Virtual reality is one of the most amazing technologies I’ve encountered as a gamer. With the onset of PlayStation VR, I have been taken to incredible worlds and experienced things I didn’t know were possible in a video game. Some may say VR is a fad, but for me, it’s incredible.
Fujii for PSVR offers a unique experience that combines exploration with puzzle solving, interaction, and even gardening. It’s an experience that benefits greatly from being in VR, but is that enough, or does this seed of an idea fail to sprout? Let’s find out.
A World You Can Almost Reach out and Touch
Fujii is the kind of game that could benefit from a touching or emotional story. The bright and vibrant world, combined with the unique design of your player character, seems ripe for an exploration of themes like climate change or perhaps deforestation, but instead Fujii keeps things light on the story front.
There is some development from a visual standpoint, and a resolution of sorts, but I wouldn’t go into this expecting any kind of deep or meaningful tale. I would have loved to experience one in this world, but it’s not something you’ll find as part of this experience.
Instead, Fujii goes all in on the gameplay side of things. You play as a sort of forest spirit that has wiggly blue arms and brightly colored hands. The fluid nature of your character’s design helps with the immersion as your arms can convincingly keep up with the movements of your real ones.
The experience in Fujii is divided into three distinct parts: gardening, puzzle solving, and interaction. One thing I will say right off the bat is that this game only support teleportation and before you get annoyed, hear me out.
I think teleportation is the best way to do this game. Not only does the teleportation have a great animation of you throwing a seed and then appearing in the new spot, but it allows you to make precise adjustments to your position when you want to interact with something in the environment. In other games, it would annoy me, but here it works.
Let’s start with gardening. The main hub that leads out into the other areas of the game has various pots and areas of soil for you to plant seeds in. You’ll obtain these seeds as you explore the game’s worlds and solve puzzles. Using your arms, you can absorb water from orbs and then water the seeds to make them grow.
Plants have multiple stages of growth and often yield life seeds that you can use to unlock new areas or purchase addition pots and seeds in the hub. Some also have interactive elements as well. In all cases, they have striking and unique designs that make for a beautiful and surreal garden.
When you venture out into one of the game’s worlds, you’ll find that there’s a lot to do. Interactions are incredibly tactile in Fujii, which is my favorite part of the game by far. To activate glowing plants or trigger pyramid-shaped plants that illuminate the area, you’ll need to reach out and touch them.
There’s a combination here in these interactions that blends rumble from the Move controllers with excellent animations and just the right amount of audio cues to create the closest thing to actual touch I’ve felt in VR. The sensation is uncanny, and it makes interacting with Fujii’s world an absolute joy.
Puzzles do make up a part of the experience and most rely on timing or memorization in a few areas. When you put all the pieces together, Fujii feels like a solid experience from a mechanics standpoint. It is, however, a little on the short side. It only took me a couple hours to finish it.
I think a few more worlds to explore from the hub would have been the perfect length, but those who want to expand their garden can indeed continue playing after the conclusion, so there is some replayability there.
Vibrant Visuals and Soothing Sounds
From a visual and auditory angle, Fujii makes a great case for virtual reality. The vibrant colors, the incredible tactile feedback, and the whimsical music all work in tandem to create a truly captivating experience in the PSVR headset.
Given it’s lower price point, it’s easy to forgive Fujii for being a little on the short side. It’s only real flaw is that I wish there was more of everything. It feels like a great foundation for something bigger and more thought-provoking. This is one seed that I hope has the opportunity to grow into something much bigger in the future.
Final Score: 8.0/10
A copy of Fujii was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes.
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 12/19/19