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This Year's Top Game Design Innovations

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the eye-of-the-beholder dept.

Games 169

Next Generation has one of those end of the year 'top 10' lists we all love so much, with plenty of room for discussion on this one. They claim to have picked out the top 10 game design innovations of 2007. It's hard to argue with elements like Portal's portals or Mass Effect's conversation wheel, but was Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii really as good as a mouse-and-keyboard PC FPS? "When people ask 'How do we make a good shooter on a console' what they really mean is 'how do we make a shooter that feels as quick and responsive as a PC shooter on the console?' Apparently the answer is the Wii mote. I was blown away by this fact. Nintendo had always been the 'family friendly' console to me so I didn't consider the FPS ramifications of the Wiimote but clearly it's the best tool for the job. With some tweaking and some refinement down the line I could see the Wii (or a console with Wii like controls) becoming the platform of choice for hardcore FPSers, even over the PC. If this does become the case it will owe it all to Metroid Prime 3."

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13:37 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21674355)

This article is 1337!

Wii FPS controls (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674391)

The only reason this is controversial is because the wiimote doesn't have good enough aim. It's often off by an inch or more on smaller tv's. This is hard on hard core FPS fans, but for me this isn't a problem. First, between wrestling with the auto-aim feature on a lot of shooters and using two analog sticks to control my movement and aim, I find correcting for the wiimote's bad aim to be easy by comparison. I'd rather have faster, more responsive aim that's off by a consistent amount than have to use a regular controller.

Re:Wii FPS controls (3, Informative)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674535)

Controlling with the analog sticks in indeed something of an annoyance, but its not a game ender if done right. Autoaim can be just as bad at time. A happy medium between the two often works well though.

Of course, you could also pull a Sony and just let the developers code for keyboard/mouse support, like they allowed with the ps2 and ps3. It seems alot of developers aren't making use of that functionality for some reason, beyond UT3's use of it. Why? No idea.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675009)

Controlling with the analog sticks in indeed something of an annoyance, but its not a game ender if done right.

It is for me. Its never been done right. I'd rather play them on the PC.

Autoaim can be just as bad at time. A happy medium between the two often works well though.

I hate auto aim... i want to shoot the barrel just behind the target its locked on. I want to shoot the caster behind the charging warrior... whatever... autoaim drives me nuts.

I -did- enjoy Eternal Darkness on the 'cube tho, and thought the targeting was even fairly innovative and well done... but ED wasn't an FPS.

Of course, you could also pull a Sony and just let the developers code for keyboard/mouse support, like they allowed with the ps2 and ps3. It seems alot of developers aren't making use of that functionality for some reason, beyond UT3's use of it. Why? No idea.

Because as good as the keyboard mouse is for FPS games, most of us don't really want to use one on the couch. Nor do we want to set up a table at the right height. (Using a typical coffee table is back breaking at worst and uncomfortable at best, and that's assuming you even have one... I don't.)

It would also suck for multiplayer (Splitscreen) two keyboards and mice would use a lot of space. Four? Forget about it.

And finally, at least when it wasn't an option, using the controller was bearable, but to use a controller when keyboard/mouse is available... that would be ... un-bearable. But actually using a kb/mouse poses its own problems. (see above)

Re:Wii FPS controls (3, Interesting)

G Fab (1142219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674587)

I completely disagree, my friend.

"was Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii really as good as a mouse-and-keyboard PC FPS?" This is an absurd question. The wiimote is twitchy as all get out. I know a bunch of people love Metroid 3, so I have to acknowledge that, even if I hate it, it's a successful and good product, but man that game is just not that good. I prefer the dual analog sticks, slow as they are, for moving about a 3d world, if I can't have a mouse. Also, the graphics on Metroid just seem pretty weak to me (and yeah, I know a lot of people think they are excellent).

I guess I may just have weird tastes in this, and more power to Nintendo for the new ideas, but I own Metroid 3 and most other major wii games (well, my kids do), and I really don't like them that much. They are basically obvious motion adaptations of well worn and nostalgic Nintendo greats. That's a solid biz model, but top design innovation? Well, ok, maybe it is, but only because there aren't many real innovations out there. This is like including the powerglove with all NESs. yeah, it's different.

And is a wiimote better than a sixaxis (granting that Sony gets no innovation points for knocking off the wiimote)? I guess. If you point it at the TV, it aims and twitches, and that's a feature only teh wii has, but is this a good feature or just a unique feature? Games like HVB are showing that the sixaxis can be pretty damn nice in the hands of a competent programmer (so sad that this is one of the best PS3 games, huh?).

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674781)

The wiimote is twitchy as all get out.

Do you get a lot of Sun in the room you play the Wii in? In general if I have those issues drawing the curtains fixes them ( sunlight screws up communication with the sensor bar).

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674855)

The wiimote is twitchy as all get out.
I've noticed the distance from the wiimote to the sensor bar makes a HUGE difference. If I try playing from my couch, the cursor or reticle is constantly jittering. If I move a mere foot closer (where our love seat sits) the jitter disappears completely.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675409)

Try going into the Wii configuration. There's setting there that let's you adjust how sensitive the the sensor bar is.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675923)

I've played around with that setting. If I'm on the couch, I can set the sensitivity to jitter or fail-to-detect-sensor at all (anything on the left half of the sensitivity bar). Maybe some lights in the room are throwing it off.

Re:Wii FPS controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676301)

Do you have anything reflective (such as a glass top coffee table) between your couch and the TV? That's probably the source of jitter. Reflections off other objects can confuse the wii remote as it starts to see multiple spots.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676455)

Thanks for the advice. The coffee table is a possibility since it has a shiny finish (it's not glass or mirrored though).

Re:Wii Sensor Bar tips. (3, Informative)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677325)

Thanks for the advice. The coffee table is a possibility since it has a shiny finish (it's not glass or mirrored though).
Make sure where ever you have the sensor bar it is at the very edge of whatever it sits. Set it flush with the face of the TV (if on top) or the front of the entertainment center (if on bottom). I had instances where the sensor bar would be obscured by the angle of the entertainment center (If I rested the controller in my lap), and the pointer went crazy until I brought the Wiimote higher so it could get a clean view of it.

Any infrared light source near the TV (or IRsensor on the Wiimote) could be disruptive. Lamps, Candles, and especially the Sun. The WiiMote uses the the sensor bar to triangulate position based on 2 steady points (provided by the sensor bar). If multiple sources are competing with the signal then it will confuse the Wiimote causing jitter. The Sun is the worse as it can blanket the Wiimote sensor with IR light making it impossible to detect the 2 points of the sensor bar among all the noise. So as an experiment you may want to close the curtains, blow out the candles, and turn off any lamps that may be near the TV to see if they are adding interference.

Another issue is distance, if you have a rectangular living room you may have issues with the Nintendo Stock sensor bar after 10 feet or so. (or if you are too close IE: less than 3 feet from it will cause issues)

I hope that helps.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21674607)

Pointing the Wii Remote isn't supposed to be light-gun style aiming, and I think that you'll find if you really pay attention that it isn't. That's why every Wii shooter has a reticule...

Wii Controls are already better than PC. (4, Interesting)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674681)

The only reason this is controversial is because the wiimote doesn't have good enough aim. It's often off by an inch or more on smaller tv's. This is hard on hard core FPS fans, but for me this isn't a problem. First, between wrestling with the auto-aim feature on a lot of shooters and using two analog sticks to control my movement and aim, I find correcting for the wiimote's bad aim to be easy by comparison. I'd rather have faster, more responsive aim that's off by a consistent amount than have to use a regular controller.

I didn't have that issue with a big screen. I wonder where that line really diverges, is it bad on say 19" TV, but Sweet at 42"+ ? Dunno. It was pretty easy for me to pick off people in the distance on my projector and I have a 92" screen on that.

I know I'll get flamed to hell for this, but unlike the article I think the Wii Controls are already better than the PC's (and there is still room for improvement*). The Advanced sensitivity on Metroid Prime 3 is "Nearly, but not quite as sensitive as a mouse", but for what little sensitivity is lost, the Analog on the Nunchuck kicks the shit out of WASD, and there is simply nothing that can compare on the PC with the visceral immersion of the Grapple gun.

Using your left arm to throw a grapple on you're opponent's shield, then jerking your arm back to pull the shield out of their hand so you can blast them with your arm cannon is something you can't get elsewhere. Add that with full analog movement, and you have an experience that not only rivals, but betters the competition.

*Games are already improving on the design, play Medal of Honor Heroes 2 and customize your aim sensitivity to achieve mouse level precision if you like.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21675383)

*Games are already improving on the design, play Medal of Honor Heroes 2 and customize your aim sensitivity to achieve mouse level precision if you like.


almost every PC shooter allow you to customize your mouse sensitivity, from Quake to Counter Strike... Dont know what PC gamers would ever do without that.
But Medal of Honor did innovate upon the shooting scheme but allowing you to manually look over covers at the direction you want.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (3, Interesting)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675539)

*Games are already improving on the design, play Medal of Honor Heroes 2 and customize your aim sensitivity to achieve mouse level precision if you like.

almost every PC shooter allow you to customize your mouse sensitivity, from Quake to Counter Strike... Dont know what PC gamers would ever do without that. But Medal of Honor did innovate upon the shooting scheme but allowing you to manually look over covers at the direction you want.

Sorry if I was unclear. I was not commenting on customization as an innovation in this particular game, rather I was commenting on how MoH Heroes 2 (with its' customization options) can actually reach mouse levels of sensitivity on the Wii, and how that was an improvement on the Metroid Prime 3's (Still wonderful) controls.

Thanks.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675799)

Add that with full analog movement, and you have an experience that not only rivals, but betters the competition.

The "experience" might be better, but the controls might be worse. You might have more fun playing with the wii controls, but do they actually let you win as often as you would playing with mouse and keyboard? The only way to know is to let PC and wii players duke it out online and see who wins the most.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676925)

The "experience" might be better, but the controls might be worse. You might have more fun playing with the wii controls, but do they actually let you win as often as you would playing with mouse and keyboard? The only way to know is to let PC and wii players duke it out online and see who wins the most.

That would be an extremely silly definition of 'better' and 'worse'.

The -experience- is what's important.

If you could play with a keyboard and mouse against someone who was ACTUALLY inside a 'star trek holodeck', would you seriously judge that keyboard and mouse was the better controller?

Simply because after a couple hours, you were still going strong raking in the kills and jumping around like a lunatic, while your opponents are exhausted and can barely hold their guns steady?

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677187)

If a player using keyboard and mouse could consistently pwn a player in the holodeck, then yes a keyboard and mouse would be the superior controller. You can have all the buttons, axes, and immersive environments you want, but if it doesn't make you a better player it's crap. Any other measure of the quality of a controller is going to be so subjective as to be meaningless.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (4, Funny)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677403)

By that definition an aim-bot is by far the best controller you can get.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678219)

but if it doesn't make you a better player it's crap

Except that the controller doesn't exist separately from the game, and games are designed around controllers.

Consider how you move, jump, and climb, in an FPS with wasd? Its all *automated*! You run to a ladder and push forward and your avatar slings his gun and climb upwards. The designer removed all sorts of things from having to individually move your feet and arms and coordinate those actions, to having to sling your gun.

The holodeck sim has let the designer put all that stuff back in, and made the experience more immersive. So now if you pit a holodeck player against a keyboard and mouse player, but forced the keyboard and mouse player to individually move hands, feet, fingers, torso, etc, they'd be almost unable to move.

So, the keyboard and mouse is only a "better" controller if the game **compensates for the controller** and automates moving, running, climbing, etc.

But its a pretty arbitrary place to set the automation. And its set there because it creates 'reasonably easy control while allowing for reasonably challenging play', and that's a game design choice. Some games make you push a key to climb, some make you put your gun away, some games have auto-run, some games simulate fatique and have it affect your reticule size etc...

The keyboard/mouse could have even more automation, and do auto-aiming, auto-headshot, and auto-jump, auto-run (oh wait... autorun is already an option on most titles, and auto-aim is pretty common too...) that would make the game even easier to win than it already is; would that make it a 'better control scheme'? Does it make you a "better player"?

Alternatively if the keyboard mouse scheme did LESS compensation then the holodeck guy would suddenly start winning. If the keyboard mouse scheme does NO compensation, and you had to use the keyboard/mouse to articulate all your limbs then the only way you'd beat the holdeck player is if he laughed himself to death watching you try to aim your gun at him.

The point is that the 'controller' isn't just the hardware, its the software that interprets the controls, and the software part is pretty arbitrary. If a console player has dual analog sticks but the game auto-aims while the keyboard/mouse player has to cope with a reticule that floats around trailing the cursor instead of being the cursor... would keyboard/mouse still be superior?

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

AgentPaper (968688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676065)

I wonder where that line really diverges, is it bad on say 19" TV, but Sweet at 42"+ ? Dunno.

MP3's controls were just fine on our 32" CRT. I stand about 6-8' away from the TV when I play, and while I will admit that the nunchuck's accelerometer is a bit twitchy (e.g. when trying to grapple a shield off something), I never once had a problem with the aiming.

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676177)

You stand while you play Metroid? You do know that those Wii Would Like To Play commercials are just ads, not visual user guides, right? (In other words: you are allowed to sit.)

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677335)

I find that standing improves the experience for some games. Not for a strategy game, like Fire Emblem, but for the action games, it makes them more fun. It also is, I think, a heck of a lot better for you. Nobody reading slashdot has a problem with not sitting enough. Didn't we just get a story a few weeks back about how the simple act of standing burns significantly more calories than sitting?

Re:Wii Controls are already better than PC. (1)

AgentPaper (968688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677389)

Yes, I knew that. However, I have an overriding problem: Labradors.

Any time I sit on the couch, I'm guaranteed that at least one dog will join me there within 3 seconds of the time my butt hits the cushion. Let me tell you, attempting to shoot Space Pirates with 80 lb of highly energetic canine in your face adds a whole new meaning to "Hypermode." Worse yet, the nunchuck "grapple" movement, to a dog, looks like "human threw something - go fetch it!" At least if I'm standing, I can fend them off.

Sometimes their enthusiasm for gaming works to my benefit, though, as on rainy days when I'd rather not take them outside to play. Fire up a two-player game of baseball and they get almost the same amount of exercise they would in a real game of fetch.

What I really wonder (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674727)

You know, some time in 2003 or 2004, I was talking to a gamer coleague about FPS on consoles, and bitching about how much it sucks with twin sticks compared to a good keyboard and mouse. And from there it went into the all time nerd favourite, singlehandedly solving all the world's problems, like Picard. In this case, well, how would _you_ make a console controller that works well in FPS.

So what we came up with was: a trackball. No, really.

Think a standard console controller. Say, a Dual Shock, because everyone knows it. But it's the same principle for an XBox pad, Dreamcast pad, Gamecube pad, whatever, really.

Now think replacing the right stick with a small, thumb-operated trackball.

Think about it. A trackball has much the same advantages a mouse has, because it _is_ a mouse turned upside down. You can turn around 180 degrees at the flick of the thumb, and stop on exact pixel you want to. The problem of joystick vs mouse is really that moving with a joystick can be very fast or very accurate, but not both at the same time. A mouse lets you do both. So does a trackball.

So, really, why doesn't anyone do just that?

Re:What I really wonder (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674893)

I see where you're coming from, but to be useful in a FPS, that trackball would have to be insanely sensitive. Your thumb can do an incredibly complex mix of movements, but the total range that it can travel across any one axis is pretty small.

It'd probably be great for a hardcore player that's spent a lot of time with it, but I think it'd be very frustrating and difficult to start with. But still, I'm surprised too that I haven't seen a product like that before. Maybe it does exist somewhere.

Re:What I really wonder (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675739)

heh, I actually do use a trackball exclusively, and it is true that you turn your sensitivity up quite a bit more then with a mouse, however you also have a great deal more fine motor control in your thumb then in your wrist/fingers, thus making a high sensitivity no real problem.

I would LOVE to see a controller like this simply because I I would like a way to ditch my keyboard for gaming.

Re:What I really wonder (2, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674965)

Years ago, I used a trackball extensively instead of a mouse. I liked it...preferred it even. But I had to give it up because it gave me serious RSI troubles in my thumb.

Re:What I really wonder (3, Interesting)

hidannik (1085061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675355)

There are other solutions - including ones that keep the current twin-stick controller setup.

I've written a fairly extensive article on this at my blog: http://hansonvideogaming.blogspot.com/2006/10/levelling-playing-field-mice-and.html [blogspot.com]

In short, if the graph of rotational speed vs stick deflection looked like a U instead of the more common V, twin-stick players could get both the precision and speed that a mouse provides.

Anyone who's played a shooter on a laptop using the "eraser" pointer stick and with mouse acceleration on will have an idea what I'm referring to. I played through Half-Life that way and preferred it to a regular mouse.

Hans

Re:What I really wonder (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675425)

Now think replacing the right stick with a small, thumb-operated trackball.
They do sell them you know. I use this [logitech.com] . I got it when my shoulder started hurting after playing too many FPS. That isn't a thumb-operated one, but they have those too.

Re:What I really wonder (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675655)

i know it isn't exactly what you describe, but i remember something like this [cwonline.com] in Best Buys in the late 90s I think. not sure if this is the same manufacturer though.

Whoa (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675909)

Whoa. Yep, that's a variant of exactly what I had in mind. Yep, I'd buy one of those if it were supported by console FPSs.

Re:What I really wonder (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678595)

Except that that isn't a trackball, in that it doesn't actually move. It's more like a joystick in that it senses forces, and not positions.

Re:What I really wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676127)

I've been saying this exact same thing since I first playes an FPS on the ps2. Halo just made me say it louder.

Re:What I really wonder (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676679)

As a long time user of a larger trackball, I actually hate the tiny marble-style thumb trackballs that seem to be prevalent in today's models. I'd much prefer a ball that can be used with the pointer/middle finger, leaving the thumb and pinky to do the majority of the button-mashing.

Maybe that's why I'm much happier with the Wiimote than I am the Dualshock or the Xbox360 controllers. I've never gotten comfortable with the thumb-controls on the newer controllers -- I always used my pointers for the D-Pad layouts of consoles past (the Master System and the NEs MAXX controllers tied for most comfortable, with honorable mention to a softer clone of the original 2600 joystick)

Re:What I really wonder (1)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677987)

After playing Metroid on the DS using the thumb-nubbin on the touch screen for aim, I'd come to a similar conclusion. It did really shock me that a portable fps could actually have that level of fast and accurate control.

I'd say that a small-ish glidepad operated with the thumb would be the best replacement for the right stick on a gamepad. Double tap to jump of course.

Re:Wii FPS controls (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21674733)

Yeah. The number one thing to remember is "the Wii-mote is not a lightgun." It's like using a mouse - motion is relative. I don't have an exact spot on my desk that corresponds to the center of my screen, but when my cursor is too far to the left, I move the mouse to the right.

It's up to the developers to keep this in mind when creating the control scheme for the game. Some are really trying to treat it like a lightgun, and their games suck terribly because of it.

Re:Wii FPS controls (2, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674739)

I haven't played any pure FPS games on the Wii, only Metroid, but you're not really pointing at what you want to shoot. It works essentially like a mouse - just tilt the controller a little and the view & crosshair moves in the appropriate direction. You really shouldn't even know what the Wiimote is pointing at.

Wuh? (1, Insightful)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674751)

"It's often off by an inch or more on smaller tv's. " What the hell? You point the wiimote at the (size-fixed) sensor bar, not at the TV. Doesn't matter what size TV you have.

Re:Wuh? (2, Informative)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676131)

Ignore 'off by an inch' comments. These are people trying to sight down the 'barrel' of the wiimote as though it were a light gun.

Re:Wii FPS controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21675343)

I guess you need a bigger TV. Its pretty accurate for me and is never off by an inch. You're either using a 4 inch display or you're wii is broken.

Have a look at the tracking capabilities of the wiimote on even a 32 inch surface...it seems pretty accurate:

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/ [cmu.edu]

Metroid controls were great (2, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674567)

but was Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii really as good as a mouse-and-keyboard PC FPS?

Metroid Prime 3 hit a weird spot. The first two Prime games certainly featured first person shooting, but didn't play anything like an FPS game. They played like an adventure game with a different camera angle. Prime 3 moved much closer to the FPS realm. If you're an FPS fan, you'll probably like the beginning and end of the game and tolerate the middle. If you're a Metroid fan, you'll probably feel the reverse.

There's no doubt Wiimote+Nunchuck beats the keyboard part of mouse+keyboard. Precision moving and jumping is far easier with an analog stick than with a keyboard. If like me you rarely play FPS games, the Wiimote is easier to use than a mouse. But my gut feeling is over time, the mouse would be slightly easier to be precise with as it's on a flat surface rather than being held in the air.

Of course, I play for the adventure, not the shooting, so I just left lock-on turned on, which means for the most part you only had to aim at bosses. If you found a good sitting position where you could rest the Wiimote on your knee and aim from there, you might be able to beat a mouse in precision.

Re:Metroid controls were great (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675567)

There's no doubt Wiimote+Nunchuck beats the keyboard part of mouse+keyboard. Precision moving and jumping is far easier with an analog stick than with a keyboard. If like me you rarely play FPS games, the Wiimote is easier to use than a mouse. But my gut feeling is over time, the mouse would be slightly easier to be precise with as it's on a flat surface rather than being held in the air.
I strenuously reject this statement. The wiimote + nunchuk are on par for some things but a magnitude worse for responsiveness. there is a notable lag between action of the mote and action on screen. partly due to the wi fi partly due to the slowness of the motion sensors. Given a choice I'd go KB+mouse 100% of the time. Metroid 3, Zelda, Rayman et al have not shown any promise that the wiimote will be better then kb + mouse. Wiimote+chuk is better then dual sticks of course. The wiimote and chuk only beats the keyboard and mouse in catagory: more intuitive to learn. Other then that WASD+mouse has it beat in every way.

Re:Metroid controls were great (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675921)

I strenuously reject this statement. The wiimote + nunchuk are on par for some things but a magnitude worse for responsiveness. there is a notable lag between action of the mote and action on screen. partly due to the wi fi partly due to the slowness of the motion sensors. Given a choice I'd go KB+mouse 100% of the time. Metroid 3, Zelda, Rayman et al have not shown any promise that the wiimote will be better then kb + mouse. Wiimote+chuk is better then dual sticks of course. The wiimote and chuk only beats the keyboard and mouse in catagory: more intuitive to learn. Other then that WASD+mouse has it beat in every way.

Have you actually played Metroid? The aiming is done via the IR sensor, not the motion. There is no lag. Any issues I've noticed with the parts that are motion controlled have been due to my tendency to go through motions faster than Samus does the corresponding actions. If I match my timing to the animations, it works perfectly. If you're having lag issues, I'd recommend checking if you've got a large number of wifi hotspots flooding your 2.4GHz spectrum or something like that. There shouldn't be issues.

And no, WASD can never compete with an analog stick. Besides the general awkwardness of WASD, they're just digital buttons. It's just not possible to do precise movement with them. That's the reason for all the hate of jumping in FPS games.

Re:Metroid controls were great (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677397)

I don't see much wrong with digital controls, the only reason I might want an analog stick is to have more than 8 directions and with the mouse I can rotate them easily. The hate for platforming is mostly that the platform has to be below your viewpoint for you to stand on it instead of seeing it in your view and having a character that lands on it. Metroid Prime worked in part because the platforms simply had a unified distance so you just had to run and jump to make it, no depth perception necessary.

Re:Metroid controls were great (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678521)

The hate for platforming is mostly that the platform has to be below your viewpoint for you to stand on it instead of seeing it in your view and having a character that lands on it.

I've never found that to be an issue. If I can see the target before I jump, it's not hard to do. Even if you can't see that well, as long as you've got analog controls you can fine tune well enough in the air to compensate as long as you were close.

Metroid Prime worked in part because the platforms simply had a unified distance so you just had to run and jump to make it, no depth perception necessary.

But the platforms don't have a uniform distance. The beginning of Prime 1 kept the jumps simple, but they got progressively harder throughout the game. Jumping between moving platforms isn't uncommon on the GameCube games, although I don't remember offhand if that was in the Wii one. The only thing they did was made it so that you didn't have to jump onto very small platforms too often, but Prime 3 did more of that.

Re:Metroid controls were great (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677899)

And no, WASD can never compete with an analog stick. Besides the general awkwardness of WASD, they're just digital buttons. It's just not possible to do precise movement with them. That's the reason for all the hate of jumping in FPS games.

No, the hate for jumping in FPS games is that you can't see what the hell you are doing -- you can either see where you are jumping to, or where your feet are, but not both, so one way or another you always feel as though you are jumping blind.

Metroid gets around this through good level design. The analog motion control, though nice, really has nothing to do with it.

Oh but yeah, I've noticed no slow reaction times whatsoever with the wiimote and aiming in Metroid. The only thing that makes it inferior to the mouse is that you can't do instant 180s (or any other arbitrary turn). Oh, and by holding it out it's less stable than a mouse you rest your hand on, but hey, that just makes it feel more real to me.

Re:Metroid controls were great (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678217)

### Metroid gets around this through good level design.

Its not just level design, Metroid also automatically looks down a bit while you jump, which helps orientation and in addition it has very 'sticky' edges, so even if you miss a jump by a bit, you still make it to the other side safely, because you 'stick' to the edge and can make it up.

All that said, even with all this I still consider jumps in FPSs to be pretty annoying, not only are they harder, because you can see less, they are also simply less fun, because you need a body to do the real fun jumps (i.e. screw attack, Mario-like triple jump, ledge-grabs, etc.). Breakdown seems to be one of the view FPS that actually allows a lot or more advanced jumps, but even there it makes you for most part just motion-sick instead of being as much fun as third person.

Wii mote in first person shooters (5, Interesting)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674615)

There's no way the Wii mote compares to a mouse and keyboard for shooters.

The only reason it's usable at all in Metroid Prime 3 is because the Z button auto-locks your view onto the target.

If it wasn't for that feature, the controls would be hopeless.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (2, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674723)

There's no way the Wii mote compares to a mouse and keyboard for shooters.

The only reason it's usable at all in Metroid Prime 3 is because the Z button auto-locks your view onto the target.

If it wasn't for that feature, the controls would be hopeless.

On the default "n00b setting", yes it does this. On "Advanced" the Z button locks the camera on a specific target, but gives you free range shooting ability anywhere. This is the way it should be played.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (3, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674921)

On the default "n00b setting", yes it does this. On "Advanced" the Z button locks the camera on a specific target, but gives you free range shooting ability anywhere. This is the way it should be played.

Advanced sensitivity + Z lock for me. It's an adventure game, not a shooter. Why make disposing of the wildlife time consuming when the terrain is your real enemy?

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678051)

Advanced sensitivity + Z lock for me. It's an adventure game, not a shooter. Why make disposing of the wildlife time consuming when the terrain is your real enemy?

Cus it's more fun. To me, anyway. Fortunately the game is designed really well and will still be just as fun for those who don't want to have to aim at the wildlife.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674863)

You're way off base here. The way I play Metroid 3 is on the most sensitive setting with no lock-on targetting... The only time I ever use the lock-on button at all is because when you hold that button down, it locks your movement into strafe, which makes it simple to walk across straight and narrow areas like tiny bridges or whatever... or if I want to jump a lot but still want to be facing forwards. Even then, when lock-on mode is turned on in this way, you can still move the targetting reticle around to aim at different areas of the screen, all it does is it freezes the screen in the direction it was in when you pressed the button... you still have to aim at what you want to shoot at.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (2, Insightful)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675185)

While I've been know to aggressively lash out at close friends for even positing the idea that a controller comes anywhere close to the accuracy and functionality of a mouse and keyboard, I have to disagree with you here. First off, who the hell plays that game with Z-lock on? It's like playing OoT with Z-Lock on; sure if you've never played a video game before it can be helpful, but it's more satisfying to actually become skilled at something like that; which brings me to my main point; when you become very familiar with the Wiimote-controls for Metroid Prime, the potential is greater than a mouse. I play Half-life through once a month on hard using only the pistol until I get to the giant testicle boss, I play CS, I play Unreal... I'm not some jackass who doesn't love his mouse, but to completely dismiss the Wiimote's potential like that just seems to me to be a little flippant.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675669)

First off, who the hell plays that game with Z-lock on?

People playing the game for the adventure, not the shooting. You know, the stuff Metroid games are known for.

It's like playing OoT with Z-Lock on; sure if you've never played a video game before it can be helpful, but it's more satisfying to actually become skilled at something like that

I'm assuming you mean Ocarina of Time here... why would you not use Z-Lock? It's just a different set of controls that work a lot better in certain situations. Not using it is just rather arbitrarily limiting your options to add challenge - not really any different than playing the game and refusing the collect optional items.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (2, Interesting)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676219)

I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree; I find that the shooting in Metroid, once you get used to it, becomes second nature, and it's a lot more satisfying for me to add that extra level of interactivity in the game. I certainly don't feel it takes away from the adventure aspect, just adds another layer to it with a little patience. As far as OoT is concerned, to me and every other Zelda fan I know, the Z-lock inhibits advanced gameplay by creating an extra mechanical action while targeting; with it on you have to hit the button three times to change targets. It's good for beginners because it helps them stay on a target until it's defeated, however when you need to quickly switch between targets or position the camera during combat, it is extremely prohibitive. On a different note, another reason I think the Metroid controls trump at least other FPSs on consoles is the simple fact that you can aim while doing other actions. I was so damn pissed when I realized while playing HL2 on the 360 that I had to move my finger off the stick just to jump or duck, and then it occurred to me that you can't jump, duck and aim all at once in any FPS on a console, and they're simply designed from the ground up to work around this. I think that sucks balls, but Metroid Prime: Corruption changed that and I hope other developers learn from it. Sorry if I sounded like a jerk before, the GP just got me (a Nintendo fanboi) a little fired up by bashing Metroid.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676837)

I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree; I find that the shooting in Metroid, once you get used to it, becomes second nature, and it's a lot more satisfying for me to add that extra level of interactivity in the game. I certainly don't feel it takes away from the adventure aspect, just adds another layer to it with a little patience.

I played about 1/3 of Corruption with Z-Lock off, then turned it on for the rest. I could handle it fine, but it just felt like work. I've never been a fan of precision aiming - I played just about every major FPS up to Quake 1, then basically completely stopped after that, as I just don't find aiming in 3D fun.

As far as OoT is concerned, to me and every other Zelda fan I know, the Z-lock inhibits advanced gameplay by creating an extra mechanical action while targeting; with it on you have to hit the button three times to change targets. It's good for beginners because it helps them stay on a target until it's defeated, however when you need to quickly switch between targets or position the camera during combat, it is extremely prohibitive.

Oh, I'll definitely agree with you that the z lock is a pain in a crowded room, but a sword fight against an enemy with a shield is just a huge pain in the ass without using z lock. Switching between the sword and arrows mid fight without z lock is going to be a pain.

On a different note, another reason I think the Metroid controls trump at least other FPSs on consoles is the simple fact that you can aim while doing other actions.

You're right on that. That's why I was glad they've had targetting in the 3 Prime games, and cringed any time there was a rumor of Prime 2 having dual analog controls... you need access to way too many buttons in the Prime games for dual analog to work.

then it occurred to me that you can't jump, duck and aim all at once in any FPS on a console, and they're simply designed from the ground up to work around this.

You've planted a very strange image in my head now. Maybe that's typical in modern FPS games, but to someone who doesn't play them, damn that sounds weird.

Sorry if I sounded like a jerk before, the GP just got me (a Nintendo fanboi) a little fired up by bashing Metroid.

I know how you feel. As a huge Metroid fan who doesn't like FPS games, I'm rather tired of the FPS fanboys bashing on the Metroid Prime games because they're not Halo...

Re:Why is there no -1 Wrong Moderation.... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677407)

There's no way the Wii mote compares to a mouse and keyboard for shooters.

The only reason it's usable at all in Metroid Prime 3 is because the Z button auto-locks your view onto the target.

If it wasn't for that feature, the controls would be hopeless.

Yes, It has that option if the thought of Shooters is too intimidating to you. This is on par with some of the "Auto-aiming" tricks used in other console and PC games to simplify it for a novice.

There IS a control option called "Advanced" that doesn't auto lock the reticle on enemies, but locks your camera, so you can "Free Aim, and Shoot your enemies with precision at a distance". It is very precise and works well. I suspect that those who are praising the control scheme played it this way.

Re:Wii mote in first person shooters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678549)

WTF...

Okay, total n00b here. I don't use the Z-lock function; it's annoying, too easy for you to lose the target but stay in locked camera mode. It's much easier to just aim on the fly.

Why does the gaming press hate the mouse? (0, Troll)

Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674853)

It seems every time a console FPS does a good job on the controls the gaming press immediately suggests how we are one more step closer to replacing the mouse. Why? The mouse is already the perfect FPS controller, can these people not figure out how to use it?

Re:Why does the gaming press hate the mouse? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675015)

The mouse part is fine, only reasonable if you're playing at a desk. And the keyboard part sucks.

Re:Why does the gaming press hate the mouse? (1)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677089)

What is wrong with the keyboard? You have quick access to about 26 keys with one hand alone, and they are in a position you are used to. You have meta keys for alternate functions (shift, alt, etc) which expand the number of unique functions to more than 60. Any controller that complex that isn't modeled after a keyboard will be a tremendous failure.

Re:Why does the gaming press hate the mouse? (2, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677509)

Two issues:

1) A keyboard is strictly digital buttons. It's no where near as precise as an analog stick for movement.

2) Ease of access. You have plenty of keys, but a giant grid of keys isn't nearly as easy to use as something you wrap your hand around that has buttons placed so that they can be easily reached without confusion. Keyboard keys require more force and press down further than controller buttons, making them not as fast to hit. When you're trying to use 26 keys with one hand, it's easy for your hand to get lost on the keyboard, requiring you to either look down or take the time to reorient yourself.

The only advantage a keyboard provides is that it has a lot of buttons, which just isn't necessary for the vast majority of games.

I'm a believer... (2, Insightful)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21674943)

I've played several FPS games using the dual-analog scheme consoles have relied on to this point, and it always destroyed the immersive effect that is the FPS game's chief advantage. No matter how good you get with the sticks, the resultant motions on-screen are always jerky and mechanical. Robotic. It's a grating difference from the much more organic WASD + mouse scheme.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the closest to that organic movement I've experienced. It's still not perfect; the aim is a smidge twitchy, and it would be nice to be able to spin a bit more quickly. Those faults aside, it's deeply intuitive. No, it's not light-gun aiming, but neither is any other successful FPS scheme (rail shooters are the only games I've seen with light-gun aiming), so I don't know why anyone who's an FPS fan would complain about that. As I said, the slight jumpiness of the aiming means sniping isn't really do-able, but relative aiming is what anyone who has used a mouse control system is used to. Just hold the Wiimote at your side, where you're not tempted to look down the barrel, and let your wrist do the work...you'll adapt to it in an instant.

And yes, using the motion control for the grapple and combination locks and the like is *very* satisfying. Really, I highly recommend any FPS gamers out there to give this game a look. I think you'll like what you see.

Re:I'm a believer... (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675181)

Actualy, early Wii FPS games aimed very much like your average rail shooter. Basically, to turn you had to bring your redicle to the edge of the screen's bound box. Metriod still has to do that, they just made that box really, really small.

Re:I'm a believer... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675523)

I've played several FPS games using the dual-analog scheme consoles have relied on to this point, and it always destroyed the immersive effect that is the FPS game's chief advantage. No matter how good you get with the sticks, the resultant motions on-screen are always jerky and mechanical. Robotic. It's a grating difference from the much more organic WASD + mouse scheme.
The Keyboard and Mouse is better then the dual analog control sticks. However dual analog is not jerky and mechanical. It is too slow for sure. I think you just haven't practiced enough for it to become natural. It took me a month just to catch on to Mouse + Keyboard. You should give yourself that much time at least for dual analog. I did and now it's completely natural.

Re:I'm a believer... (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677655)

### the resultant motions on-screen are always jerky and mechanical. Robotic

Kind of like real soldiers, so I don't consider that a loss. Almost all FPS are utterly ridiculous in modeling a human being. They model a cylinder with a bit of wobble and a gun, thats it. No legs or stuff that actually matters a lot in actual movement. What WASD+mouse has going for it is that it doesn't have restrictions, you can turn as fast as you want, you are not limited by the game, only by your mouse skills. Which might be interesting for eSports, but for immersion I find it quite awful, since well, reality simply doesn't work that way and even SuperMario doesn't allow you to turn around on the stop, yet most FPS do.

Re:I'm a believer... (2, Interesting)

Rowan_u (859287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677669)

Sorry to be a naysayer, but you're completely wrong here. I've played and loved console and PC FPS games from Quake and Goldeneye to Crysis and Halo 3. The game that finally swapped me was Bioshock. Played it first on the 360, then over to the PC. It's not the console games that are twitchy, it's that damn WASD walking on the pc. In Bioshock on the pc, you are ether standing still or running. You'll literally miss half the game if you play it on the PC, with so many environments that must be strolled through to be enjoyed. Same thing with the aiming, sure you're going to be less accurate on a stick. Much less accurate actually. However, try and do a smooth pan using a mouse . . . impossible. Herky Jerky award goes to the pc again. Both reasons why I went out and bought a 360 wireless adapter for my PC to enjoy the superior graphics of a pc (projected up onto a ten foot wide 720p screen) combined with the superior controls . . . of a console.

Written much more about this below on my blog.
http://www.jakepcw.com/muyuubyou/?p=578 [jakepcw.com]

conversation wheel? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675049)

Forgive me for asking, but what's this great new dialog system in Mass Effect all about? We've been simulating dialog with NPCs for something like 25 years now, what's so new and special about Mass Effect? I haven't played a demo or anything so I really don't know. It's just hard for me to imagine that they could improve upon the system in, say, Monkey Island.

Re:conversation wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21675219)

Re:conversation wheel? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675487)

Hmm, that's unfortunate. What's so great about having less precision? And they present it like somehow reading dialog is a bad thing. IMO, the more dialog the better. And since I can read faster than I can listen, I'd rather have it all printed anyway. I was all excited about Bioware repopularizing adventure games with KOTOR, but Mass Effect looks like it's heading in the wrong direction.

Re:conversation wheel? (0, Offtopic)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676005)

The PC RPG The Witcher (freaking great, go buy it now!) does basically the same thing. They shorten the (sometimes very long) dialog options so they fit better (no scrolling). You can have captions if you want, and a left-click skips whatever line is currently being spoken, so you can do the reading thing too.

Also, I'm almost certain I've played other games that just give you the gist of what will be spoken for a given dialog option. This is hardly an innovation.

Re:conversation wheel? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676025)

It's not so much less precision, as it is easier to figure out which option you want. When dealing with an NPC, you essentially have the following options displayed:
"Let's talk this over."
"Can we do something else?"
"Shoot to kill."

Very straight forward. One's the nice option, once the intermediate option and the last is the knee-deep-in-the-dead option. Considering that dialog is often quite long, this is a far better option than displaying the entire text - not to mention that the latter option requires you to read the same text twice.

Finally, there is an option for subtext, with the ability to cut any dialog piece short. It's a very slick dialog system, though I don't know why people call it revolutionary. It's dialog selection based on short-hand, rather than the full response. Not to mention that your choice rarely influences the direction of the conversation.

Re:conversation wheel? (2, Interesting)

Jonathan_S (25407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676505)

Hmm, that's unfortunate. What's so great about having less precision? And they present it like somehow reading dialog is a bad thing. IMO, the more dialog the better. And since I can read faster than I can listen, I'd rather have it all printed anyway
I'm not sure you really have less precision. How many dialog trees offer more than 6 options anyway?

And I can see your point about reading faster than listening, that's the case for me as well. On the other hand, for selecting my side of the dialog it does break the flow to read 4 to 6 full sentence (or multi-sentence) choices that are totally different from one another. I can see where it could flow faster to just pick in essence from: I agree, I disagree, I'm skeptical, etc. Once you do that you still get the your full sentence expressed, you simple don't see the full text of all the unchosen options.
The more interesting bits of the dialog are the NPC responses, since they include new information, and those are still fully intact (although spoken, which does slow down delivery).

And from the little I've seen watching my friends play Mass Effect, there is still plenty of pure written material outside the dialog mechanism.

Re:conversation wheel? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678153)

I can see where it could flow faster to just pick in essence from: I agree, I disagree, I'm skeptical, etc. Once you do that you still get the your full sentence expressed, you simple don't see the full text of all the unchosen options.

The only problem with this system is when the actual response ends up saying more than you intended, which you would have known if it was fully spelled out. E.g. 'agree' turns into "I agree with Character X, and further more think Character Y is a blithering idiot for disagreeing. I hope you die in a fire, Character Y". Or 'I'm skeptical' becomes "I'm not sure I buy that, Character X, but I might be able to be -- you know -- persuaded... if you catch my drift... And my drift is sodomy."

But then again maybe I'm just playing the wrong games.

Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravity (4, Insightful)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675241)

Super Mario Galaxy might be one of the few games I play again from start to finish. :-D

Video games have played with gravity in the past, but applying the concept of planetary gravity (with slightly non-realistic physics, but when you're orbiting around an ice cream cone, does it really matter?) to a 3-D platformer was the best idea I've ever played.

At some point I'm going to find the smallest, most isolated planet I can find and try to see how many times I can orbit it with a long jump.

That they did this without making me nauseous also deserves some sort of award. I seriously wonder how they did it.

Re:Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravi (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675337)

yeah uh, in case you didn't know, mario galaxy is just an expanded version of a couple of levels from sonic adventure 2
the only good levels in the game really, but it's been done correctly before

Re:Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravi (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675931)

>>That they did this without making me nauseous also deserves some sort of award. I seriously wonder how they did it.

Really? I've never gotten nauseous from any (non-VR) game before, not even from some of the weird infinite loops I'd fall into in Portal, but I actually feel sick to my stomach after playing Super Mario Galaxy.

Re:Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravi (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676055)

"That they did this without making me nauseous also deserves some sort of award. I seriously wonder how they did it."

They removed some of the flexibility with the camera that Mario 64 enjoyed. With the camera more or less fixed, you didn't have to do a lot of mental compensation to figure out which direction to go.

(At least that's my humble observation...)

Re:Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravi (2, Informative)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676345)

i had the same idea, but only found 1 decent place for it: go to the 'Deep Dark Galaxy' in the garden. in the middle of the starting beach there is a cannon that shoots you to a planet with a firepower flower. instead of shooting there, aim at the green planet on the right. there is a screw that you unspin, and the planet will begin to shrink. if you do a few long jumps, eventually the planet will shrink enough that it sends you into orbit! that is until the planet disappears, and there is no more gravity - then you get sucked over to the brown planet that you were supposed to go to in the first place.

Re:Super Mario Galaxy - Individual planetary gravi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676867)

The best long jumping that I could find was on the shrinking platforms that form a sphere around a black hole while using Luigi. Get rid of all the platforms and then long jump off the last one.

Solar Jetman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21677971)

Okay, so it's not Mario and not as good, but Solar Jetman did that with gravity a long time ago.

Granted, it mostly got higher at higher levels, but they DID have individual planetary gravity. Was a hard game, but fun.

EVE (1, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675307)

Honestly, how in the hell can a graphics upgrade be innovative? I can think of at least a couple more innovative things in EVE, and I think the game is a total bore.

I'm sure other companies have thought of upgrading their MMO's graphics engine. I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I'm sure other MMO's have at least improved some part of their graphics. I think this top 10 list will find it's way in to my top 10 list of "Most Poorly Thought-out Top 10 Lists of 2007."

Re:EVE (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675887)

Actually Everquest has upgraded their graphics engine a few times now. They've revamped all the Player models at least once. And they've even gone back and revamped several old zones to USE the new features of the new engine(s).

And it goes without saying that the new zones use the new features.

Here's a shot from 2001..
http://www.rpgamer.com/games/everquest/eq/screens/eq_35.jpg [rpgamer.com]

And one today...
http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/eq/screens/eq57.jpg [rpgamer.com]

Blurry green texture vs tufts of grass, flat ground with vertex joins clearly defined vs smooth rolling terrain. Trees with branches on two planes vs much more complicated geometry for trees. Much more shading/shadow in the 2nd version... etc, etc...

You'll also note that the resolution of the two pictures is quite different. Everquest orginally only ran in 800x600...

Re:EVE (1)

SlayerDave (555409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676931)

Honestly, how in the hell can a graphics upgrade be innovative?

Because, in addition to updating the rendering engine, they also re-modeled and re-textured nearly every object in the game, including every spaceship, starbase (exterior & interior), and stargate. That's almost everything in the game that a player would care about. I don't know of any other MMO that has attempted anything that ambitious.

Re:EVE (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21678301)

It's a space game...it isn't that hard. There aren't that many ship/starbase models. There are like 5 interiors to starbases that they use over and over again. There are like four types of stargates. It is fine if you like the changes. But to call it innovative...even ambitious, is laughable.

what about making the Wacom Cintiq work? (1)

BlueshiftVFX (1158033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21675749)

I have been dreaming of getting perfect head shots while using a tablet for years, but the games don't understand the input of a tablet and you typically end up lookng at the sky spinning in circles or looking at your feet doing the same. Then Wacom came out with the Cintiq http://www.wacom.com/pendisplays/index.cfm [wacom.com] but to my knowledge they don't work either. This would be similar to Metroid Prime Hunters for the DS but you could be doing it with your other hand on the keyboard.

(Enter asinine subject you think is witty here.) (0, Troll)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21676189)

> down the line I could see the Wii (or a console with Wii like controls) becoming the platform
> of choice for hardcore FPSers, even over the PC.

What part of "turn off head bobbing, set up a Thresh layout with one finger/thumb for each of the four directions, and grab the mouse with the other hand" doesn't he understand?

"Force feedback" on joysticks is a nice "wow factor", for that matter, but to even remotely compete with a "mouser", you have to turn it off.

Oh, sure, there's some mild competition from no-mouse keyboarders who have the turn rate and tilt set to astronomical, but that's a tough mistress to master just to come close.

Nah, "hardcore" = PvP = as few gimmicks as possible or you're on the ashheap. Waving a wand around just so you can point and shoot, well, hell, I'd bet a properly configured Dance Dance Revolution pad could outdo it.

Seriously.

Re:(Enter asinine subject you think is witty here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21676535)

...or the Star Wars Playset plugin (yes, such a thing exists) for that matter.

Re:(Enter asinine subject you think is witty here. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677463)

Look up the definition of "seriously." It may help you stop from contradicting yourself again in the future.

#5 - EvE Online? (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677285)

What's this about Eve Online doing an engine upgrade being an innovation? Dark Ages of Camelot & Ultima Online have done it already. As for giving hope that a game can go on for decades, Everquest has been going for 8 years and just released an expansion last month.

Innovation (2, Insightful)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677521)

People always prattle on about innovation, but in my world everything takes a back seat to fun. I don't care how "ground breaking" a game is, the big question is whether or not it's fun. So, if you want to talk about changing gaming and doing something new and different go for it, but just remember, it's still a game.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21678561)

Innovation is a pretty big part of fun, unless you think "fun" means playing the same exact game over and over and over.

Unimpressed (1)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677597)

I'm not sure if it was a bad list or a bad year, but I wasn't really impressed with the innovations. Puzzle Quest and Portal (#1 and #2) were great, yes, but #10-#3, not so much. Graphical updates in MMOs have been done before. Line Rider isn't exactly far from Kriby's Canvas Curse for DS. I was excited about the conversation trees when they were demoed in Mass Effect, showed them to a friend, and was told "oh yeah, Bioware usually does that kind of stuff with conversations" (I haven't played most Bioware games, but he's a fan so I assume he's right).

Actually, I'm leaning towards bad list, because Super Mario Galaxy feels like it should be mentioned. The individual gravity has been done slightly before, but usually just with a single spherical world, not several you can jump between. The star bits I thought were brilliant--most people complain about collecting that you have to run all the way across the world and it's just a time-waster, whereas you could collect these without wasting any time at all (if you wanted). You also keep them even if you die, as long as you beat the level, which means that if a level is killing you over and over, then you get a massive payout for finally beating it. This in turn increases the "I'm going to finish this level before I stop" compulsion even more.

Re:Unimpressed (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21677919)

### Bioware usually does that kind of stuff with conversations

I haven't played Mass Effect, but I did play KOTOR and Jade Empire and the dialog system in Mass Effect looks quite a bit different. For one thing KOTOR and Jade Empire are awfully black&white, you can do good thing and bad things, but basically never anything in the gray area, which makes all the dialogs feel very forced and unrealistic. Also your hero never talks in either game, other then indirectly through your dialog choices, which isn't exactly a good thing for cinematic feel. From what I have heard Mass Effect has far more gray-area choices and your choices are topic/thought based, instead of being exactly what comes out of your heroes mouth, also your hero talks in the game, making the dialog feel much more alive.

All that said, its still nothing really new. It might be new for Bioware game, but realtime dialog was already done in Fahrenheit/IndigoProphecy some years ago (in general one of the innovativest games I have played in a long while), Dreamfall also had something similar, but without the realtime component. And looking back at older adventures one will also find quite a few that aren't based on strict dialog trees.

### but usually just with a single spherical world, not several you can jump between.

Psychonauts had tons of individual gravity and some MegaMan games had inverse gravity in some areas. But I haven't played SMG, so I can't really comment on it.

Overall innovation these days seems to be more a thing of "hasn't been done that often", "hasn't been done in a while", instead of a "has never been done before". But then with 30+ years of gaming, that is to be expected. Still a little sad that most games just copy last years block buster instead of copying a bit more creatively from other games in video game history.
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