Ever fancied hitting the local arcade to shoot some hoops but can not be bothered with the crowd? Then Just Hoops is probably the VR title you have been looking for. Available now via the Oculus Store App Lab, Steam and Humble Bundle.
Getting Baskets For Days!
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Just Hoops is an arcade VR simulator game that takes you back to the great memories of shooting hoops in return for a pile of tickets. But without the tickets, which can only be a good thing I have enough random bits of junk at home anyway. The game starts you off nice and easy with 2 options for controlling the game. You can either use hand tracking or you can use the Quest 2 controllers. Hand tracking when you get used to it works well, however, I felt using the controllers gave me the best experience. This could possibly be down to me still getting used to gaming in VR. I still haven’t quite got my VR legs just yet.
With an abundance of game modes and types, from standard shooting hoops to spooky multiple hoop games. Just Hoops has a lot to offer with also the room to grow. I started off just playing around with the controls as mentioned above on the easier levels. I highly recommend this. By taking your time with Just Hoops you can really refine your play style, meaning when you have friends over you will always be top of the leaderboards.
As you start to bring your A-game that is when I would recommend venturing out, trying the games modes and offer and you will enjoy them a lot more than you would if you were still trying to get used to the movement and controls in the game. Another tip I would take on board is to try not to panic when you have too many balls to throw. But more importantly, sit/stand back and have fun whether that be competitive with friends or some solo casual.
Graphics & Audio
When it comes to VR I am never looking for what you could class as AAA level visuals. What I look for is a graphical experience that fits in seamlessly with the gameplay. No matter the level of graphics these need to go hand in hand to ensure you have a successful VR title. Just Hoops offers a larger than life VR environment. Bringing you bold colours across all the levels available, you are immersed in an arcade title that keeps on giving. I should mention, that at the start the graphics did glitch. However, this was due to my own fault on the boundaries which made the gloves glitch out. So keep an eye on this one if you are having this issue.
You walk into an arcade, it is empty you are the only person there. However, you can hear the sounds of the machines. The fun clunky sounds from yesteryear. Is just what it sounds like to play Just Hoops. From the standard levels that provide you what I could only describe and a fun retro soundtrack. You also have the spooky notes provided for the new levels on the game. These sound like they are from a ghoulish platformer on the Super Nintendo, however more refined might I add. The sound effects provided with the balls and the baskets only add to the fun styling.
Due to the type of gameplay that Just Hoops brings to VR, It would be hard to put a label on longevity. It is not only a fun game to play solo as a side game whilst waiting for the rest of your squad to log on. This could also be a party game for those who love to host and whip out the VR after a few drinks. It doesn’t feel like a game you could get bored of, but a game you pick up and play when you just fancy shooting some hoops.
Just Hoops was a nice change for me for VR. I have been struggling to find games that don’t give me the dreaded VR sickness. It was comfortable to play stood up or sat down, although I do recommend being stood up. I loved what Just Hoops could offer from a VR perspective and look forward to seeing where the devs take this title in the future. For me, Just Hoops ticked a lot of VR boxes despite it being an App Labs title, It does nothing but give you an epic nostalgic arcade-Esque experience. I, therefore, give Just Hoops a Thumb Culture Gold Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.