it was a natural fit. Even more exciting, I had a full, eight-person group lined up to play with on launch day thanks to the Ruff Talk VR Discord. Let's go!

Numina come to life in Walkabout Minigolf!

You know, it's funny. I think I've felt the same Meow-Wolf-esque vibes while playing in Walkabout Minigolf in the past. It was actually when I was playing the Sweetopia course for the first time that I thought, yeah, I see it. This is a cool space that is like a work of art where you can just chill and walk through it. It's a natural fit.

That said, this Meow Wolf course is next-level awesome. Alien creatures, weird flowers, and uncanny morphism are just the start. 

Exploding pollen balls inside The final hole

The rules of the course bend as well. For example, there's a hole where you have to herd holes into a hole. There's a hole where your ball shatters into 9 other balls. There's an upside-down obstacles hole. There's a Vector-graphics, air hockey hole . . . and on and on and on. A lot of love and thought went into these spaces and it shows.

A view of the first hole and the recurring blueberry, golf ball beast you find throughout

I also streamed my play to the TV so my wife and son could see the course and the first thing they said was, "Oh! I've been there!" That's how well the theming is of the Meow Wolf course to the Convergence Station, Denver location of Meow Wolf. I personally had never been there, but they both went there last summer while on a trip together.

A diorama of the course within the course

It took about a full 2 hours to play through the course with eight people the other night. Of course, we spent most of that time exploring around the environment, finding hidden balls, and . . . in my case, spent time catching up when my headset ran out of battery.

On Saturday I came back into the hardmode, night-time version of the golf course and found all the hidden pimentos throughout the course. It was tough, but I didn't cheat by looking at a guide to find them all. Number 3 and Number 9 were killers to find! My reward was adding another pretty sweet putter to my collection. I dig it! 

So close, yet so far . . . tough clue!

This is hands down my new favorite course in Walkabout minigolf. What a successful blend of an IP that Mighty Coconut achieved with this course. Amazing. 

If you'd like to hear more about the course and walkabout minigolf, the folks at the Ruff Talk VR podcast had a really excellent interview Michele Martell of Mighty Coconut and Vince Kadlubek of Meow Wolf. Check it out!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

I bought World of Diving for $2

I've been a bit fascinated with underwater VR games since I first strapped on a headset and realized that it felt like I was wearing a diving mask. It's a bit uncanny and so it's easy to understand why a game like World of Diving exists. It's actually crazier to me that there aren't MORE games like World of Diving, but I get it . . . . It's a gamble and a game like this wouldn't make you rich. This is my best guess at why there are so many shooters in the VR space. They sell. Games like World of Diving don't.

Steamdb has tracked World of Diving over the past couple years, and when it's gone on sale it's either been between the $5 and $2 range. That tracks for me since it's an older VR game from 2014, and it has a 3-star rating on Steam.

World of Diving is all about the extremes

Having already been exposed to Ocean Rift (one of my first purchased games on the Oculus) and loving the feeling of jetting around looking at the ocean floor and swimming aside sea creatures, when World of Diving popped up for $2 during Black Friday sales, I . . . dove in . . . and purchased it.

The past week has been World of Diving week for me, which I needed since before this I was in a couple very active games (Synth Riders and Hellsweeper -- thanks for the suggestions Amelia!). World of Diving is super super chill, but still a game, so it's already better than Ocean Rift or TheBlu

The problem with Ocean Rift is that it's an experience, not a game.  Basically in Ocean Rift you're visiting a virtual underground museum looking at sea life and not much else.  The other popular underwater experience is TheBlu, which is currently free to play with 3-4 $2 DLC. The free to play experience in TheBlu is like 3 minutes. It's a great 3 minutes where you stand in place and a whale looks you in the eye and swims past you. It would be a pretty great "first experience" for a VR newbie, but . . . ultimately it's pretty short. I did like how the ship shook when the whale zoomed past you though. Nice touch.

So! All that said!  Let's talk World of Diving!  This Jamaican 6-pack bustin' diving shop owner is your guide.

Ray likes turtles and is Jamaican right down to the tip of his undies.

Ray has quests for you! The basic game loop here is that you visit Ray, and Ray tells you where to go next.  Done. You open up your handy dandy underwater camera/quest/fishopedia and there's a little yellow marker telling you exactly where to go to find your next destination.

Have green squares, will photograph! 

I love everything about this thing except for its font. Completely unbelievable that a company that created such a device would use such an unreadable font for its interface.  A white, thin, and san serif font?! I don't buy it and I don't like it.  It is a pretty cool gadget though. I wish the pictures that I took with it were stored somewhere on my hard drive. I dug through folders hoping it was so, but alas . . . Steam F12 or Oculus screenshot button were the best I could do.

I had fish density turned all the way up in the options

Most of Ray's missions came in one of two flavors: collection quest or photography quest. It was like playing Pokemon Snap in a way.  After you'd finish a quest, Ray would give you a follow on quest until you had finished all the main quests in an area, then you'd unlock the next biome. In all there were 8 biomes you could play in: Thailand, Bonaire, Australia, Okavango Delta, Lockheed, North Carolina, Bismarck, and Brazil.

I'm not sure if he saw me after a while.

The first biome was the most fleshed out and completed. After that, there were maybe only 4-5 quests in each biome. The fish in the biomes started to taper off as well. Because of this, it feels like the game was rushed to completion after the first biome was polished, but they all had something unique and interesting to explore.


While questing, there are some side quests you can pick up for photographing things. There are also hidden collection quests for picking up junk, finding doubloons, and finding other treasures. I picked up a lot of trash in the virtual seas, but alas I haven't finished any of these sub-quests.

People just leaving their trash bags everywhere these days!

Quests award you with gold and you can spend that gold on unlocking wearable diving gear. As a player you don't see any visible changes in what you're wearing, but apparently this game supports multiplayer where it would matter more.  That's actually the most shocking part here. Multiplayer?! I love it! I wonder if that's networked or player-hosted? It'd be interesting to find out someday if I find a diving partner.

The quests end at the second to the last biome, which has you searching through an old sunken nazi submarine. You end up swimming through rusty old tunnels looking for items.  The very last quest of the game is to find 8 hidden bars of gold. It was a bit of a cheap play here on that quest. You had to stick your hand through a ship bunk's geometry and click eight times in a hidden location.  Kinda weird.

In the words of Indiana Jones, "Nazis, I hate these guys!"

After that, they open a biome for you to just swim around in and perform photography side quests and junk clean up.  The best surprise though was this amazing My Little Pony Esque ship that was sunk there.

The best sunken ship in the game hands down. Worth the time spent to get to the final zone.

I love the fact that there was some crazy pirate in this unspoken lore that floated around in a my little pony ship and unleashed cannon fire on other pirates . . . only in One Piece and the final biome of World of Diving, friends.

The game was not without its bugs mind you. I mean, if I had paid full price for this game I would have been pretty irritated when I needed to restart the entire game because my ability to select quest icons and click in the quest window just suddenly didn't work. But, since I bought the game on the cheap and it has provided me with six hours of underwater fun so far, it's totally worth it!

If you know of a good diving VR game, let me know. I'd love to check it out.

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgolfing 2023!

Hello fine readers and Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it! To those that don't, might I suggest celebrating the alternate holiday of Thanksgolfing? The family and I have been celebrating both actually.

I recently purchased Walkabout Minigolf VR on Oculus, and my youngest and I have been casting our gameplay on to the family TV in the living room. Watching each other mini-golf on the larger screen has actually been pretty great. There's been a lot of taunting, a lot of cheering, and so much hilarious frustration when those missed putts treat us wrong.

The practice course in Walkabout Minigolf VR

I love this VR game. I can't believe it took me this long to buy the game that, to be honest, should be one of the first any person with a new VR headset should purchase. It's a great starter game in VR. It's optimized well with bright, fun colors and supports multiplayer.

Lots of courses to choose from with plenty of DLC courses

Each course comes in two flavors: Easy and Hard. AND, it's not just mini-golf. Within each course is a little game of "find the hidden lost ball," which has you teleporting all over the course looking in the pixelated corners to find all kinds of multicolored balls to use when you play. 

Hitting that perfect shot -- I actually got a hole in one right here!

To unlock Hard mode all you have to do is score under par in Easy mode or find a certain amount of hidden lost balls.  Hard mode features a hidden quest in each world. If you finish the quest, you'll unlock a new putter to play with.

With some time off of work, it's been the perfect way to relax and have fun with the family. 

Looking forward to the new Meow Wolf themed course coming out soon!

Our putting around virtually made us crave some putting around in the real world, and so Uber Wife, my youngest, and I went to our local indoor minigolf course to play a round. 

Took a few fun 360 shots at the course while we were there

I have to say that it was great to see how putting in VR actually improved my son's putting in the real world. Typically he just hits that ball way to hard and in the past often ended up hitting the stroke limit for a hole. This time around, he was right there with us and played well.

Is it Halloween or Thanksgolfing?!

To round things out, I saw a PC game I had wishlisted was available with a discount to purchase (as is the Black Friday way with Steam), so I sprung for it.  I mean, it is Thanksgolfing after all, and there's nothing quite like a good game of Dungeon Golf.

In Dungeon Golf, you mini-put through a wild, trap and monster filled set of dungeon-themed courses as a variety of dungeon dwellers. The comedy value is high on this one as there are two Dungeon Golf sports casters talking about how you're doing throughout. 

A minotaur who yells fore

So far I've only played through course 1 in the single player Golf Quest mode, but I imagine the game is so much more fun in multiplayer mode. In Golf Quest mode you putt around the dungeon while taking on each dungeon course's quest objective. This could be defeat all enemies, open all treasure chests, get to the hole as fast as possible, etc. Getting too close to a monster without hitting it will result in a penalty stroke, so it ends up being a fun puzzle to figure out the best way around the course.

Breaking pots and opening chests in Dungeon Golf will provide you with mana that can power your spells. There are nine different characters you can play as an each has a different spell and special ability that you can cast when you have enough mana. Some characters seem more suited to play in multiplayer than others, but that doesn't stop the game from being fun to just putt around.

I love playing with this kooky steed riding a steed

Do you have a favorite golf game you plan to play on Thanksgolfing today after your regular Turkey Day festivities?  Let's hear about it in the comments. Now that I think about it, man I'd love to break out some Mario Golf Super Rush with the family on the Switch today as well. 

Thanksgolfing is the best!

Happy Dueling!

Monday, November 13, 2023

A Slave to the Staves -- Dungeons of Eternity

Dungeons of Eternity continues to be my go to VR game for smashing, bashing, plunking, and zapping dungeon baddies. I'm level 29 and while it does feel a bit repetitive at this point, it also feels great to discover some random room layout I've never seen before.  I found a room with several swinging blades I had never seen before and it felt like a treat.

What continues to be a mystery to me, however, is the drop rate of staves. I love them. I want to use them all the time, but also, they just rarely drop. Why? I thought for a moment I might have figured something out when a dungeon I went through had the prefix of "arcane" and in one run I looted three staves, so I saved the dungeon layout. Unfortunately I didn't receive any staves on the next three runs of the dungeon, so the mystery remains. It definitely would be nice if a dungeon's name prefix also indicated which kinds of weapons and gear you'd find inside of it.

There are other mysteries surrounding the staves as well. Each staff has a damage number on it, but from what I can tell, this damage number only applies to the melee part of swinging a staff at an enemy and the actual damage of the spell is very hidden. it's an improvement I'd love to see with staves: reveal to us exactly how these things cause damage or heal!

. . . and without further adieu, here's my collection:

The Melee Staff

This guy has no magic, but if you like throwing around broom sticks and bopping things on the head, then this is an incredibly underpowered weapon. It is LARGE, so it does have that going for it.  Chucking a melee staff around is pretty fun.  Nothing much to say about this one other than it feels like a bit of a dud. Would be great if there was some kind of Monk main build you could do with it, but I just don't think that's a thing.

The Fireball Staff

It's a classic and honestly, if it did more damage, I'd love playing around with this thing.  You can click to rapid fire it and that's the best part.  It's like a fast machine gun with no kickback.  Holding it with two hands helps aim it a bit better, but again . . . I have no idea how much damage the fire portion actually does.

The Shockwave Staff

This was the first staff I ever picked up and still one of my favorites.  It's the perfect cure for when you feel trapped and cornered by enemies that keep blocking your attacks.  Just a quick charge of the shockwave and BAM!  Every enemy that's surrounding you goes flying backward from the shockwave. It's so much fun to use.

The Force Staff

At first you may think this is a little bit like a single target Shockwave staff, but the beauty of this staff is that you don't have to discharge it like a shockwave staff. Just hold down the trigger button and run into an enemy with the staff and they go flying backward. It's an easy way to crowd control and get yourself out of sticky situations. I actually found a legendary version of a force staff, so I've added it back into my loadout at high levels.

The Chrono Staff

This staff is a really great debuff staff. When you shoot its beam at an enemy, it makes them go woozy from being slowed down and takes them out of the action for a few seconds.  This makes the enemy completely vulnerable to attacks. It's an easy debuff that works great.

The Gravity Staff

This here is possibly the most fun staff of the entire game. When your beam from the gravity staff locks on to an enemy, you can then rag doll them around the environment making them crash into walls, pillars, the ceiling, the floor . . . even other enemies. It's hilarious CC that feels super satisfying. Of any staff out there, this one makes you feel like an all powerful wizard.

The Healing Staff

Unfortunately I own one of these, but I've never actually used it in action, which is disappointing. I need to go into DoE with a group so I can play healer for them. The problem is that most dungeons provide you with a glut of healing potions, and so it's very easy to just . . . not need healing. I tried flipping the staff around to give myself a shot of healing, and it doesn't work on yourself, only others.

The Ice Staff

. . . I wish I had one to show off.  From what I have heard, it freezes enemies in ice and then you can shatter them with a second hit. It sounds awesome.  The hunt for an ice staff continues!

I suppose you could include in this list, the staff you use for marking enemies in the Soul Harvest instances, but that one is yet another mystery! It stuns enemies for a quick second as it marks them, um, and you can throw it, but it doesn't seem to really do any damage.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Explore a whole planet of dungeons in Dungeons of Eternity

I've been playing a lot of a new VR game that came out just a month ago called Dungeons of Eternity. I've owned the game for just over a week and a half now, and yup, I've been having a lot of fun with it! Max level for the game is 50 currently, and I'm level 20 and rising. My total time spent in the game according to the Oculus Move app is over 12 hours.  It's a "medium priced" VR game at $29.99, but I can say my enjoyment per dollar spent just keeps going up.

I have a little list of pros and cons about the game, but before I get into any of that, let me just talk you about what the game is all about. As the story goes, your people have found another planet in space that has a sprawling network of underground dungeons. It's your job to go down to these dungeons and raid them for their spoils, using the weapons and items you find there. In fact, part of your training tutorial is to teach you how to fight using "the old ways" of magic, bows, swords, and five other weapon types.

Currently sporting a Hammer and Dagger combo with a Chrono Staff on my back

From your medieval-themed spaceship above this planet you've all dubbed "Eternity" (you know, because it has an eternal network of dungeons on it), you choose random dungeons from within 4 environment types to beam down into. 

Beam me to the Occult Tunnels, Scotty.

While in the dungeons you loot chests that provide you with gold, cosmetics, and weapon blueprints that you can take back to your spaceship and use a 3D printer-type-machine to "fabricate" new weapons. So there you have it, Dungeons of Eternity is a weird blend of sci-fi and fantasy. All that said, let's be honest, it's 95% a fantasy game. 

There are three types of dungeons for you to explore on the planet of Eternity: Dungeon Raids, Crystal Hunts, and Soul Harvests. 

Dungeon Raids

The typical dungeon raids are really all about making your way through a randomly generated dungeon full of enemies and gathering as many loot chests as you possibly can while trekking to the final room where you'll find a broken down drone. Once you activate the drone in the final room you have to fight off waves of enemies until they drop a total of three batteries, which you slot in the drone. Once that's done, just stand in the drone's light and you're whisked off to the results screen and back to your space ship.

Powering up a drone in a dungeon raid

You'll want to do these dungeons to unlock as many cosmetics and weapon upgrades as you can. When you start the game, you have a choice of around 4 skin colors and a couple selections of "how homeless do I want to look." As you do dungeon after dungeon you start to unlock not only more skin colors, but eye colors, tooth shapes, hair styles, hair colors, armor dyes, and your standard array of gear: chest, legs, boots, accessory, gloves, etc. At level 20 now, I look significantly less homeless than when I was level 1.

More chests also mean more chances at weapon upgrades. I'm currently rocking a rare quality hammer and throwing dagger along with a chrono staff to stun enemies. There's a good array of weapon types you can use and benefits to using any of them.

Crystal Hunts

Crystal Hunts are where you beam down to a pyramid that has three hallways and a large center section. In each hallway is a crystal that you must find and slot into a holder in the center of the pyramid. Once you do, you activate the crystal extraction device and that begins beaming up crystal energy to your ship above. Guardians of the pyramid are there to try and stop you of course, and it's really important you grab the attention of the caster guardian ASAP to stop them or they will destroy your crystals. If they destroy all your crystals, you fail the instance.

Just say no to casters!

You'll want to do crystal hunts because they unlock something called exo-suit buffs. So since all your armor is cosmetic based, you "upgrade" any of these by purchasing exo-suit buffs with the crystals you earn during crystal hunts. These can do various things for you like, increase your thrown weapon distance, protect you against poison, let you jump higher, etc.

YES! I need max throwing distance!

As you level, you get access to better/different exo-suit buffs. So, not only do you need to level, but you need to get the crystals to buff yourself up.

Soul Harvests

Soul Harvests are interesting. I'm not sure the lore behind this, but it appears your race has made buddies with some kind of necromantic being who helps souls move on to the next world. Your spaceship even has a custom built soul harvest room for him on board . . . NOT CREEPY AT ALL! 

Does this look like it belongs on a space ship? Who am I to judge?

Soul Harvests work kind of in reverse of how Crystal Hunts work. You fight off waves of enemies in a central room, first marking them with a special staff, then using that same staff to vacuum up their souls after you've defeated them. Once your staff is fully charged with souls, you bring it back to a central area and unload them, which simultaneously unlocks a passageway with free loot. Each subsequent wave of enemies gets more difficult. Once you're all done with the instance, you're teleported back to your ship and our necromantic friend gives us a reward befitting of the number of souls you drained.

Zap 'em, kill 'em, and vacuum 'em up!

You'll want to do Soul Harvests because, the more souls you have acquired, the better the potions you can fabricate. Potions give you access to the best buffs in the game like Haste, Quad Damage, Invisibility, and of course good old fashioned healing. It's good to go into Crystal Hunts and Soul Harvests with a healing potion prepared, word to the wise.


And that's the game, you just keep running instances dungeons over and over as you level and unlock more cosmetics, weapons, exo-suit buffs, and potions . . . which typically wouldn't be anything to write home about except this is all in VR where how things "feel" when you play can trump everything else, and let me tell you, it feels awesome. It has some of the best feeling melee interactions I've had in a VR game. Past VR fantasy games felt a little lame as I drifted through enemies while I swung at them. It's not often that a game let's you sever off zombie legs and they still crawl toward you with their arms. Bashing a skeleton on the back of their head looks and feels great as they shatter apart.

. . . and how I've gone through an entire post about Dungeons of Eternity and NOT mentioned their throwing weapons is now my worst sin. Friends, if you want to feel awesome chucking a throwing hammer, axe, or dagger at a skeleton and bust them apart, this is your game. They've included some kind of auto-aiming component to throwing that really makes you feel god-like. I mean, look, you can definitely miss, your shots can even be blocked, but once you chuck a mace, smash a zombie in its face, then tractor beam the mace back to your hand to do it again, you'll be hooked.

As with most VR games that have multiplayer, multiplayer is where it's at. Soloing is still fun, but running a dungeon with a couple of your gamer buddies is absolutely the best, and even better, if one of you falls in the instance, your buddy can bring you back up.  Good stuff. Plus diversifying your weapon types can be really fun, and there's no competition for loot as everyone gets their own roll at loot from the chests.

Now we've reached the point in the post where I need to mention what I consider to be a few things I personally wish were a little different in the game.

1- Slow loot unlock cycle -- I was looking pretty homeless until I was about level 15 when I finally got an assassin type looking armor and a half elf face with a crown. I don't know if I just needed to grind the tutorial dungeon five times to get some good loot at first, or if I was just unlucky. All of that just felt like it needed to happen a lot faster.

Still looking pretty homeless at level 13 . . .

 2- Magic Staves are rare, but awesome -- Some of the most fun abilities of the game are found on random staves. Grabbing a skeleton with a gravity staff and chucking it across the room as it rag doll slams against a wall it just fun.  There's about 8 or 9 different types of staves and each has a different type of spell associated with it. So far my favorites are those that stun, blow back, or toss an enemy around: Force, Gravity, Shockwave, and Chrono. Weirdly, I got most of those staves back when I was low level and using them is really more about the effect than the damage, which is unfortunate.

For every one staff, I've got 10 shields, 10 swords, 10 clubs, and a gaggle of crossbows. 

3- The win condition on Crystal Hunts is confusing, at least at first. Basically, crystals are shattered by one of two things . . . either they get drained or they get destroyed by the guardians. It's really hard to tell that a crystal getting drained is a good thing, and so it's very easy to get confused here. Did I win or did I not? Once you figure it out, all is well, but getting to that point is confusing. Basically, just aggro or interrupt the caster as soon as you see it, and you'll be fine.

4- Glowing enemies? I actually popped on to the Dungeons of Eternity discord because I had a few questions. One of them had to do with the appearance of one type of fire skeleton that was way harder than all the rest. I can throw a mace at a fire skeleton about 2 to 3 times and it typically shatters. But, there's one that I suppose is "glowing" red as opposed to be colored red (I really don't see the glow), and they take about 9 to 10 hits to get down. It's a common enemy here at level 20 and is such a pain to deal with. It makes me think there's a bug of some kind with this particular model, but I suppose it's meant to be that way.

5- Chest to Key disparity. There's absolutely nothing worse than being in a dungeon and finding a lucky haul of six chests and then you only find enough keys to open half of them. That's super frustrating. There should always be enough keys to open all the chests.

6- Wi-fi Disconnection issues. If you somehow disconnect in the middle of a dungeon, it doesn't save your progress in the dungeon, at least how I would expect it to. Instead it saves "the layout" of your randomized dungeon, and you'll need to replay it all over again. There's nothing more discouraging than getting super deep into a room heavy dungeon and crashing out or disconnecting from wifi. 

7- No achievements. I mean, it may seem pretty trivial to some people, and I'd wager a guess that a lot of people don't even know when an oculus game has achievements. (Just go look at your scoreboard app). Unfortunately there are no achievements in this game where it feels very much like they could have included some with it.

8- Being consumed by a boss. This is a pretty trivial complaint, but I'm not really a fan of when I'm consumed by the beholder-esque boss, the screen turns grey like I've died, I see my body crumple to the ground, and then suddenly I'm back up and fighting again.  It feels like a weird execution that could have been handled differently. I don't think "consumed" should be a condition that happens to me. Instead I should be, I don't know, bitten? It's just a weird reset/rebirth condition that breaks the connection with my character and makes me feel like I cheated death somehow.

The good news here is that Othergate (the company that makes Dungeons of Eternity) gave us some really good quality of life updates just a few weeks after launch and promises there's more to come with the game. I'm seeing a lot of people on the discord that are already level 50 and looking for more content. 

All in all, this game is one of the best Dungeon Crawlers out there. Karnage Chronicles will always have a special place in my heart, but this is definitely my new favorite dungeon crawling game on the Oculus quest.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, October 28, 2023

No More Rainbows: Halloween Treats and Campaign Completion

I had a pretty great week in No More Rainbows. After throwing my hands down at maximum velocity for several hours, I'm here to proudly say with my sore rotator cuff muscles that I have completed the game! You heard me right! Campaign completion has been achieved.


To be honest though, I wasn't even sure at first if I was going to be able to even *get* to the final levels of the game because just reaching the levels inside the world is a bit of a challenge. As it turns out, you've gotta get the downward push force just right with only one hand and a lot of reaching forward to land and balance on top of some of these random pipes and things.

Anyway, world four is a land of conveyer belts and scalding hot pipes with a side of freaking laser beams, and the best level to illustrate this madness is the very last one of the game. It's truly a crazy level where chunks of all three previous worlds are thrown down in front of you as you dodge laser beam eyes from the all too happy Egg King. 

I've yet to be able to single star this thing in any capacity, but hey, I did beat it at least! The level works in three sections and is kind of like a double length level compared to all the rest. After the end of each section, you punch a rainbow-spewing humpty dumpty and smack the king right in the kisser. At the end of three punches, you've won the game.

It's truly an epic ending to a great game. A movie plays after you defeat the boss and then the credits roll. Game over. The next time you return to your central area, the egg boss is sitting in the hands of your center Beast statue and you get to punch his dead head over and over again. GET OUT ALL THAT RAGE, KIDS!

Victory tastes so sweet . . . and also smells of eggs.

Much to my surprise, the same day I beat the final boss, No More Rainbows also gave us a free Halloween surprise in the form of a maze game called Bisou's Backroom, which you could either play by yourself or with others in a competitive mode.

Spooky maze lies within!

I played a bit of the new maze and got thoroughly lost and died when Bisou caught up to me and punched me back to the beginning of the maze. I'm just happy to see some free content to celebrate a holiday! That's pretty great! More please!

I'm not sure if I'll go on to 100 percent this game, but I may try to at least earn another skin and maybe unlock a couple cosmetics. For now I'm just happy I sent that Egg Boss packing.

Happy Dueling! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

No More Rainbows: Ice is Nice!

 I've now played all four worlds in No More Rainbows, and I have to say that World 3 is by far my favorite of them all . . . um . . . for the most part. The Boss level can take a flying leap -- literally it's all flying leaps, and I've died so many times and worn myself out to the point of exhaustion. Outside of that though? This place is a VR platforming paradise.

At the icy summit of a candy covered world

It's a candy world that came straight out of grandma's freezer and into your VR headset. It's ice cream cones, chocolate waterfalls, licorice logs, and gummy bear candies, but at the same time it's also giant skeletons, monster rage, and giant popcorn kernel explosions. 

Best of all, this is the world that you can find the classic downhill ice sliding levels where you can dig your claws in to slow you down or leap on the ice to propel you to new heights and speed. 

This isn't flying, it's falling with style!

Remember the joy you had way back when playing the ice slide world in Super Mario 64? This takes you back and gives you a whole new sense of immersion. It's unbelievably fun.

Right now my biggest struggle with the world is trying to find the hidden 120th eggy guy so I can unlock the secret level and play it to earn those sweet sweet unicorns. I feel like I've looked everywhere. UGH! where is this hidden egg?! Don't make me search it on Google!

Now that all the fun of world 3 is out of the way, can we take a moment to talk about this boss level? I have so much hate for it. I don't know if I'll ever find a way to 3 star this thing. You have to have the reflexes of a golden lion to win this thing.

One new Golden Lion skin, check.
Perhaps someday my friends. For now, I'm on to World 4, the final world of the campaign and it's all about balancing on pipes, leaping off conveyor belts, and avoiding a rising tide of rainbow goop that will certainly kill any beast. Given the horror of the boss level on World 3, I'm actually terrified to see what the boss level is like in World 4.

Win or lose, I'll be sure to talk about it here. No more rainbows is not only my new favorite platformer, but also one heck of an arm workout.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, October 16, 2023

No More Rainbows: Not Mushroom for complaint!

I'm continuing to have a great time playing No More Rainbows! Although I'm technically on World 4, I went back to World 2 over the weekend and furthered my progress on smashing all the unicorns and eggy guys.

The theme of World 2 seems to be more of a forest jungle covered in giant mushrooms and logs. Although, there does seem to be a DJ party going on in the midst of all that, but that's just what eggy boys do. They party no matter where they are and MUST BE SMASHED TO STOP!

The track they're getting down to sounds a little like You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive

Just like any good platformer game, each world introduces a few new mechanics for you to play with. World 2's new mechanics seem to be:

1- Ladder jumps -- This is where you use both of your controllers to jump up a crevice in a wall between two platforms.

2- Log climbs -- This is where you use both of your controllers to grab a single platform and scale up in like climbing a log. 

A ladder jump leading to a log climb!

3- Zip-lines -- You've used your claws to climb, but now you get to dig them into a ball and ride it like a zip line as you swing through the air.

Wee! Zip lines!

World 2 also introduces a few new obstacles. 

1- Sliding Walls -- Giant slabs slide open and close where you need to time your jumps correctly to continue.

2- Rocket Launchers -- Occasionally you'll run into a rocket launcher where you'll need to avoid the incoming projectile. (Don't worry, they move slowly)

3- Love Bombs -- The boss of World 2 likes to slam down love bombs out of the sky that explode into a cloud of killer hearts.

It's like a 2-ton punch of Valentine's Day

The zip lines are absolutely my favorite part of World 2. It makes me want to look up what other VR games have zip lines in them. It's a really fun mechanic that just hits differently in VR. (Of course, zip-lines have nothing on one of the mechanics in World 3, but I'll get to that in the next post.)

In the shop you can find a nice skin to match your adventures in World 2, as long as you have the unicorn guts to buy it. So far I've unlocked both World 2 and World 3's skins and I love them both. 

I'm adorable!

Since my last post I've been able to 3 star many more levels. Basically, you need to run each level at least twice. Once slowly to collect all the egg men and unicorns and once again to beat it in 45 seconds -- but on your follow-on runs, there's no need to collect eggs and unicorns all over again, you just race to the finish line.

It's been a lot of fun! Onward to worlds 3 and 4!

Happy Dueling!