Nintendo changed the face of the gaming world with the launch of the Wii in 2006. Whether you think it was for better or worse, motion controls were completely new and every developer wanted in on the action. We were given some decent mini-game collections and a cool tech demo from Nintendo, along with a brand new Zelda and’not much else.
Fast forward to 2011 and we still do not have a single game that makes proper use of the Wiimote. To make matters even worse, Nintendo seems to be backing off from the entire motion control idea. Not only have their titles done as little as possible with the controls, but the announcement of the Wii U shows a controller that does absolutely nothing with motion.
My thought is this; Wii Don’t Want to Play! The one gimmick to the Wii and Nintendo now realizes it was stupid. Sure, you can get some light-gun games that don’t work on modern LCD screens and you can have Tiger Woods golf work better than ever, but why wouldn’t I just use a controller?
As for Nintendo games, think of how much motion you need in something like Super Mario Galaxy. Its input it mainly buttons, with motion working to fill in for a missing button. You simply flick the remote a tiny bit and Mario spin jumps (something they applied to New Super Mario Bros. Wii as well). That flick is totally unnecessary.
Donkey Kong Country Returns actually has detrimental motion controls. Flicking is substituted for making DK blow on things or roll and it often happens in the middle of an intense chase scene, leading to the kong’s untimely death. Thankfully you can use a Wiimote-Nunchuk combo, or else I would have thrown the poor Wiimote through a window at the end game.
High Five for Wiimote-Nunchuk!
And going back to probably the first Wii game we all played, Twilight Princess didn’t even need motion controls. It started off as a Gamecube game and was actually better on that system. With sharper graphics and better sound mixing, along with an actual controller, your Zelda adventuring was better than ever.
To their credit, Wii Sports is completely impossible without some kind of motion device. Also, WarioWare Move It was damn fun. In all honesty, though, I can’t really name you a bunch of Wii games I own that rely on motion. I’ve definitely tinkered with them, but nearly everything I Have makes use of the classic controller or has limited motion input.
It seems Sony and Microsoft didn’t get that memo. Both companies are developing their respective controllers in full force now. I have yet to play a game on Kinect, but I’ve tried Heavy Rain and Resident Evil 5 on Move and both feel different?
Heavy Rain is entirely pointless. The game is an interactive drama, so I don’t need to be making insane movements to feel immersed (god knows the story draws you out at the end, anyway). Resident Evil 5 is actually a bit better, but my point stands in that the motion controls are unwarranted. You do not need them to enjoy Resident Evil.
Unnecessary, but usable.
To Sony’s credit, at least they aren’t limiting you to the Playstation Move. Every game that includes support for the device also allows normal Dual Shock 3 control. That’s something that Nintendo looks to be doing with the Wii U, and players always like options.
Still, at the end of the day, Motion Controls is a gimmick that even Nintendo doesn’t like anymore. I wish I could be more positive about it (especially since Nintendo is my favorite of the Big Three companies), but there’s nothing I can really say. 5 years after getting my Wii, I can’t think of any game that truly benefitted from Motion.
Well, maybe it’s useful in filtering out idiots.