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 Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!

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fronkhead
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PostSubject: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyTue 23 Apr 2019 - 20:44

Did anyone else pick up the Labo VR kit? Having played through all the games now, I'm a bit disappointed that it seems to have been a flop here in the UK. The only person I know who also got it is ol' ibbsters, and retailers have been reluctant to stock it (despite sellouts it only just scraped the UK top 40 on release).

Anyway, I think it's excellent! Particularly the elephant mask. That seats two Joy-Con, one looking at a pattern of reflective stickers, to precisely track your hand in 3D space. There's a game called Marble Run which is the best experimental game to come out from Nintendo in years - I felt I got my money's worth just from playing through its 100 levels. It's basically a physics laboratory where you look around, grab and manipulate various objects to get a marble through rings, or to the goal. These objects get more and more interesting, from platforms to fans, to long sticks (two sticks = a rail for the marble to run across) and trampolines.

It's always coming up with new ways to surprise you - like the ability to manipulate gravity and underwater challenges which completely change the rules because of the different physics at play. The physics are really convincing too - making it super immersive. It's just excellent.

The other games aren't quite so good. The Blaster game is great, but lacking in variety (there is one level set in pitch darkness at a mine or subway track that was superb) across its six stages. The camera game is relaxing and immersive, but more of a fun activity you return to every now and again. The bird game gave me motion sickness because the flying didn't match my stationary appearance, and it wasn't anywhere near as interesting as Pilotwings anyway. Even the 6 Bird Dash courses were trivially easy to get gold medals on. The Wind Pedal game is just too simple and shallow.

Merging the unique Toy-con controllers with Virtual Reality is a genius idea. The Toy-Con are each clearly made for a specific purpose, and when you've got the headset on it really does heighten the immersion. The Toy-Con camera sports this huge, twistable lens, which makes these satisfying clicks when you use it to zoom in and out underwater. The elephant mask has a flimsy looking cardboard trigger but it feels very tangible when you use it to grab things. The blaster looks ridiculous because it's cardboard, but the hefty feedback you get from firing out of it feels extremely convincing when your eyes are seeing another world. It really sells the idea that VR is about immersion and not just Goggles - these games would not be the same played with more abstract controllers.

So yeah, I've had a lot of fun building the controllers and playing around with them - how about you?
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyTue 23 Apr 2019 - 20:57

It's... a game (game?) that I feel a little guilty about not picking up. Nintendo trying new things is a Nintendo I'm very on board with, much though I also like it when they consolidate certain good recipes (and wish they'd give up certain new things (looking at you Paper Mario: Sticker Shart/Colour Trash)).

It's not the VR aspect that puts me off, but the Labo aspect. I never got around to building the Variety Kit, which I was also a bit sceptical about and primarily bought to support Nintendo trying new things. It just didn't hook me like Lego did back when I used to love that, and felt like an imposition on my time. Aww! I think I may have 'grown out of' construction toys, and that's not a good thing. Losing a sense of childlike wonder at something is rarely a good thing.

So I'm really glad someone's bought it and is enjoying it... but that someone won't be me any time soon. Sorry Fronk. Sorry Nintendo.
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fronkhead
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyTue 23 Apr 2019 - 23:36

Nintendo actually trying something risky is exactly why I picked this one up at launch! But I can understand why you didn't, and it's great to know you gave the variety kit a go.

For what it's worth, I got a lot more out of this one than I did the Variety Kit. It might be because you're building these cool, abstract video game controllers. It kept me wondering how they would work both technically and physically, and the best two controllers (the elephant and the camera) only took me an hour and half an hour to build.

The VR is great if anyone's wondering about that. It's low res, sure, but the immersion makes you forget that within seconds. I was pretty impressed having tried high end VR before with the Vive. The minimalist Labo world art style probably helps a lot too, as does having games designed specifically for Labo VR.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyThu 25 Apr 2019 - 14:29

I do like the look of it and LABO in general but Mini-games aren't really for me as I've got bored with likes of Nintendo Land and VR Worlds quickly. Zelda and Mario look cool but I need more than just that to get me to buy, though.

A proper game or lot's of games getting little VR extras would get me to buy though, Captain Toad anyone?
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyThu 25 Apr 2019 - 19:00

Captain Toad is one of the games that would work better in VR, agreed. That diorama style.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyThu 25 Apr 2019 - 22:18

From the brief time I've spent with VR headsets in the past, I don't think the platform will be for me. I get headaches very quickly using a VR headset, so as neat as SMO or BotW in VR look, it won't be for me sadly.

Is the VR functionality out for those two games yet, out of interest?
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyThu 25 Apr 2019 - 22:27

I think SMO is out but not BotW also with VR you need to ease yourself in which is one of the issues with the platform.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyThu 25 Apr 2019 - 22:38

Maybe so, but I don't fancy putting myself through an indeterminate period of getting headaches playing games!
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptySat 27 Apr 2019 - 11:05

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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptySat 27 Apr 2019 - 11:23

What they're saying is why I said something like Captain Toad would work in VR.
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Treesmurf
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptySun 28 Apr 2019 - 10:59

I've heard mixed opinions on BOTW in VR so it might depend on the person, I guess that's the risk of VR though, it's not for everyone. I want very interested in this but decided against it as it's another big object that'll take up space I don't have, when Lyla is a bit older I'd be well up for getting all the Labo and making them with her but I can't justify the purchase right now.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!    Labo VR - worth it just for the elephant mask! No really!  EmptyMon 29 Apr 2019 - 19:15

Balladeer wrote:
Also we have this 'glowing' appraisal of BotW VR from Nintendo Life.

Oh lord, I was getting queasy imagining that! I did think that the BotW VR might not be up to scratch compared to the Odyssey section which seems to be a standalone experience. The article does mention that the VR isn't intended for combat or anything and is more a way to appreciate scenic areas, but surely the hit to resolution would hurt that experience too? The framerate looked choppy too in the footage they used for their video. A shame, really.
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