Remember when the Wii originally launched and gamers got a taste of all the poor implementations of motion control streaming down the pipeline? Somehow the creation of motion control spurred on the development of what came to be known as the “waggle.”
Waggling was what developers crammed into games in order to make them motion control friendly. Oh, it’s on the Wii? It needs some form of motion control. How about we shake to [blank]? And there it is. Waggling became just a new, more annoying form of a button press. Spin attack? Waggle. Pick up that jar? Waggle. Slap your opponent in the face? Waggle.
How the hell am I going to connect this to the Wii U? Not sure yet. I do love asking myself rhetorical questions and then immediately following them up with one, two or three word answers, though. I can promise you that.
Ubisoft seems like the first developer in line to force a new method of control down our throats once the Wii U releases. Erik and I were invited to a behind closed doors developer round table during last week’s E3. The discussion centered around Ubisoft, two new games and the Wii U. We saw Ghost Recon Online first. Frankly, I wasn’t wowed. It didn’t look bad, but it wasn’t stunning either. The uses of the Wii U controller were brief but neat. The demo ended with Erik cranky and tired and me slightly intrigued.
Then came the game that seemed capable of selling the Wii U to everyone in the room: Killer Freaks from Outer Space.
This FPS is set in a world that’s fallen victim to some sort of freakish, gross, gooey alien invasion. The creatures we saw in our demo looked like a blend of Gremlins and the Raving Rabbids. Straight up? I was sold right there.
Then they started playing the game with the Wii U. Use the two control sticks on the pad to move your perspective, but physically turn, twist and rotate the Wii U controller to aim and look with your weapon! What!?!? You want us to use the Wii U controller to point and fire our guns? The guy on stage was having a hell of a time working with the device and accurately picking off the creatures at his feet. He was a developer for the game and his play looked downright painful.
Standing or sitting with a tablet in front of my face and playing these faux augmented reality games is equal parts boring and annoying. I hate the notion that, as Ubisoft claims, the next wave of first person shooters will be done this way. Why? You have a controller with two analog sticks sitting directly on it. Why make us move like idiots in order to aim and fire?
Because it’s on the Wii U. Because Nintendo has somehow created this rule that developers have to make their games as non-traditional as possible in order to have them exist on the system.
The solution is simple, really. Make both control options available to the user. You want to push the envelope and experiment with new methods of FPS control? Fine. But give me the choice to swap back to the traditional dual analog sticks when I’m cranky.
Now get off my lawn!