Monster of the Deep is a spin off VR game, based on the Mini game from Final Fantasy XV where Noctis goes fishing to gain AP. This VR game is essentially a fishing game with the occasional crossbow shooter thrown in for good measure, which winds up being a good bit of fun.
Unlike the main game, you play a nameless hunter in the world of Final Fantasy XV instead of the whiney hero Noctis from the main game. You do bump into others in the game however, so far I've met Noctis and Cindy, the amazing mechanic who is entirely underdressed for this game, with more showing up as you play.
What are the Controls like?
Monster of the Deep uses both Move Controllers to simulate fishing in the real world. You use your right hand to cast the line while using the left hand to make circular motions to simulate reeling the line in. I think it is supposed to be 1:1 movement but the reeling doesn't feel very exact. Whether you reel in fast or reel in slow the motion on screen seems to be the same. Once you hook a fish by pulling up on the controller you have to fight it like you would a real fish. You get visual cues for when you need to pull left and right all the while reeling in, or giving slack, to get that fish in the basket.
There are also two other objects in the game to use, a crossbow and a radar. Both of these feel much better when it comes to control than the fishing reel, which is an issue when the main game is fishing. The radar you simply unclip from your belt and press the trigger to make it ping, while the crossbow requires targeting like any other First Person shooter in VR. Of the three types of equipment in the game, the crossbow is certainly the best.
How's the Fishing?
This game is not going to be an adrenaline filled thrill ride.
The main fishing game is actually quite a lot of fun. Like any fishing, game or real life, there is a lot of waiting for a fish to bite. You can buy lures and strings to maximize your fishing experience and give you the best chance to get some big catches. The bigger the catch the faster your monster meter fills up so you can take care of the big Daemon living in the water. This game is not going to be an adrenaline filled thrill ride. It's a slow, lazy fishing game, with Monsters.
The Casting of the rod also takes a lot of time to master. It doesn't feel connected to what you are doing at all. I have tried to cast the rod with the same motion and it can fly miles into the distance or just in front of you with seemingly no real reasoning. This makes casting into the correct areas extremely haphazard and frustrating. You are supposed to use the radar to locate the correct areas in the lake to cast your lure into, but with randomness that seems to apply to your casting it's hit and miss at best.
Is this... boring?
I can understand how you would think that but sometimes that's kind of nice. Some of the best VR games are ones that allow you to take in grand vistas and enjoy the experience of being inside a world you may never have been in. The premise of Monster of Deep, to inhabit a world you love and meet people you know from hours of gameplay, is a good one. It's nice to sit there with a virtual rod in the water and not catch fish, just like I do in the real world!
There are several different modes to spice the game up as well such as tournament mode, where you fish for Gil, Pleasure mode, where you fish for fun, and hunting mode where you fish for specific fish to gain prizes and Gil. Then there is the story mode.
Monster of the Deep has a story mode, sort of. You are a hunter, clearing out Daemons while enjoying some fishing. Something something storm, something something amnesia, it's pretty forgettable. The story mode does give you the chance to catch the big fish though, by catching the smaller fish you increase your Daemon meter allowing you to battle the Boss fish.
By using your crossbow to shoot the Daemon as it tries to attack, you can eventually knock down it's health to the point where you can catch it like an ordinary fish. It adds a really nice, exciting touch to the game. It's the most fun part of the game.
At least it would be if it wasn't for the appalling graphical fidelity.
The worst graphics I have seen on any VR game and I include games I've played on Google Cardboard.
The biggest issue with Monster of the Deep is the graphical fidelity. It's terrible, like really terrible. I don't say this lightly but it is, by a long way, the worst graphics I have seen on any VR game and I include games I've played on Google Cardboard. You can see from the picture above that it is pixelated, fuzzy, and just plain bad.
At first I thought it was issue with my hardware so I tried several other games, including Final Fantasy XV on the theater mode and Monster of the Deep is the only one that looks this bad. It's like playing Final Fantasy Viii one inch from your face, making it super disorientating. I'm sure this can be fixed by Square, it doesn't look like an insurmountable issue, but they need to fix it quick or people will start to notice, and complain.
Monster of the Deep is a fun, relaxing, fishing game for VR, with a crippling bug. I enjoy the fishing aspect of it a lot, just hanging out throwing a line in and trying to reel in a fish, then battling the Daemon fish to the death really finishes it off. The Graphical issues though, they are bad enough to stop me from recommending the game to anyone. When you are in VR the graphics have to be above par to stop you from feeling sick and Monster of the Deep falls short on that. The writing is illegible, the NPC's seem half formed, and the textures feel flat. All of this makes it a game to avoid, at least until they update it.
Have you played Monster of the Deep or have any questions about it? let me know in the comments.
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