Due to the fact that my right arm is a touch sore from overuse, (no not from that ya filthy minded fool) I’m going to put down my Wii Remote and speak what’s on my mind. Motion controls. Why exactly is the gaming industry going down this road now? Is it worth it? Haven’t we learned from the past? I suppose it is better than the whole 3D craze.
When you say “motion control game” to a non-gamer they immediately assume you’re talking about the Nintendo Wii. However, if you have the knowhow to find our dear little blog, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are not a “non-gamer.” We know about the Wii and Wii Motion Plus. We know about Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move. But why are we even investing money into them? For crying out loud the Move controller is just a black WiiMote with a glowing orb, (which I affectionately refer to as Navi) glued to it. No innovation there.
So level with me for a second. The Wii started this whole craze off with its creative spin on gaming. I can respect that. In theory it sounds awesome! Honestly anything and everything that hints at the Grid from the TRON universe becoming a reality (… erm.. virtual reality?) gets a big A+ in my book. But it all boils down to one thing: How does it actually feel? Meaning, does the system and game combo immerse the player into a world apart from their own?
Well… not so much. As much fun as Wii sports is, I honestly feel like thats where the idea becomes more of a theoretical success rather than an actual gaming revolution. Playing the Wii when it first came out was entertaining but at the end of the day I still wanted a traditional controller in my hands. Even now playing the PlayStation Move was entertaining for a bit but it my fun stops at about the ten minute mark when I remember that I could be playing Skyrim instead of waving my arm at a block in Little Big Planet.
Is all this hoopla about motion controls really worth it? Why change what isn’t broken? Well considering that the Wii is still the best selling system of this generation, I’d have to say that Nintendo has done something right. They are the kings of Rinse, Wash, Repeat. I mean, I like Mario Kart as much as the next guy but how many times are they gonna do the same thing and make millions off it? When the Xbox and PlayStation were dominating the “Hardcore Gaming” market, Nintendo was quietly in the back corner counting their money. Nintendo has always been about making games that everyone is into. I don’t care how old you are, at some point in your life, you have wanted to try Wii Sports. Got that out of your system? Good. Now go back to MW3 you n00b. That is where the Wii’s appeal comes into play. It’s new. It’s different. Personally I think it is a tad too new and innovative, but that’s just me. They put an idea into (excuse the pun) motion and they rolled with it.
It’s not all bad though in the wondrous land of motion controlled gaming. Playing Skyward Sword has changed my view on motion controlled games a bit. Being able to swing a Wii Remote like a sword is something that I’m pretty sure everyone has wanted from the start, but finally they did it perfectly. The ability to recenter your focus has eliminated the awkward moment where you shake the controller hoping you were going to hit the enemy. When you get ambushed and wip out your shield with the nun chuck instead of the Wii Remote it feels like you actually have saved yourself from harm. Not just that you’re a pro gamer. (Because honestly who doesn’t get excited getting a double headshot in Halo Reach? I know I do. /brag) This is what really separates this whole idea from traditional gaming. The fact that I am immersed in the land of Skyloft (or where ever I might be in the game) is really hard to capture without the motion controls that Wii Motion Plus offers.
When you go to your favorite book store, do you ever wonder why you are buying a book instead of… oh I don’t know… going for a run? It’s for the same reason I believe we all buy video games. We want to be taken away from our own reality and be able to do things that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. For this same reason I feel sad whenever I beat a particularly good game. I feel like my friend has moved away. Sure, I can go back and visit them, but it will never be the same as the first few months we hung out.
The motion control craze has its potential if and only if we can take a suggestion from games that master motion control as perfectly as Skyward Sword. I honestly don’t think that it will ever replace traditional gaming, unless a virtual reality becomes the actual reality. Either way it is still an entertaining idea. As long as we don’t go back to the days of the Virtual Boy, I think we will all be in a better place.