Developer / Publisher – InnerspaceVR
Price – US $6.99 / EU €6.99 / UK £4.99
Release Date – August 19th, 2016
Input – Track Motion Controller
Play Area – Seated, Standing, Roomscale
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – Oculus Rift
Have you ever wanted to watch a motion captured digital ballerina in VR? Well if you had that oddly specific life goal then you are in luck!
Firebird: La Peri is another VR experience that shouldn’t really be considered a game. While it is interactive, it is still better to consider this a brief experience instead of a game. The experience lasts about 15 minutes and while there are two endings there is no score, or failure state or any real challenge. This isn’t meant to be a criticism so much as informational. If you buy it, you should know what you are getting.
The experience is highly polished in some respects and falters in others. You are given a flashlight and your other hand is used to grab petals as needed in one of the acts. Grabbing petals is the only real interactive portion of the experience as the petals attempt to flee your grasp. It isn’t challenging to grab them, but nothing else reacts to you. One glaring issue I noticed was that even the shadows don’t react to your flashlight. Your flashlight can brighten up areas, but it creates no shadows. Leading me to believe that lighting and shadows is all pre-rendered. Given this, I think they should have just skipped the flashlight entirely.
Lighting and clipping issues aside, this is a breathtakingly beautiful experience. The fluidity of motion, the creatures made of light and the mood all work together to create a wonderful atmosphere. Very visually impressive.
The dancing part of this experience is certainly polished, it is a beautiful dance motion captured professionally and it is wonderful. It really is breathtaking to be on stage watching this ballerina perform right before you and be allowed to walk around with them. Your relative position is not considered, so it can create a few issues where the dancer will clip through you if you don’t stand still, the game claims to support room scale and while it technically allows you to move about, it doesn’t react to your movements at all.
Is this an experience that most people should buy? Probably not, it is an experience that is worth buying for some people. I could see showing newcomers to VR. It works nicely as an experience, it is short and self-contained with no need for training or tutorials. The other group that would find this experience to be worth buying are those that are highly interested in ballet. I am a little bit interested in ballet and have some interest in showing VR to visitors, so I think it is worth owning and keeping installed on my computer.
What would I pay? The asking price of $6.99 is too much for my use case. I would have been happy paying up to $4 considering the short run time. If you have no interest in ballet at all, then perhaps $1 should be the upper limit if at all. If you are very interested in ballet, then the asking price is probably fair.