Since the installation of BeatSaber into our collective consciousness, there have been an endless amount of clones that come out seemingly every week to try and take the crown from possibly the most intensive exercise experience in the world of VR. While some experiences have been on the same level as BeatSaber, it still has remained the king of the mountain. It seemed that would just be the way things are until a new generation of VR rose up to create some better version of it. That was until Supernatural took the stage. As unexpected as it is fantastic, Supernatural gives you plenty of reasons to cancel a gym membership and instead, enter the VR fitness experience that is supernatural. Let’s take a look and see what is in store with this amazing VR experience.
At the start of your experience, you, unfortunately, have to sign up for an account as well as downloading an app, which is pretty annoying, to say the least, but when comparing it to all the hoops you need to go through to sign up for an actual gym membership, it is not all that bad. Once you get all signed up, you will go through the tutorial. Luckily, here you are guided through it by an energetic real-life trainer in front of you and they will walk you through a demo song and you will be introduced to the mechanics at play. If you have played a VR rhythm game before, you will likely be familiar with what we are dealing with here. You get a bat in each hand and you have icons that are flying at you to the beat of songs. If this sounds familiar, you are not wrong, and Supernatural really does not do anything that new in terms of new ideas but rather brings the best ones from every rhythm game together to create an experience that feels like the pinnacle of all of that.
What It Feels like to Play
Right off the bat, one thing is going to jump out at you and that is the visuals. My oh my is this one of the most gorgeous looking VR titles I’ve ever seen. Now, this is kind of hard to describe visually because I’m pretty sure these are actual photos that the game is taking place in. Whether they are photo-realistic or graphically created is irrelevant because the environments you get to play in are just beautiful to look at and whether it’s on Mars or in the arctic, it is actually incredible to witness. To go along with this are trainers who are actually real that appear in front of you before every song and get you all stretched out and pumped up to work out and as corny as it is sometimes when they are spouting one-liners about the songs being played or trying to remind you that they are working out alongside you, it really is uplifting stuff and goes a long way towards keeping you going before you finish the workout. Of course, no VR rhythm game is complete without a formidable song list, and hands down, this is the best collection of music in VR rhythm game history. Every single genre you can possibly think of is there and whether it is rap, rock, R and B and everything in between, it is all there and as an avid rock fan myself who often finds VR rhythm games to have little to nothing in the way of recognizable songs, I was in bliss working out in VR to some of my favorite bands.
What will keep you playing?
If you are the type who can go to the gym every day without a break, then you can figure out a way to fire up Supernatural every day as well. There are nearly endless amounts of workouts you can do here and whether it’s the quick hits playlist that gives you a quick, 8-minute burst that is as intense as it is fun or the elongated, 30 minutes plus workouts that give you varying songs of intensity, there are workouts for everyone here. During my time with the game, I only experienced about half of what it has to offer despite spending multiple weeks with it and I can promise that this is the most content that any VR rhythm game has ever had. It is constantly updated as well and the multiple trainers available all give you a slightly different intensity and you can pick your favorites and stick to them daily if you would like. I found it easy to hop into Supernatural daily and each time, I came away being incredibly satisfied and felt like I was coming back from an intense workout at the gym every single time.
In order to get the most out of Supernatural, you should definitely have a 5×5 space available as you are going to be moving all over the place and spinning in circles while playing, so not having the proper space could be very problematic and lower the benefits of the workouts in Supernatural.
I recorded my 30-minute workout on a Fitbit with an Oculus Quest 2 headset.
Calories burned: 328
Calories burned per minute: 8
Average Heart Rate: 130
Max Heart Rate: 160
Active Minutes: 30
Supernatural is just an amazing experience. If you are here to sweat, then sweat you will. Whether you are doing the longer workouts or the quick hits, you are going to find yourself panting for breath after finishing these songs, and the beats you need to hit change depending on the song you’re playing through, so if you are going to try a heavy metal song, you better stretch to prepare because they will not mess around here and you feel overwhelmed if you aren’t ready to go. By the end of each of my Supernatural workouts, I was absolutely drenched and the calories you will burn during this experience is comparable to spending an hour at the gym, it is just a matter of how much you can handle. Once you figure that out, you can customize your workouts so that you are getting the same style of workout daily and from there you can add more and more to it. Supernatural is one of the more intense titles to exist in VR and gives us one of the first official cardio-centric, VR gyms.
This is among the elite experiences in VR arm workouts, so I implore you to stretch before doing any of these workouts. The game is very clever in how it gets you to use actual strength to complete the levels as there is a power tracker on each of your hits and the trainers start barking at you to put more into certain hits than others letting you know it is about time to let loose. Some of the icons you have to hit have long strings attached to them and you are supposed to slowly move your arms to these paths before slamming down on the following beat, creating an awesome rhythm to the game that makes you feel like you are hitting the drums in all of the songs at times.
During the rounds, you will be facing giant circles and triangles that fly at you, and depending on the angle, you can perform either a normal squat or a lunge squat from side to side. In between the tons of punches you will be unleashing, each set is usually broken up by these squatting segments and once that happens, you will feel the legs start to burn as in some songs these squats can go on for a decently long time.
Core and Balance- 9/10
When it comes to balancing in Supernatural, it is maybe the most important part of the experience here as you will be turning 360 degrees throughout each song and it will be very easy to lose track of where you are in the real world while turning from side to side, so you need to keep a low center of gravity so you don’t fall over by accident. Your core also comes into play aplenty here as the trainers will constantly remind you that you are going to have to tighten your core through a lot of these workouts to prevent burning out quickly. The icons come flying at you at all angles, so you will be hitting them while ducking, stretching, and turning, and at certain points in the level, you will be stuck in a squat having to hit the icons and keeping your core tight during these segments is key to success.
Time Perception- 10/10
When you are enthralled in your favorite songs while viewing beautiful landscapes and being coached by a stern trainer, the only thing that matters is the workout at hand and everything else seems to become obsolete. Whenever I have hopped into Supernatural, I have found myself forgetting what time it is and just going with the flow as the game has a very natural way about it that grips you and keeps you there until you are finishing the workouts.
This game is made to be replayed as you will get little out of it if you just try it once. The rock genre alone has 30 pages worth of songs and workouts to get through and I haven’t even approached the other genres because of how entertaining this segment was on its own. There are nearly an endless amount of songs and workout combinations that you can do and if you can fit this into your daily schedule, you are going to see your body start to transform in a positive way and that is worthy of replayability far beyond anything else.
Fitness Scalability- 10/10
Depending on your mood and energy level of the day, you might want a slow and relaxing experience or possibly a more intense one that will really burn the calories off. While there are no difficulty options, you can see what kind of workouts there are based on the names of each session and how long they are. Some songs offer a pretty easy experience while other more fast-paced ones are incredibly intense and only allow maybe one or two tries,
Whatever dizziness you feel while playing Supernatural is likely just going to be from you exhausting yourself or not drinking enough water as this was one of the smoothest experiences I’ve had in a VR rhythm game. The amazing scenery is just wonderful to behold and although you are hoisted slightly above it during your workouts, I didn’t find the angles it had me at giving any cause of sickness whatsoever.
Social Competition- 8/10
While there is no true multiplayer component as of now in Supernatural, there are leaderboards that track your progress so you can compare with people all around the world. In addition to this, there is a wildly popular Facebook community that is growing by the day where people share their workouts, their playlists, and more. Players all around the world post their scores, their workout videos, and post their usernames as well so you can follow and compare your workouts with fellow Oculus Quest users. The popularity is growing more and more and with the ability to share and compete with your friend’s scores, it is easy to see why.
VR Fit Score- 9.4/10
Game Score- 8/10
Supernatural takes the model created by several other VR rhythm games and uses it to create something that feels unique. It provides us with what is essentially a VR gym, complete with trainers, workout plans, and graphs to chart exactly how we are doing with the workouts. The trainers especially are a nice touch and they help keep you motivated throughout particularly tough workouts and they help get your mindset in the right place before each one begins with a warmup routine. The list of songs available here is truly staggering and whether you are a fan of music old or new, popular or indie, you will find something to like here. While the gameplay won’t exactly blow you away, this feels like more than a game and if my harrowing workout didn’t tell the story, you can definitely use this as a tool to get in shape.
Since Supernatural is essentially a VR gym, that means memberships are involved and although you get the first 30 days free, after that, it’s time to pay the piper. Here, that comes out to $19 per month or $179 yearly. For a lot of people, they will find it hard to be stuck to a game for a year or more as that is usually only reserved for the big, sprawling VR titles out there with new content around every corner. Here, you are largely going to be doing the same thing over and over again. That is the nature of most workouts though, so if you can stay dedicated, you will really see the gains possible here. Not everyone has that type of motivation though and for those people, they may fall off well before the benefits of Supernatural come to fruition for them.
Supernatural is available on the Oculus Quest store for a 30-day free trial, and then $19 per month after that, or $179 yearly and it is playable on Oculus Quest 1/2 headsets.