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Audica: First Impressions as a Beat Saber Alternative

Content of the article: "Audica: First Impressions as a Beat Saber Alternative"

I'm a huge Beat Saber fan. I own all the DLC except the Rocket League one and use it regularly as it is great exercise. I had been curious about Audica and picked it up since it was on sale. I was hoping that it could serve as a true alternative to Beat Saber as I game I play to burn some calories and get myself moving. Spoiler Alert: It won't, at least for me.

I opted for the Audica plus 2019 Season Pass bundle on sale now for $31 (US) after taxes. It includes all the DLC songs in the price — but you DO need to download the songs separately from the original game, which I have not yet done.

Here are the things I liked about it:

  • Beautiful graphics
  • Gameplay is simple to get started and seems like it will scale well as I get better at the game and progress through the difficulty levels
  • Good song selection with a decent range of genres. Even a few legit rap songs. Beat Saber has only 1 arguably rap song: "Legend" (I don't consider the Timbaland stuff rap/hip-hop)
  • It's fun
  • You can re-map the colors — I didn't try it yet but I'm going to try to introduce the same color scheme as Beat Saber for some cross-game, muscle memory synergy. Not sure if it'll support red and blue on left/right like that though.

Here are the things I did not like:

  • The song navigation is pretty clunky. I didn't download the DLC songs yet so I don't know how they fit in, but the basic navigation seemed much worse than Beat Saber
  • It doesn't seem like it gives you as good a workout as Beat Saber. There are arm movements and you do some swiping but in general, it didn't seem to get me sweating as much. Maybe that's because I'm playing at a lower difficulty and I need to work up to it, but the higher difficulties are too hard for a beginner. Thus, the bottom line is if you're an experienced Beat Saber player, you cannot jump right into this game and expect to get as good a workout from it initially. Perhaps even ever?
  • The constant trigger pulling induces fatigue in a way that Beat Saber does not. I am very sensitive/susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. I'm on a PC for work 8 hours a day and had a serious thumb injury in the past so I always pay attention to what my hands are telling me when I'm gaming. And they did not like this game. After about 4 or 5 songs, they had had enough and I switched over to Beat Saber. The constant, repetitive trigger pulling really made me appreciate the simplicity of how Beat Saber is one of the most ergonomic PSVR workouts possible — it's 100% arm movements with no finger involvement (although you are admittedly gripping the Moves the entire time). One nice thing Audica could do to offset this is allow the thumb buttons to double as trigger buttons, so you can switch between thumb and forefinger use to give each a rest. There's no reason they can't, as those buttons aren't used otherwise, AFAIK. But they didn't add this option for whatever reason. Probably it never occurred to them or was too much work. I might look into the PS4's accessibility settings to see if I can configure it in there.
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So for me, the game was a bit of a disappointment as I don't think I can use it as an exercise game. But I don't regret buying it and perhaps I'll grow to love it.


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