Take an excellent museum tour from the comfort of your own home!
We all know and love Nintendo for its classics franchises, but sometimes the company takes some strange side-steps. The latter is the case with the eShop addition of the Louvre Nintendo 3DS Guide; a guided tour through on of the largest museums in the world, and home to the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and many others.
It would seem a bit odd to think of museum visitors waving a 3DS around, but the museum does actually offer them for rent. Game consoles in a museum, it’s one of those marvelously weird things that makes Nintendo the company we love. All quirkiness aside, the app is well put together and contains a lot of content. It so good, that you could stay at home and just wander through the museum from the comfort of your couch.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or not, you’ll find a lot of value in the €20 download. If we ignore the rather hefty price tag, there are hours of voiced commentary (languages other than English are available as a separate purchase), 3D representations of sculptures, and 2D and 3D pictures of all pieces of art. Upon starting you will be given the choice of looking at individual artworks or to take the actual guided tour of the museum.
These guided tours are the best way to experience the look and feel of the Louvre. Through 3D pictures of the museum and its hallways, accompanied by a map on the top screen, the guide takes you through a couple of pre-set tours along several of its most famous pieces. These tours can take between 40 and 90 minutes, although they never feel too long. The narrator explains every aspect of the art work in a calm pleasant voice. The detail in the extensive commentary is wonderful and grabs the listener; I wanted to know more and gained a whole new perspective on many of these artworks.
The quality of commentary is the core reason I, although not an art person, kept staring at and finding details in sculptures and paintings for hours on end. It also got me to really appreciate a statue in particular: “The Victory of Samothrace.” When I first arrived at the statue, situated on a mighty platform with stairs on either side, I didn’t see anything other than a headless angel figure on rock. This depiction of the Goddess Nike, descending from the heavens to declare victory to the warriors aboard the capital ship, truly took my breath away. Here’s where the power of the guided tour lies; making you understand what makes these pieces magnificent and why they’re worth your time. The guided tour however does not offer the level of detail which you will get in the individual artworks section. Here you listen to extended commentaries, while you casually zoom in on the masterpieces. The guidance brings you many subtleties and details you would never spot on your own. For Statues, there are multiple angles and a free roaming camera-angle to view them from. Unfortunately this feature hasn’t been added for every statue in the museum, although the default angles cover enough depth and detail.
Navigation through the app is easy enough and carefully explained. Sliding through the menus is easy as well as putting together your own personal tour of the museum. You can select up to 12 pieces and the software will create the shortest path to string it all together for you. Everything in the app feels carefully created with lots of love for the museum and that’s exactly what you would want and expect from it.
Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre might not be for everyone, but offers lots of content for all who give the app a go. If you are an art lover, this is definitely for you. But if you are like me and don’t visit museums that often, there is still a lot to be found. Unfortunately the price tag will not invite the latter category to pick this title up, but it may be the cheapest and easiest way to be able to walk the magnificent hallways of the Louvre.