As is often the case with launch titles, some are great, others may as well be tech demos. But with Sonys PSVR I think calling some of the titles experiments would be far more apt, they’re barely games, they have some value, but they’re not going to hold your attention for very long Oasis Games’ Ace Banana is one such experiment.
Ace Banana’s premise is simple you play as a bow wielding banana trying to protect a crèche of baby bananas from being carried off by army of evil monkeys.
It’s a simple shooting gallery in which you use a pair of move controllers; holding one controller prone and pulling the other back like you’re drawing a bow, to repel wave after wave of increasingly pesky primates.
For the best part the controls work well and the graphics are bright, colourful and cartoony, with the monkeys riding a fine line between goofy and terrifying (there’s something about their cold dead eyes as they march, unflinching, towards the crib containing your bananery babes which is simply unnerving) Enemy types are varied starting with simple monkeys, to cute fast ones, one wearing clown masks you have to knock off, monkeys in surfer shirts throwing faeces paint at you. Horror themed monkeys, and eventually boss monkeys riding giant robots that get right in your grill.
There’s a lot of monkeys, but ultimately you deal with them in the same way. A plunger to the face. The only thing that changes is how many it takes. There are a ton of different power ups, with your plungers being replaced with different animals like fish, hedgehogs and even pandas, but none seem to confer any substantial benefit over your bog standard plungers. In fact some, like the aforementioned fish, actually make it harder to hit your targets.
Annd that’s about it. Ace Banana is a fun and inoffensive intro to virtual reality, with a central conceit that works well, but is hardly unique (it’s basically the longbow mini game from Valve’s The Lab – but with monkeys) There’s also very little to make you want to return to its whacky world once you’ve played through it, and even now there are much better experiences to be had on PSVR. Even at a mere $15/£11.49 I’d say it’s overpriced. If you’re tempted I’d wait till it’s inevitably on sale in a couple of months.