If you are in the zone and hearing the music keeping high energy for the moment, how does that make you feel? Do you feel like you have all the rhythm in the world where not even the world could stop you? Do you feel like it is your moment and your time to let loose with the music giving you that boost? If we have the right kind of music to move us, anything can be possible for many of us. But does developer Kluge Interactive bring the rhythm riding, note catching physical dancing experience? Let’s find out with Synth Riders for PlayStation VR.
Synth Riders is a freestyle-dancing VR rhythm game where you will need to catch notes, ride the rails, and avoid walls for the unique feeling of becoming one with the music. So before you go out there and try to bust a move regardless of the music genre, there are a few things you will want to make sure of first. For one, you will need just a little space for your arms and body movement. No need to hit anyone, pet, or anything as you do not want to injure anyone or become injured yourself. Second, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged. And finally, clear some time as you will be spending some time playing this as there really are some catchy songs in this lineup. With that said, let’s continue.
When you first start Synth Riders, you are introduced to the customization for your height, your play area, your controller colors (by default your left hand is blue and your right hand is pink) which you can customize your colors further in settings, and then your lights and movements. This is for those that may need to reduce symptoms of any motion sickness or light sensitivity. This really is an awesome option to have right from the start. So good job Kluge Interactive, good job. Then you get to decide if you want to Play Solo, Party Mode, How to Play, Tutorial, Settings, and Credits.
Synth Riders is a simple concept of you hit the different colored notes with your hands. When you see a green note, depending on which hand you select, that will be used to match those green notes, and if you see an orange note, just both of your hands collect those notes. Oh yeah, you will need to move out of the way some for when any obstacles are thrown into the mix. As far as scoring goes, there are two main modes. Rhythm and Force. Rhythm, of course, is trying to keep with the rhythm of everything. With Force, you will get more points by punching the notes and all modifiers will reward you for aiming towards that perfect punch. Now, that we have the basic concept down, it’s time to get into the tutorial. I mean you could skip the tutorial, but there is no reason for you really not to, so enjoy it.
Once you have the training completed or you really want to get into one of the 54 songs that come with the base game, it’s time to start playing. You really do have a lot of options here to customize your experience. From having the Spin Mode on or off to a no Fail Mode to even not having obstacles, the choice really is yours as of how you want to experience Synth Riders. And there is quite a variety within those songs with genres like Synthwave Essentials with songs such as Underdog from Kastra & Freshcobar to Indie, Dub, and Trap artists like ID From Reflekt & Ben Lepper to even Caravan Palace added for your dancing rhythm pleasure.
But what really adds to the song is when there is an experience that is available that are unique environments that are made for that song. But be warned, those that may not like flash effects, lights, and motion, you may want to stay away. But if these visuals do not bother you, I highly recommend these.
Not only do you have leaderboards that you want to try and climb as much as possible for each song and each difficulty, but some challenges vary with a selection of songs that show how many players participated, but also the mode for that challenge and when it ends which really adds even more fun to the experience. There is also the Party Mode where you play a song, enter your name, and pass the headset to another player to see how well they can do. I personally did not try this out as I had no one else around.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. I really enjoyed the over 10+ different and diverse stages that brought the different colors from everything to the notes to the backgrounds and as mentioned earlier, when there is an experience available, it makes the world come alive. Sound, with all the music and songs that are available there, is going to be something that everyone should like even if that particular genre is something you are used to, you just might be surprised with how much you might like it.
There are some things that I wish were present. For one, there is no multiplayer. Second, no custom song support. Third, the Beatmap Editor allows you to create your own maps using your own music. Due to the platform restrictions, PlayStation VR may never see custom song support or the Beatmap Editor. PCVR has these options. Not to say that you should not play the PlayStation VR version as Kluge Interactive has done everything they could within those restrictions and has done a fantastic job with bringing it over to PlayStation VR.
Synth Riders gives us the freestyle dancing rhythm game that PlayStation VR players deserve. It allows us to move while hitting those notes while opening us to both old and new songs and artists that we may not have been aware of. It shows that even though there may be limitations on what we do in life, it’s how we take what may restrict us and find new ways to move in life within those restrictions. And in this day and age, isn’t the best thing we can do is try to work with what we have so we can have a platform to move as freely as our dreams can take us?
Synth Riders is out now for PlayStation VR. A review code was provided. To learn more about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and get into the grove with the playlist on Spotify. To learn more about Kluge Interactive, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to try and climb.