We here at Zelda Informer have been talking a lot about the future of Zelda recently, from Nate’s article about making Zelda appealing again to Alex Plant’s piece about episodic releases. As far as Zelda’s future on the Wii U, Nintendo is faced with a tough choice about what the game’s controls should be. Obviously, they have the unique features of the Wii U tablet controller at their disposal. However, Nintendo has already invested lots of time and money into developing motion controls for Skyward Sword, which were highly acclaimed by most critics and fans alike.
Should they completely abandon motion controls in favor of the newer technology, improve upon the progress they made with Skyward Sword, or use some combination of the two. Continue reading for my analysis on this issue and some quotes from Aonuma.
Now back in August, Aonuma seemed to be favoring the Wii U controller for the next console Zelda. He talked about, “having the contents of Link’s satchel available to you on the screen of your controller, and using elements of the pouch to interact with gameplay on the television.” However, in December, he stated that MotionPlus was the future of the franchise.
“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.”
Personally, I loved the controls in Skyward Sword. They aren’t perfect by any means, but they are the most accurate example of motion controls in gaming so far. Think about what Zelda Wii U could look like if they took these controls to the next level. It could require more precise sword strikes to defeat enemies, include special techniques similar to those found in Twilight Princess, and use more unique items like the Beetle that benefit from motion controls. Duels could move beyond “wait for an opening, attack” to legitimate swordfights against intelligent, aggressive AI.
On the other hand, I want to see what Nintendo can do with the Wii U controller. Skyward Sword’s pouch made it relatively seamless to switch between items. If Nintendo put the inventory screen on the tablet controller, players could switch items instantaneously on the fly. They could let players move the controller to look around the world with a dowsing-like gameplay mechanic. Players could adjust the layout of the dungeon by interacting with the map on the tablet screen. Even the simple act of putting all the HUD graphics on the controller could improve the gaming experience.
Nintendo could try to combine the two control methods, primarily controlling with MotionPlus while the tablet controller is used as a map. I can’t see this idea working though, since it would require you to have the Wii U controller in your lap while you used MotionPlus. Also, this would require consumers to own both types of controllers, which limits the game’s audience. Maybe the geniuses at Nintendo will find a way to make both control options work together, but I personally doubt it will happen.
While I love the motion controls in Skyward Sword and would like to see Nintendo continue to improve on them in future Zelda games, I think using the Wii U controller will make the game more popular. Sadly, there is a sizeable contingent of the gaming community who just don’t want to play a motion-controlled game, even if the controls themselves are great. If Zelda wants to regain some of the “hardcore” gamer audience, I think Nintendo needs to embrace button controls again and show off what unique mechanics the Wii U controller is capable of.
What do you guys think? What control method would you like to see in Zelda Wii U? Which one do you think Nintendo will actually use? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
Source: Official Nintendo Magazine