Title: Spice And Wolf VR 2
Release Date: December 10, 2020
Reviewed On: Oculus Quest 2
Genre: VR Experience
Over the years, my tolerance for “VR experiences” has dwindled. I used to be pretty okay with just sitting down and having the virtual world move around me. However, with the advancements in VR, especially in the visual novel VR subgenre, I can’t really find myself enjoying the more hands-off approach. Sadly, even with Spice & Wolf VR2‘s gorgeous animations, it really fails to move the VR space in any direction.
Spice & Wolf VR2 has you assume the role of Lawrence as your relationship with the wolf goddess Holo has become much more serious. If that wasn’t extreme enough for you, they have a daughter named Myuri, who gets a bit of the spotlight in this entry. After opening a bathhouse and doing their best to make ends meet, Lawrence sells some pelts while Holo prepares a surprise.
And, that’s it. Players are expected to pay $24.99 for an hour-long experience that takes place in one area, well two technically, but most just one. Additionally, you’re not able to interact with the world as your character doesn’t have a body, so you can just sit back and watch the events play out as if it were an anime.
Technically, I know that most of the money is going towards whatever license costs for getting these voice actors to record so many lines. The voice acting is insanely good too. The character animations are expressive, colorful, and energetic. It’s actually pretty fun to watch, and you will probably smile several times throughout this experience, and it’s all due to the character writing.
Music is kept to a minimum as the game tries to use the forest’s ambiance, but there are some musical cues now and then. However, I can’t help be feel like something is missing from this story, especially in the way it ends as it simply fades to black. There’s no reason to ever replay the game either because there’s absolutely nothing to do during round two.
An additional mode is offered where the characters watch stills of the anime together and riff on the events. This part of the game does have minimal interaction as you can put your hand on some tails and eat blueberries. Oh, there’s also head pats, but they barely react to them as they discuss the scenes.
I’m running out of things to say about Spice & Wolf VR2 because there is nothing to really talk about. It’s tough to enjoy or even immerse yourself in the world when you don’t really feel like you are Lawrence as you merely sit on your box and watch cute fox girls dance around you.
Oh, right, I touched on this before, but the animations are awesome. The characters are just so cute you can cry. Have I said that already? I’m really digging here to explain more about this game, but it really should have been a $10 game for fans to get their fill and never return to again. You know what? Anyone who purchased this game should never complain about the price of a game. I mean, you run a bathhouse, and you never once go into the actual bathhouse!
As a VR experience, Spice & Wolf VR2 offers some of the best character animations that I’ve seen. However, it does not deliver significant content to justify its price, even by marketing itself as a VR anime. The limited environments and lack of interaction was a huge missed opportunity to making this a better experience overall. Oh well, here’s to hoping Spice & Wolf VR3 is better.
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