A reimagining of Cosmic Smash, a classic arcade game later ported to Dreamcast, C-Smash VRS smooshes together squash and Breakout, creating a VR game that’s initially challenging but ultimately fun to remote to time and time again. Even more so if you have a friend or two to play it with online.
With your PSVR 2 headset on and your Sense controllers in hand, C-Smash VRS transports you to a world that feels futuristic yet also retro. Its bold colour scheme and clean lines provide visuals that are appealing, but they don’t take your attention away from what’s important: the gameplay.
Jump into the single-player portion of C-Smash VRS, and you’ll find yourself faced with a large number of challenges. With a paddle in your hand, you serve the ball by essentially pulling it to yourself. Then you need to hit it towards the opposite end of the room, hitting a number of targets as quickly as possible.
The further you progress, the harder hitting all targets becomes, with complications like blocks being added into the mix that you need to avoid. You do have something to help you hit those hard-to-reach targets, however: gain enough power in your paddle, and you can perform a charged shot that you can aim by simply pointing.
If you miss the ball on its return during any challenge you’ll need to serve again, adding more time to the clock. So, if you want to get the best rankings, you need to be accurate and consistent. It’s easier said than done, what with the game accurately picking up even the slightest of wrist movements to determine where the ball will go when you hit it.
Aside from serving and swinging your paddle, the only other modicum of control you have in C-Smash VRS is moving left and right. Even with that, however, you’ll want to play in a fairly large space, otherwise you might end up hitting walls, the ceiling or objects as you try to swing to reach the ball. It’s testament to how well the game immerses you in the action that you soon forget where you truly are and do your best to return shots no matter how much you need to extend yourself.
Two single-player modes are served up, catering to those just wanting to have fun, and those who really want to test their skills. In Zen mode you can play without any real repercussions for failure, enjoying completing challenges no matter your skill level. Jump into challenge mode, however, and you’ll not want to let a ball get past you, otherwise you’ll find your journey coming to an end and having to restart.
For those who like serious competition, online multiplayer is available, basically letting players take part in a VR game of tennis. the trouble is, you might struggle to find a game even though C-Smash VRS has only recently launched. It’s not a problem if you have some like-minded friends that also have PSVR 2 and a copy of the game, but those without such comforts may not be able to get as much out of the game as they’d like.
If the idea of playing Breakout crossed with squash in VR appeals to you, it’s definitely worth checking C-Smash VRS out. Unless you have friends willing to buy and play it with you online, though, you might want to consider it a single-player only experience, and there’s not an abundance of content. But like the best arcade games, this is something you’ll likely return to many times just for a quick burst of fun.