Ace Banana Review Playstation VR (Video)

Today we’re taking a look at Oasis Games’ Ace Banana on the Playstation VR which comes in as a launch game and has you standing or sitting with the Move controllers shooting up incoming monkeys who are out to steal your bananas. It’s a very simple premise but has some serious undertones in that you’ll get a workout once the difficulty ramps up. At the low price of under £12 is this colourful shooting game worth the purchase?

To begin it has to be stated that Ace Banana is best played with two move controllers. Sure you can sort of play it with the Dual Shock 4 but it’s a bit buggy and you won’t get the full experience. With two move controllers in the hub you can move your hands independently of one another and when playing these act as the grip and pull of the bowstring. Another tip is whether to sit or stand. Whilst it’s possible to play seated, standing is most preferable although it’s not a requirement. There are some potential tracking issues given how much you might need to turn at some points but generally it holds up well.

So, the aim of the game is to survive waves of attacking monkeys armed with your trusty bow and infinite supply of arrows. The monkeys will come at you in an attempt to steal your stocks of bananas which are housed in three main areas. You can warp to each of the areas at will although at the start it’s fairly easy to see where you need to be placed. Obviously your job is to shoot first and ask questions later and what starts out as a simple exercise in accuracy quickly turns into a mad scramble to save the banana’s skins. It’s a wave based shooter at heart which continues until you drop or lose all of the bananas. As you progress, the monkeys become much more challenging with crazy movements, blocking and defence. Often you’ll have to shoot them twice, once to stun and a second time to take them out. This becomes quite a challenge when surrounded by many of them all heading for your skins. However, there’s some power-ups to be shot at and collected which can help turn the tides which can improve your shooting. At one point some pillows were used instead of normal arrows which being wider meant needing to be less accurate which is quite helpful when being attacked by multiple airborne foes. As mentioned, as the intensity rises you’ll start to feel like you’re getting an upper body workout so a bit of stamina is required. The shooting action does feel quite authentic and with the option to look around you really puts you into the game.

Visually the graphics are simple, colourful and lacking detail which actually serves to keep the game running smoothly at all times. The cartoon style fits and you’re never left wondering what you should be shooting at. With the wide variety of monkey opposition means there’s a lot to take in – and that also includes some crazy larger than life boss characters which look rather cool.

In terms of longevity this is a great game to show off to younger players and those unfamiliar with VR and obviously the second screen shows any bystanders what you’re up against. The waves do get really tough as nails and there’s some skill involved in scoring large combos and accurate shots against ranged targets. It’s a game where you can keep coming back for more to beat your score and see how much further you can get. There’s some unlockable “skins” available where you grow them at the hub and a book where you can strive to fill it with your experiences and awards.

Ace Banana might look like a simple child’s game but underneath the surface there’s a compelling shooter here that will test your stamina and reflexes. The only gripe is a lack of explanation of what you need to be doing where a tutorial of sorts could have helped greatly and some more varied locations. That said, it’s not the most complex of games and fairly easy to work out what you need to be doing. Whilst its colourful style might not appeal to everyone and no doubt some people will experience tracking issues, the game itself is fun to play and worth checking out.

Score 7/10

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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