‘SAMURAI SWORD VR’ HEADED TO HTC VIVE FOR THE ULTIMATE FEUDAL JAPAN EXPERIENCE

The upcoming Samurai Sword VR for HTC Vive could help you live out your dream of being a feudal Japanese warrior … sort of. For anime and manga fans, this could be almost better than actually owning a traditional katana.

While the traditional katana itself will cost you upwards of $100, waving one around in public could earn you some unwanted attention. This is the age when a carefully eaten Pop Tart got a child suspended from school just because it partly resembled a gun. Playing with an actual weapon where people can see you is a rather large no-no.

The alternative would be to play a video game where you wield such a blade against virtual assassins. Yes, this has been done before, but it’s often been in side-scrollers like the classic titles Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden, and a scene in Batman: Arkham City where you face off against Joker for the second time.

These video games still don’t give you the satisfaction of feeling like a sword-fighting master, since you’re always watching a fictional character do all of the virtual slicing and dicing. For the ultimate experience, you would almost need to travel to feudal Japan and do it yourself.

'Samurai Sword VR' is probably the closest thing you'll get to visiting Feudal Japan
‘Samurai Sword VR’ is probably the closest thing you’ll get to visiting Feudal Japan. [Image by Wabi Sabi / Shutterstock, Inc]

Since time travel hasn’t been invented yet, and probably never will, the next best thing will probably be Samurai Sword VR for HTC Vive. It will require a high-end gaming PC and the mentioned headset, which altogether will likely cost you over $3000. Of course, give the PlayStation VR some time and the price of virtual reality headsets could drop to affordable prices. Sony did the same thing with DVDs and Blu-Rays on their consoles, forcing standalone players to become more affordable.

One thing a trip back in time to feudal Japan isn’t likely to give you is the mystical elements we’ve come to love from fantasized media. Samurai Sword VR will have those things, among others, according to a recent press release from Sat-Box, says Game Zone.

  • Select from seven authentic stages straight out of ancient Japan, plus…
  • Put your ninja skills to the test in two challenging kunai and shuriken only levels!
  • Slice through anything that stands in your way (what, is that a fish!?) to rack up high scores and compete against others
  • Traditional, atmospheric, Japanese soundtrack
  • Battle your way through a Japanese castle featuring an epic boss battle
  • Choose from a flame, lightning, or standard katana
  • Ride a wooden boat through an ancient Japanese town, travel through a cherry blossom lined field, battle in a bamboo forest, and more!

As expected from a virtual reality game, it won’t be a first-person battle type of game a majority of the time. The closest we’ve seen to anything like that was Batman: Arkham VR for PlayStation VR, and that was little more than a demo of what it could be like to be the titular hero.

PlayStation VR could make virtual reality gaming affordable for everybody.
PlayStation VR could make virtual reality gaming affordable for everybody. [Image by Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock, Inc]

From the graphics in the trailer, Samurai Sword VR isn’t attempting to be realistic. Instead, it aims for a more arcade-like experience, with what seems to be a nod to Fruit Ninja. You travel down a virtual rail and slice everything as it passes for a high score when you’re not throwing shuriken at stationary targets which flip into view. The visuals are about on par with the original Slender, but brighter and more colorful.

This title could be a casual stand-in when you’re not scaring yourself silly in virtual reality horror titles, as horror seems to be the genre most suited for the gameplay style. A slow, methodical pace is often the rule in virtual reality, and titles like Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat would probably be awkward at best.

Will you be giving Samurai Sword VR a shot when it slices its way to stores on January 30?

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