starblood-arena-NZDadsPSVR has so much potential. When games like Battlezone and RIGS were released it proved to many that multiplayer can be given something special with VR integrations. Starblood Arena takes the more comical end of the multiplayer spectrum and enhances it with PSVR for what is a fun game, with a major problem present right now.
Starblood Arena greets you with two alien commentators on a floating couch, Grox and J3-RY. Grox is eager to push you through the tutorial so he can see some more bloodshed and after a quick but useful tutorial you can get cracked into some matches. Throughout the game Grox and J3-RY narrate a lot with a humour that can be described as juvenile, but funny at times. Even the jokes that miss still contribute in a positive way to the overall tone.
The gameplay revolves around moving your flying ship around an arena and shooting other ships. You use your head to aim, the sticks to move back, forth, turn, plus L1 and R1 to go up or down. This control scheme known as six degrees of control can be difficult to get used to depending on how the vertical axis is controlled but surprisingly it took very little time to get used to.
The gameplay being solid isn’t the major appeal to the game, that’s the aesthetic. Starblood Arena has an awesome design style that looks like it should be cell shaded, but works even better not. The bright colours along with the comic book styles make the game pop and gives a strong fun, but hectic atmosphere. This both distinguishes the game from the competition, and gives good motivation to keep returning to its world. The characters who are all designed fantastically for this aesthetic, coming in many shapes and colours, all have their own strengths, which makes trialling them all a worthwhile experience to see who works best for you.

The game modes generally revolve around killing other players, a lot. As usual, it has the normal kill everyone, as well as kill the other team modes, which are all super fun, but its unique modes are gridiron and invasion. Gridiron is a super fun game where you need to get the ball by flying into it when it isn’t held by another player, and then need to run it through, or shoot it through the oppositions goal. Doing so nets some points, but if the opposition gets the ball, you tackle the opposing player by killing them. It’s crazy, silly, over the top and an absolute blast. Invasion basically gives you bases which you need to protect from waves of weaker than human enemies.
You can play offline, which despite there being no campaign, is still a lot of fun playing the modes against AI, who provides enough of a challenge to be difficult early on. Private matches are also an option, and unfortunately the only way to consistently play online as matchmaking is broken. Many hours were spent, over many different days, at many different times trying to get a game going in matchmaking and only succeeded once. With matchmaking, you can’t customize your character or loadout so you need to stare at the screens timer hoping to find a match before the game gives up. Added to this is you can’t select any open match, you need to choose the gameplay type, so if you had a chance at getting into a game you may have missed your chance while you wait for another gameplay mode.
8/10 – Starblood Arena is an outstandingly designed game that puts fun above all else. Unfortunately, its main draw being multiplayer, which is broken now, and while there were still many hours of fun to be had with the game, this may be a deal breaker for many, at least until it is fixed.

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