Home Run Derby Vr is exactly what it sounds like. It mirrors the type of old-style home run games you would play on your console growing up. You stand at the plate, try to time the pitch right, and try to launch that ball into another realm. Much like the Rubik’s Cube, you cant really improve off of the original idea. The developers happily didn’t add too much to this game, but what they did add was something of a masterpiece. 

You are able to choose many different stadiums that mirror the most popular in the MLB today. Step into the batter’s box at Marlins Park (Miami), Nationals Park (Washington, DC) and Progressive Field (Cleveland), home of the 2017-2019 All-Star Games. This is every young and old MLB’s fan dream. If you are looking to find something during the 7th inning stretch on the World Series this year, look no further. 

Getting Up and Running

This game comes in at a price point of $19.99, but you won’t have to pay for it if you are a part of the Viveport Infinity subscription. This game is available on all major platforms, and the outreach is unparalleled to most VR game right now. You can buy this on Viveport, Steam, Oculus, and even PSVR platforms. No matter which major headset you are running with each day, you are going to be able to play this game. 

The file size is incredibly small for a game of this price, as it is only going to require 1 GB to download onto your PC. Even if you are connected to snail-speed internet, you are going to be downloading this full game pretty fast. If you are connected to crazy quick lighting internet, the download will be done and the game will be installed incredibly quick. 

Type of Game

This is an arcade type of game, and the full game really just feels like a big game mode off a larger MLB title. You aren’t going to be pitching, running the bases, or even fielding the ball at all in this game. You will be trying to time the pitch perfectly, and that feels like that is the biggest part of the game. You will notice how forgiving the bat placement is, but not the timing of your hit. 

There isn’t much more to do in this game other than hitting home runs, but it is creative process. You can hit multipliers, launch the ball in many different ways and animations, and even switch the way you hit. You will find some different ways to go about batting, but that is all you will be doing in this game, so don’t expect too much out of a title that is well less than the average size of a VR title. 

Player Perspective

Just like all great VR games, this one is being played in the first-person perspective. You won’t be seeing your cleats inside of the batters box, you hands gripping the bat, and you won’t be seeing your arms lead the ball either. The only thing you will see in this game is the bat, and that is all e really expected anyway. From our experience, we felt like we were hovering over the plate a little more than we were used to, but that might be the style our player wanted to bat. We were never ones to crowd the plate, so we would find ourselves taking a step back often. 

Theme and Story – Score: 7/10

Although there isn’t much story in this game, the theme was incredibly strong. Not only are you picking the best stadiums, the detail goes into great depth. This makes the theme of playing during all-star weekend in the MLB even more real and immersive than we were expecting. This game gets a high score despite being an arcade game because of the strong theme that was consistent for our entire experience. 

Controls – Score: 7/10

You might have played this game and say the 7 and wondered how it got here. There is next to no controls in this game, so how could it get a 7? Well, if you have ever been up the plate, this game mirrors it perfectly. Hold onto the bat, don’t let go, and give it a nice swing. The devs of this game didn’t try to get too fancy with this, and that was deeply appreciated the more we were at the plate. We didn’t have to press buttons while we made contact with the ball, and we weren’t expected to either. This game was everything we were hoping for in this department. With that being said, if you don’t put controls in the game, you can’t get any higher than a 7. 

Music and Sound – Score: 6/10

Music and sound in this game got the job done, but we were hoping for a little more. You hear the crowd, and fireworks, and the announcers. You hear everything you would expect, but they didn’t do anything that is going to be remembered as great in this game. Because this game is designed so minimally, we were hoping for a little more than we got in this game. 

Player Movement – Score: 5/10

Like we said earlier, we found ourselves taking a step back multiple times in this game. It isn’t too easy to hit a pitch that is coming straight to your body, and that is exactly what we saw throughout our game. There was no way to adjust where we were in the virtual world, and there was no way to change where home plate was represented virtually inside of our real world. We would’ve love to see either of these options become available, as it would’ve made the game more enjoyable. With that being said, it wasn’t too big of a problem once you got used to it. 

Kinetosis – Score: 10/10

The low score in the player movement played a factor in this game, as the lack of movement promises some motion sickness that isn’t presented hardly at all. You won’t be moving in this game, and your head is relatively strait for the entire experience. There is no tearing in the seems as you try to locate the balls, and the quick head movements in this game are well accepted by all headsets we played with this game. 

Environment and Immersion – Score: 6/10

This game did a fantastic job of putting you inside of all-star weekend and making the stadiums as realistic as we could see. One part that would’ve made this game get a higher score is some more body being shown. Seeing our hands on the bat, our legs in the box, or even a cap to our helmet would’ve been a nice touch. Something that could’ve made the game go perfect here is to pick the player we were out of the past home derbies. Missed opportunity here, but recoverable.

Overall – Score: 6.8/10

This game is getting a higher score than most, and the simplicity of the game design is playing a large part in to that. They could’ve done a lot more in regards to the appearance of your represented character inside the game. The core of this game is well made and the people love playing it, and so did we. An appearance update would be nice to see, but we likely won’t see that. We will likely wait until the 2020 all-star from the MLB for a new look at this game. 


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