Sparc is the latest game from CCP, the creators of Eve: Valkyrie and Eve: Online. The game revolves around what the developers call a "vSport Experience" which pits you against other players in a Tron style Ball throwing competition. That's a complicated way of saying this is an adrenaline-fueled combat-like experience where you and another player square off in a Tron-like virtual arena, and wow is it fun.
The aim is to throw your energy ball to hit your opponent while deflecting or dodging their incoming ball. Sparc is fast paced, active and requires a good level of skill to really get the hang of. Quick thinking and quick hands are needed to survive but with these tips you will be able to conquer.
Practice makes Perfect
That may sound trite, but it's true. Sparc has a really enjoyable challenge mode that lets you practice all the moves you will need to succeed in the game. I enjoy the basic throwing challenge as it helps you learn how to throw with speed. The advanced challenges even adds obstacles to help you learn to use the walls to bounce the ball around and confuse your opponent.
Every time you start to play I suggest you use these challenges to help warm you up for the competition ahead. They help to get you in the right mindset, the mindset of a winner.
Be a Good Sport
This won't exactly make you win more but it ill allow you to enjoy the game more. At the beginning of each match, wave to, fist bump or otherwise acknowledge your opponent. I personally like to give them a bow as I am a little old fashioned but the important thing is to be respectful. Eventually this game could become one of the first in a new style of eSports that mixes physicality and Video Games so start as you mean to go on and be professional, one day you could be a champion. Be a good one.
The ol' Deflect and Throw
This is one of the best techniques you can learn in Sparc. Deflecting the opponents ball and throwing your ball straight after is one of the easiest ways to score a point. A lot of the time you will deflect the ball then try to throw your ball in another direction, but there is an even cooler way.
By releasing the Trigger at the exact moment you deflect your opponents ball you launch a double attack. Normally there ball flies slightly ahead and bounces erratically making the opponent want to keep an eye on it. As they do your ball can come flying in straight and true, scoring that all important point. Remember Arkanoid and the crazy "Double ball" block? It's like that, devastating.
Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge
Did you know that in Virtual Reality you can move your body?! crazy I know, but its true. You need to move more than just your hands to win in this game. Learning how to dodge is fundamental in Sparc and will elevate your game to pro levels. There are several tricks to making dodging a part of your arsenal.
- Remember the PSVR only tracks your hands and head. Learn to use an exagerated head movement while minimizing body movement. This game is intense so the less energy you can use the better.
- Don't follow the ball. Early on I enjoyed watching the ball fly by my head in a Matrix "I am the One" type of way until I started noticing a pattern. Every time I watched the ball go by my own ball would hit me on the return! Don't allow the ball you are dodging to distract you from the opponent, they are the ones who'll catch you out.
Watch me Whip, Watch me hurl a curveball at your face
Learning to throw the ball is both the easiest and the most difficult part of Sparc. It's that cliche, "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master". The basic throw is a simple over hand that flies straight and true. This will be easy to learn as it's just like throwing a real ball, please remember to tighten those wrist straps though. Bad things could happen if you don't!
After the basic throw you need to start working on your side arm. Throws from across the bottom have more speed and power than the basic throw, and though they can be unpredictable, when you join them with the advanced "Deflect and Throw" they can lead to some easy wins. I won a game last night 7-0 using this exact technique. Spend some time each game playing the deflection challenges to get used to using the walls to your advantage, it will make or break your game.
And the Last Tip:
Have fun! I know that seems obvious but it's ridiculously important in this game. Staying loose and enjoying your game will improve your overall ability. The more rigid and serious you get, the harder the game will be to play. Sparc gets competitive, sure, but everyone I have played so far has been fun to play against. One cool little feature is a Push-to-Talk communication system. By pressing and holding the X button you can talk your opponent and while smack talk might be fun, it's a lot more fun laughing and joking together.
What about your tips?
Do you have any other tips people can use? Have you found the sweet spot for always getting those strikes? let us know in the comments below.
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