Hey everyone! It’s just me (Tom) today, as Joe is off jet-setting in Rome. While that lucky bastard is busy mainlining marinara sauce, here’s what I’ve been playing this week.
Tom – Lead Writer
Playing on PS5
I’m generally terrible at board games, card games, or really any games that require you to memorise rules. I’m not a wholly stupid person but I am a forgetful one. So despite the acclaim that Inscryption received last year, I was skeptical that it would be my cup of tea. Now that it’s on PlayStation, I decided to take a punt, and have discovered that I had nothing to worry about.
It turns out that Inscryption has more in common with Dungeons & Dragons than it does, say, poker. You build up a deck of cards representing different animals, and use them to do battle in a tabletop game controlled by a sinister individual who seems to be holding you captive. Indeed, the overarching tone of the game is incredibly creepy and menacing; there’s a great control of atmosphere on display here. Despite originally releasing on PC, Inscryption‘s controls are very intuitive; I quickly found myself dealing cards and swapping out items quite effortlessly.
Of course, Inscryption isn’t just a card game, either. It’s also a roguelike, meaning that if you die, you have to start your campaign anew. But without giving too much away, Inscryption is as much about what you do between rounds of the card game as it is about the card game itself. It’s like jazz, man: sometimes it’s about the notes you don’t play.
Playing on Meta Quest 2
I’ve been making a half-hearted attempt at a health kick recently, which means I’ve returned once more to BeatSaber. I probably don’t need to tell you what Beat Saber is, but just in case I do: it’s like a VR version of Guitar Hero where you slash oncoming musical notes with lightsabers.
Much like Wii Sports back in the day, you can easily get by with a few lazy swipes of your wrists. If you put a bit more effort in though – properly swinging your arms, bopping around to the beat of the music – it’s not a bad aerobic workout. I always break a sweat during my Beat Saber sessions, and of course, my glasses always fog up inside my Quest 2 headset.
I bought a brand new pack of Lizzo songs, which means that I’ve been getting marginally fitter to the soundtrack of some of the best pop songs in recent years. A recent update to the game added new types of notes to hit. My favourite is the arc note, in which two separate notes are connected by a twisting beam of light that you follow with your saber. Beat Saber is a hugely popular VR game, and it’s great to see the developers continue to update it and throw in new twists to keep things interesting.
As for Beat Saber‘s role in increasing fitness, don’t get me wrong: it’s no substitute for a trip to the gym. But it gets you moving and raises your heart rate, and for this couch potato, that ain’t nothing.