Thrill Of The Fight Dev: Quest Hand Tracking Not ‘Capable Enough’ For Boxing

Ian Fitz, the independent VR developer behind popular VR boxing simulator, Thrill of the Fight, stated in an email to a Reddit user that even though his game designed to theoretically work well without controllers, it would not be getting support for Quest hand-tracking due to the device’s current limitations.

Thrill of the Fight is a very active and very intense VR game that pits players against AI-controlled opponents in boxing rings. As opposed to games like Creed: Rise to Glory or Knockout League, which are a bit more arcade-style, Thrill of the Fight is more focused on simulation-style gameplay. To that end, it feels more like you’re actually boxing than most others.

Since accuracy is extremely important in a game like this, Quest’s hand tracking wasn’t quite good enough (at this stage) to work for his game, according to Fitz. The full email states:

“TotF [Thrill of the Fight] was intentionally designed to be usable without button presses and so would theoretically work great with hand tracking. I’ve played around with the hand tracking on Quest though, and it doesn’t seem capable enough to handle the gameplay of TotF. The hand tracking only works when it has a good view of your hands in a specific area in front of the headset. It loses track of the hands if they are too close to the headset, too far away, or too far to the sides, so it doesn’t handle blocking or punching well.”

Based on that logic, it makes sense why the most practical use cases for hand-tracking on Quest right now revolve around menu and UI navigation and very light interactions rather than actively punching and moving around a lot. Maybe in a future iteration of the Quest when cameras have a wider tracking volume and can keep up with fast hand speeds things will be different.

We’ve reached out to Fitz as well directly for additional comment on the topic and will update this post if we hear back.

Which games do you most want to play with hand-tracking on Quest? Let us know down in the comments below!

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The VR Game Launch Roundup: An Indie Selection

As October progresses, here’s another weekly roundup of all the new virtual reality (VR) titles to check out over the course of next week. This week sees the release of a variety of fantasy titles from well-known and up and coming studios. Make sure to check our freshly made compilation video to get a preview of each title. These roundup articles with accompanying videos will be available right here every Friday so be sure to check back here for up to date information about all forthcoming releases.

The Stars Between Us

The Stars Between Us – Invrse Reality

Previously released for the Oculus Go, this latest title from Invrse Reality, The Stars Between Us is a romantic puzzle experience involving a couple separated by the vastness of space. To bring them together players have to solve 3D puzzles in a similar vein to Candy Crush, matching three items together. There are 30 levels to complete, with charms to collect to keep you coming back for more.

Spectro – Borrowed Light Studios

Spectro is a VR-exclusive first-person ghostbusting experience filled with heaps of unlockable and hidden gems. After a paranormal force has swept through the town of Weirdwood, it’s up to you to uncover the elusive Mask of Okeem from a shape-shifting haunted tower. Run and teleport your way through various randomly generated levels featuring different and unique layouts. Search for hidden totems and save up coins to upgrade your armour and defence inventory. Duck, dodge and capture ghosts and the unique powers of each one.

Spectro headerKnockout League – Grab Games

In this single-player full-body arcade boxing videogame, you must move fast and dodge your opponents in VR. Without the need to rely on buttons for gameplay, users can earn rewards for the power and variety of your attack. Train in various fighting drills with a host of out of this world characters.

  • Supported platforms: Oculus Quest
  • Launch date: 17th October

Elite Escape – VDimension

As a member of an elite special forces unit, Alpha-X, you must pass an entry test in the form of a futuristic problem-solving escape room adventure! Solve over 10 challenging sci-fi-themed puzzle areas featuring a wide range of options presented to you in each room. Gameplay makes full use of VR hand tracking as you prove to be a worthy member of the world’s greatest military force.

Slapstick VR Boxing Game Knockout League Hits Quest Next Week With Cross-Buy

Another contender is stepping into the ring on Oculus Quest. Grab Games’ Knockout League hits the platform soon.

The slapstick VR boxing game will launch on the standalone headset on October 17. An Oculus Store listing for the game confirms as much.

knockout league steam 1

Knockout League is a little different from other VR boxing games like Creed: Rise to Glory and The Thrill Of The Fight (both of which are either on or coming to Quest). While the game does have a deep combat system, it’s far from a simulation. Your enemies, for example, range from a mad scientist using technology to confront you to, well, a tea-drinking octopus named Sir Octopunch. Need I say more?

We were quite fond of Knockout League when it first launched on PC VR headsets. “Knockout League is a VR game that makes no qualms with trying to hide what it is or fool you into thinking it’s something more,” we wrote. “This is about as direct a translation of the classic Punch-Out!! arcade-style gameplay as you’re going to find and it absolutely works, even if it lacks some originality.”

The game’s since come to PSVR too.

The store listing confirms that the game will support cross-buy. That means if you bought the Rift version of the game on the Oculus Store, you’ll get it for free on Quest. Otherwise, it’ll cost $19.99.

There’s plenty more Quest goodness on the way, too. Synth Riders is due before the end of the month and Pistol Whip finally arrives in early November. Best charge those headsets.

Will you be buying Knockout League Quest? Let us know in the comments below!

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VR Boxing Sim The Thrill Of The Fight Coming To Oculus Quest

Get your gloves up; The Thrill Of The Fight is the next VR boxing game coming to Oculus Quest.

One-man developer Ian Fitz confirmed as much on Steam earlier this month. The developer revealed that Oculus had accepted to concept pitch for the game, which is already available on PC VR headsets. There’s no release date for the port just yet, but the developer says to expect one in the coming weeks.

The Thrill of the Fight will be the second VR boxing game on Quest following Creed: Rise to Glory. Whereas that game relied on a movie tie-in, this is a much more straight-forward boxing game. It takes full advantage of room scale tracking, allowing you to dodge and weave as you throw punches. Fitz describes it as a ‘semi-sim’, combining certain elements of realism with mechanics that provide a more simplified gameplay experience.

“I’m very excited about the Quest port,” Fitz wrote on Steam. “The game feels great with no wires, and it’s very convenient to be able to take the headset wherever you have the most room to play without being tethered to a computer. TotF was already a graphically simple game, so I’ve been able to keep the Quest version very close to the PC version visually, and it plays identically.”

The news comes over three years since the original game’s launch in July 2016. Boxing is a great fit for VR, making ideal use of hand-tracked controllers. Quest’s inside-out tracking did struggle to keep up with Creed, but its tracking has since been updated.

The Thrill of the Fight remains in Early Access on PC VR headsets, where it costs $9.99. It remains to be seen if the game will support cross-buy with the Oculus Rift version. We’re still waiting to hear if another great VR boxing game, Knockout League, will arrive on Quest anytime soon.

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Knockout League Adds Heavy Bag Training In New DLC

Knockout League Adds Heavy Bag Training In New DLC

Creed: Rise to Glory may be entering the ring next week but Grab Games’ Knockout League is still in the fight.

This week the developer announced a brand new add-on DLC for the VR boxing game named Heavy Bag. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin; the download adds a new training mode that will get you in front of a heavy bag to train for fights. Trusty trainer Doug will be on hand to offer tips as you look to bulk up your accuracy, speed, power and endurance by hitting specific parts of the bag in various challenges.

It looks like a more serious side of Knockout League’s otherwise silly boxing package, which has you fighting an octopus and a pirate amongst others. Crucially, though, it looks like it could be a great workout.

Elsewhere, a new southpaw option will be added to the modification panel, though you won’t need to purchase the DLC for that.

Looking for the Heavy Bag DLC to arrive “very soon” for the game’s Rift, Vive, Windows VR and PSVR versions at the low price of $2.99. Not bad.

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Something For The Weekend: End Of May Deals For PlayStation VR

With May soon coming to an end it is time for the last Something For The Weekend for the month and this time VRFocus brings you a selection of some of the latest deals on virtual reality (VR) titles from the PlayStation store. With the PlayStation VR home to a number of impressive titles, covering a wide range of genres, there is bound to be something for everyone this weekend. As always, be sure to check back every weekend for even more deals right here on VRFocus.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR screenshot

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

“The achievement made by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is one by way of both hardware and design to capitalise upon this. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR’s level of immersion is simply fantastic, and while Bethesda Softworks could well have gone the route of DOOM VFR and created a shorter spin-off experience, developing a brand new The Elder Scrolls instalment specifically for VR would have taken many years and far too much in the way of resources for what is still a nascent audience. As it stands some may find the price point of the videogame a bitter pill to swallow, but for those who dreamed of a truly immersive role-playing experience, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is simply the best opportunity available today.” – Read VRFocus’ Editor Kevin Joyce’s review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR is available now for PlayStation VR for £24.99 (GBP) down from £49.99.

Knockout League

Have you ever wanted to punch a top hat wearing octopus in the face? Well, in Knockout League that is something you can do. Enter the ring in this arcade boxing title where you will need to go up against a crazy cast of characters to become the champion of the Knockout League in immersive boxing action. Dodge with your body and attack with your hands as you make use of the 1:1 movement to unleash a deadly assault of punches on your foe. Think you can be the champion?

Knockout League is currently available for £15.99 (GBP) down from the usual £24.99 with PlayStation Plus members able to save an extra 10%.


End Space

Jump into the pilot seat of the most advanced starfighter the United Trade Consortium has ever built and enter intense space dogfights in this immersive title. Track targets using your gaze and blast them away with a range of powerful and visually impressive weapons. With plenty of missions and upgrades to unlock as you fight to protect the UTC’s secret jump-drive technology from the Tartarus Liberation Front insurgents. Welcome to the fight, pilot.

End Space is available now on PlayStation VR for £7.99 (GBP) down from £15.99.

Waddle Home

Waddle Home

Waddle Home is a game about life as a benevolent alien who loves saving penguins and solving puzzles. Guide penguins through a snowy world filled with traps, guards, and ice, and lead them back home to the Rescue Ship. Bop blocks and toggle switches to help them escape nasty traps and dodge those pesky robot guards. Save the penguins as fast as you can, and collect all three eggs in each level to get a high score!”

Waddle Home is available now for £3.29 (GBP) on sale from the usual £7.99 for PlayStation VR.


Apex Construct

“Despite some minor gripes, its clear that Apex Construct represents the way forward for VR videogames, an absorbing, intriguing experience that draws you in with a rich world complete with its own history and mysteries to be unravelled as well as a fluid combat system. Apex Construct is the standard by which future VR titles will be judged, and an indicator that VR has stepped up its game.” – Read VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty’s review of Apex Construct

Apex Construct is only £17.99 (GBP) down from £24.99 with PlayStation Plus members saving an extra 10%.

VR Ping Pong screenshot 2

VR Ping Pong

If you are looking to lose yourself in some immersive Ping Pong fun then look no further than VR Ping Pong. With a number of different gameplay modes and plenty of immersive environments to play in, Table Tennis fans are sure to enjoy their time in this virtual recreation of the popular sport. With a number of difficulty levels available for the AI in each mode players can fine tune the experience and work their way up to being the ultimate VR Ping Pong champion.

VR Ping Pong is available now on PlayStation VR for £5.79 (GBP) down from £11.99.

Statik screenshot 2


Statik is a superb example of a puzzle game, intelligent, immersive and lots of fun to play. The subtle story woven through is interesting, the puzzles challenging without being too frustrating. VR is used superbly as an integral part of the experience and not a tacked on gimmick. Definitely worth picking up for anyone who owns a PlayStation VR.” – Read VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty’s review of Statik.

Statik is currently £7.39 (GBP) down from £15.99 with PlayStation Plus members able to save a further 10%.

VR Karts

“The checkered flag is about to drop on a new Virtual Reality racing experience!Get in the drivers’ seat of your own customized kart and race against other players. Race through stunning environments, collect power ups and use weapons to gain the upper hand over other racers. VR Karts is a fun and family-friendly racing game designed specifically for Virtual Reality.”

VR Karts is currently on sale for £9.49 (GBP) down from £19.99 for PlayStation VR.

rick and morty VR

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality

If you are looking for a title that is sure to make laugh out loud and enjoy interacting with two popular character then Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is for you. Be a fan of the show or not, there is something for everyone in this title. Packed full of mini-games and moments to experience, portals to strange worlds to explore and even puzzles to solve, players will be lost within the world of Rick and Morty for sometime with this title and it is sure to be a crazy ride. Time to go Morty!

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is currently available for £15.99 (GBP) down from £24.99 for PlayStation VR.

Smashbox Arena image 2

Smashbox Arena

“The core gameplay itself is fun, amounting to what is essentially a game of hardcore dodgeball. There are strategic elements involving dodging, blocking, rebounds and power-ups as well as careful positioning which can provide plenty of entertainment if you manage to get a full group of humans together. Which unless you have a lot of friends who all have a PlayStation VR and a copy of Smashbox Arena, you probably won’t, since the servers seem to be very sparsely populated. This is partially compensated for with the addition of AI bots, but half the time, the bots are as dumb as rocks and cause more problems than they solve.” – Read VRFocus’ Staff Writer Rebecca Hills-Duty’s review of Smashbox Arena.

Smashbox Arena is available for only £9.99 (GBP) right now on sale from £24.99 for PlayStation VR.

That is all for this week but remember that VRFocus gathers all the best sales and deals every week, so check back next weekend at the same time to discover more.

Review: Knockout League

The majority of sports titles in recent years have gone down the route of increased realism, incorporating features like facial mapping to bring it as close to the real world as possible. Knockout League goes in a totally different direction, recalling classic arcade gameplay for a simple but engaging fighting title.

If you are after some exercise, then Knockout League will have you covered – mostly in sweat. The tutorial is fun and easy to follow, and quickly sets you up for the procession of ludicrous opponents you are about to face.

One of the main draws is the comedic stylings of the contenders you are put up against, like a pirate with an honest-to-god hook hand. Early opponents are regular human boxers, giving you chance to get your feet under you and get the hang of punching, blocking and dodging. The latter two are particularly important as this is the point where you will realise that you need to learn your enemy’s patterns in order to succeed.

For the most part, adopting an offensive style will do you no favours, as opponents will cheerfully no-sell your attacks and punt you into the middle of next week with two attacks. You’ll be getting plenty of cardio by dancing out of the way of swords, hooks and tentacles waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Shades of classic Nintendo arcade fighter Punch-Out will be called quickly to mind, though thankfully Knockout League lacks the brutal difficulty of the former title. In fact, the difficulty curve feels about right, though frequent breaks are recommended – to rehydrate yourself if nothing else.

Graphically, it looks great. The animations are smooth and do a great job of telegraphing what attack is coming next. The cartoonish style works well, particularly for the various outlandish characters that enter the ring.

Curiously, there are little 2D animated biographies that you can choose to watch that give you some background on each fighter. It’s a nice little touch and somewhat unexpected for an arcade-style title like Knockout League.

Knockout League Iron Maiden

Knockout League isn’t very long, but it has a pleasing rhythm once you have learned all the required movesets. There is some annoyance to be found, though, particularly as at times it doesn’t seem to matter where or when you hit an opponent, it doesn’t register since you haven’t struck at the mandated ‘vulnerable’ moment.

Aside from providing a fun way to work up a sweat, there’s not huge amount of point coming back to Knockout League once you’ve defeated all the available opponents. There is a fitness trainer mode that does a decent job at burning some calories, but its not the sort of thing that will hold your attention for long.

Overall, Knockout League is an entertaining arcade fitness title. As long as you are expecting the kind of arcade-style pattern matching and not a proper boxing simulator, you are quite likely to derive some entertainment out of Knockout League, as well as get some decent exercise from it.

  • Verdict

The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 02/11/18

The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 02/11/18

Not a huge weeks this week, with most of the note-worthy releases being exclusive to Rift, but the biggest game of the week is appearing on all three platforms at least.

If you missed last week’s releases they’re here. And don’t forget that UploadVR has a Steam community group, complete with a curated list of recommendations so that you don’t have to waste any money finding out what’s good in the world of VR. We also have a top list of the absolute best Oculus Rift and HTC Vive games at the corresponding links.

Brass Tactics Arena, from Hidden Path Entertainment
Price: Free (Rift)

This is a free taster of what’s in store for next week’s big release, Brass Tactics, though it’s a meaty experience in its own right. You can take on friends across a map in this real-time strategy game from the developers that brought you Age of Empires. A great chance to see if the full game is your thing.

Here are our thoughts.

MasterWorks: Journey Through History, from CyArk
Price: Free (Rift)

Another VR travel app that transports you to some of the worlds best-known locations. Rather than a series of 360 degree videos, though, MasterWorks uses realistic VR environments that you can fully explore within VR.

Knockout League, from Grab Games
Price: $29.99 (Rift, Vive, Windows)

An excellent Vive Studios boxing game makes its way into full release mode this week. Knockout League is basically punch out for VR; you take on increasingly tougher enemies with your Move controllers, learning their techniques and then dodging their attacks. It’s a great workout and a lot of fun.

Here’s our full review.

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Knockout League Review – Punch-Out!! Gets The VR Treatment

Knockout League Review – Punch-Out!! Gets The VR Treatment

Let’s make this very clear: Knockout League is about as close as you’re going to get to a VR iteration of Nintendo’s classic arcade-style boxing game, Punch-Out!! The developers at Grab Games know this, I know this — we all know this. But with that being said, it absolutely works here.

Knockout League is both thrilling to play but easy to learn. Anyone can pick up their motion controllers of choice and jump into the ring against one of nine different characters and that accessibility is a big part of what makes it feel so great to play.

Just like Punch-Out!! the characters in Knockout League get gradually more difficult as you go along. The first batch are extremely simple and likely won’t require any retries on the standard difficulty settings as you just need to evade and counter when you see an opening, but that isn’t the case for many of the later opponents. For example, Showtime is a pompous, shades-wearing, conceited, and arrogant piece of crap. Ever since I first laid my eyes on him I was dripping with hatred. He was extremely frustrating to fight, like all three of the final batch, and made me want to pull my hair out a bit.

Thankfully the difficulty curve feels just about right. The second and third batch of enemies is much more difficult than the first, but it doesn’t take such a drastic leap that it feels unbeatable. Having nine opponents is a good number, but it does feel like it could use a bit more depth. At the very least a handful more opponents, some alternate game modes, or especially multiplayer, would have gone a long way. Or at the very least a bit more excitement pizzazz put into the environments and rings themselves.

And one of the underappreciated features that Knockout League introduces are short, animated stories for each of your opponents. Watching them is totally optional and they’re just in flat 2D, but they do a great job of building up their personality and giving a backstory to the name and face.

In addition to fighting each of the nine named opponents there are four different training mini-games too that range from dodge drills, block drills, focus mitts, and the speed bag. They’ve got a very Fruit Ninja meets boxing vibe, which totally works for the tone the developers were going for here.

The presentation is very 80s-themed and reminds me of not only Punch-Out!!, but Ready 2 Rumble Boxing as well. Gone are the days in traditional gaming that sports games were allowed to be fun and silly — every sports game on the market now is obsessed with nothing but realism.

Let me tell you also — Knockout League will make you sweat. And I don’t just say that as an overweight, out-of-shape gamer, I say that as someone that really felt like they got a workout from playing this game. The training games really keep you active and fighting opponents is great exercise for your core and back due to all of the bobbing and weaving.

Final Score: 7.5/10 – Very Good

Knockout League is a VR game that makes no qualms with trying to hide what it is or fool you into thinking it’s something more. This is about as direct a translation of the classic Punch-Out!! arcade-style gameplay as you’re going to find and it absolutely works, even if it lacks some originality. There is no better option out there if you want to punch some silly, often irritating, cartoon characters in the face — just don’t go in expecting a revelatory application of VR technology.

Knockout League is now available on Steam, Oculus Home, and the PSN Store. Read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrived at this score.

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Vive Studios Title Knockout League Goes Multi-Platform

It is generally expected that first-party videogame titles will remain safely hoarded within a single platform’s ecosystem. There are the occasional exceptions, a number which has now been incremented by one with the announcement by Vive Studios that its newly launched title, Knockout League will be going multi-platform.

Knockout League is a light-hearted boxing simulator that aims to give players a workout whilst pitting them against a variety of opponents, including some ludicrous ones such as an oversized octopus with a moustache. Players must learn to duck, weave, jab and uppercut in order to put their opponents down on to the mat.

Developed by Vive Studios in conjunction with Grab Games, Knockout League will be made available on Htc Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, making it the first Vive Studios title to be released on the PlayStation VR. According to the Vive Blog post announcing the release: “Our goal is to support the developer ecosystem and push them to generate revenue and build a community around their game. This will be Vive Studios’ first title available for PlayStation VR and with PSVR’s enthusiastic and engaged community, we knew Knockout League would be a perfect fit.”

The arcade-style gameplay of Knockout League is designed for a single player, which pits the user up against nine competitors in a style reminiscent of Nintendo classic Punch Out! With each win, players can progress on to tougher opponents who all have their own styles and tactics. It’s also possible to face stronger versions of competitors you have already faced in Grudge Match mode.

Despite the comedic stylings of Knockout League, Vive Studios and Grab Games aimed to create a title that encourages fitness, even including a special fitness mode which includes a calories tracker. The developers note that over 3.5 million calories were burned during the title’s Early Access period.

Knockout League Iron Maiden

Knockout League is now available on Viveport, PlayStation Store, Steam and Oculus Store, priced at $29.99 (USD).

For continued coverage of new and upcoming VR released, keep watching VRFocus.