June 25, 2016
OMG THIS WAS SO MUCH EPIC FUN AND TERROR BALLED INTO ONE!!!!
So, we heard about this pop-up installation by Bandai a few weeks ago when we saw a video of Japanese people screaming as they rescued cats. We were like…okay..what is this. It’s called the VR Zone Project i Can and it’s basically a pop-up arcade for new super realistic Virtual Reality (VR) games. It was our very first time doing VR Gaming so we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there, we could choose from a bunch of different games: skiing, driving a Japanese train, a mecha-gun suit airfight, racing in a car, rescuing a cat, and a horror game.
It’s different than regular VR gaming that I’ve seen, though, because the environments here are made to interact with the game you’re playing. For example, the skiing has actual moving skis that you have to use and the mecha-suit moves in a pod! So for the cat rescue game, you’re walking on a plank that is set up on a squishy surface so it actually feels like what you’re seeing through the VR set. Plus they set up a complicated fan system so that it feels like epic wind is blowing from super high up. For the horror hospital game, you’re sitting down in a chair and operating a joystick that feels like your’e using an electrical wheelchair, just like what’s in the game. You hold a flashlight that is a flashlight in the game. You can actually look down and see your hand holding a flashlight. It totally messes with your mind. We don’t want to give away what happens in any of the games since there are twists and turns that we didn’t actually show you. Also, if you play the horror game, it changes depending on if you play it more than once so you can go with different friends and still be freaked out!
Let me just say, it was super freaky. Super. Super. SUPER FREAKY! Very immersive and lots of fun. It is amazing how your mind just can’t tell the difference when it has ears and eyes seeing something that isn’t even real.
I will say, though, that my biggest issue with the VR experience wasn’t the horror game itself, but it was in doing it with Martina. Because the game was so immersive, when Martina was scared and screamed, I wasn’t afraid, but sad. Hearing my wife scream so sadly was a terrible experience. I wanted to protect her. I know now and I knew then that it was just a video game, but hearing her scared got an emotional response out of me that I couldn’t step away from. And it’s not something that was programmed into the game, either. I will say that’s a testament to the quality of it, for sure. It was legitimately scary. Virtual Reality felt more like Visceral Reality. But that’s a game that’s just not my kind of thing. I’d much rather have tried out the skiing game. And if the skiing game is even half as immersive a the horror hospital, then it’s probably ridiculously amazing. We heard people skiing and screaming and laughing so it looked pretty real as well!
So, in other words, the scary game was too good at being scary and I felt scared. HAHA! We’re such delicate flowers. If you want to experience this insanity, it’s located inside the Diver’s City Mall Japan 〒135-0064 Tokyo, 江東区Aomi, 1−1−10 which is actually an epic mall.
For those of you that want to check it out, we made instructions below since it was a wee bit confusing!
Please note: you have to be at least 13 years old to play AND you need to make reservations online beforehand to ensure a time slot for your playing. And hey, look at this: we made loads of screenshots with English instructions at the bottom that can help you make reservations. Click on the pictures and at the bottom we wrote the instructions.
Also note, you don’t have to pick your games in advance. You’re just making reservations here to be able to get in. Once you’re there, here are the steps:
1. Buy a reusable Bandai charge card the day for 300 yen (you can actually keep this card and use it at other arcades)
2. Head to the charging machine, put your card on it, and add money to the card itself in the amount of the game you want to play. (Each game costs something different. So, pick the game you want to play, add the amount that the game requires onto your card.)
3. When you get to the game, your card will be beeped, kind of like when you get on the subway. That’s it!
If any of you have ever played any VR, please let me know if it’s less terrifying than what we experienced. I watched Piewdiepie play some VR recently and he was terrified as well. Any good non-scary games out there?