It has been over a week since Nintendo’s surprise announcement: the Labo. Surely the hype, whether positive or negative, has died down by now? Nah… That’s exactly why I’m writing this article. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Nintendo Labo – it’s basically a build-your-own game controller for the specific “Labo” games using cardboard, called Toy-con. Fishing rod for fishing, piano keys for music and my personal favourite: robot backpack for roboty punching action. Just put in your Switch’s Joy-con in the designated spot et viola! You have a Toy-con!
Now, the Labo has become the talk of the month, with plenty of memes to go around and lots of mixed reviews. I personally, although I don’t own a Switch, actually love what Nintendo has done. It’s no surprise that Nintendo would do something like this, let’s be honest. From classic consoles like the SNES to the mind-blowing idea that was the Wii, Nintendo is no stranger to thinking outside the box. Even Sony and Microsoft tried jumping on their bandwagon but in my opinion, failed. Everyone hates the Kinect and I have no idea who’s even got the PS Move. The Switch became another game-changer, mending handheld and home console so perfectly.
There are plenty of gamer parents out there who love the idea of Labo. It’s something they can build together with their kids while also passing on their love for video games. Its interactive, it is creative and even though the price tag is a bit steep – let’s not forget that you’re also paying for an actual game and not just the cardboard. I’ve got a nephew and he’s been born into a family of gamers – his father loves his PS4 and his mother grew up with Nintendo. I do agree that the Labo would give us a chance to bond over games when he’s old enough to play. It could certainly prevent any sort of antisocial gaming behaviour that parents nowadays are so worried about.
I’m a big fan of anything hands-on. I loved that Nintendo decided to keep the Wii motion controller idea and put it on the Switch. I loved that they announced Arms as a title, it is such an underrated release and when I get my own Switch, it will be one of the first games I buy. I hope they integrate the Joy-con movements into Dark Souls, it would be fun to knock the Cons together to ‘light’ a bonfire and it would be great to have the option of swinging a sword or holding up a shield. Labo doesn’t change that – I get to physically build the sweet toys that I will use to game? Sounds pretty great to me.
The Nintendo Labo looks to be fun whether it’s to bond with the little kids in your life, or if you’re interested in a change of pace in your gaming life. I will definitely be buying it. It would be amazing if Nintendo integrates the Labo into other titles too. I would love to use that robot Toy-con for a fighter like Arms or Pokken Tournament and imagine if they brought my aforementioned idea for Dark Souls and you could build a sword and shield to use during play. That would surely be a less awkward and more epic way to hold the Joy-cons before dying horribly over and over again. Oh Dark Souls…