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Have motion controls gone by the wayside?

The Wii’s major selling point last gen was the whole motion control party system thing. But that concept barely seems to register as a thing these days.

How many video games have actually benefited from motion controls? I’ll list the ones that come to mind:

Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort
Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 (did they even serve a purpose here? can’t recall)
Metroid Prime Trilogy
No More Heroes

Not that many, frankly. And there were other Wii games where the motion controls actually made it worse (Donkey Kong Country Returns, GoldenEye Wii) or weren’t even used (Xenoblade). And the Wii U uses them pretty sparingly. Plus the handful of Sony or Microsoft games with motion controls seemed to suck and/or shamelessly copycat Wii games.

Time for a good coverage of this topic. What’s the overall takeaway when it comes to motion controls? Innovation or gimmick? Fun or tedious? Relevant or irrelevant?

  • I think one of the cooler things that the Wii did was use the motion controls for DBZ: Tenkaichi Budokai. It was beyond awesome that you could use special moves with the corresponding motion. The game brings to mind an important point: at what point are motion controls unrefined enough such that using them becomes a poor design decision instead of a good one? For a game such as Budokai, the motions are distinct enough to distinguish one special move from another but remain simple and seemed to be an integral and self-explanatory aspect of the game. It's also a lot cooler to be blasting a Kamehameha when you do the motion as opposed to pressing circle left on a controller. Other successes follow a similar trend: Okamiden utilizes a paintbrush, to which a wiimote is similarly used; Wii Sports makes you go through realistic swinging motions, whether you're throwing a punch or swinging a bat. Things are a little different for other genres, say, platformers, in which there's no real naturally befitting control scheme. You're not going to run and jump with your Wiimote, that's for sure. Let's take a look at Golden Eye. At first, it seems like a cool concept to use motion controls as a substitute for a conventional controller. It seems natural and self-intuitive to use the Wiimote as a gun. However, a lot of the complaints about the game comes from the clumsiness of the controls. The finesse of motion control isn't convenient for the likes of a fast paced game that requires both a good reaction time and precision. Even playing Just Dance will reveal the fact that the motion sensor isn't the most reliable mechanism. Running out of space here. There are games in which motion controls are boons (DBZ, Okamiden, Wii Sports), inconveniences (Golden Eye, DKC), and gimmicks without introducing new gameplay (Twilight Princess). I didn't discuss the last one, but I think discussion of motion controls affected games in – Austin 7 years ago
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  • The game is Okami, not Okamiden. My bad. – Austin 7 years ago
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