Review: Harmonix Music VR (PSVR)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • PlayStation Move Required (1)
  • PlayStation Move Optional (2)
Title: Harmonix Music VR
Format: PSN (1.22 GB)
Release Date: October 10, 2016
Publisher: Harmonix Music Systems
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Well if you ever wanted to live inside a music visualizer, you’re in luck with Harmonix Music VR. In this “game” for the PS VR, there are four modes to choose from and each allows for different types of interactions with music.

In “The Beach” mode you are placed, obviously, on a beach. The level of interactivity here is pretty low. As the music plays you see various objects pulsating to the beat, some of which you can interact with by pointing your head at the object.

Once an object is selected it doesn’t really do much outside of pulsate or show you some trippy colors. And that’s really it, the music plays and you look around, nothing more nothing less.

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“The Easel” is by far the best mode in this experience because it revolves around creativity. You’re placed in an empty room and where you can create whatever you like by using two Move controllers like paint brushes.

The game gives you a lot of options for your paintbrush, with different types of paint strokes and random objects to create, all of which pulsate to the music.

… neat, but nothing mindblowing …
This is a really cool experience, and despite my lack of creative talent I found enjoyment here, creating and playing with whatever I made.

Next, we have “The Dance Party” which makes you a DJ/God in a dumpy gymnasium with weird creatures that look like rejects from Yo Gabba Gabba. Your interaction with the music in this mode comes in several forms.

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With one, you get behind the turntable to scratch the music and play around with the speed of the tracks. The other interaction here allows you to dictate the motions of the dancers with the Move Controllers. You’re able to move their arms, legs, and hips in any way you see fit to make them dance.

The last interaction I found was picking up the creatures and throwing them around like toys and dunking them into the basketball rim. It’s neat, but nothing mindblowing or something I could see myself spending time with outside of the couple times I messed with it.

… I enjoyed it for a couple tracks before losing interest …
The final mode, called “The Trip” simply places you inside a Kaleidoscope, that’s it. Everything pulsates to the beat, but you can only sit there and enjoy the visuals.

It’s one of those experiences that someone in the room is bound to say “imagine playing this high” and you will all laugh and then move on.

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Visuals:
Harmonix Music VR has some cool aspects to it. The Easel is certainly a nice showcase for cool visuals, though it’s dependent on your personal creative limits.

The Trip is also cool because Kaleidoscopes look trippy and the feeling of being inside one of them is a trippy experience. It offers so many colors and shapes flying past that I enjoyed it for a couple tracks before losing interest.

As for everything else, it either looks generic or doesn’t do enough to call out the game as a showpiece or anything like that.

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Audio:
The game includes some music from Amplitude. It features an array of electronic tracks with some hip-hop as well. I actually enjoyed the selection of music though there aren’t a lot tracks available in the game.

Luckily the game allows the use of your own music through a USB stick. The ability to use your own music would ideally give this some extra legs if only there was more to do once you loaded them into the game.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

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Conclusion:
Harmonix Music VR is something that could have been a cooler experience, but instead it became boring after a few minutes in each mode. Beyond The Easel, the other modes lack replayability, especially after you test out a few songs on them.

There could be some novelty value in leaving this game out at a party and having people mess around the game casually, but there are better causal experiences available on PlayStation VR.

Score:
5.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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