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Shack Chat: What Nintendo games should support Labo VR?

This week, the Shack Staff discusses which Nintendo games should support Labo VR.


Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.

Question: What Nintendo games should support Labo VR?

Star Fox 64 - Asif Khan, Does barrel rolls

Space and virtual reality go together like peanut butter and jelly. We have seen great experiences like Elite: Dangerous, Eve: Valkyrie, and now No Man’s Sky is entering the VR space. The Star Fox series would be a cool VR entry, although the Labo VR goggles have limited head tracking. It would still be cool to see Nintendo dipped their toes into virtual reality with an experiment with this franchise. There is no way that it would turn out worse than Star Fox Zero.

Rhythm Heaven - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

Nintendo's rhythm gaming franchise Rhythm Heaven is an awesomely addictive mixture of colorful characters and awesome music. It's been far too long since it got a console release, and it's time for it to come to Switch. Being "in" the game would give Nintendo chances to put together even more fun and different variations on rhythm games, with players incorporating more movements into the mix. It would make a great excuse to revive the series on Switch otherwise, and it could be played with or without VR options.

Nintendo Labo could even be used to enhance older versions of the game, so there isn't a ton of work to be done. Most of the games are based on simple arrow movements and button pushes, so there's not a ton of adapting to do – but being in the game's addictive and brightly-hued world is definitely something fans deserve.

Animal Crossing - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

So I'm gonna have to be the one to suggest this? I mean, I'm not even much of an Animal Crossing guy. I tried the series a few times, it's not my thing. But even I can see the potential in a VR Animal Crossing experience.

As much joy as it brings people to build up towns, check in with its denizens, and go out hunting for bugs, a lot of these activities lend themselves to virtual reality. Imagine swimming in the ocean and looking for that rare shell, swinging your net around and catching that pesky bee, or attending a virtual K.K. Slider show. This is without even getting into the home maintenance element. Picture being a Happy Home Designer in a virtual space and getting your Marie Kondo on in VR.

On top of all of that, Mr. Resetti can yell at you to your face. What's not to love there?

Pokémon Sword and Shield - Josh Hawkins, Some guy

While we don’t have all the details about the first couple of Pokémon games to make the jump to Nintendo Switch, I can’t help but wonder just how cool it would be to explore the Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Shield in Nintendo Labo VR. We’ve already seen what Pokémon looks like in augmented reality with Pokémon GO, and the series itself seems like a good one to make the jump to virtual reality with Labo.

I can already imagine exploring the Galar region in virtual reality, throwing Poké Balls as Grookeys, Scorbunnies, or any other new Pokémon from Sword and Shield. Heck, I’d even be happy with a Pokémon Snap styled experience, where the entire ordeal is on-rails. Either way, it would be great to see a fully fleshed out Pokémon VR experience, and something like Nintendo Labo VR could be a great way to show it off.

Mario Tennis Aces - Kevin S. Tucker, Love Means Nothing

I've been a fan of tennis for as long as I can remember, and as it happens, my earliest memories of the sport involve playing Mario's Tennis on the ill-fated Virtual Boy. It's an odd thing to have a preference for something that is inextricably tied to a decades-old memory of a considerably unpopular video game.

Yet still it persists. And frankly, I would love to return to a virtual reality tennis game. I like ping pong about as much as tennis, and I put in dozens of hours playing it in Sports Champions, what is otherwise a pretty lame (but admittedly realistic) title. If Nintendo made VR tennis a reality — especially with a game as good as Aces — and could capture even a shred of the magic and nostalgia I still hold for Mario's Tennis, I'd purchase Labo VR on day one.

Excitebike - Chris Jarrard, The Dirt Bike Kid

Dirt bikes are all kinds of cool. Everyone knows it -- this is why Excitebike VR should be the killer app for the Nintendo Switch VR thingee. In a perfect world, Excitebike VR would offer two main modes: immersive first-person view and top-down RTS-style track assembly.

In my previous experience with VR, sitting experience that involved vehicles were the prime VR showcase. With Excitebike VR, players can feel the rush of making hot laps and hitting all the sweet motocross jumps. For extra immersion, they could have a friend nearby to whack them in the gooch with a baseball bat to simulate the feeling you’d get from making a hard landing on the bike seat from a 45-foot jump.

The top-down view mode would let budding course creators assemble the tracks of their dreams from a perspective that slightly resembles the look of the NES classic. Watching races play out from this view would be a bit like having your own miniature motocross arena and most likely work a bit like the current lot of tabletop VR experiences.

Pokemon Snap! - Blake Morse, Amateur Photographer

The thing about a VR experience is it’s not just about what franchises you like, but what will work in the context of current VR technology.  Pokemon Snap is a game that was already on rails, so there’s no need to worry about locomotion issues or how to move the character around. And this game was basically all about looking around and taking pictures!

It was almost the perfect VR game before such a concept really existed in a way that could be executed today. An updated version of Pokemon Snap! that took advantage of the LaboVR would not only be an extremely immersive experience but would sell like hotcakes as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this was already in the works to go along with the upcoming release of the Detective Pikachu movie.

Mario Kart  - Bill Lavoy, Managing Editor

If I had gotten to my entry before David I would have snagged Duck Hunt without any question. I may have gotten my start on Atari, but my first gaming love was with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. Duck Hunt was a bit more casual, but it provided an experience I still vividly recall today. I can still hear that dog mocking my poor aim.

However, I’ll let David have that and move on to something a bit different in Mario Kart . Just like Asif believes space and VR go together, I believe that vehicles and VR go together. There would obviously be questions about how that translates to multiplayer, but my job is only to throw some crazy ideas at the wall and see what sticks.

Super Mario Party VR - Sam Chandler, Grossly Incandescent

Mario Party is a hilarious experience full of laughter, hatred, good times, and pure rage. What better way to enhence all these emotions than by having everyone wear a VR headset? I would wager that most of the mini games would become a lot more intense when in first-person or with a different perspective altogether.

Imagine getting to see Toadette’s smug little face in first-person as she floats over to the other side of the island, right away from you. Or the panicked moment when one of the many board traps triggers, sending your character flying.

I don’t think I’ve seen any board games played in VR before, so Mario Party just makes sense. You’ve got to fuse odd genres and mediums together to find new awesome ideas. Besides, the river rapids section would be perfect for Labo VR.

Duck Hunt - David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor

Duck Hunt is one of those Nintendo franchises that was beloved in its time but is now known by younger players as “that dog and the duck from Smash Bros.” But I have fond memories of Duck Hunt, and the clay shooting mode packaged with it.

I saved for nine months for my “Nintendo.” It wasn’t easy. I was eight or nine, so I had no means of income other than doing household chores and counting the crumpled dollar bills and coins I got in return. When I had enough money, my stepdad collected it and searched high and low until he found an NES Control Deck--they were as rare as Wiis over that console’s first 12 months--that came with Super Mario and Duck Hunt.

I played more of Super Mario Bros. than Duck Hunt, but Duck Hunt was the first game I saw in action. I woke up to find my stepdad in the basement, lying on his belly like a big-game hunter, staring down the sight of my red-and-gray zapper as ducks burst forth from the tall grass. Later, we booted up clay shooting, which I remember being much more challenging, likely because the discs grew smaller as they receded into the horizon.

Imagine sniping ducks and clay discs with updated graphics: virtual fields bathed in sunlight, tall grass and leaves swaying in the wind, your canine pal sniffing out game while you stalk along behind him. This would be a two-in-one for Nintendo: a chance to revive an NES-era property with new graphics and same-but-different gameplay rooted in its core game loop, in a colorful virtual environment.

Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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