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Friday, December 8, 2023 9:03:22 PM

Ragnarock Review (Tragedy15)

Ragnarock is a really solid VR rhythm game. I haven't played it in non-VR mode but it actually gives the same feel as playing Guitar Hero back in the day. That arcade feeling of actually being really good at whatever instrument they place in your hands (Guitar Hero controller back in the day or hammers in this VR game.) Great music (viking metal and power metal bands like Gloryhammer, Wind Rose, and Alestorm.)
Custom beat maps are easy to download, install, and find. Graphics are a bit generic and don't do much for me, but that's very subjective. You may very much like the more cartoon-y viking-inspired art style. Gameplay is phenomenal. It's so fun. Just so much fun. Again, going back to the Guitar Hero thing, it makes me want to keep playing well after my arms are sore and I'm tired from playing so much. Good difficulty range, too. It goes from fairly easy while still making you feel like you're actually some sort of cool viking leader to being really fast and difficult, making you feel like a Norse God. There's a decent tutorial that explains the mechanics well enough. The game can be comfortably played seated or standing, though you'll probably want to be standing for the faster-paced songs (at least I like to stand for that.)
Not much playspace is required (compared to games like Beat Saber.) Just enough room to stretch your arms out like you're T-posing. Everything can be easily re-centered, and the drum heights can be adjusted. Hammer angle can be adjusted, shield (equivalent to Star Power from Guitar Hero) can be adjusted in angle, height, and position. Everything can be rearranged to fit your setup.
Performance is very smooth on my machine, but I do have a higher spec machine, especially for when this game came out. You can find my full specs on my profile, but the basic ones are: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, 32 GB RAM, and 12 GB NVIDIA RTX 4070 Ti. Played on Windows 10 using the Valve Index with Knuckles controllers. I only got performance hitches when I moved my head really fast to the beat of the music (aka when I got really into the song.) I don't believe that to be the game's fault though. I'm pretty sure that's just a limitation of the tracking on the Valve Index. It was also nothing game breaking, and actually helped me pace myself a bit more.
The game is much less exhausting than Beat Saber, and I think some people could still play it even if they had some sort of disability where they had to stay seated or were in a wheelchair. Your mileage will definitely vary there. Compared to Beat Saber, there is a lot less full-body movement. I think you could play and enjoy this game a decent amount if you must play seated. It will make you sweat on the higher difficulties, but can be played comfortably on lower difficulties.
Ragnarock still holds up, and I'm ashamed to say I've been sleeping on it so hard. Part of my mistake was sleeping on it because of the graphics. They just didn't appeal to me. Graphics aren't everything in games though, and gameplay along with music can make all the difference in a game like this. The gameplay is there. The music is there. It's worth your money. I picked this up on sale as the complete collection for about $30 USD during the 2023 Steam VR Fest. It was 100% worth it. The game is still on sale at the time of writing this, so I say go for it if you have any interest in it. There's a free demo, so I'd recommend downloading that, giving it a go, and seeing if this is your thing. If it is your thing, you'll be happy to know the full game plays just like the demo.
Rating: 8/10. Fits right up there with Beat Saber as some of the best rhythm games in VR.