Hey, look at me. I got three articles published this week. I'm special now. Give me a pat on the back. Also, you can see that I'm branching out now and not writing exclusively about arcade games. (It'll be an occasional thing. Arcades are still my main domain.)
Anyway, I had been reading a bunch of articles yesterday morning about how Nintendo had a special “new interactive experience specially crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart.”
Well…I can’t say they lied.
The project was revealed later that day to be something totally unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. (Well, outside of Google Cardboard, that is.) Nintendo has developed a “new line of interactive build-and-play experiences that combine DIY creations with the magic of Nintendo Switch.” These cardboard models are these crazy unique peripherals for the Switch that create totally new experiences for every game compatible with them.
It’s so crazy unique that I honestly don’t know if I’m even excited or not. I have no idea how to feel about Labo. Nintendo specifically stated before that their task was “to add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.” Nintendo warned us beforehand that this announcement was not meant for the “hardcore” gamer. But still, it’s just so…different.
The trailer showed off a number of wild and inventive Labo cardboard configurations. There was a piano (my personal favorite), a house (what the heck?), some Hex Bug-looking thing (the only words I could find to describe it), a motorcycle steering mechanism thing (that also looked pretty rad), a flipping fishing rod (giving me them Sega fishing arcade game vibes), a little stick dude, a giant mech backpack thing (has Project Giant Robot returned?), a camera, a gun (arcade rail shooter ports on Switch?), and some more stuff that I couldn’t even identify. It was so crazy…so different. But you know what? I think it’ll work.
The bird is especially odd. Just sayin'.
With how perfectly things have been going with the Big N lately, I think they really can draw in a more “casual” audience with Labo. These cardboard concoctions are exactly the kind of thing that little sweaty Lego/Roblox/Minecraft weebs love to play with. And beyond that, I think a lot of “young at heart” adults will have fun with it, too. The fact that you actually construct your own gaming peripheral makes it even more interactive than other video games. Heck, the fact that it’s just cardboard means that it’ll be somewhat inexpensvie, too. Variety packs (which include multiple cardboard models, not just one) will be $69.99 or $79.99, depending on which packaged you buy. (Once again, I stress that you will be getting more than just one cardboard model. It would be ridiculous if that were the price of just one.) Oh, and the variety packs come with the Labo software. That's a huge bonus. Again, I reiterate: You get five cardboard models AND the software. It's not a ripoff.
There also seems to be a big emphasis on creativity here. Beyond just building the darned thing, you can also color it. That's fun.
Labo is certainly interesting. It doesn’t grab me the same way Super Mario Odyssey does, but I’m seriously considering purchasing at least once Labo kit once I get a Switch. I mostly feel like, once I get to try it (read: Once I buy a flipping Switch), I’ll really enjoy Labo for allowing me to experience gaming in a totally different and new way. It just looks like a real joy, ya know?
Though I must admit, I am rather disappointed that the casual-friendly product unveil wasn’t the Vitality Sensor 2.0. Big slip-up on Nintendo’s part.
Labo will be ceremoniously released on April 20th, 2018. You can read more about it at the official website, labo.nintendo.com.
Thanks for readin’. Get outta here.
Actually, scratch that; don’t leave yet. Read my article on the brand-new House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn arcade game first. I figured a big game reveal like that would make for a semi-popular article, but it ended up falling flat. Come on; be a pal. Help this greedy ol’ son of a gun boost his SEO.
Okay, I get it. You’re not into zombie shooters. You can leave if you want to.