Saturday, April 2, 2011

Motion Controllers: Bane or Delight?

Owning a Nintendo is always a must because of their stellar first party games. I couldn’t possibly miss out on each installment of Legend of Zelda or their other staple franchises. Currently, I am replaying Twilight Princess and coming back to the waggle mechanic to use my sword is frustrating. I might be imagining things or placing my general feelings of annoyance unjustly upon the waggle, but I could swear it is less responsive than pressing a button to do the deed.

Did this person mean to roll or blow?
Now I regress, when I first purchased my Wii I was just as enthralled as everyone else was to be waving their controller around wildly while playing my video games. This quickly became old as every game seemed to require some sort of waggle mechanic. Now my Wii hasn’t been active for some time now and only recently came back into use with the release of Metroid: Other M, Epic Mickey, and Donkey Kong Country Returns.  The motion controls in Donkey Kong Country Returns were the only thing I didn’t like about that game. How many times would I go to blow a flower and instead roll off a cliff? Answer: A few times too many.  Otherwise that game was fantastic! My question is this: Are games generally enhanced by motion controls? Or is this just a gimmick that quickly fades with the hardcore gamer sensibility? Epic Mickey would have been successful if not for the waggle and the bugs of a third person game trying to use first person shooter mechanics. Often times Mickey was just not in line of sight of whatever it was he was shooting. Metroid: Other M was the best use of the Wii remote that I have experienced lately and the motion controls were nearly non-existent. The controller is held sideways the majority of the game. The only times the Wiimote is used with its trademark features is when you point at the screen to go into first person, and when you hold the controller straight up to recharge your energy and missiles.
Are motion controls a burden? Or are they a solid gameplay mechanic? If a button can do the job why not just use a button? Why force your players to wiggle their wrist? I’m probably going to have carpal tunnel as it is! But if a game is genuinely enhanced by the inclusion of a motion control, then I’m all for it! I have not yet played a game that has required the use of the Wii Motion Plus, such as Red Steel 2, but I am very intrigued by the notion of the 1:1 accuracy and will be looking forward to trying it out in Skyward Sword.


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