According to a recent article over at IGN, Eiji Aonuma had considered dropping Motion Plus controls from the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Aonuma had stated that he wasn’t sure if this was the right direction he wanted the Zelda series to go in. It apparently went as far as several months of development continuing without the Motion Plus controls included. Aonuma eventually welcomed the idea once again after Katsuya Eguchi, developer of Wii Sports Resort talked about everything that could be done with a Zelda game and Motion Plus. You can check out the full article over at IGN, but jump inside to see a full article on my thoughts.
I think Nintendo has done a rather terrible job embracing the Wii Motion Plus controls and it has really hurt their console. When the Nintendo Wii was first announced over 6 years ago and people soon began to hear about the unique controller, people almost immediately started to think of the possibilities. As a Zelda fan, utilizing the Wiimote as a sword was one of my initial instincts. When Twilight Princess released in 2006 we all got to experience a Zelda title on the Nintendo Wii. While Twilight Princess was an excellent Zelda game, it became apparent that the added Wii functionality was tacked on and wasn’t the central focus of the game.
Since the launch of the Nintendo Wii however, we’ve seen tons of 3rd party games try to utilize the controller in unique ways and what we’ve got is a bunch of crappy games, a handful of decent games, but only a limited amount of top-notch titles. While there are a limited number of quality 3rd party titles, it seems all the must-have titles for the console are 1st party games. Games such as Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong Country, and both Super Mario Galaxy titles… all games that really could have been released on the Nintendo Gamecube. None of these games used the Wii motion controls as their central focal point and for New Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Donkey Kong Country, none of them bothered to touch Wii Motion Plus even after that technology was available.
Wii Sports Resort released two years ago in 2009 and people finally got to experience true one-to-one controls. Those same ideas that were going through our head in 2005 when the Wii was announced had been rejuvenated. Flash forward almost two years and we’ve gotten only one notable Wii Motion Plus title and that is Red Steel 2. So here we are, almost five years into the life cycle of the Nintendo Wii and we have seen only one notable first party Wii Motion Plus title… Wii Sports Resort. What happened here? Wasn’t this console supposed to be built around motion controls? Why have we gotten so few quality motion controlled games?
This brings us to Skyward Sword. We have patiently waited for a Zelda experience ever since the first piece of artwork was shown off at E3 2009. We knew Motion Plus was on the horizon and the possibilities were there. Flash forward a year… and Skyward Sword had a poor performance on the stage of E3 2010 due to wireless interference. The game was speculated to come out in late 2010… then early 2011… and then we heard nothing about it for so long. Finally just last week we got confirmation that the game is going to release in the Holiday of 2011.
Yet when you look at E3 2011 from the console side of things… the Nintendo Wii was a forgotten console and the Wii Motion Plus was almost unheard of. Sure we are getting Wii Play Motion next month… but apparently this was not even important enough for Nintendo to feature during their press conference. Instead, all the hype on the console side of things is for the newly announced Nintendo Wii U. Furthermore, developers are already talking about how to implement the new Wii U controller with future games… with Wii Motion Plus not even being talked about.
I truly think Skyward Sword was a game that needed to launch right along side the Wii Motion Plus. Had it done so, this is what could have been the future of the Nintendo Wii console. A core top-notch experience for Nintendo fans that utilized the prime feature of the system. That didn’t happen and now it appears that Skyward Sword will end up being the swan song of the console. Almost an entire console generation gone by with Wii Sports Resort being the only 1st party game to utilize the technology. It really makes me sad as I’m a big supporter of Nintendo and believed the hype with Nintendo Wii. Sure they pushed sales of the console, and games like Mario Kart and New Super Mario Bros each sold 20+ million copies, but I never got the experience I hoped for when the Nintendo Wii was first revealed in 2005.
Skyward Sword is still going to be that game as despite concerns, Wii Motion Plus is still in the game, thankfully. It would have been a betrayal to long time supporters of the Wii for Nintendo to strip motion controls away from us for Skyward Sword. Not only as a Zelda fan, but as a fan of Nintendo, I’m really rooting for Skyward Sword to be a success, and just as importantly, for the controls to be top-notch. I want to see more quality motion plus games. The Nintendo Wii U has a new controller, but it still utilizes Wiimotes and Motion Plus. I still think Skyward Sword can be the future for the Zelda series and for motion gaming. We’ll just have to wait and see what the response is when Skyward Sword hits shelves this holiday.
Original Source: IGN