I fought Stranger Things monsters and tried a 3DS emulator: my favorite Meta Quest 3 games and apps of February 2024

This month I’ve been spending a lot of time working out in VR for a fitness experiment. You’ll have to wait for the results to get published here on TechRadar in mid-March but you won’t have to wait for my Meta Quest 3 game and app recommendations for February 2024.

While there are a couple of workout-oriented options on this list (and my March column will have a few more) I’ve found time to explore a VR 3DS emulator and the horror-filled world of Stranger Things too.

If you’re looking for more VR software recommendations, then look at the Meta Quest 3 games and apps I played in January 2024 – which included Wallace and Gromit in The Grand Getaway, and a VR BlackPink concert –  or check out the best VR games list over on our sister gaming site TRG.

CitraVR

This VR 3DS emulator may still only be in beta, and to use it on your Quest headset you will need to sideload it – I explain how in a feature I wrote about why CitraVR is a bigger deal than just an emulator – but it’s well worth trying if you have a 3DS and cartridges that you can legally dump ROMs from. Not least of which is because it’s free.

Just note that not every 3DS ROM runs well on CitraVR, and it can sometimes require a bit of trial and error with settings.

While I generally prefer using VR to play exclusive immersive titles like Asgard’s Wrath 2, this app and the Xbox Game Pass VR app are exciting in their own way. I definitely wouldn’t say no to more flatscreen gaming coming to Quest – especially via emulation so I can enjoy classic PlayStation and GameCube games on a giant screen that would have melted 8-year-old me’s brain.

Stranger Things VR

I love Stranger Things. It’s not only the best Netflix show, I think it’s the best series of television to come out in years, though I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little worried about the projects spinning off from it.

Would they add to the mythos, and bring meaningful additions to the Stranger Things story? Or would they feel like shameless cash grabs that only serve to make following the plot more challenging than keeping up with the Kingdom Hearts games back in the day – forget needing five different consoles, try needing to visit London’s West end and getting a VR headset on top of your Netflix subscription?

The stage play Stranger Things: The First Shadow was a delight – it’s a theatrical masterpiece that’s well worth viewing whether you’ve seen the Netflix original or not – and while Stranger Things VR isn’t as magical, it will still be a lot of fun for fans.

Much like the stage play, Stranger Things VR focuses on Henry Creel – also known as Vecna – but it’s less of a deep backstory into his childhood and more an explanation of what he was up to during the first three seasons of the show (before he took center stage in Season Four). The experience takes place over nine chapters, which should take a few hours to complete if you watch through everything.

Also, again like the Stage Play, the VR game manages to find a good balance between giving meaningful insight without feeling like it is required for someone to understand Season 5.

A very minor spoiler for the second chapter (which takes place just after the short intro tutorial, so it’s no more than about 10 to 15 minutes into the experience), the VR game reveals that the Vecna and Upside Down monster alliance is not a strong one. The moment Vecna shows any kind of weakness – in this instance when he becomes distracted by Eleven as she reaches into the Upside Down to locate the missing Will Byers – the terrifying creatures are ready to pounce and prove their dominance. Something Henry Creel isn’t about to let happen.

There’s a fury to Vecna’s abilities that feels apt for the character, but I wish the chaos was a little easier to control. While I could easily send crushed debris in the general direction of my targets I found it a challenge to aim accurately. Yes there’s an element of ‘git gud,’ but I wish there was a little more aim assist so I can focus on living out my power fantasy rather than having to carefully aim everything I throw while Demogorgons and other Upside Down terrors bound towards me.

I‘d also like if some of these action-filled segments were longer and more full of monsters – perhaps showing us more of Vecna fighting his way through the Upside Down before he was found by the Mind Flayer – as a lot of the experience can feel like an interactive cutscene; albeit a very scary, immersive cutscene that thrusts you into the horror we’re usually only a bystander to.

My only other gripe is I wish there was an arachnophobia setting. I know the game is meant to be a horror experience and Vecna has an affinity for spiders, but I could barely keep my headset on for some parts of the game thanks to my fear of the eight-legged creepy crawlies.Once you’ve completed the story there are two mixed reality modes that Meta Quest 3 players can enjoy with full-color passthrough.

Murray’s Worries has you putting down your controllers for a hand-tracking focused experience where you use a questionable piece of Russian technology and telekinetic abilities to explore other worlds via portals you open in your home.

Vecna’s Arcade is a more classic horde mode. Vecna has sent a horde of monsters after you and it’s your goal to survive for as long as you possibly can and rack up a high score.

Supernatural

Of the dedicated VR fitness apps I’ve tested this month Supernatural is my favorite as it manages to be fun while still delivering a thorough whole-body workout through its four types of session.

Flow is its more aerobic-focused exercise, where you’re encouraged to dance while slashing blocks with your batons, squatting, and lunging side to side in time with the music. It’s a lot of fun, but I personally prefer the Boxing workouts which have you jab, uppercut and hook a flurry of orbs while also working in squats and side dodges to exercise your lower body and core.

Then there’s Meditate and Stretch that let you find mindful moments while immersed in beautiful vistas, and get your body ready for a workout or relaxed after a high-intensity session.

These sessions are all delivered by one of Supernatural’s coaches – fitness experts who are involved throughout the whole workout creation process. This includes recording themselves delivering the workout while actually doing the same routine.

They aren’t physically there in the room with me, but their constant encouragement, the stories they share about what certain tracks and fitness mean to them, and their seemingly clairvoyant abilities that let them call out whenever I’m starting to let bad habits creep in (like breathing in through my mouth or not raising my arm up properly for a hook) have made it feel a lot like having a present personal trainer.

This helps me push myself, as I feel like if I don’t give it my all I’m not just letting myself down, I’m letting down coaches Leanne, Doc, Mindy, Mark, Dwana, and Raneir.

What also helps is the music. There’s a huge selection of licensed tracks that you can workout to – from Disney to Metallica to Dua Lipa to Kendrick Lamar and so much in between – so there’s sure to be something that you’ll love. And I’ve mentioned them already, but the environments you’re taken to are so much more inspiring than just working out in your regular home gym – I always enjoy boxing while getting to look out over the Alps.

If you have a VR headset and want to dip your toes into the world of VR fitness – beyond the accidental workouts you’ll get from playing a regular VR game – I’d highly recommend Supernatural.

With its three levels of intensity, and wide range of accessibility features it’s a great place to start whether you’re a fitness novice with limited mobility or a workout enthusiast looking to spice up your regular routine.

OhShape

OhShape is a VR rhythm game that’s been out for some time that I’ve only just been introduced to.

Like the classic game show Hole In The Wall, you have to strike a pose that matches the shape of the gap in the virtual wall flying towards you. The only difference? These walls fly towards you much more quickly than they do in the show, and in time with music that makes your poses into more of a dance – at some pretty breakneck speeds if you turn the difficulty up.

There are also barriers that you have to duck behind or sidestep, and others you have to break by striking them because there are no holes for you to squeeze through. Plus, if you want to add some extra challenge and rack up more points there are floating coins you can try and grab during the routine as well.

While it’s not as much of a workout – and is a little more chaotic – than Supernatural, OhShape is fantastic on my active recovery days when I’m not looking for something super hard. It’s also perfect for people looking for a VR title that puts fun first, and getting fit is more of a by-product of playing rather than the main objective.

If you have a Meta Quest 3 or Meta Quest Pro you can bring your workout into mixed reality to turn your home in the OhShape dance floor.

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