I am the Fastest Skater in the West
I came across this game after realising that Beat Saber was actually making me lose weight at an impressive rate and I was looking for other games which might have the same effect. This game turned out to be a strong contender, it was good cardio and certainly got my heart-rate up, my Samsung Gear told me my heart rate was up to 204 (my maximum heart rate should be 175! Oops!) after one particularly vigorous Sprint Vector session.
After not long at all, I was enjoying the game quite a lot and decided I definitely want to get the platinum.
Before I get into it, I just want to say that I really don’t understand why this game doesn’t have more attention… It’s a solid PSVR game but only 11 people have achieved the platinum on PSNProfiles, and two of them are me! (more on how that’s possible later).
Sprint Vector is kind of like your traditional Kart Racing game except it’s totally unconventional. Once you have all your PSVR gear on and you’re ready, the aim of the game is to charge through the map rollerblading at full speed towards the finish line, using your abilities to rollerblade, jump and climb in order to traverse some varying and interesting courses and hopefully beat the other racers across the line.
Like other racing games of this type, however, there are power-ups scattered across the map which will provide you with weaponry you can use to trip up your opponents and garner a strong lead.
There is a selection of characters to choose from, ranging from a shark-man to a Television-headed robot in a suit. While these characters are very creative and look pretty cool, what does it matter who you play as when all you can see is your hands floating in front of your face…
Your character selection is made in the main lobby of the game, which is a skate-park-like area which you’re free to skate around in, trying out various tricks and techniques for getting the maximum speed with minimum effort (although I did like to exaggerate my movements unnecessarily just to get more of a workout).
Within this lobby, you can also select which of the 3 game modes you’d like to try;
The main race game-mode sees you racing through each map one-by-one aiming for first place. If you finish in 1st place you’ll be awarded a trophy tied to that map as well as 3 stars. Stars can be used in the skin-store to purchase new skins for the characters.
The second game mode is exactly the same as the first, except it’s online. You can meet up with friends and race against them – if they also have PSVR, of course. One thing I found fun about this was that you and your friends can hang out in the lobby while a match is loading or someone is getting set up, and that can be almost as much fun as actually racing with them.
The third and final game mode is a Challenge mode. There are 9 unique Challenge maps and each of them has 3 sub-modes to complete;
- Time trial mode – You just need to reach the end in as quick a time as possible to try and earn 3 out of 3 stars for this mode per map.
- Collection mode – The worst mode. It’s the same as the time trial mode except you need to collect coins to keep the timer from running out. These coins are hidden out of the way and usually require you to perform an advanced manoeuvre or take a shortcut.
- Hardcore mode – The best mode. After you’ve taken the time in the other modes to perfect your run and discover shortcuts, you need to do “Hardcore mode”. The main difference between this mode and the time trial mode is that the time you need to complete the track in is significantly shorter, and you move what feels like 3 times faster. It’s great fun!
Challenge mode is both insanely frustrating and extremely fun, depending on the level and the challenge sub-mode.
Playing the Game
In order to move in this game, you need to swing your arms as though you are running, but press and hold the button when your arm is out in front of you, then release it as the Move controller passes your hip, then do the same with the other hand, and repeat.
Of course, your feet aren’t actually moving which you’d imagine would break the immersion, but because you’re actually roller-blading it’s an incredibly immersive experience and I really loved navigating the tracks in this way.
Aside from just skating forwards, there are other functions you can perform with the move controllers;
- Jump – If you raise both arms in front of you, hold both and then quickly push your arms down as you release the buttons (like you’re mantling thin air) your character will leap through the air.
- Climb – There are certain clamber-able walls throughout the tracks, which have glowing green edges and knobs which you can grab by holding the and pulling yourself up. Doing this quickly can result in you flinging yourself up the wall for a faster climb, which is crucial to finishing 1st.
- Fly – While in the air, if you hold your arms out in front of you (yes, like a certain DC superhero) and then hold both s you will glide through the air with quite game-changing results.
- Drifting – This is a tough one to pull off at first, but proves invaluable in the long run. You need to hold and with the hand on the side of the direction you’d like to turn in (i.e. right hand if you want to turn right) and keep “running” with your other hand. You can control how tight the turn is by adjusting how close the drifting hand is to your body (i.e; far from body = wide turn, close to body = tight turn).
- Using powerups/shooting – if you double-tap one of the buttons you will shoot a light projectile which causes no damage, but can destroy destructibles in the environment, such as explosive barrels or boxes. This will also use a power-up if you have one.
- Brake/Quick Fall – By holding both you can slow yourself to a stop. Doing this in the air will make you fall quicker.
- Quick Turn – Pressing or will make you quickly turn about 45 degrees left or right respectively
- 180 Turn – Pressing or will make you do a full 180 and face the opposite direction.
That about covers it, once you master all of those movements you’ll be finishing in 1st place with ease consistently.
Platting the Game
I hadn’t originally planned to plat this game and simply bought it as another VR workout game after enjoying Beat Saber. However, I began to enjoy the game a lot, looking forward to my daily little 30-60 minute workouts and decided I’d put the time in to try and plat the game if I could.
I started by working through the race tracks one by one. For each racecourse, you could get 2 trophies. One for receiving “any medal” (finishing 3rd or better) and one for receiving a gold medal. So, of course, I’d replay a track until I placed 1st and then moved on to the next one, although by the time I decided to plat Sprint Vector I already had most of these.
There are also trophies for completing each training level, which I did in preparation for the challenge levels…
There’s a trophy for getting a gold medal on all challenge modes on each challenge level. Completing all of each type also nets you a trophy for each, with a final trophy for completing every challenge mode on every challenge level. These are, of course, increasingly difficult as you progress, with the last 3 levels being insanely difficult – taking me around 20-50 attempts per challenge mode per level.
Once I’d done all of the above, I almost had enough stars to purchase every character skin for the related trophy, so I completed a couple more single-player races to earn some more stars to pop that trophy.
There was also one for completing an online multiplayer race and finishing in first place. This is easier than it sounds because absolutely nobody is playing this game. Since the game couldn’t match me with anyone I was pit against AI, whose asses I was already very good at kicking.
The last few trophies were weapon-based. There was one for using the chronoshift item once (you need to be in last place to have a chance of picking this up), one for destroying destructible objects with your light ranged attack, and one for destroying an enemies mine in the same way. These were fairly easy, if a little trickier than the ones for simply completing levels, however, these two were the kickers:
A Little Push
Use an Impulse Shot to Eliminate an Opponent Racer
Use a Crash Missile to Eliminate an Opponent Racer
It’s not impossible to get the latter of these two in single-player but I struggled to do so and asked MrZhangetsu to hop online and help me get the two trophies. In exchange, I helped him get them too!
The former of the two trophies is fairly notorious. Supposedly, the trophy is bugged. There’s a story making the rounds about the first person to plat the game having to get one of the devs to come online with him and help him get the trophies in the same way I did with MrZhangetsu. Everyone seems to be taking this as evidence that the trophy is impossible to acquire, however, I and 9 other people are living proof that it’s not. (Unless those other 9 folks got the devs’ help too!)
Anyway, in order to get this trophy, just have a friend stand near the edge of a track and hit them with the Impulse shot to knock them off the edge, killing them and earning the trophy.
Eventually I finally popped that sweet, sweet platinum trophy and checked this page on PSNProfiles to see how I did. This is when I realised I was one of only 10 people to plat the game and had the 7th fastest time-to-plat with 2 weeks and 3 days. Seeing that the fastest time was 6 days and 21 hours, I was confident I could plat the game quicker.
I asked MrZhangetsu if he’d let me use his account to plat the game and beat this record. He agreed, and a deal was struck wherein he’d plat Call of Duty Modern Warfare again on my profile. A plat for a plat.
Since he’d already come online to help me with my trophies, the clock had started ticking on his account and there was already 1 day on the clock. Being that I work a full-time job and have other responsibilities, I couldn’t just sink a day into this game and have it beat in 2 days. Needless to say, I put in all the time I could and came out with the fastest ever recorded time-to-plat on Sprint vector: 6 days and 56 minutes. You can see my record (and whether it still stands) here.
This is something I’m very proud of. It’s just a shame the record is tied to someone else’s account…
Sprint Vector is an immersive and exciting PSVR game which comes as close as you can get to having Mario Kart VR in your home. I originally bought it as a workout, and it didn’t really work for that as well as Beat Saber did, but I had an amazing amount of fun, so much so that I platted it twice just to have my name in lights!