I feel lied to...

#1 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Listening to Patrick talk about how "engaging" the combat is in Skyward Sword, I decided to go out and pick up the game. I knew this would be the only way I could get into a Zelda game: combat that is interesting and unique and engaging.

On paper, the system seems really, really cool. And at first, it totally is.

But, once you get comfortable with the idea of 1:1 sword controls, it feels kind of false. The issue behind this is the way the game does the same thing every other motion controlled game: it doesn't just see your motions as 1:1 and then figure out how those motions should interact with objects or enemies or what have you, instead it waits for a particular input, and sees it as an input. So when you swing hard enough, you are essentially hitting a button, with the modifier of the direction of the swing.

But, even that isn't one to one. Because of things like the lag of the Wii remote and a poor sensativity to particular kinds of motion, and because of the fact that where the sword is on screen when the "swing" is detected has more to do with the direction of the swing than the direction of your swing makes the combat feel really clumsy. I will raise my hand to one side, then bring it down in a strike, but end up making a completely different strike because of the way the game handles actual attacks.

On top of that, I feel like there are a lot of enemies that INSTANTLY switch to the side you attack at exactly the right moment to block you. A particularly frustrating issue when any blocked swings damage and can potentially kill you.

When Patrick talked about 1:1 motion controls and how you feel like you are really swinging that sword, I feel like maybe my expectations were off, but I also feel like there was some pretty extreme exaggeration going on. It doesn't feel intuitive. It feels really awkward and ham stringed most of the time.

Anyone else feel like the game does a really poor job of seeing your swings properly because of the way it decides the in game swing vs the real swing you actually performed?

#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5834 posts) -

I liked it.

#3 Posted by Snail (8606 posts) -

I don't really relate to those issues much, but yeah, judging by the little experience I've had with the game so far, the controls don't always feel nearly as precise as Patrick made it out to be. Maybe it's something that takes a while getting used to.

In any case I recommend you check out the The Legend of Zelda attraction in Nintendo Land. If that doesn't restore your faith in 1:1 sword-fighting in video-games, then you probably just suck.

#4 Posted by Vitor (2822 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: The wiimotion + CANNOT differentiate between between a side slice and you just rapidly re-positioning for an attack on the other side.

Those enemies with electrified weapons seem to be purely there to show you how broken the motion controls can be. That frustrated me to no end. Every enemy that rapidly moves its weak point just broke the combat, and the worst thing is, those enemies become more and more common the deeper you go into the game.

#5 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Vitor said:

@MordeaniisChaos: The wiimotion + CANNOT differentiate between between a side slice and you just rapidly re-positioning for an attack on the other side.

Those enemies with electrified weapons seem to be purely there to show you how broken the motion controls can be. That frustrated me to no end. Every enemy that rapidly moves its weak point just broke the combat, and the worst thing is, those enemies become more and more common the deeper you go into the game.

But this shouldn't be true at all. If it knows that I am not extending the wiimote towards the screen/target, which it should, as that's what the + does, then the game should be smart enough to see that I am not triking, I am moving.

As it is, I feel like I have to slowly move my arm around like a clock or just wait with my hand out in the air to get anything to happen.

@Snail said:

I don't really relate to those issues much, but yeah, judging by the little experience I've had with the game so far, the controls don't always feel nearly as precise as Patrick made it out to be. Maybe it's something that takes a while getting used to.

In any case I recommend you check out the The Legend of Zelda attraction in Nintendo Land. If that doesn't restore your faith in 1:1 sword-fighting in video-games, then you probably just suck.

I have completely faith in actual 1:1 sword combat in games. This just isn't 1:1. It isn't even dynamic in the way that it could be. The only reason it isn't waggle is because the way you waggle happens to influence the direction of the action. It's still "acceleration of X triggers action".

In a real sword fight, you don't have to slowly move your sword around like a windmill and then strike from the outside. If you need to get your weapon somewhere, you take the most direct path of least resistance.

I think part of the issue is that it keeps losing it's calibration, sometimes to a pretty extreme level.

#6 Edited by Snail (8606 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Snail said:

I don't really relate to those issues much, but yeah, judging by the little experience I've had with the game so far, the controls don't always feel nearly as precise as Patrick made it out to be. Maybe it's something that takes a while getting used to.

In any case I recommend you check out the The Legend of Zelda attraction in Nintendo Land. If that doesn't restore your faith in 1:1 sword-fighting in video-games, then you probably just suck.

I have completely faith in actual 1:1 sword combat in games. This just isn't 1:1. It isn't even dynamic in the way that it could be. The only reason it isn't waggle is because the way you waggle happens to influence the direction of the action. It's still "acceleration of X triggers action".

In a real sword fight, you don't have to slowly move your sword around like a windmill and then strike from the outside. If you need to get your weapon somewhere, you take the most direct path of least resistance.

I think part of the issue is that it keeps losing it's calibration, sometimes to a pretty extreme level.

The controls in that game are fun, they are meant to be fun. Sometimes they're a bit janky, but that seems to be fixed in Nintendo Land's Zelda minigames, so maybe it was a hardware limitation with the Wii.

I can imagine that kind of accurate sword-fighting being in a Wii U game, and being fun and challenging and immersive, but at this point it seems that you're more likely to one day find what you're describing in a franchise that's not Zelda. Or maybe not, maybe the next Zelda game will have sword combat mechanics where the momentum of the sword is crucial as well.

#7 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

The best part of Skyward Sword isn't the combat- it's the dungeons and exploration. Even without trophies/achievements, I found myself doing EVERYTHING in that game because the proverbial carrot on the stick is super short, and you are constantly getting new things for just a hint of sidetracking, leading to huge tangents from the main game. The next thing to get is always just a couple of minutes away, and as soon as you do that, you're pretty much on your way to something else. I ended up finishing the game with only one heart missing, and having pretty much everything upgraded. It's structured and paced extremely well.
 
But yeah, I get what you're saying about enemies blocking at precisely the right time. The dudes with electric guards really, really pissed me off.

#8 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

You are correct. There are 3 main issues with the sword swinging:

  1. The sword swings can only occur in the 8 basic directions (plus stab), which makes it more of a "rock paper scissors" than actual sword slinging or 1:1 as you put it (I think Dead Island did 1:1 correctly).
  2. In order to shift to the opposite position without attacking, you have to swing the wiimote in a semicircle, which is far too slow.
  3. The game can only recognize the first sword swing correctly. Every subsequent swing will be recognized incorrectly by the wiimote. This is why the enemies always enter a "stunned" phase after one good hit: to allow you to hit them with tacticless spamming since the game cannot allow for multiple correct sword swings.

Also, don't feed the troll.

#9 Posted by Ducksworth (662 posts) -

With the enemies instantly changing their stance as soon as you do, I'm sure they way to tackle them (just like every other enemy in the game) is to wait till they launch an attack, respond with a shield bash to paralyze them and then waggle away till they're dead. Although it's far from the dream sword fight, I found a lot of the motion implementations to work well. Ability to sprint felt much more substantial than motion stuff to me though.

#10 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

Won't say it worked perfectly for me but it worked fine enough. I could have done without the controls however.

#11 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Vitor said:

@MordeaniisChaos: The wiimotion + CANNOT differentiate between between a side slice and you just rapidly re-positioning for an attack on the other side.

Those enemies with electrified weapons seem to be purely there to show you how broken the motion controls can be. That frustrated me to no end. Every enemy that rapidly moves its weak point just broke the combat, and the worst thing is, those enemies become more and more common the deeper you go into the game.

But this shouldn't be true at all. If it knows that I am not extending the wiimote towards the screen/target, which it should, as that's what the + does, then the game should be smart enough to see that I am not triking, I am moving.

As it is, I feel like I have to slowly move my arm around like a clock or just wait with my hand out in the air to get anything to happen.

@Snail said:

I don't really relate to those issues much, but yeah, judging by the little experience I've had with the game so far, the controls don't always feel nearly as precise as Patrick made it out to be. Maybe it's something that takes a while getting used to.

In any case I recommend you check out the The Legend of Zelda attraction in Nintendo Land. If that doesn't restore your faith in 1:1 sword-fighting in video-games, then you probably just suck.

I have completely faith in actual 1:1 sword combat in games. This just isn't 1:1. It isn't even dynamic in the way that it could be. The only reason it isn't waggle is because the way you waggle happens to influence the direction of the action. It's still "acceleration of X triggers action".

In a real sword fight, you don't have to slowly move your sword around like a windmill and then strike from the outside. If you need to get your weapon somewhere, you take the most direct path of least resistance.

I think part of the issue is that it keeps losing it's calibration, sometimes to a pretty extreme level.

Yeah, I mean, the thing is, Wii sports resort had EVERYTHING in it to make the Zelda game people want. The canoeing in WSR would be AMAZING in a zelda game. The sword game was close enough to 1:1 to feel adequate, and more time should only make it better. The Archery component was fun and would be great in Zelda.

THe problem with Skyward Sword, I imagine, is the problem with Nintendo as a whole right now. THey are developing for the least common denominator in all respects and I think the real story of the wii that nobody is talking about is the silent death of "virtual reality". When the wii was annoucned, I thought we were oen step closer to what everyon ein the 90's just ASSUMED was the future of videogames. Then when the Wii came out I was shocked to read that the overwhelming majority of gamers are too fat, slow, lazy and pathetic to EVER enjoy 1:1 anything. They made it very clear that their expectation was to

1) sit on the couch at all times.

2)Exert the minimum amount of effort to do anything at any point in time

3) be immediately sucessful at anything they do in the game world, even when that doesn't maeke sense or is boring.

4)receive generous amounts of praise and "achievement" for accomplishing the above.

It's impossible for Nintendo to make the Zelda game you or I want under those conditions.

#12 Posted by oraknabo (1471 posts) -

I liked both the motion plus usage and the game as a whole but the thing that really bothered me as I played it was the idea that this was the future of the Zelda franchise and that Nintendo might never make a Zelda game a gain that didn't require motion controls.

#13 Posted by project343 (2828 posts) -

90% of Skyward Sword's challenge is trying to get the swings to mimic what you want. Also... artificial padding out the ying-yang. I wish modern Zelda games could be great again.

#14 Edited by DeF (4903 posts) -

You have to remember that you're not playing a sword fighting simulator here. The game resets the animation to a neutral position after a brief moment once you strike. You can strike any way you'd need to quickly if you are mindful of what you're actually doing and aren't just swinging around like a crazy person. The enemies and puzzles are designed for the various slashes (vertical, diagonal, horizontal, stabs) allowing for opposite starting points. Starting a horizontal slash at the top right will let you move back the exact same way immediately for another vertical slash from the bottom left or transition into a horizontal swing before Link resumes the neutral position.

While it is true that sometimes the motion you *think* you're making doesn't translate into Link's movements as you may have expected, I fail to see what exactly you aren't getting from the game. Twisting the Wiimote during a swing and immediately doing another one seems to confuse it a bit so you have to be a little careful about what you're actually doing and all enemies allow you to do that. There is not a single instance in the game that is impossible to get through because of faulty controls. The game sets boundaries according to its design and if you acknowledge those boundaries play accordingly, you get some pretty sweet sword combat.

Saying you feel lied to is certainly nonsense. A lie constitutes information given to you by someone who knew that the information they provided to be false. While there may be a technical difference between 100% 1:1 controls and what Skyward Sword is offering, the term generally holds true since the game accurately translates your Wiimote movements into sword movements. A horizontal 2-o-clock-swipe followed by a vertical 5-past-12-o-clock-swipe with your Wiimote will be accurately represented in the game with your sword. I don't know what else you want in a game that is not a real-world-simulatior.

#15 Edited by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

I got through the first 18 hours of that game's combat by literally waggling the fuck out of that wiimote. Bosses included.

#16 Posted by TobbRobb (4664 posts) -

I think that game is pretty terrible for several reasons. The combat is just one of them. But yes I agree with you, it does not feel intuitive and realistic and it feels like some enemies are just fucking with you by blocking hits they have no right to be fast enough for.

#17 Edited by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I think the controls kind of work, but without the eye thing like playstation has the performance was never going to be there. To me, Skyward Sword so far has been cool (not regretting getting it for the wii U). But it seems like better motion control + graphics (that art style barely comes through, especially compared to how kind wii U is to mario galaxy) would make it amazing. With the current direction, it ends up being more of a dead end why was the wii not like this at launch thing.

Hopefully Nintendo does a controller (or even better, Wii Mote +++) based HD version at some point anyway.....

#18 Posted by PolygonSlayer (428 posts) -

I found the controls to be alright and some of the new dungeons and items were good. The flying around I really wished was done on another more powerful console. The need to load when landing on certain island and between the areas was dissapointing.

However I hold the unpopular opinion that Twilight Princess is the best 3D Zelda. That game was just magical to me.

All of them though have to bow down to the king (queen?) of zelda games; A Link to the Past!

#19 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Snail said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Snail said:

I don't really relate to those issues much, but yeah, judging by the little experience I've had with the game so far, the controls don't always feel nearly as precise as Patrick made it out to be. Maybe it's something that takes a while getting used to.

In any case I recommend you check out the The Legend of Zelda attraction in Nintendo Land. If that doesn't restore your faith in 1:1 sword-fighting in video-games, then you probably just suck.

I have completely faith in actual 1:1 sword combat in games. This just isn't 1:1. It isn't even dynamic in the way that it could be. The only reason it isn't waggle is because the way you waggle happens to influence the direction of the action. It's still "acceleration of X triggers action".

In a real sword fight, you don't have to slowly move your sword around like a windmill and then strike from the outside. If you need to get your weapon somewhere, you take the most direct path of least resistance.

I think part of the issue is that it keeps losing it's calibration, sometimes to a pretty extreme level.

The controls in that game are fun, they are meant to be fun. Sometimes they're a bit janky, but that seems to be fixed in Nintendo Land's Zelda minigames, so maybe it was a hardware limitation with the Wii.

I can imagine that kind of accurate sword-fighting being in a Wii U game, and being fun and challenging and immersive, but at this point it seems that you're more likely to one day find what you're describing in a franchise that's not Zelda. Or maybe not, maybe the next Zelda game will have sword combat mechanics where the momentum of the sword is crucial as well.

Except the "realism" I'm asking for is to make it less frustrating and restrictive. It's not fun to have to be ever so careful how I move the bloody device in my hand to make sure I don't attack when I mean to position for a strike. Especially with how the combat seems to be meant to work, it makes no sense that the only way I can move my sword to position for a strike so as to get around the enemy's guard is to move the wiimote slowly and out as if ready to strike at any moment. As a result, if I want to feign in the true sense, if you start from an underhand, and then want to go into an overhead strike, you have to swing the wiimote out to the side, making an arc with the point of your theoretical and virtual sword, and then strike down. I have no such restriction, so putting that restriction on me means I get a lot of crappy swings that hit a block and that puts me into the stun state and forces me to take a step back and reset myself and try again.

I don't want realism. Or, at least I don't expect it of this game. But I do want it to do what it says it does accurately, which too often I feel it doesn't. And on top of that, I feel like a freakin idiot when I do play along with it's silly restrictions and manage not to screw it up, because I'm just slowly rotating a chunk of plastic around in a big circle until it's time to swing.

@DeF said:

You have to remember that you're not playing a sword fighting simulator here. The game resets the animation to a neutral position after a brief moment once you strike. You can strike any way you'd need to quickly if you are mindful of what you're actually doing and aren't just swinging around like a crazy person. The enemies and puzzles are designed for the various slashes (vertical, diagonal, horizontal, stabs) allowing for opposite starting points. Starting a horizontal slash at the top right will let you move back the exact same way immediately for another vertical slash from the bottom left or transition into a horizontal swing before Link resumes the neutral position.

While it is true that sometimes the motion you *think* you're making doesn't translate into Link's movements as you may have expected, I fail to see what exactly you aren't getting from the game. Twisting the Wiimote during a swing and immediately doing another one seems to confuse it a bit so you have to be a little careful about what you're actually doing and all enemies allow you to do that. There is not a single instance in the game that is impossible to get through because of faulty controls. The game sets boundaries according to its design and if you acknowledge those boundaries play accordingly, you get some pretty sweet sword combat.

Saying you feel lied to is certainly nonsense. A lie constitutes information given to you by someone who knew that the information they provided to be false. While there may be a technical difference between 100% 1:1 controls and what Skyward Sword is offering, the term generally holds true since the game accurately translates your Wiimote movements into sword movements. A horizontal 2-o-clock-swipe followed by a vertical 5-past-12-o-clock-swipe with your Wiimote will be accurately represented in the game with your sword. I don't know what else you want in a game that is not a real-world-simulatior.

Except it's not accurate, for me at least, at all. There are times I makes a downward strike that turns into a strike from 4 oclock for no apparent reason, or times when I'm trying to move my sword to prepare for a strike and it reads that AS a strike, which is obviously a pain because I'm trying to move away from striking the guarded side and transition my blade to be ready to strike the unguarded side.

You kind of contradict yourself. You admit there are significant limitations to the system but then turn around and say it's entirely accurate to what you're doing.

I am well aware of what I am doing, I don't "*think*" I'm making these movements, they are movements I am making deliberately and am familiar with making.

You did mention pretty much the only time that things felt decent for me: making several swings in a row. There is a pause where you're not able to make swings just long enough to adjust for another swing from another angle, and then it feels pretty decent. My issue is the strikes when I don't have this benefit, or the strikes that are wildly innacurate to what I am actually doing.

As for the lying thing, that was just a bit of colorful language. That said, the game was talked up as being more than just waggle, which it only sort of is, and the sword play was described as never going wrong. Yet I constantly have to calibrate the Wiimote, I constantly get weird inputs and innacurate strikes. Sometimes it works ok, but only in certain ways. Any time I try to move faster than an enemy is able to adjust their guard, I just end up freaking attacking when I'm trying to move to ready for an attack and then hitting their guard, getting thrown into a silly animation and losing health.

@Xtrememuffinman said:

The best part of Skyward Sword isn't the combat- it's the dungeons and exploration. Even without trophies/achievements, I found myself doing EVERYTHING in that game because the proverbial carrot on the stick is super short, and you are constantly getting new things for just a hint of sidetracking, leading to huge tangents from the main game. The next thing to get is always just a couple of minutes away, and as soon as you do that, you're pretty much on your way to something else. I ended up finishing the game with only one heart missing, and having pretty much everything upgraded. It's structured and paced extremely well. But yeah, I get what you're saying about enemies blocking at precisely the right time. The dudes with electric guards really, really pissed me off.

Overall, I'd defintitely say I'm enjoying the game, but I've got to say I find some of the lack of focus and direction a bit frustrating. Maybe I'm just not used to the Zelda style of dungeon puzzle but I've gotten stuck on puzzles that seem just needlessly out of the way, and that ends up being the issue more than the actual solution. I also find myself struggling to figure out what is read progression and what'll just get me some chest with money I can't take because I've already filled my damn wallet.

I also find myself really frustrated at the LACK of new stuff. The game just feels overly long in a pretty unpleasant way.

#20 Posted by LassieME (230 posts) -

Yup, its the only game in the franchise I can't stand playing.

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