Chances are you are one of the millions of players that have already played a version of Halfbrick Studios Fruit Ninja. This fruit-slicing game was originally released on mobile devices and tablets in 2010. In the years following its release it made its way onto other platforms and consoles including the PlayStation Vita. Now Halfbrick’s fruity universe makes its way to the PlayStation VR and its aptly called Fruit Ninja VR.
Fruit Ninja VR is the same game we know and love but tailored for virtual reality. The smudge-marked screens and frantic swiping have gone, replaced with frantically swinging of 3D rendered ninja swords. The swords are controlled with either the DS4 or Move controllers, we tried both methods of control and can say that dual wielding the latter is the only way to go if you want a fully immersive experience.
In this virtual reality incarnation of the game there’s four game modes to tackle, yep you heard that right four! There’s the three that you’ll be familiar with; Arcade, Classic and Zen and then there’s a Survival Mode. In each mode the goal remains the same (get the highest score) but they have different parameters. Arcade Mode gives you 60 seconds to slice as many fruit as possible. If you want the biggest scores you’ll need to avoid the bombs as they’ll deduct points from your total and slice the special fruits, which activate power-ups and combos. Zen Mode is a semi-relaxing mode, again you’ve got 60 seconds but this time there are no bombs to worry about so it’s a good place to hone the skills of a ninja. In Classic Mode the timer is replaced with strikes; if you don’t slice a fruit you get a strike, get three strikes and its Game Over. Also if you accidentally slice a bomb it’s instant game over. (tip – if you are careful you can hit the bombs away from you with the swords, a technique that is needed for one of the trophies)
Survival Mode in Fruit Ninja VR is the hardest of all the modes and will take the longest to master. In it you are facing flying, fruit flinging cannons and you must slice all the fruit they throw at you. It is similar to classic mode but this time the fruit come at you a lot faster. Again if you miss any fruit you get a strike and, yep you’ve guessed it, its Game Over when you have three strikes. This is the mode that will seriously have you frantically swinging the Move controllers around as you try to slice and dice all the fruit.
Halfbrick Studios have always been good at making graphics pop and they’ve done it again on the PlayStation VR with Fruit Ninja VR. The cartoon-like graphics look fantastic in VR. The bright and colourful setting has a real feel of depth, the pieces of fruit look like they are physically flying in front of you (albeit a cartoon-like version of fruit) and contrasts well with the realistic looking swords.
Fruit Ninja VR has thirteen trophies and, depending on your ninja skills, should be no problem at all to obtain. To unlock a few of the trophies you’ll need to perform a 10 fruit combo, reach a target score on the different modes and slice your way through 50,000 fruit. Popping that 50,000 fruit trophy is where you’ll get longevity from the game but there’s also an online leaderboard for you to try and top too.
Fruit Ninja is back and it’s as addictive as ever. The jump to the virtual environment adds a fresh new take and makes it feel like we’re getting the definitive version of the game. Is it worth buying Fruit Ninja VR if you’ve already played the original? Yes, without question it is! It looks great, the controls are very responsive and its a good pick up and play title. However at the moment it’s treble the prices of the original so you’ll be paying a premium to play it in virtual reality. If you’re a high-score chaser you’ll no doubt get your money’s worth otherwise you might want to think about adding it to your shopping list for when it goes on sale.
WeArePSVR score – 8/10