Ever wanted to play the drums, but never had the musical inclination? Developer Garage51 has you covered, providing a virtual space to prove that you’ve got the beat.
The presentation of the game, while not bad, is familiar territory. Lots of demonic and cartoonish imagery abound, giving the title a Guitar Hero aesthetic. So too does the note chart, presenting a number of colored 'demons' that fly towards you on the screen, prompting you to hit them at the right time. The demons are overdesigned, however, with all manner of wings and tendrils. On higher difficulties, this makes it much harder to keep everything sorted as the note charts are absolutely stuffed.
On the bright side, the charts themselves are quite fun. They map rather well to a variety of rock genres and approximate the playing of drums well enough that even rhythmically disinclined gamers will have a grand time. Haptics also sync brilliantly with drum hits, though hit registration on your cymbals can be frustratingly inconsistent; we watched the sticks going through the cymbals without registering on multiple occasions. Additionally, there is a cool feature where eye tracking can tell if you close your eyes, and awards you a multiplier accordingly for “showing off”.
But a rhythm game is nothing if not for the soundtrack, and Drums Rock's selection is merely okay. There are a couple licensed songs from Ram Jam, Evanescence, and Joan Jett, but they’re covers. The meat of the soundtrack is original to the game, consisting of covers approximating famous bands well enough that you can tell what the team was going for. The end result is a collection of songs that are distractingly almost like something you’ve heard. Most are serviceable, and a couple are even genuinely good, but compared to traditional licensed music, it’s a bit of a let-down.
What you’re left with is a solid VR showcase game, but the good-not-great music, and the hit detection issues ultimately hold it back from being anything more.
I played the demo of this and thought it was quite fun. Added it to my wishlist. One weird thing I found is it defaults to you needing to hold down the triggers to keep hold of the drum stick while playing. There is an option to switch it to "sticky" but odd it defaults that way. Quick way to give everyone carpal tunnel.
Maybe it makes sense when you consider that throwing and catching your sticks is essentially for getting the best scores apparently. Didn’t try it sticky, but I can’t imagine releasing and catching would feel as natural.
I know what you mean in general though. Having to hold R1 to keep grip on a gun in Resi was a bit annoying and would become uncomfortable after a time I imagine. Perhaps that can be changed in settings too.
So how do you play bass drum and operate the hi-hat?
@feral1975 You can only hit the drums & cymbals with sticks - very similar to the old Rock Band setup, but with as many as 6 drums at higher levels.
Agree with the score for this. The hit detection is the main issue for me. Its ok for a couple of songs then switch off. But its great when you nail a song 😁. Just want beat saber to release now. Although pistol whip is keeping me occupied at the moment.
Sounds a pretty useless experience then.
I’ve been having a ball with this, even though the musical styles are not my thing. Wailing away on the drum kit is so fun that I could care less what I’m bashing along to. It’s perfectly intuitive and the stick flipping mechanic makes for a great risk/ reward system. Just a great experience for aspiring drummers, or people who like to rhythmically beat on things.
How does Ragnarok fare against this apart from a very different tracklist
@Hoodie718 Rock Band has had bass drum since the first game in 2008.
Rock Band 3 introduced "Pro Drums", with an additional 3 cymbals, for a total of 8 different "notes": 4 toms, 3 cymbals and bass drum.
Since then, they've even sold devices to make real electronic drums compatible with Rock Band.
While I'm not disputing Drums Rock might be fun (and I'll definitely try the demo), I can't imagine it being very realistic without any bounce back from the drums or bass drum.
If anybody is looking for a real drumming simulator game, there are far better options (albeit quite pricey).
@stassinari oh right! I forgot about that. While Drums Rock is a pretty limited $20 game, I do like playing the drums on it. In Rock Band, I could always hear the tapping on plastic and would’ve had to turn it up way too loud for the neighbors to drown it out. Also having the virtual drumsticks to throw around is fun. They’re just very different experiences.
@feral1975 it certainly doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for!
I feel like this is a bit low for the game. It is quite fun despite thinking that yes, the og songs would be better. The Act 1 and Act 2 difficulty spike is quite big tbh, but still a very fun game. Solid 7 in my opinion
Well it sounds closer to something like beat saber than anything to do with drums which is the intended experience.
With the issues of bad collision detection and lack of properly licenced tracks it sounds poorly made.
Maybe a pair of those novelty drums sticks that make sounds when you shake them along to tunes the player actually knows and likes, might be an equivalent if not better alternative for some 😀
@JP80 a lot more variety in Ragnarock, with more licensed tracks. The styles are very different though. Ragnarock leans heavily into pirate, orchestral and doom metal, whereas Drums Rock is pretty standard rock and roll oldies with some contemporary, heavy stuff thrown in
@AhabSpampurse will probably pick up both,in an ideal world I'd love Harmonix to do a psvr2 update to rockband with all dlc able to be used but it'll never happen
Personally this has become one of my favorite VR games. It's visually not much, but the gameplay you can only really get in VR, unless as others said you invest in an actual kit with accessories and the like which is a bit much and a lot of plastic.
Sure it lacks foot pedals for bass and kicks, but there's really no way to do it otherwise without all that plastic and cost. It really works great for what it tries to do and feels surprisingly good without the kickback for some reason. The off cymbal detection is an issue. It thought it was just me messing up actually, so it's good to hear it might not be me, and could then possibly be fixed.
Please do a Ragnarock VR review next to compare it with Drums Rock!
@NEStalgia yeah, when I first started experiencing the issues on the cymbals I was CONVINCED I was just not swing my arm the right way or missing them completely, but then I started to pay attention and saw my drum stick going straight through the cymbals instead!
@stassinari Authentically realistic, nah, but a good approximation of playing the drums if you aren't already a drummer. A decent enough arcade way to experience the instrument!
@JP80 This is definitely more "immersive" if you want to simulate playing the drums, but Ragnarok is more fun I think as a rhythm game.
@thefourfoldroot1 It definitely feels less natural, but it was much more comfortable without having to hold it down, so there's that? Neither scenario is really ideal honestly.
@Jayslow I found that odd too. Disabling that isn't a perfect solution either because then it's still really easy to hit the button to drop the drumsticks when you're not trying to. I failed at least one or two songs doing that!
@ThaBEN I actually already am! Haha, writing up a draft of that review tonight!
@JP80 Or heck, even just a port of Rock Band VR would be an okay starting point. That kinda just came out, no one got it, everyone forgot it existed and now it never gets mentioned anywhere haha. Revive it for PSVR2!
@gbanas92 had no idea that existed I'm not sure of the probability of it appearing on psvr2 or any other vr games they did as they joined epic games but I live in hope 🤞
This game is a ton of fun... Until it isn't anymore. As stated there really isn't that many songs, but for a 20 dollar game, how much licensed music do you really expect to get?
The game play is great, closest thing I've had to guitar hero since what, ps3?
My main problem was I was having a blast, then the difficulty ramped up so fast that it became unplayable.
This might be okay if the game launched when nothing else did and I had the time to sit and practice, but as of right now I just shut it off and played other things. I'm sure I will return to this later in an effort to perfect it.
I'd give it a 7 because again with price being a consideration, it would be difficult to find many games this much fun for twenty bucks.
@feral1975 I haven't had any real issues with collision detection. You have to go in settings and move the drums up to a height that is comfortable with you. I imagine most collision problems are you actually missing since you can't look at the drums, you have to memorize where they are because the demons come so fast.
I enjoyed the demo but ultimately will pass on this. If all the songs were licensed I would have picked it up but can't get with the cover songs.
@JP80 that's what I did. Personally I prefer Drums Rock and think this score is quite harsh. That's just me tho
@AhabSpampurse I don't understand the knock for "overly designing the demons"...
I never felt the different variations to be distracting, I never felt like I had the time to really look at them at all.
I could also see if all the demons were the exact same getting points taken off for that lol. So damned if you do, damned if you don't.
@JP80 Yeah exactly haha, that was part of its problem! It came and went with basically no fanfare! It's just asking for a port!
@gbanas92 maybe you missed the part where with the Pro drums adapter, you can use real electronic drums to play? I use a foldable Roland set, for example.
For most songs, the notes in the highest difficulty are mapped one to one with the real track.
You can get fussy about "realistic", but if a song can be played with a standard electronic kit, I'm not sure what exactly is missing
@LeeHarveyOzgod yeah, that criticism didn't even register with me.
Same with the hit detection. My kid plays drums, and she's been nailing the tracks on hard/expert with zero issues on cymbals, so I'm guessing it's the reviewers setup or a tech issue.
Still, out of all the launch stuff this game has gotten some serious play, so the 6/10 surprised me. People are entitled to their opinions though 😁
@AhabSpampurse this is honestly the perfect game to give someone trying VR for the first time, it's insanely fun and he's 20 bucks. It could have used more songs and I do believe the difficulty ramps up a little too fast, but I would give it an 8/10.
@LeeHarveyOzgod Absolutely agreed! I think it's an excellent fit as an "intro to VR" type thing! I plan on using this in that capacity for at least a few of my friends. Ragnarock too actually!
@LeeHarveyOzgod As for the demons, the problem isn't that they differ from each other, so much as they have all sorts of extra bits and bobs on them. On the higher difficulties, where the note charts are absolutely jam-packed, I found it to be a nuisance in regards to keeping track of everything flying at the screen, especially when compared to the cleaner approach in a game like Rock Band, or some of the Guitar Hero's
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