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Wii's Motion Controls - Not For Everyone

Discussion in 'Nintendo News & Rumors' started by Corey, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Corey

    Corey WiiChat Member

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    [xFLOAT=left]http://www.wiichat.com/article-images/wii-controller.jpg[/xFLOAT]I've been gaming a hell of a long time. About 24 years, give or take; more than three-quarters of my relatively short life. And I've seen a lot of things come and go, attitudes change but stay the same, and generally watched everything repeat on itself throughout different eras.

    One thing that has altered things slightly, however, is the strength and range of expressible opinion. As a child who grew up without one of the 21st century's most important inventions -the internet- opinion was something you mostly heard/offered to those you knew. Anyone within physical earshot. Letters and the media gave us all a voice, but ultimately we were in vacuums compared to now where the World Wide Web allows just about anyone with a computer to scream down the other's virtual ear. And we all want to do it as often as possible. It's not a case that everyone NOW has an opinion, but rather it's an opinion that everyone else can hear. And true to humanity's form, we'd rather use that wonderful power to argue and attack each other instead of trying to listen to all these fresh voices.

    So it's no surprise, really, that when it comes to something like Wii's new way of controlling games, we find ourselves exasperated by impatience and intolerance.

    There's a bit of a narrative jump between the last two paragraphs, so allow me test your patience a little. It won't take long. Certainly no longer than it takes to get used to the Wii remote and nunchuck with certain games, but therein lies the point. Come take a walk with me in the past for a moment…

    When gaming first emerged, control methods were a hotchpotch of designs. The earliest of systems used dials, paddles, trackballs and keyboard style pads, but generally speaking by the time we got to the second full generation of consoles, joysticks meshed with all the above making it difficult to say there was a 'standard' controller across the medium. Arcades and increasingly powerful home computers only muddied the waters more.

    It took the third (8-bit) generation to bring out a sense of conformity in competing console manufacturers, with the regulation of various D-pads that offered more precision than former methods. As gamers we adapted, but not without resistance. From a personal point of view, my family, who spent years crowding around my Atari 2600 playing Pac-Man, Combat and Spider-Man, baulked against such a change – two buttons and a cross-pad it may have only been, but that was more than enough to remove the simple charm of gaming. The younger members continued to play, but the older contingent decided that for them gaming stopped becoming a past-time and it became something 'past their time' instead.

    Gamers slowly moved on. We went from two buttons to eventually six, and even more. The Super Nintendo's arrival was met with school-yard comments of "six buttons?! We'll be running out of fingers soon; how are you supposed to cope with that unless you hold the pad differently?"

    But we adapted again. Teenage and casual mentalities growing into more hardcore configurations.

    Come the age where Nintendo regulated the analog stick with its Nintendo 64, similar but different cries could be heard in colleges, universities and work-places. "Isn't it just like the old Atari sticks? Bit of a step backwards, really." All said without knowledge of the extra precision afforded by the N64's pad. However, watching some members of my friends and family, who were young enough to grow with gaming when others gave it up after the Atari age died, I realised they were still struggling. They didn’t use the analog stick in the way it was meant to be used; instead they used it like a digital pad: they didn’t utilise the degrees of movement; it was either tilted full-on or left at rest. For some, they still couldn’t work out what the big deal was because that period of adjustment took a while to set in. Classics like Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 became a frustration, especially when more "reliable" forms of control were available on Sony's hugely successful PlayStation, which stuck to the more 'traditional' style of pad.

    Jump five years on and every console used analog controllers. And that became the norm, with those who refused to evolve, leaving gaming. By then the internet was also deeply ingrained in our culture, giving us the ability to shout about any little thing and be heard around the world.

    So when Wii flipped the script once again, the reaction was louder than ever before. No doubt had the internet been around or as mainstream during the days of transition between joysticks to D-pads, two buttons to six buttons, six buttons to more and D-pads to analog, we'd have heard the same cries of "why must there be change?" "What's the point?" "This feels gimmicky!" "We're regressing!" And so on. The indignation has remained, but the voice has simply got louder.

    Part of the problem now, however, is that gaming has a history. The playing field hasn’t been level since the third generation of the medium, but these days we have those who have left and come back, those who are totally new and those who have maintained throughout it all. The layers are numerous and diverse. And like crotchety old men, there are some who refuse to change or want to change, regardless whether they've seen and experienced this repetitive reactionary loop or not. "The Wii remote doesn’t offer the accuracy of dual analog," they cry. "I don’t want less buttons," they bemoan. "I'll look like an idiot if I have to wave my arms around," they scream. And we hear it all. Never before has there been such a large forum for our voices to be heard, but ultimately we're saying the same things we've been saying the past 24 years. It's all relative.

    Which is why we'll continue to get reviews that whinge about the Wii remote not offering what they want. Why some will spend a couple days on a game, in gritted teeth frustration, before firing off a 2,000 word piece about how Wii's motion control is a 'step backwards' or some other malady. It's happening right now as you read this.

    Some of it will be fanboy baiting. Some of it will be fanboyism. Some of it will be reactionary anger against a different control method. And some of it will be totally genuine concern. But all of it reflects one thing:

    A transition period.

    It's so easy to forget that what we're experiencing right now -an inescapable glimpse of the medium's future- is merely a moment in time. While we have some gamers using the Wii controller like some of my friends and relatives used the N64 pad -totally missing the point of its features and then blaming it for their inability to adjust- we have to remember this is just step one of a controller revolution that has been part of gaming's culture since forever. As we saw complaints about the analog stick turn into praise when the majority finally 'got' it; we'll move on. Until everyone considers that as standard and something else will emerge to start the cycle again, complete with moans about how it 'doesn’t offer the accuracy of motion control', etc.

    The Wii's remote isn’t perfect by any means. As with most 'Version 1.0' control methods, there are problems that will likely be ironed out and refined for subsequent generations (although it must be said, many of the issues are software rather than hardware related). But at the same time, there are those who will always talk about how they hate motion controls and how sloppy it is, without acknowledging stuff like the headshot rich high scores clocked up in Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, compared to the GameCube version.

    Or the now legendary Wii Play Shooting record video:
    [MEDIA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YePLMI9pu4[/MEDIA]​

    That's just the way it is, and always has been. It's not difficult to get swallowed into the whole topic and overlook how circular this all is because the internet amplifies it so much. But just because we can hear people moaning louder than we could before, doesn’t mean they're in more pain.

    We'll lose some who will never be able to adjust to motion controls. Who will always mark down a few games because they can't click with it. And who will always stamp their feet loudly at the changes the medium is going through. But they're not doing anything new. Doesn’t make them totally invalid, but it doesn’t mean the emperor has no clothes either.

    If you're enjoying Wii -or any other console for that matter that's a little different-, don’t let others cramp it. Because there's no guarantee you'll like the next generation or anything after that, anyway. Essentially, no matter how loud and obnoxious the vast number of online voices may get, there's really only one voice that truly matters when it comes to enjoying entertainment:

    Your own.
     
  2. XwiimasturX

    XwiimasturX Don't Mind Me. I'm Stupid

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    wow, that guy sucked at shooting range. *sarcasm*
     
  3. RobotChiken2.0

    RobotChiken2.0 WiiChat Member

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    OMG!!!!!!!!!!! That guy was unbelievable!!!!!!
     
  4. Awempty

    Awempty WiiChat Member

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    Good read.
     
  5. blankconnection

    blankconnection Playing is Believing

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    that guy is crazy
     
  6. LordArchantos

    LordArchantos A Wu from the North...

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    Very, very good article. Spot on, and leaves little more to be said. :thumbsup:
     
  7. madbeanman

    madbeanman WiiChat Member

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    Your last paragraph really hit the nail on the head. Dont let the nayssayers (?) ruin it for you. Nobody can tell you what to enjoy
     
  8. Warrior

    Warrior WiiChat Member

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    excellent...and yes that was me in the video...:D
     
  9. tommy

    tommy Banned

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    there are also button pads for wii anyway for those who complain.
     
  10. SensesFail

    SensesFail WiiChat Member

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    good article. that video was so crazy.
     
  11. FR.

    FR. Moderator
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    Great article. I'm surprised, many people have caught onto the way the Wii Remote works, but I guess it's really a question of if you're comforatble using it and if you like the new idea.
     
  12. JT.

    JT. A glitch in life

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    o_O that guy is... amazing. I gotten platinum in shooting range, no problem, but no where near that good. And great article. Seems weird how much compaint, as the wii contols are nearly as simple as you can get. It's natural to move, not mash buttons. Great article.
     
  13. allstar2b87

    allstar2b87 Allstar Mario Player

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    was that video possible...lol...this dude is a legend in my books lol :p
     
  14. cannon

    cannon Nintendo FanBoy

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    Great article and i agree 100%
     
  15. Sovieto

    Sovieto Banned

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    cool article
    except for the fact that the reason people complain about the wiimote is because it becomes second nature to quickly and is nothing special after that
     
  16. TortillaChip520

    TortillaChip520 One of the Oceanic 6

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    great article. especially if ur me, and hear all the Wii nay-sayers.
     
  17. Vedelkin10

    Vedelkin10 Henshin A Go Go Baby!

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    I'm going to be scared of online play on SSBB now >_>
     
  18. Rolex

    Rolex Moody Loner

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    For me, it still amazes me that after 25 years of gaming that it's a control system that stopped me in my tracks....I know I have complained mildly about games such as RedSteel and COD3 but only because I wanted the experience; which is already astonishingly great when compared to normal controls; to be bettered by tighter Wii controls.

    I personally can't wait for the next generation of titles once the devs have pinned down the motion sensitivity as they have started to do with recent titles.

    One more thing for me is also the ergonomic design - specifically the A / B buttons on the remote and the Nunchuck - superbly intuitive and really drive the experience more from the get-go, no fumbling about just plain and simple. Ahhhhhhh....

    Great subject - thanks Corey
     
  19. ciper

    ciper

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    Damn nearly dead on with what I've said to people. Gamers have a tough time with the Wii controls in many games but little old ladies and 5 years olds have no problem.

    My girlfriend is a boxing pro and her mom killed everyone at bowling the first time they played and neither likes games.

    I got my ass handed to me over and over on Monkey Ball multiplayer darts against three other people. I just could not do it right!
     
  20. Saga

    Saga Gosu

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    Fluid intelligence declines as we age. This is why many people dislike the Wii controller because it simply takes longer to get used to.
     

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