This year I’ve been proactive! I’ve bought myself plenty of rhythm action and fitness VR games to make sure that I don’t end up two stone heavier after Christmas! Well done me. I adore rhythm games anyway so it isn’t a hard sell but BoxVR states it is a fitness game first, rhythm game second. Is it… and if it is, does it work?
First thing out the gate is that you will be boxing to coloured orbs flying towards you for each of your workouts. Workouts consist of a collection of songs placed together to give you a timed workout for however long you choose. With around 100 songs in the base game, I was really delighted with just how much was on offer. You can choose to build your own playlists of tracks too and switch difficulty levels to up the intensity but my advance would be to start with the short workout sessions of under 10 minutes first to get yourself in the zone.
I recommend this because it took me some time to click and adjust to some of BoxVR’s intricacies. As orbs fly towards you, like many rhythm games, you have to punch them and you are scored on the timing and the weight of your punch. Whilst most punches initially have you just punch forward, you’ll also have to jab from the side and perform uppercuts. These are shown by directional cones around the orb to tell you which direction to punch from. It was here where I struggled initially with the timing of things and often found myself swinging too early or too late and the punches not registering. Thankfully, the calorie counter still noted your swings though!
One of the ways to try and combat this is in the excellent calibration settings for the move controllers for the PSVR version. You press and hold the trigger and then move your boxing gloves around on screen to line them up with where the move controller is then aligned. It is an excellent solution because the way how the game is set up means you can hold the controllers in different ways to suit you and then customise it all to line up with how the game sees your movements in game.
Once I was over that hurdle, BoxVR clicked. The patterns are well put together and revolve around stances to put different legs forward. You’ll then be punching, blocking by moving both hands together, or squatting and bending to miss objects ala Beat Saber. The game feels tactile as Beat Saber but without the high difficulty and with a much wider music scope. Music is categorised into pop, electronica, rock and hip-hop with plenty in each. One other feature you have is to take your workout online and to box alongside others. I haven’t been able to try it myself but that could work a treat in January! The game also lets you set daily goals and keeps stats of your usage and calorie burn. Take that calorie count with a pinch of salt but it is more in tune with your movements than the one from the Just Dance series at least.
BoxVR is a genuine surprise. Enjoyable, simple but full of content to work through – I’ve kickstarted my January de-moobing early and have enjoyed it thoroughly so far. Recommended!
An excellent addition to the fitness and the rhythm world, whichever approach you take.
Excellent calibration options for your controllers.
Varied and excellent blood pumping soundtrack.
Online mode is great if you can get some mates together to do it.
Well thought out charts.
Doesn't do anything that a fair few other rhythm VR games doesn't already do.
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