Earlier this year, Hyperbolic Magnetism released the game Beat Saber for the Oculus and HTC Vive. In each song, the game presents the player with an oncoming stream of blocks that approach them in sync with the song’s beats and notes. The player is then meant to hit said blocks with a pair of lightsabers wielded using the VR motion controllers. Each block has markings that specify whether they are meant to be hit with the left or right lightsaber, and one of eight possible directions in which the lightsaber is meant to hit it. There is also blocks with no direction indicator, which can be hit in any desired direction. When a block is hit by the lightsaber, it is destroyed, and a score is awarded, based on timing accuracy and physical positioning of the cut. In addition, there is occasionally mines that the player is supposed not to hit, and obstacles in the form of oncoming walls that the player is meant to avoid hitting with their head. Every song has four difficulty settings, with ‘Expert’ being the most difficult.
If you haven’t played this game, I can assure you it is difficult for the rhythmically challenged. I constantly find myself failing because I can’t think of the difference between my left and my right in the fast-paced songs. Luckily, there have been people who have actually found success in the game. Cory Bunger at the University of Oklahoma has cracked the top 20 on the global leaderboard for the song ‘$100 Bills. The One University Store has a communal HTC Vive that students at the university can come in and play at their leisure. For a 2 minute song, Cory has played it for over three hours attempting to get on the leaderboard. He finally made it to right at number 20, and soon after made it to 16. He now plans to climb higher in the ranks, as well as tackling some of the harder modded songs.
If you’re ever on the University of Oklahoma’s campus feel free to come by and try to beat Cory’s score! And if you haven’t heard of Beat Saber, check out some gameplay below.