VR, or virtual reality, has become extremely popular all over the world in the past couple of years. But HexaRide, a new VR machine, in Odaiba, Tokyo, has taken it to a whole new level. The first of its kind, it is a fully immersive, motion experience.
At first, I was hesitant to get on because I have never done VR before. In the ride, it takes you through two short films where you see the action from a characters’ point of view. There are steep heights, flying, and it all moves so fast it really makes you feel as though you are right there in the action.
To give a breakdown of how the ride works, you line up in order of where you will sit and then you walk up a few steps to your assigned seat. You then buckle yourself in, place the VR goggles over your eyes and then put the headphones over your ears. Your feet are dangling off the seat and you have handlebars to your side if you need something to hold onto. The machine you sit in moves and bounces along with the VR video to really enhance the experience and make you feel truly immersed in the video.
The two short films it takes you through are Tower of the Attacking Giant Collapse and Ghost Chasers: Ghost in a Shell. In both, you experience it from the point of view of one of the characters in the video and play an active role during the ride. Both films are violent in nature and can be graphic, so be cautious of that when going on the ride.
In Tower of the Attacking Giant Collapse, you enter this world overthrown by human-eating giants and you are with a team that is instructed to destroy the giants attacking the tower and save the civilians. Jetpacking through the air and up and down the tower, it really gives you the feeling of flying through the air. There is one point when it seems as though you are about to be eaten by a giant and I physically backed up in my seat because it was so realistic.
The other one, Chasers: Ghost in a Shell, takes you through the point of view of all the characters in the film. The mission in this one is to get a government official from point A to point B safely. It takes places in a dystopian society in a destroyed city. It is fast-paced, you’re racing down a torn apart highway and trying to stop bad guys all at the same time.
Altogether, both VR experiences take a total of 10 minutes to complete, so they are jampacked with action. I would highly recommend trying out this ride if you find yourself in Tokyo. It is unlike anything VR related experiencethat we have seen before but I’m sure we will begin to see more machines and rides like HexaRide pop up in the U.S. and around the rest of the world.
HexaRide is available for ages seven and up. It is ¥500 for ages 7-13, ¥1,000 for ages 14-18, and ¥1,300 for those 18 and up.