There’s a new Kid Icarus game coming to the Nintendo 3DS, and most of us are understandably excited. Aside from an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Pit has sadly been absent from the gaming scene since the NES. While we’re excited to just have him back in our gaming systems, Masahiro Sakurai the game’s lead designer, is using Uprising to address what he feels is “an overriding problem with a lot of game design.” The full quote goes like this:
“I’ve found that, in the established genres, the controls are always the same. For example, in shooting games, you find first-person-shooters utilize all of the buttons on the controller and always do the same thing — the stick is for moving, triggers for shooting and they’re always trapped in this very restricted framework for gameplay. And, that’s just not creative. It feels like people are taking this empty shell and just swapping out the story and art and whatnot. This time, with Kid Icarus, we wanted to address that certain problem and not only because I think the industry deserves it, but also because it’s a more satisfying experience personally.
That’s a very interesting perspective, and I can’t blame Sakurai-san for wanting to shake up the industry a bit. On the other hand, he cites first-person-shooters as an example, one that I feel isn’t that strong. Those games use a standardized control scheme because it works, and it’s what we’ve been using for a long while. Take the Orange Box, which used a different set-up for its controls, and how awkward that felt. They weren’t that different, but the buttons for reloading and melee were swapped around, and it took a few frustrating tries to get used to.
If you’re going to innovate in this industry, are controls the best way to go about it? Do you think that this idea has some merit, or is Sakurai-san barking up the wrong tree? Is the 3DS even the right platform to attempt this on?