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The Revolution's Least Qualified Critic
game: Nintendo Revolution
posted by: Aaron Stanton
publisher: Nintendo
developer: Nintendo
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date posted: 08:01 PM Fri Apr 21st, 2006
last revision: 08:01 PM Fri Apr 21st, 2006

Click to read.An Independent Game Creator That We Respect:

When Keita Takahashi designed Katamari Damacy, he proved that all games didn\'t have to be the same. The fundamentals behind Katamari Damacy are so different and entertaining compared to anything on the market that Takahashi was instantly catapulted into fame.

He is the perfect example of gaming delivered outside the box.

However, when Takahashi told Game Developer and its sister publication Gamesutra that he disagreed with Nintendo\'s approach of, \"putting such emphasis on the controller,\" he raised some eyebrows here at GamesFirst.

The interview implied Takahashi was somewhat critical of Nintendo\'s approach, and concluded his statements on the Revolution with, \"...there\'s nothing I really want to do with it right now.\"

While I, as an editor at an independent gaming source, love the free-thinkers in the game industry as much as anyone, I can\'t help but choke back a laugh at hearing comments about control schemes from the maker of Katamari.

Katamari\'s Horrible Controls:

The reason is simple: While Katamari is wonderfully addictive, it has one of the most counter-intuitive and convoluted control schemes I\'ve every encountered in a video game. It\'s the only control setup I know of that requires two buttons to do everything that would normally be accomplished with one. Moving in a single direction takes pushing both analog sticks in parallel directions, consequently keeping the second analog stick from doing something useful, like controlling the camera.

As a result, the camera controls are nearly worthless, requiring more time to access and manage the \"special perspectives\" than they\'re worth.

Don\'t get me wrong: Katamari is a great series, but it\'s a great series in-spite of its terrible controls, not because of them. Had it been any less addicting in terms of gameplay, Katamari would have been dropped by a fickle gaming audience before making it 30 minutes in.

As is, most of the average players probably don\'t make regular use of half the special moves available to them, simply because using them is such a pain in the ass.

To hear the mastermind behind the Katamari control scheme complain that Nintendo shouldn\'t place so much emphasis on how a game is controlled makes me chuckle.

For a game that should be extremely accessible, Katamari leaves even the most experienced gamer occasionally shaking the controller in frustration after they\'ve been backed into a camera blind-spot and can\'t turn around quickly enough to figure out how to escape.

In terms of gameplay and approaching the industry from a unique perspective, Keita Takahashi can critique all he likes.

But in terms of control schemes, in two games he\'s consecutively proved he\'s one of the Revolution\'s least qualified critics.

It\'s possible he could learn a thing or two from the established game industry he tends to keep at arms length.

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