One thing you hear over and over again is that the Wii is a waggle-laden fad, and real gamers prefer the precise input of a analog controller to wild arm flailing. Nobody ever considered that we might be at fault instead of the controller, though. At least, this is what Ubisoft Creative Director Jason VandenBerghe claims, saying that the testing phase of Red Steel 2 resulted in “absolute random chaos.” Testers couldn’t figure out how to use the Wii Motion Plus properly, and often resorted to uncoordinated thrashing in order to get the job done. One thing the Ubisoft team behind Red Steel 2 realized is that motion controls were boundless in their potential, limited only by the player utilizing the controllers.
Another factor that contributed to Red Steel 2’s lackluster performance is something VandenBerghe dubbed “audience willingness”, or the motivation to actually get up and move around when playing video games. VandenBerghe claims that no more than “20 percent” of people are going to get up off the couch and move, something that he thinks hindered Red Steel 2’s marketing appeal. Once motion control supplants analog as the main source of input for video games, “audience willingness” will go up, and games like Red Steel 2 will be better received.
Right now I’m wondering what you guys think about Mr. VandenBerghe’s statements. A lot of it seems to place the impetus on gamers to pick up the subtle nuances of game mechanics, something the developers should be attempting to do through in-game tutorials. While VandenBerghe did mention that the design team solved this problem during testing, it seemed to be too little too late. Though Red Steel 2 had decent reviews, it just hasn’t sold that well, barely passing 270,000 copies worldwide. Are we as gamers at fault for the game’s poor performance, or does it lie with the developers and the publishers to ensure that a fun experience is had by all regardless of whether or not they “understand” the controls? Tell us what you think!