Hooked on HTC Vive and Audioshield

Darcy Musings Leave a Comment

So yeah, I’m hooked on a game called Audioshield for the HTC Vive. In case you hadn’t heard, Virtual Reality (VR) is finally here for the unwashed masses (all those promises of having VR in our homes by the late 90’s were a bit off) and for better or worse, there is no putting the genie back into the bottle.

At the moment there are two major competitors on the market (HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift) with Sony’s PS4 VR just around the corner (early November 2016). The differences between the major brands have been examined and debated with the usual fervor that you will find within the tech communities: Sides are chosen, lines are drawn and volleys are fired with glee. That being said, I can confidently say that if you are currently looking for the most immersive VR experience, the HTC vive is the way to go. At least for the next 6-8 months. Once Oculus ships their hand controllers, the products will be closer to parity (both in price and capabilities) and the debate can be reignited.

It’s been about 3 months since I got my VR setup and while I have tried many different types of experiences (defending myself from zombie hordes, observing jelly fish on the bottom of the ocean, exploring parts of Iceland, defending a castle from barbarian hordes and playing some zany mini putt to name a few) the one experience I keep coming back to on a near daily basis is Audioshield.

Created by the same lone developer who brought us Audiosurf 2, Audioshield is a rhythm game like no other. The short description for the game sums it up quite nicely:


Experience your entire music collection in VR. Audioshield puts you at the point of impact for every hit in your music. Beats glide in slowly for mellow parts of songs, then ramp up for intense parts of songs with cross-body, double-shield, and high-altitude hits.

To help those who have never tried VR or who want a bit more, detail I would sum it up as this: Once you put on your VR headset and attach the controllers, you choose your song, a shield style and then the type of arena. A few seconds later, your chosen song starts and you have to block incoming colored beats with the shields in your hands. Blue shield blocks blue beats and red shield blocks red beats. Put the shield together to form purple and those block purple beats. Each impact is highlighted by a rumble in the controllers so you get some feedback for each hit which is nice feature. Do this until the end of the song and you are then shown how you fared in terms of percentages (both from a “how many did I hit / miss” and “how active was I” type of scores).

Pulling music from online sources such as Soundcloud or your own music repertoire, the choices are limitless. With online leaderboards to rank yourself, song of the day and recommendations, the game has enough to keep you coming back.

There are three difficulties (Normal, Hard and Harder) that come standard with the game and over time, I’ve found the game to become… less challenging in that I’m able to hit all the beats and get a score of 100% (from a technical perspective). I have yet to 100% on the artistic side.

Obviously others have found the difficulty to be lacking as well so some enlightened folks managed to figure out the game’s configuration files and make some changes. Those changes come in the form of new difficulty levels that make the game more challenging. (The two most popular ones are “Even Harder” and “Expert”).

If you haven’t tried Audioshield, I can’t recommend it enough. I’ll leave off with a video of me playing one of my favourite songs on Expert – Nasty (radio edit) by Heatbeat And Chris Schweizer. For a full list of song recommendations, check my list at the end of the page.

And yeah, my name on Steam is HyperHyper. Enjoy.

A note about Even Harder and Expert

While the two new difficulty modes are great in many instances, there are songs that become unplayable due to the difficulty being too high. While one could play the song by moving to the back of the playing area, I feel it lessens the fun factor and kind of defeats the purpose. Best to step down the difficulty if you find it too hard.

Song Recommendations

  • Steve Aoki (feat Fall Out Boy) - Back to Earth

    Length: 4m16s
    A great Audioshield warm-up song that works well on all difficulties. Listen to it here

  • Scooter - Watch Out

    Length: 4m15s
    Another warm-up song that works well on Harder. While not overly difficult, it has some nice stutter notes to deal with and offers a nice finale. Listen to it here

  • Woodkid - Run Boy Run

    Length: 3m36s
    Great non-EDM song that is well timed with the beats and offers some nice crossover challenges. A bit easy but still enjoyable. Listen to it here

  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Soundtrack #16. Laced Drinks Betrayal, Pt II

    Length: 3m40s
    A fast and complex song that will keep you on your toes once you hit Harder and higher difficulties. The only complaint about this song is that the ending is anti-climatic and a bit slow. Listen to it here

  • F-777 - Space Battle (Ludicrous Speed Album)

    Length: 5m21s
    While one of recommended songs within Audioshield, I found the beats to be well timed and I enjoy all the sections within the song. A challenge to perfect from Harder and up. Listen to it here

  • Heatbeat & Chris Schweizer - Nasty (Radio Edit)

    Length: 4m03s
    A high energy song that contains two small breaks, this song’s beat matching is spot on and has been my go to song for Expert mode. Listen to it here

  • Cygnus X - The Orange Theme

    Length: 6m33s
    I was introduced to this song while I lived in the UK back in 1996 and I still listen to it today. I figured it would have a good mix with Audioshield and I was right. While I’ve played more difficult songs, this one is offers up some unique sections when playing on Harder mode. The start is nicely done and it only speeds up from there. Highly recommended for advanced players. Listen to it here

Worthy Quotes

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.
Benjamin Franklin
If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.
Mark Twain
Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
Virgil Garnett Thomson
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Mark Twain
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson
Well done is better than well said.
Benjamin Franklin
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin
Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.
Winston Churchill
Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.
Benjamin Franklin
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Benjamin Franklin
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
Mark Twain
To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
Jack Handey
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
Mark Twain
If I only had a little humility, I’d be perfect.
Ted Turner
We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!
Benjamin Franklin
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
Benjamin Franklin
The manager administers, The leader innovates. The manager maintains, the leader develops. The manager relies on systems, the leader relies on people. The manager counts on controls, the leader counts on trust. The manager does things right, the leader does the right thing.
Forbes Magazine
Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
Alfred A. Montapert
If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
Cullen Hightower
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
Mark Twain
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Benjamin Franklin
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
Groucho Marx
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
Abraham Maslow
Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.
Benjamin Franklin
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost
We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
Robert Wilensky
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
Erica Jong
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
Thomas Szasz
If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.
Frank Wilczek
There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
Mark Twain
Well begun is half done.
He that lieth down with Dogs, shall rise up with Fleas.
Benjamin Franklin
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
Steven Wright
Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
Kristian Wilson
Nintendo, Inc, 1989
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Kurt Vonnegut
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
Bill Vaughan
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Mark Twain
Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away
Benjamin Franklin
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry Truman
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Albert Einstein
Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother cooked.
Kimberley Broyles
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Oscar Wilde
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Mark Twain
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill
Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
Cale Yarborough
Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his.
Benjamin Franklin
The measure of a life is not what that life accomplishes,but rather the impact that life has on others.
Jackie Robinson
It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
Benjamin Franklin
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
A Man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Benjamin Franklin
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Mark Twain
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
Benjamin Franklin
History is written by the victors.
Winston Churchill
You can do anything, but not everything.
David Allen
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
Winston Churchill
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
Native American Proverb
Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.
Benjamin Franklin
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
Benjamin Franklin
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'.
Jedi Master
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
Mark Twain
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
Wayne Gretzky
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
Zig Ziglar
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
Poet (43 BCE - CE 17)


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