(VRfun18) Supernatural Review

Supernatural is a virtual reality game that has been released on the Oculus Rift. It is designed for players to experience a variety of different worlds through the use of supernatural powers. The game also features an interesting story line that will have players hooked from beginning to end.

Supernatural is a game that’s fun to play, but has a hefty entry price. The game has breathtaking visuals and gameplay that will keep you coming back for more.

There’s no better time than now to find a cause to get up and move, which is perhaps why renowned AR/VR company Within released Supernatural, an at-home VR exercise program (2020). The gameified exercise software will have your pulse beating to the rhythm of a playlist of famous artists’ songs, all while a computerized personal trainer provides encouragement via your headphones. Is it, however, worth the $19 monthly membership fee? The simple answer is no, but it could be for you.

Supernatural Details:

Release Date: April 23rd, 2020

Price: $19 per month subscription, free 30-day trial

Developer: Within

Available On: Oculus Quest

Reviewed On: Quest Release

Date: April 23rd, 2020

 

Gameplay

I wasn’t sure why Within chose to offer Supernatural only on Quest at first, but during the setup process, which registered my height and taught me the fundamental movements, it became clear that wire-free was the only way to go with Supernatural’s frantic exercises.

You’re charged with smashing directional-based items, which in the case of Supernatural are black and white spheres with a transparent cone to indicate which side of the orb you need to smash through, using your matching black and white bats of course, much as in Beat Saber (2018).

 

You must also fit through approaching bright white triangles, causing you to lunge left or right, or adopt a normal squat posture, in order to start going. Some spheres include little tails that lead you to spin your whole body to a new location, allowing you a slow 360-degree spin around the room on a central axis. With a wire in the way, that final element, coupled with lunging and hitting at the same time, would be very unpleasant, so the Quest-only method makes a lot of sense.

Supernatural proved to be a fantastic all-around heart-pumping exercise to get me moving again, providing approximately the same amount of activity as a step class, since my gym has been closed for months and I’ve totally ignored my fitness regimen as a consequence. Although my Fitbit Charge HR2 couldn’t connect with the smartphone app (many fitness trackers can), recording it independently revealed that given my weight, height, and age, I was constantly reaching the ‘Fat Burning’ level, with only minor dips into the ‘Cardio’ stage.

Right now, there are just a few exercises (more are being added daily), all of which are based on the orb-smashing, triangle-squatting idea. However, they differ in terms of length, difficulty, and coach. Workouts last anywhere from 12 to 26 minutes and include a number of well-known songs—almost too numerous to mention. To summarize, it’s not a hodgepodge of trendy EDM titles like you’ll get outside of Beat Saber’s DLC song packs, but rather well-known tracks from a variety of musical genres.

In addition to exercises with preset levels, there are a few with an automated difficulty adjuster depending on your skill, which at times left me befuddled by the quantity of orbs to smash and triangles to fit within. I would have like to pick the degree of difficulty manually for these auto-difficulty exercises, but the studio has been persistent about releasing a new workout every day since launch, resulting in a very diverse variety for any level user.

It’s also not completely about the accuracy points to get a good score. You’re also given a power score, which is added to your accuracy score to create a composite power/accuracy score. This not only maintains track of your developing muscle memory of a track, but it also prevents you from taking shortcuts with the controller via wrist-waggling, since you need excellent, smooth, forceful follow-through to earn the maximum power points.

courtesy of Within

To be honest, I was hoping for a lot more diversity right away, maybe some muscle specialization, stretching exercises, and various type games to gnaw on. That, I believe, may be the deciding factor in whether or not Supernatural succeeds in retaining subscribers in the long term. The game itself is a lot of fun, and it fits right into my Beat Saber skill set—you might even call it the number one Beat Saber rival, given its striking resemblance to the genre-defying forerunner.

courtesy of Within

That said, I’ve been cruising along on the free 30-day trial, and although I’ve really enjoyed it so far, I’m not sure whether this is the appropriate moment to commit to making Supernatural a key part of my workout routine. I would anticipate a smorgasbord of various exercise activities to keep me going back for more for $19 a month, which is a bit less than the price of a monthly membership at the YMCA.

I say this knowing that the majority of humanity is currently cooped up in their homes, so I can see people signing up for Supernatural for a few months and forking over that monthly Andrew Jackson as a way of self-motivation to keep working out—and having a lot more fun doing it than spending 30 minutes on the elliptical. Personally, I’m torn about this. You may find the price-to-value ratio compelling enough to keep you coming back week after week, but I can’t when I’m already playing Beat Saber, Knockout League, and Space Pirate Trainer to prevent the blood from collecting in my butt cheeks.

Immersion

Within, the game’s creator, is one of the finest in the industry when it comes to quality, thus I had high expectations for Supernatural. Amazing 360 vistas are combined with near-photorealistic generated foregrounds to give the impression that you’re working out in a rice field at twilight, on the Icelandic tundra, or in the Scottish Highlands.

Everything in Supernatural seems like it came straight out of a science fiction film, as if it were a workout regimen for astronauts trapped on a deep space transport trip to Omicron Persei 8. That in itself is a delightful little piece of strangeness that can only be found in virtual reality.

 

Hitting black and white orbs while floating over an ocean is a little abstract in terms of immersion. Individual coaches, on the other hand, are one of the most engaging aspects of the exercise, as they help ground the activity with a pre-workout conversation and then continue with disembodied recommendations, encouragement, and pretty much everything you’d expect from a personal trainer.

Because the coach’s dynamic conversation doesn’t cover all you’d expect from a live teacher, who can actively correct your technique and offer genuinely personalized recommendations to your conduct, I say “most everything.” I had a tennis elbow injury from overextending my arm in karate, so I know not to overextend my arm now or the agonizing ache will return. With their implied silence, I wonder whether the virtual coach is really encouraging ‘bad form,’ the nemesis of all fitness instructors.

Comfort

Because fitness is the name of the game, and you’ll be doing a lot of quick and strong arm and leg motions, you’ll want to be sure the Quest is secure on your head and not flopping about. After having the virtual world move independently from your eyes at such frequent and frantic intervals, you may feel a little dizzy if it isn’t tight.

Aside from the Quest’s less-than-ideal ergonomics and the discomfort associated with perspiration on the facial interface, Supernatural is a really pleasant experience overall.

You’ll be sweating to the oldies, novice or experienced VR user alike, if you dress the part, use a washable VR cover, and move the sofa and cat away from you.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does supernatural VR cost?

The price of supernatural is $19.99 USD, which is the current price on Steam.

Is Supernatural VR any good?

The game is pretty good, but not as good as it could be.

How is supernatural score calculated?

The score for a song is calculated by the players accuracy and time.

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