Expensive Cardboard (Updated)

I never originally planned on talking about this, but really? ‘Nintendo Labo’ bringing you overpriced cardboard? Now I have always thought this to be a ridiculous concept, but upon seeing everyone being blatant yes-men I knew I had to say something about it. Yes I get it is targeted to young children as a toy and is more than just the cardboard, but I can’t look past the basic variety kit starting CAD $89.99, pretty insane for pretty much just a toy.

Now for point of reference let’s look at what some people have to say about it.

Kotaku : “One of the great fallacies of children’s entertainment is that kids need things to be simple. Kids love diving deeply into complicated things, accumulating knowledge that is out of reach of the adults around them. Nintendo has always understood this, but Labo is a unique expression of this understanding, something that extends beyond the virtual world. More of a madcap engineering kit than a game, it feeds and rewards creativity and curiosity. As an adult, you’re along for the ride, but if you’ve got imaginative children in your life, seeing how they respond to this marvelous toy factory will be a great joy.”

TechRadar: “Creativity and problem solving skills are definitely engaged and developed here and, honestly, we can’t help but wonder if Nintendo is quietly creating the next generation of game designers. It’s like an early introduction to the thinking processes behind programming – while many games have us learn their mechanics to successfully play, in some ways Labo has us play to learn more about mechanics. ”

Destructoid: “The software is broken up into three sections: build, play, discover. Build is basically your construction manuals, while Play is the games you use with your Toy-Con, and Discover is instructions and other details. The coolest part for kids about discover is that it’s not just basic instructions. Through three lively characters kids can get outside-the-box ideas for how to play with their new Toy-Con, construct add-on items that expand the initial build’s abilities, and even learn the basic mechanics and programming that let their new toys do what they do. It’s far more in-depth than I thought it would be, and really opens up the educational and imaginative aspects of the game.”

Now these are just a few people as examples of the universal praise that seems to be floating around the Nintendo Labo. Now I get what people are getting at, it is a toy for children, but for that much money? Want to talk about fun learning and education? Get your kids to play with Lego, get them to read books, and all for less than the damned Labo. You can even print off replacement pieces, so it is obviously a fine product that requires nuance. I know there is more to it with the “Toy-Con” and the programs that go along with them, but still…

 

Want to talk about toys for fostering educational and engineering interest? Knex has got you covered and for much less of the cost and Lego as mentioned works as well. It just seems ridiculous to me that people are willing to spend the amount that Labo asks for just because it is Nintendo asking for it, and you know that is actually the reason for it too. It is in essence a neat concept, and without it being so damned pricey it could be worth someone looking into. As it stands however, it is hard to see it being worth it with that massive price value when there are far better alternatives to be had for toys since that is the primary argument people are going for here. Maybe it is actually as great as people claim it to be, but as a skeptic I believe it really is just the fact that it is the almighty Nintendo pushing it onto people especially for that kind of price point.

Been a busy couple of weeks.

Been busy with research papers and final exams as of late so I’ve been relatively quiet, but thankfully the semester is over so I can have more free time with everything else.

For the next little while I planned on talking about Street Fighter V and how is still going strong after releasing a couple years back. As well as some of the drawbacks I’ve been finding about Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Going to get some painting progress on my small fledgling Blood Angels force weather permitting (because spray painting in -20 doesn’t go well).

The popularity of Fortnite, which is rather puzzeling to me and how it dominates the Twitch viewer statistics as of late.

So those are just a few things I am looking at talking about over the rest of the month, but for now this is just a small update. Hope everything is going well for everyone, and I look forward to getting back into the rhythm of things starting next week!

DBFZ DLC – Done right… so far

Downloadable content is always walking a fine line, and it is everywhere nowadays. The concept on it’s own isn’t so bad, they make more stuff after the game and sell it as well. Makes sense right? But the issue is when every game has some DLC or another planned. I remember first taking notice of this kind of stuff in Mass Effect 2 where if you got a certain DLC you got that mercenary guy.

Yeah that guy, and this came out while I was in high school on the Xbox 360. I didn’t have the guy and guess what? Turns out the game was just fine without him. Now this is the kind of DLC that is somewhat harmless, it adds stuff but if you don’t have it it isn’t a big deal. Though it can get ridiculous with games like Evolve that would charge you for a slightly different coloured gun. Again still fairly harmless as you can ignore that stupidity and move on with your life.

Now it starts to become a problem when season passes get introduced, incorporating the once innocent expansions into this corporate promise of future DLC. A season pass is like saying “give me the money for this thing that may or may not come in the future,” which wouldn’t be terrible if most companies weren’t out just to exploit whatever they can to make a quick buck. I could go look at Steam right now, find any big AAA title, and it is almost guaranteed to have a season pass as well as other garbage on release.

Because people were totally clamoring for a sequel to The Crew. So look you can spend CAD$ 129.99 for some extra vehicles and three outfits for your character, seems totally worth it right? And how did The Crew go again?

I mean alright there are more good than bad reviews, but by a small margin, and of course there are people who liked it. There is nothing wrong with this, but the point being that there were enough issues that made people angry on release, and more recently too. So why in their mind did it seem to be a good idea to do the same corporate DLC crap that could have someone paying up to $130 for an alright game? And it is Ubisoft we are talking about who aren’t exactly the most reliable for this kind of thing, they have one good game as of late (Rainbow Six Siege.)

This is where DLC and Season Passes start to be an issue, so when DBFZ announced that a “Fighter Pass” was coming it had me worried. So I waited until the characters Bardock and Broly, actually came out (which you can buy separately by the way) to get the pass after I had seen some actual game-play. Man did Arc Systems nail it, not only are the characters awesome, but it actually feels like they added more into the game as a result. Each character adds to the already existing dramatic finishes, and there is actually more added dialogue for the original roster characters. Which the Bardock dramatic finish is displayed below, and if you are a Dragon Ball Z fan like me you will appreciate how awesome it is.

 

Either way the addition of new characters brings the addition of new content. Now this might sound like a no-brainer, but look at Injustice 2. Over at Netherrealm Studios they were like “Let’s add all these characters (which only some are DC characters) and not record any voice-lines for the other guys to address these newcomers,” resulting in a rather stale experience. Don’t get me wrong I love Injustice 2, but it kills the mood of a DC fan like me when you see Aquaman give Black Manta a standard generic voice line when they are each-others mortal enemies (they blame each other for the deaths of their fathers.)

So having these added characters actually feel like they fit is a big deal, not to mention how they play is actually incredible. Bardock and Broly both play differently from the other existing characters being awesome in their own rights. These two characters also have their own awesome themes adding to the collection of awesome music in the game already.

So it is very nice to see someone not exactly screwing us over with DLC right now, so I wanted to give credit where credit is due as Dragon Ball FighterZ is incredibly made. Not all games are like this, so it is important to keep our heads on a swivel and our eyes on shady companies like Ubisoft. Anyway that’s all for this post, thanks for reading!