The Final Overs VR Game Review – VR Cricket with Promise

Cricket is a game that is played all over the world with 2.5 BILLION fans and to be honest, I had and still somewhat have no idea how to play it. You have your titles that deliver a true-to-form simulation like 2MD Football, and then you have your more out there and wacky titles like Sports Scramble which takes several liberties with how sports should function in VR. Then, you’ve got The Final Overs VR which is such an accurate simulation of what it must be like to play cricket that it makes me shocked nobody has figured out how to do a baseball game by now. If you’re in the mood to jump into a faithful virtual simulation of an underappreciated sport, then The Final Overs VR is an awesome time to jump in.

The Basics

To start off, you can go through a tutorial of how cricket is played and while most who download this game will already know how it’s played, I was completely oblivious, so this was very much needed. From there you can compete in various modes where you can alter the difficulty to suit your needs. During gameplay, you actually get to face different pitchers throughout, and although you’re only able to bat in this cricket simulation, the presence of extremely varied pitchers gives it a very authentic feel like that similar games have lacked. There is no multiplayer component, but your scores are ranked across the world and you can see leaderboards to track how you’re improving.

What it Feels Like to Play

The best way to describe being thrown into the box to face an opposing bowler is overwhelming. As someone very inexperienced with the sport, yet being an avid fan of baseball, I thought I was ready for what was coming. Spoiler alert, I wasn’t. Not even close. The reason for this is the insane velocity these pitches are coming at you with. The ball comes flying at you at different angles and velocities and it’s incredibly tough to even make contact the first couple of times you try it. The physics at work are great however and where you make contact actually matters. If you’re late on a ball, you’ll send it into right field, if you’re super late, you might end up smacking it backwards which in cricket is a good thing. The games are fast-paced and you have a ton of customizable options for what length game you’d like to play as well as the difficulty for both the batting and the balls that will be flying at you. I was pretty terrible to start out, but training your eye and learning to anticipate the pitch and where it’s gonna go was both intense and thrilling to figure out, much like I’d assume it would be playing actual cricket. There are a couple of ways to play solo, but the amount of modes available is not that numerous, and does feel like more could be added to this experience.

What will Keep you Playing

Like all sports, there is a certain amount of repetition involved in everything you do, and The Final Overs is no different. The repetition though will help make you a much better player in-game and possibly out of it as well. There seems to be a lot of dedication at work here by the creators and it is a title that has planned updates happening already. With cricket being as big a sport as it is, the sky is the limit for this game’s growth potential.

Preparation-

You won’t be moving around a whole lot while playing The Final Overs, but that doesn’t mean there is no need for a clear play space. You may be stepping into your swings a whole lot more than you’d expect and you should have enough space to accommodate a normal batter’s box.

Intensity- 8/10

I recorded my 30-minute workout using a Fitbit using an Oculus Quest 2.

Calories burned: 98
Calories burned per minute: 3
Average Heart Rate: 86
Max Heart Rate: 110
Active Minutes: 32

It’s not the most physically intense experience out there, but The Final Overs will give you a great overall intense experience as it’s as much of a mental workout at times trying to guess where the ball is going to go and where to swing so that the fielders won’t catch it. You won’t be dripping sweat from your time with the game, but there is plenty of intense moments to be had here.

Arms- 8/10

Despite not being able to play the role of the bowler, which in my mind is probably the most fun you’d get out of both a baseball and cricket experience, you’re going to still be swinging out of your shoes with this startlingly realistic look at hitting in cricket. While you can play with one arm, you’re encouraged to use both hands to simulate the feeling of holding a bat and this comes with a bit of an issue. For me at least, the controller is just not big enough to comfortably hold with two hands. You can combat this by adding things to elongate it such as a paper towel roll to give you something to actually grip, but it’s still awkward in its implementation. In terms of how hard you’re going to swing, I’d say my full-strength swings did about as much as my 75% power swings, so mileage may vary, but it definitely takes into account how much effort you’re putting into each swing you take.

Legs- 6/10

Legs are always an important part of hitting in any sport whether it be cricket, baseball, or tennis. That being said, it’s tougher to realize this fact in VR as your momentum isn’t always tracked well and your push-off is obviously going to be factored in less than it would be in real life. Here though, you’re going to need them a little bit and that’s because it’s awkward as hell playing this game without a proper batting stance. You can choose to play straightforwardly, without a batting stance, but it’s going to feel very awkward and you’re honestly going to be terrible at the game if you attempt to go this way. You cannot play this game effectively while seated. It is playable in that way, but it’s not fun.

Core/ Balance- 9/10

Your core is heavily involved here considering the amount of torque you’ll be generating with each swing. It’s easy to overswing here too and that can lead to a quick loss of balance if you’re not careful, so I recommend recentering yourself with each swing so you don’t go crashing into your TV while trying to hit a particularly tough pitch. There is no real VR bat controller at the moment, so you have to consider that while swinging to make sure you don’t strain yourself due to the lack of resistance you’re feeling.

Time Perception- 9/10

While it may not be for everyone, I am now a big fan of cricket. Its baseball turned up to 1000 with a solid amount of craziness thrown in and the VR realization of it is the shining example of VR sports finally getting it right. I was able to play several games in a row, though after a while it gets very tiring as in the actual sport, there is a full team of batters taking turns against the opposing bowlers. Here though, it’s all on you. Maybe getting out of Early Access will add a multiplayer mode that will simulate being in a real lineup with other players online, but for now, it’s a bit tiring being a one-man show for long periods of time.

Fitness Scalability- 8/10

There are a couple of ways to scale your workout here. This all depends on which pitchers you’re facing though. Some pitchers may be quite easy to connect with, while others will have you flailing around trying to hit these crazy curves and whatnot.

Replayability- 7/10

If you love cricket and are currently without a way to play, then The Final Overs should be an experience that’s easy to come back to again and again. If you’re not thrilled with the relatively low energy style of the game itself, you might not be too keen on returning. There is still more planned for this title though, so for those who are hooked on the loop, expect a lot more coming your way that will undoubtedly improve the experience.

Lack of Nausea- 9/10

Not only does The Final Overs look incredibly sharp compared to most VR sports experiences, but it excels in causing a completely nausea-free experience. The interface is easy to navigate and despite there being some varying camera angles during your gameplay, none of them are ever jarring and they never caused me to feel even a little bit sick during my time with the game. The one issue people might have with the game is keeping their balance. That’s a valid issue and it will take a few swings to stop yourself from falling over, especially if you try to add weight to the controller, which I fully recommend.

Social Competition- 8/10

The Final Overs goes a great length to connect you to the other players in the world. It’s an extremely impressive effort considering the game is still in Early Access and is among one of the best offerings I’ve seen in the VR sports offerings available right now. You will see your scores tracked around the world after every game and this acts as a way to track your progress. There are no 1v1 matches available just yet, though this may be added in the near future.

VR Fit Score- 8/10

Game Score- 7/10

The Good

The Final Overs is an incredible simulation of what it’s like to face the high-speed pitches of professional cricket players. The physics are fantastic and give you the feeling of total control while you’re playing by using your literal swing power and bat-to-ball connection location to figure out how far you can hit the ball. The ability to track your progress with a constantly updating leaderboard is impressive as well. The different pitchers offer up some gameplay variety as well, so you never get too comfortable.

The Bad

The game strictly sticks to batting in terms of gameplay, so it’s possible you tire out quickly and don’t give them time to this title that it properly deserves. There is no bowler mode available, so it feels like you’re only really getting half of the experience of cricket which is a shame since VR is set up to be a perfect way to feel what it’s like to be a cricket bowler. The options for modes to play in are pretty sparse and despite the customization in-game you can access, the experience feels somewhat repetitive after a while of playing.

The Final Overs is available for $9.99 on Sidequest and playable on Oculus Quest 1 and 2, and Oculus Rift Headsets.


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