This week’s question may be a little Wii-centric, but with Microsoft jumping into the motion control competition, it’s fitting. What games make the best use of motion control?
Jenni: This is a kind of difficult question for me to answer, because most of the Wii games I’ve played don’t focus on motion controls. I suppose Resident Evil 4 has offered the best controls so far, mainly because I normally am horrible at shooting games and I have no trouble playing it. (Plus it’s a fantastic game in general.)
I’d like to nominate Family Part 30 Great Games for worst motion controls though! And yet, despite the horrible controls, it still manages to be a constant source of amusement for my friends and me. Perhaps because we look so ridiculous trying to play it and actually succeed?
Louise: I’m not easily swayed by gimmicky uses of motion control because most of the time. The traditional controls are more accurate, but there are certain games that are just plain impossible without motion control, and one of these games is Trauma Center. Before it came out for the Wii, I played the DS version and I thought the game would be frustrating to play because of the inaccuracies associated with moving your arm around, but boy was I wrong. I can’t think of a better way to control Trauma Center other than the wiimote and nunchuck. It adds a layer of immersion to performing the fictional operations because holding the controllers like that feels like holding precise surgery instruments.
Games like Trauma Center which were built around the use motion controls instead of games that are ported and then have motion control added in have an advantage of not feeling gimmicky. A more recent example of this is The Conduit. Despite my other complaints of the game, the controls are solid and an intuitive way to play an FPS.
Spencer: I guess Wii Sports Resort since Motion Plus adds extra precision, but Trauma Center implements motion control the best by far. Dragon Quest Swords had a lot of potential too, Ever since video games were invented I wanted a sword slashing game and I’m sure I’m not the only one. The problem was precision and with all of these other motion control systems coming out someone will nail the formula.
However, I think motion control can go beyond using objects as tools, or in the case of video games swords and guns. Let’s Tap took motion control in a new direction by sensing vibrations. Yeah, it’s gimmicky, but Tap Runner is a lot of fun if you four players and four cereal boxes. Perhaps, someone will invent a puzzle game where players rotate the remote to stack blocks or a Minority Report style real time strategy game.
Ishaan: I’m going to have to go with Resident Evil 4 and MadWorld. Both games make the smartest use of motion controls on the Wii. RE4 Wii Edition makes some excellent use of the pointer while preserving the game’s mechanics and difficulty, while MadWorld incorporates actual motion controls — note that this is different from waggle — in its battles while ensuring they remain responsive and accurate.
In general, most pointer-based games on the Wii are the ones that make the best use of its capabilities; although, two areas I’m very interested in seeing developers explore further are Nunchuk-based motion control and MotionPlus integration. I’m cautiously optimistic for Sky Crawlers and Red Steel 2 for this reason.