Take a walk on the wilder side with a new spin on two critically-acclaimed Nintendo Switch titles in Labo VR. In our mini review, we put the goggles to the test. But will they sink or swim? Let’s find out.
If there’s ever been a moment in your life where you needed to take a breather, to find a little area to hide, to completely switch off to the world, where would that place be? Whether it’s a book, music or a film on a rainy day, a VR headset probably wouldn’t be at the top of your list. But surprisingly, it’s the one place that’s easy to lose yourself within. There’s no sense of time, no phone to distract yourself with, it’s just you and a virtual world. Perhaps if I didn’t have to hold the VR Goggles to my head, as mentioned in our Labo VR Kit review, I might just lose my sense of reality too.
In the latest update to drop (April 26th), the Labo VR Goggles can now be used in two Nintendo Switch titles; Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While the former can be wrapped up in less than an hour, Breath of the Wild is a much more extensive experience. It doesn’t try to change the way you play, which is – in all honesty – quite refreshing. But before we strike out in the wild, let’s take a deeper dive into Odyssey.
With the Switch firmly inserted into the VR goggles, slot the Joy-Cons into the sides and fire up Super Mario Odyssey. From the main menu, choose the ‘Playing in VR’ item and you’ll be tasked with a new objective to ‘find the musicians’ in three areas; the Cap, Seaside and Luncheon Kingdoms. Choosing one of the levels places Mario in a diorama setting, and scanning with the VR Goggles allows you to look across the whole expanse without keeping Mario in the picture. Walking around with Mario is fluid, there’s a sense of freedom too, and it’s easy to lose track of him. Let him stand behind an object and he’ll be outlined in pixels, or fire him into the air from a elastic catapult and watch him come hurtling towards you, picking up coins on the way.
Once you’ve explored, found 100 coins, and collected all the musical notes and instruments for the musicians in each of the levels, you’ll be able to visit the concert hall. Here, you’ll get to watch Pauline and co. singing ‘Jump Up, Super Star’. There’s also an opportunity to watch the game’s opening and ending sequence in VR mode too. But otherwise, playing in VR lasts around 30-40 minutes. While it’s nothing spectacular, regular players won’t miss out either as the levels can be played without the VR Goggles. It’s probably worth saying that you’ll need to play this either standing up (not advised) or sitting in a swivel chair to get the best experience out of it.
While Super Mario Odyssey has its own VR mode levels, Breath of the Wild can be played wholly in VR. As the camera sits behind Link in third-person perspective, it’s easy to swing your head left to right, keeping your bearings. Using VR in this way feels a lot more intuitive, but also slightly more nauseating. Taking regular breaks is needed here as the immersion can be quite intense, especially when taking aim at a dragon, fighting a Lynel, or taking down a Bobkoblin camp.
When playing through Breath of the Wild with the VR Goggles, with the Joy-Cons slotted firmly into the sides (as they would be in handheld mode), a head strap wouldn’t go amiss. Leaning back into my chair, propped up by a few pillows, was certainly the most comfortable way to play. And though the visuals stutter every now and then with weather transitions, Breath of the Wild performs nicely in VR. Besides, it’s pretty neat to feel fully immersed in the game – even if the visuals don’t quite take your breath away. I only wish we could use the wind pedal – or any of the other Toy-Con – as a way to glide through an updraft. Can we get a Toy-Con Sword next time, please? You just know there’s some grass itching to be cut.
Final Verdict: Recommended
A review copy of Nintendo Labo VR was provided to My Nintendo News by Nintendo UK. You can read our initial Labo VR Kit review, here.