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GoNintendo Talking Points - Broken controls versus "git gud"

Controls are one of the most important parts of a game. If you can't control the on-screen action well, you can't experience what a game has to offer. In today's Talking Points, we look at people confusing bad/tough controls with broken controls.

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Great video I agree 100%

Agree 100%. Loved Skyward Sword, loved StarFox zero. Didn't have a hard time on Skyward Sword but StarFox zero was challenging. Both great games that were destroyed by some critics because the controls were "broken"

And as a disabled game who has played those games, I totally agree with your statement!

SS's controls made IT feel like I could do anything that is harder IRL for me!
So that game has a big positive part in my gaming heart!

So Eat you heart out, GameSpot! (Too Harsh?)

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 08:18am
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I'm so confused. You start out by saying people shouldn't speak for others on the issue and that there's a difference between broken controls and controls you can't get used to. But then say that SS is broken just because you had a bad experience with it.

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 08:37am
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You shouldn't use the term "broken" in such a case. Imagine a (hypothetical) game where you find that the controls are broken for you, yet no one else experiences such problems. Would it really be appropriate to call the controls "broken" in a review you'd write in such a case? Would it not give a false impression? "Broken" should really be reserved for such cases where the controls are broken for everyone. Why not use phrases like "They don't work for me" or "I have trouble getting them to work properly" or - better still - elaborate your experiences so everyone can understand what precisely you're talking about. It's the misleading use of the short and misleading term "broken" that the author objects to - and I agree fully.

(After all, imagine you go to a customer service to return a computer that you claim "Is broken"; when the clerk checks it he discovers it works fine, how do you think he'd react if you replied "It's broken for me"?)

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 01:48pm
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If you don't use it normally, why now? Using a misleading term to "drive home a point" only weakens the point you're trying to make. And before you reply: The point of the video was partially to get people to think more carefully about the terms they use, not to attack anyone with a differing opinion or forbid them from using the terms. When you claim that you normally don't use the term either then you actually agree with him in that it only rarely applies - even if you don't want to admit it. What's wrong by imploring people to only use the term when it really applies?

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 03:22pm
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He was also talking about professional reviewers who are supposed to have slightly higher standards. And trying to raise the standards of language use through a calm video is neither "ludicrous" nor "hypocritical". And sorry, but there is an objective side to language, based on the simple necessity of communication. To return to my previous example: if you wish to return a gadget with the claim that it's broken then your "subjective experience" is not enough for a refund.
But I will stop here, because I see there is no point to further discussion. I have stated my view, you stated yours, and I don't see any chance of further progress.

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 04:48pm
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I would just like to point out that your 2 cents is exactly the same, which is: My viewpoint is right, my opinion on what is broken is truth, therefore yours is not because I cannot accept someone having a different standard than I have (your standard is that the definition of truth is entirely based on personal experience, mine is that since language is a social function it needs to have wider definitions and criteria including objective basis). And I don't "bail", I merely see no further point to this discussion, specially since your postings become incrementally more aggressive and insulting each time.

mortimer
Thu Apr 06 17 05:49am
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I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I haven't learned a thing. My opinion is EXACTLY the same as it was at the beginning.
The problem is simple: In theory you are correct: Everything is subjective and based on our personal experience. Just as I cannot disprove solipsism. BUT we do not live in an abstract, theoretical world. We need to communicate with others to manage life in the real, every-day world which forces us into contact with others every day, and for that we need to compromise and thus base our language at least in part on more objective terms and aspects (which are usually established by consensus and majority). We need to establish our language along more objective criteria, otherwise it would not work and we'd be eternally stuck in endless misunderstanding. So while you are correct in theory, in living practice you're mistaken. "Broken" means that it doesn't work. If it works for some, it cannot be considered universally 'broken' (The difference with your example is that the Joy Con was wobbly due to a manufacturing mistake and really WAS different from other units; whereas a game is an exact.copy and therefore one copy cannot be broken for one and not for another since they are the same for both). You may deem that "intrinsically hypocritical", but it is a necessary compromise of coexistence.

And as for your final warning: NO ONE . not even RMC - "forced" opinions onto others. He gave viewpoints and argued and implored - which is pretty much the polar opposite of "force". You were actually far more forceful in your wording.

So I am sorry, but I have to inform you that you wasted your time, and I still stand entirely by what I said.

mortimer
Thu Apr 06 17 03:16pm
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I agree, though I always try to steer away from such definitive terms like "broken controls", because that sort of implies that it's impossible to control at all. Taking Skyward Sword for example, it falters sometimes, but I can't say it's broken. (And I had the same experiences as you did.) I would say it's... wonky, I suppose? Unreliable?

mortimer
Wed Apr 05 17 10:03am
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wolfstrassen
Wed Apr 05 17 09:42am
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Sorry to hear that you have that many troubles. With Skyward sword I had none of the problems you had. Maybe there is something wrong with your wii motion plus?. I only had to recalibrate once or twice ever when I played the game a few years ago. My brother on the other hand, for some reason had some of the problems you had, but not nearly as bad as you state.

Maybe is because gyroscopic sensor has a temperature drift (A gyroscopic sensor needs calibration if the temperature changes significantly). But If I can do a temperature compensation I think that nintendo proabably also did it, so it's unlikely to be the case (but it would explain why some people had problems and others dont)

All my 3 wiimotes + had the same problems. But you hit the nail on the head there. There so many factors that come into play that dictate the exact experience someone has with a game.

There's just too many small factors that differ each and every person, and that's why I'm saying a game can be "objectively broken" (by which I mean hardware or software wise, outside the person's opinion), within the confinds of a subjective experience.

Mmm the weird thing is: My brother and I used the exact same setup. So it might have something to do with the way we use the controllers. Also, i use a old wiimote with the wii motion plus add on, it also might have something to do. That being said, I can agree that if you played the whole game and had that kind of experiencie that there is an issue somewhere (tutorials, software, hardware, envorimental, etc)

Great video as usual RMC! I really like this Talking Points series and they must pretty hard to do so thanks for that.

Also Starfox Zero / Skyward Sword / Kid Icarus Uprising is the triforce of making game journalism face its responsibilities.

Talking points are my favorite videos that you do RMC. Keep up the good work.

I agree 99%. I do think gamers tend to confuse difficult but good controls with straight up broken controls. How many people claimed that you could play LAIR with the awful six axis controls if you only took the time to learn. But those controls were very much broken. Motion controls are tricky and if they can't be precise you can ruin the whole experience.

I gave star fox zero a real chance. I played the majority of the game except I couldn't beat the last level. The screen was too chaotic. Having to shift my attention between two screens. One for maneuvering around obstacles and the other for precise aiming became irritating and frustrating. If you took the time to master that control scheme then much power to you. But for me that wasn't challenging with a learning curve, it was unnecessarily complicated and required my neck and head to look up and down look up and down constantly. Putting stress on me as I played. And I had to sacrifice good movement for good aiming constantly leading to many unnecessary deaths.

But complaining about the jump button in zelda...that's not a worthwhile critique.

Never trust the critics. I only trust on the judges: us gamers.

Another factor is what some are using for hardware. There are so many options to interface with a game and so many platforms. I know I do better when I'm using a trusty controller or arcade stick. But hand me something I don't use in my comfort gaming and I'm fussing lol

Haven't gotten to play SF0, but I 100% do not believe on any level that LoZ: SS's controls are broken. One may need to adjust their environment to make sure they work more efficiently. But that's out of Nintendo's control.

While i prefer the motion controls in star fox zero I do think they should have also included a traditional conrtol option for the game. With that said however once you do get over the initial hump of getting used to the motion controls in the game, they are far superior to classic style startfox controls, and almost trivialize the game. The simple fact that you can travel in one direction but shoot in another is something the AI of the game simply cant deal with in all range mode giving you a huge advantage over them.

The problem is reviewers care too little about which word they use, focusing instead on simple, albeit misleading terms.
One customer review on German Amazon complained that 1-2 Switch was "ruined by imprecise controls" and continued by complaining that the Joy Cons picked up and reacted to even the tiniest of movements.
While that is indeed a valid complaint, it's hardly what the term "imprecise" means.

Controls is a huge topic. I did try to warn folks about Snake Pass' controls some time ago before the game released. Isn't there an "easy" setting for the game too?

Most of what I wanted to point out have been pointed out already in the video and in the comments. I also think that there will always be those arrogant kind of folks around who always get angry over even the simplest things, and are too ignorant to take time to learn the controls for a game that's trying to do something different than the traditional "3D platformer". Let them be. It's very important to at least state the specifics of the control layout in the review to find out how they are playing it. Personally, I don't really care for written reviews. I play however they recommend me to play and also eager to try new ways to play a game. For me, that's where the real challenge is at.
The solution for this is for developers to implement more customization; more options the better your product. Especially in an age where we're now seeing varied methods of input: touchscreen and motion in a single game, I think they should provide some sort of remapping/adjustment in addition to traditional, and have a developer-recommended setting as the default. Control schemes/remapping keys, has been a standard on PC games for decades mostly because you primarilly would use a keyboard and/or mouse on there with gamepad controller (through USB) as optional/secondary (Snake Pass is on Steam too, by the way). The Conduit [Wii] offered very customizable (motion) controller options, nevermind the story/level design.
I still believe and urge console game developers, major or minor, should work a little harder and opt to provide the choice of button remapping in their control settings. That way, everyone can be happy. But if they're not doing that, then maybe those developers are arrogant too, and we can all have a jolly ol' raging party about it together.

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