by Henry Stockdale
reviewed on PC
Opening Ė Take to the Slopes
Itís quite common to see mobile games find their way to PC/consoles in recent years, with Ski Jumping Pro starting life on iPhones and Android earlier this year. Developed by Yippee Entertainment, best known for the Chimpact series, the title now arrived on PC as a virtual reality exclusive, utilizing the HTC Vive headset. Itís their first venture into VR and whilst there are noticeable flaws, it proves to be an enjoyable title.
Finding your feet
Ski Jumping Pro has two modes available. Career mode sees you embarking to become a professional ski jumper, competing in events with other nations for the highest score. The other choice is Quick Jump, for those wanting to dive straight into the slopes with no effect on career progression. Touch controllers are used for balance, aiming to replicate the aerodynamic feel as you descend the ski slope.
Youíll be scored on five aspects. The first is your launch, where players must move the controllers downwards whilst holding the triggers, aligning release with the wind meter. Next are the in-run and take off, holding your arms in front for balance before lifting them up to jump at the ramp. Once airborne youíll be ranked on flight and landing, requiring you to move into a V shape, followed by putting your arms towards the floor, all to ensure a balanced landing. If the landing is unbalanced, your jump will go unscored so this aspect is crucial.
Itís confusing at first when learning the movements but youíre given the option to practice run before each jump with tutorial guidance, though this neglect telling you to launch in line with the wind meter. Yippee Entertainment has emulated the feeling of descending a ski slope well and it feels exhilarating as you do and doesnít leave you feeling disoriented. However, this is undermined by the exclusion of a visible avatar whilst making the jump, taking away from the realism as arm tracking isnít clear.
Living like a Pro
Career mode serves as the main campaign, featuring 62 events within 19 different venues between Continental and World Cups. Youíll unlock further levels, contests and venues to compete in as you progress with one attempt per event, no retries. So if you fail a jump, you can either continue or abort season progress to restart but this sacrifices any acquired gear or money. Yippee Entertainment has tried to keep career mode engaging but any variety is mostly cosmetic changes and core gameplay remains the same, quickly becoming repetitive.
You can also purchase equipment, which offers score bonuses alongside appearance customization. Helmets assist with focus, gloves for the in-run, jackets for flight ability, boots improve your landing and skis increase your take-off score. Thereís two currencies used, money thatís acquired through jumps or stars that get awarded based on career results. They can also be put towards your training, bringing increased stats via reflex training or by recruiting sponsors for event bonuses.
It's important to note that while Ski Jumping Pro VR only supports HTC Vive officially, an Oculus Rift S was used after confirming with publishers Kalypso Media Digital that it works on Oculus devices un-optimized, including Quest. There was some screen tearing if you move during loading screens but itís unclear if thatís a headset or performance issue, otherwise it proved completely playable.
Conclusion Ė In need of training
Ski Jumping Pro VR is a good first attempt at virtual reality from Yippee Entertainment overall. Itís an enjoyable, albeit flawed experience with motion controls difficulties and repetition issues, so long playthroughs arenít advisable. However, anyone looking for a skiing experience on their VR headset will find a suitable candidate here, one that successfully recreates the sport and comes recommended.
Fun gameplay, recreates the skiing experinence successfully.
Repetitive gameplay, controls can be tricky to master.