Review – Ski Jumping Pro VR

A truly special thing about virtual reality is that, depending on the presentation, it can make the mundane feel entertaining. VR allows a window for certain games to succeed, games that you would never try on a flat screen. Walking into a sports bar, playing ping pong, even sitting around a campfire and playing a round of Werewolves Within can entertain if not maintain longevity, when you are inside that headset. Unfortunately, Ski Jumping Pro VR isn’t one of these games. It never does more than casually entertain, nor is there much of a reason to continue after the 90 minutes needed to go through its library of slopes.

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It sure looks gorgeous. Too bad you won’t have the time to properly enjoy its beauty.

Ski Jumping Pro VR takes you across the globe, simulating the experience and thrill of racing downhill at high speeds before launching yourself high into the air to nail that perfect landing. At least, that is the intent. This is where Yippee Entertainment and Kalypso came up short. The simulation is good enough, but it manages to remove all the benefits of VR and what makes virtual reality amazing. It places you in some beautiful parts of the world but only to give you a flat screen experience.

Don’t get me wrong. Ski Jumping Pro VR has some amazing-looking locales. The problem is that, other than an intro to that region and its replay of your jump, you don’t ever get to experience these locations properly. You get a brief look at the hill, the slope and the crowd. After that, you are placed high on the slope to race down, but the gameplay requires you to only look straight in front of you. When the jump is completed, you are given static camera points of your re-play. The entire intro, jump, and landing last you about a minute so there is no opportunity to take in the majesty of the settings.

Zakopane_Ramp

“Do you have any idea what the street value of the mountain is?

Ski Jumping Pro VR can be played with a Dual Shock 4 and Move controllers. With a Dual Shock 4 controller, you will pull back on the sticks when you are ready to start your descent. While racing down the hill, you will use the controller to balance yourself, tilting them left and right. When you are ready to make your jump, you push forward on the sticks and then angle them in a V-shaped pattern until you pull back on them again to stick your landing.

These same basic movements are used when using your Move controllers. The difference is that you use your arms to mimic the motions of the DS4 joysticks, moving them in the same basic manner. You will pull down to start, lift up to jump, hold your hands out in a V and then pull them back in to land. Whether DS4 or Move, you will do this exact same movement, over and over and over, every slope.

Background_1

You can customize your skier, but it’s less exciting than it sounds.

Difficulty-wise, I had much more feel and control when using my Move controllers. The Dual Shocks felt fine enough, but I was missing the finer details of the timing. Most times, that was all the difference in sailing past the finish line and failing to stick the landing entirely. I would routinely come in first once I strapped on the Moves.

Everything is based on this timing, which it should be in a ski jump game. But that realistic mechanic would constantly remind me of exactly what holds Ski Jumping Pro VR back. With having to nail each moment for starting, jumping and landing, all while trying to maintain your balance, you are required to always look straight ahead. This removes most of the fun that you can only really get in VR: the sense of immersion. It is a simulator so it makes complete logical sense, but it removes the wonder that other immersive games have provided over the years.

There is a game to be had other than the jumping. You can upgrade and outfit your skier as you progress through Ski Jumping Pro VR. This is nice for people that want to continue their ski jumping careers or to simply have an overall goal. Personally, I just never saw the need to go through the effort of upgrading when I was already nailing my landings. Or when it takes less than two hours to go through their library of slopes.

Engelberg_Ski

Hello hello, I’m at a place called Vertigo.

Ski Jumping Pro VR would have been a nice addition to a PSVR Demo Disc 3. It would have absolutely been a fun experience in a Winter Games 2022 VR title. Unfortunately, as a stand alone title, it misses the mark. It nails the simulation but in doing so, fails to let me enjoy the experience of it.

 

Graphics: 7.5

The slopes are beautiful enough. Just beyond an intro and some replay angles, you rarely get to see anything more than the tips of your ski’s, though.

Gameplay: 4.0

Pull down, lift up, spread, pull back, rinse, repeat. It’s as simple as that.

Sound: 7.0

Immersive sounds have you racing down the slopes and hearing the cheers.

Fun Factor: 4.5

What you get is fun enough, but what you don’t get is noticeable. It could succeed as part of something bigger, such as a minigame compilation, but it fails to stand alone.

Final Verdict: 5.5

Ski Jumping Pro VR is available now on PC and PS4.

Reviewed on PSVR.

A copy of Ski Jumping Pro VR was provided by the publisher.

 

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