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Motion Control Is Here To Stay For The Legend Of Zelda


It seems that Nintendo is pretty pleased with Skyward Sword.

Not only is it selling quite nicely, but the game's motion-controlled sword-play has also been receiving near-unanimous praise from reviewers (and all the gamers I know, for that matter). And while superlative praise is nothing new to the Zelda series, it isn't something we're used to hearing about motion control. Some elements of it have been criticised - the bird wing-flapping business, for example - but the rest of the game seems to have impressed enough that Nintendo is keeping motion control for the Legend of Zelda games yet to come.

Despite having considered dropping new control scheme during the production of the game, series lead Eiji Aonuma told the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine:

"I honestly think we cannot go back to button controls now, so I think that these controls will be used in future Zelda titles, too."

So there you have it. One of the keystone titles in videogaming - a series that practically invented adventure games - is incorporating motion control. For good. With Twilight Princess gamers had the option of picking up the Gamecube version and button-mashing to their hearts' content. Not any more. While I have my opinion on this (I agree with Mr. Aonuma one hundred percent: Going back to button-mash swordplay after Skyward Sword feels just like going back to a button-controlled bowling game after Wii Sports), we here are more than a bit interested what you guys think.

Played Skyward Sword? Please chime in below.


TenshiXI said:

I heartily believe the game would've been infinitely better with a "classic controller" option that pitched the motion controls entirely. The lack of direct camera control is also a constant annoyance. It became an especially severe problem when dealing with a large group of monsters, or a set of moving platforms. You simply can't control the camera in a beneficial, responsive way, and the auto-center button is only sometimes useful. This frequently lead to a lot of frantic running about in order to orient the camera, or leap-of-faith platforming. For controls that are supposed to be one-to-one they were delayed, and unresponsive. Stabbing was frequently insufferable. Flying actually made me throw the controller across the room in sheer frustration. And the game gets super sniffy about when it thinks you want to do a Skyward Strike.


rob said:

i agree whole heartedly with TenshiXI. The motion controls made for an awkward game play experience

rob said:

the whole control scheme felt awkward. I would constantly have to center the controller which would make me vulnerable to enemy attacks. The camera control was an issue as well
(sorry, that all was s'posed to be one post...don't know what happened there)

Liam Aether said:

I found Skyward Sword unplayable witht he motion controls as my wrist kept hurting. I tried it several times with a variety of methods triying to calibrate it. I simply gave up on it. If they keep the motion controls exclusively, I suppose I won't buy any Zelda games anymore... I want the buttons back... at least then it was playable... Include classic controller as an option, I beg you Nintendo.

Zach Risso said:

I enjoyed the motion controls to an extent, but they were far from refined—perhaps as refined as motion controls could be in this current generation of gaming, however.

The camera, as others have mentioned, was not intuitive in the least. I struggled quite a bit when facing multiple opponents. I had to resort to wild, flailing sword swipes a number of times.

I certainly hope a classic-controller option is available for future games in the series.

Qeomash said:

I really can't believe there's near unanimous appraise for it--including me, three people I know have the game so far. I finished it, hating the controls. One friend is partway through, loving them. And a third has all but stopped playing because of the controls and how difficult they are for him because he is left handed on top of the bad controls.

I have never been so frustrated with a game's control scheme than before this one. I only persevered because it was Zelda.

Berkana said:

I'm still playing through the game and every once in awhile I catch myself screaming: "God I hate these @*#&ing controls!". I don't mind using them for the whip or hookshot tools but rolling bombs and certain sword movements are incredibly frustrating.

That on top of the fact that I had to buy a 20 dollar wii motion plus attachment for these shitty controls...

TenshiXI said:

What blow my mind is how many reviewers and fans are calling it the greatest game ever made. Ummmmmm, not so much.

Don't get me wrong, it's an extremely well made game, but the whole thing is rife with pacing, story and graphical issues. the supporting cast just can't seem to be bothered to tell you where to go next to progress the story. At least twice each time I'd sit down to play I would have to ask "Where in the heck am I suppose to go?" No one even bothers to give you so much as a hint. This causes a lot of mulling over the map, making wild guesses, and needless travel until a cut scene deigns to tell you "hey you're suppose to be here next." Thanks, that only took me 45 minutes of blindly groping about.

Lastly, the graphics and overall design are consistent, and pretty, if for a Wii game. I know it's mean to say "for a Wii game" but it's still true. While everything is vibrant and well thought out, it's still plagued by murky textures, and a fair bit of seaming within the textures. It certainly can't hold a candle to the lush graphics possible on a PS3 or 360. I have no doubt this game could of looked amazing if it was on anything other than the Wii. Also, with rare exceptions (Flying, some bosses) most of the music is entirely forgettable, and at time extremely annoying. There were a few times I was tempted to mute the game altogether. That is just plain terrible music design.


screwdestiny said:

Wow, I'm shocked. I hated the motion controls. The game can never differentiate between a diagonal swipe and a horizontal swipe and I'm sure that's my fault, but I didn't sign up for a sword simulation game! Why do I have to be so precise? Those three-headed snake beasts are the worst, I can never line up the slash right to kill all three heads. Now that I have the bombs, I just bomb them.

Plus, the directions for the controls are confusing. For example, I though the way to balance Link on the tight rope was to *rotate* the Wiimote, but you after have to swing it from side to side. Sure, some things are cool. The bug pilot and being able to bomb things with it, that's cool. But the other things are kinda time-consuming and they hurt my wrist.

Of course, as bad as the controls are, they only slightly beat out the ridiculous Fetch Quests for the Fetch Quests for the Fetch Quest plotlines. I mean, now those things are ridiculous! We need you to rotate these windmills, but before you can rotate them, you need to find this cog, but before you can get this cog, you need to fix this robot, and now that you've fixed this robot, you need to wander about the world below waving your Wiimote around dousing just so you can figure out where the cog actually is! And now that we've done that, you have to figure out where the temple is to fetch this new artifact. Well, even though I said the temple would be wherever this symbol is, that's really just the entrance to the spirit world that will give you the piece that allows you to go to where you need to be, after you've proven yourself worthy for the umpthousandth time. Now to actually figure out where you need to be, you need to take a sidetrip up this gigantic tree to wake up this kiwi fruit, then you have to go draw a symbol somewhere all the way at the other end of the map and then after murking through some water trying to use these crap motion controls to rotate into some blowfish and dolphin jump over barriers, you're almost where you need to be, except I'm gonna first need to you go fetch some spirit water back in the first dungeon back at the end of the map you just came from and then bring that back here, please. NONSENSE!!!

LunaG9 said:

I honestly don't know where these "bad controls" are coming from, I played the game trough without any problems. Well, I did have problems with the flight controls at first but it turns out that was my own fault, after figuring it out the proper way it was easy.

However after waching two of my friends play SS I think I may know what the problem is... One friend waggles and flails his remote around and gets frustrated that Link isn't pulling off some graceful combo... The other friends' idea of motion controls is somewhere along the lines of "barely move your wrist, and only your wrist in the desired direction." If this is how people are playing this game then I can understand why they are having so much trouble.

The Camara is the same camara we have had since OoT. I don't get why people are complaining about it now.

Don't get me wrong the game does have it's downsides, but every game does. The only MAJOR complaints I have with SS are: First, The lack of variety in combat, I got all these cool items but combat is pretty much limited to Sword and Shield. I get that they wanted to focus on swordplay, but a little variety would have been nice.

Second, the lack of a "warp" system like past Zelda games have. I enjoy flying around and all but sometimes I wished I could just warp from/to Skyloft to the lower areas.

I'm glad Nintendo went with motion controls and I'm glad they're going to keep using them. I agree with Aonuma, playing OoT3D after finishing SS, it simply was not the same anymore.
I often hear people crying out for innovation, and when it hits them in the face they reject it because it's too different, apparently gamers cannot oparate without a "dual-thumbstick" setup nowdays. I honestly believe SS would not have worked on a typical controller. This game has become my favorite Zelda game to date. That's all I can say.

Shin Gallon said:

Welp, looks like Twilight Princess is the last Zelda game I'll ever play. And I mean the Gamecube version, which is the copy I own.
Skyward Sword was ruined by the godawful controls, I hated it when I tried it. It becomes the second "main" Zelda game I'll never finish (after OoT, which I've never finished either despite trying repeatedly over the years). At least give players an option to use a real control scheme if they want, not this motion control gimmick crap.

Shounen said:

I think everyone here's said it-- if it's going to be there, at least let it be optional. Jabbing at the screen with my left hand and hoping a shield would come out is jarring. I actually felt more detached from the character than with buttons. =(

Silver Phoenix said:

Fuck you ignorant delusional Nintendo.

baphomet said:

re: (and all the gamers I know, for that matter)

well let me be the first gamer/gaymer you know to tell you: i hate the controls... this is the last zelda i will ever buy until they re-incorporate traditional controls, or at least give an option to use traditional controls for people like me who hate it. not only was it awkward, i could not physically play it due to needing to re-center/calibrate my controller every 10 minutes. its sad considering how much i used to love the series...but phantom hourglass, spirit tracks, and now this?

i can add this to the list of franchises that are officially dead to me right under Final Fantasy.

DanielBevis said:

I wouldn't want to go back to traditional controls, personally!

Will be curious as to how they implement motion controls into Wii U Zelda, considering the tablet controller and all, though.

JTSpender said:

That's... unfortunate.

I think this is kind of selection bias at this point. Most of the gamers I know got sick and tired of motion control and gave up on their Wiis a long time ago... so it doesn't surprise me that most of the folks who actually played this game enjoyed the motion control. Sure, motion control has "gotten better", but at the end of the day I don't think that was the primary problem.

If Nintendo wants to double down on their existing base that's fine, but if they think they're going to get all those "veteran" gamers they were talking about at the Wii U reveal to come back when this is what they're offering, well, it's just not happening.

AnakinGaeda said:

I am very disappointed to hear this. I greatly enjoyed Skyward Sword for the most part, but the motion controls got pretty tedious at times and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more with a traditional button control scheme. The difficulty in aiming the bow and arrow is just one example. For both the boss fight at the end of the ghost ship, and the boss fight against the parasite, I mistakenly believed the bow and arrow were the key to making the beasts vulnerable (one giant eye!) before attacking with the sword, and spent quite some time failing to make any progress before I realized that the bow was irrelevant. Using different types of equipment for the boss fights (not ONLY the dungeon and overworld puzzles) has been one of my favorite things about the series for a long time. I'm sure they will come up with some creative things, but I still feel that in the long run, restricting the console series to motion controls will end up making the games start to feel more tedious over time.

SadClown said:

That's disappointing. I just clocked in 10 hours of dull fetch quests to unlock the 7th dungeon and have accepted that this will be one of the few Zeldas I never replay.
I've accepted the possibilty that the unresponsive sword play is a symptom of my tiny television but motion flying that lazy bird everywhere is terrible no matter how many dives and spins I do to get from place to place.

Ragnar said:

I've liked most of the motion control stuff for the Wii and DS, and enjoyed the motion controls for Twilight Princess and the 3D Ocarina of Time. I like unique and interesting control schemes (I really enjoyed Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) but only if they actually work. This...doesn't.

The bird-flapping thing was terrible - it might have helped if they bothered to tell you it was really a rythym minigame and if the damnable motion plus thing actually functioned it might not have been so awful. Half the time I'd be trying to get the bird to go up, and it would, but would also tilt itself all the way to one side for no apparent reason. Getting in Skyward Strikes against the final boss was nearly impossible; I'd be holding the stoopid wiimote straight up but Link wouldn't hold his sword up on the screen unless I wiggled the controller around some. I had to constantly recenter and recalibrate the thing; it was just a pain while playing.

The graphics filter that makes anything more than ten feet away look fuzzy was really aggravating, too. It didn't make things look good; it just made me feel like there was something wrong with my vision.

The boss fights were not terribly imaginative, which was disappointing. I also was annoyed that few of the bosses needed more than a sword to kill off.

I did really enjoy the story - I thought it fit into the other stuff really well and made a nice prequel and explanation for how all this went from the realm of the divine to the 'real' world of Hyrule. Some of the writing was really clever - Zelda apologizing to Link (trying not to be too spoiler-y) was awesome; how often does that happen? The stuff you only learn at the very end relating the bad guy of this series to other ones was also super-nifty; a cool concept that makes sense and works.

And, to totally geek out, my new Zelda theory: All the incarnations of Impa we've ever seen throughout the entire series are the same person, using the Gate of Time to travel around. Corollary: that would be a totally awesome game in and of itself.

The thing I'm still trying to figure out is how the whole world can be covered in an impenetrable cloud layer, but when you go to the surface, you see blue skies. WTF?!?

Dexter said:

I'm just up to the volcano area and enjoying it. The controls are slightly finicky but worth it. I think the problem is that bringing up certain menus inexplicably recalibrates the wiimote gyro. I still struggle with enemies who seem to block my sword no matter the direction I swing it. But I'm amazed by how awesome the bug net is.

I'm not totally sold on the graphics though. I think crisp cell shading like wind weaker would have been a better art style than this (at times) blurry mess.

I thinks the dungeons in twilight princess are still my favourite but I've really only been through one so I'm willing to give it time.

BioAndroid said:

Wow, I'm glad all these comments on here... After reading the article I was in SHOCK that so many people enjoyed the motion controls... I can live with them, but I just found it gimmicky and annoying to be completely honest.

My biggest complaint isn't even about the games controls. I actually LOVE Skyward Sword for what it is. But I just dislike the Wii's motion controls in general. I always have trouble positioning the sensor bar in whatever room I've tried it in. What's most frustrating is I redesigned my living room to make for tons of space for the Kinect with the couch far back. But the Wii motes infared sensor doesn't reach to the TV anymore... So if I want to sit and play Skyward I have to move my entire couch forward and if I want to use the Kinect I have to move it back again... SO ANNOYING!

I just want a controller please! The only motion control I've liked in a Zelda game so far is the aiming on Ocarina of Time for the 3DS. I love using the sling shot and camera by actually moving around the 3DS!

Overall with the current motion control options out there I still find it pretty gimmicky.

SadClown said:

Just beat this frigging game after my holiday travels. The final string of battles require quick use of all your sword moves making the control flaws all too apparent.

At one point I did the "thrust" movement with my wii mote five times in a row only to have link roll, horizontal slash, spin attack, vertical slash, spin attack again, then get hit by the bosses counter.

Fi: You're low on hea...
Me: STFU!!!!

Playing the similar "final exam" battles in Twilight Princess with a Gamecube controller was nowhere near as frustrating.

Paul said:

I couldn't agree more with the people who complain about the motion controls. It really drives me off from Zelda, which is, as you may easily assume, a very sad thing to me.

The classic controller would have been immensely more fun. The motion controls demands extra effort to play the game for NOTHING. It is a gimmick because it does not add anything to the experience. Nothing justifies it.

In sports games, it makes sense. I approve it, as it is relevant indeed. But motion controls are not for every single freaking game developed in the galaxy! This obsession and obligation destroyed the Wii.

However, my biggest grudge is not the motion controls itself, but the lack of option. Option is a very understimated thing for some game companies. Gamers should be allowed to make more choices of how they can play the game. If Nintendo wants the game to be played with motion controls, good! But the company should also give the player the option of playing it with the classic controller. They did it with Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Punch-Out for the Wii, just to name a few. Why exclude Zelda and Metroid? How hard is it to respect what the gamers want?

Just to get things straight: I`m a big Nintendo and Zelda fan. I just think it is sad the way things are going with the Wii and the Wii U. Well, if the company believes that gimmicks will make them more money, there is nothing for me to say. It is their choice.

However, there is one thing I can do: give up on Nintendo until they decide to give me the option of playing Zelda and Metroid with a classic controller. It wouldn`t hurt them as they believe it might and it would make many, many people happy with Nintendo. The Nintendo of nowadays is not worthy of my money.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Paul on Motion Control Is Here To Stay For The Legend Of Zelda: I couldn't agree more with the people who complain about the motion controls. It really drives me off from Zelda,...

SadClown on Motion Control Is Here To Stay For The Legend Of Zelda: Just beat this frigging game after my holiday travels. The final string of battles require quick use of all your...

BioAndroid on Motion Control Is Here To Stay For The Legend Of Zelda: Wow, I'm glad all these comments on here... After reading the article I was in SHOCK that so many people...

Dexter on Motion Control Is Here To Stay For The Legend Of Zelda: I'm just up to the volcano area and enjoying it. The controls are slightly finicky but worth it. I think...

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