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A while back, I created a topic about the upcoming Skyward Sword remaster on Switch and the apparent lack of a left-handed mode for the game's motion controls. With the game releasing worldwide tomorrow with no such left-handed mode, I wanted to make a follow-up topic, less about the game itself, and more about what I feel is a wider issue with Nintendo's implementation of motion controls, particularly in the Switch era, and failure to account for left-handed players; something I had mentioned in that previous topic but didn't really explore. And, while doing that, I also want to address a surprisingly common misconception about the Switch hardware when it comes to motion controls: Standard button & stick controls aren't typically affected by handedness: the main effect of handedness is on things involving precise and/or complex motions and hand-eye coordination: writing, using scissors, etc., whereas with buttons and control sticks, the movements are tiny, imprecise, and the hardware provides immediate physical feedback. For console gaming, it wasn't until the advent of motion controls and touchscreen controls that the player's handedness needed to be accounted for. In terms of motion control hardware, the Wii Remote had an accelerometer, an IR pointer and, as an add-on through the Wii Motion Plus, a gyro, while the nunchuck just had an accelerometer. This meant that the Wii remote could be used for the full range of motion controls: pointer controls & aiming, 1:1 movement through the gyro, and shaking through the accelerometer, while the nunchuck could only be used for that last one. Nintendo's method of accounting for the left-handed was to make the shape of the Wii Remote and the nunchuck symmetric: you could hold the Wii Remote in the right hand and the nunchuck in the left hand or vice-versa and either would be just as comfortable. However, because most of the action buttons were on the Wii Remote, while the nunchuck had the only control stick, this instead created an interesting conundrum among left-handed players: do you hold the nunchuck in the left hand and the Wii Remote in the right; thus retaining a semi-familiar control layout at the cost of using most of the motion controls with your non-dominant hand, or do you hold the Wii Remote in the left hand and the nunchuck in the right; ensuring you can use the majority of motion controls with your dominant hand at the cost of potentially fighting against your own muscle memory with the buttons & stick. In my case, I opted for the latter, and one reason for that was that, because I grew up solely on Nintendo consoles and went from the 64 to the GameCube and then to the Wii, for me, there was no such thing as a familiar control layout. In this regard, the Switch's hardware is pretty much perfect, and here's where I want to address a fairly common misconception. The misconception is that the right joy-con, like the Wii Remote, has motion control hardware that the left joy-con doesn't have; this is not true. Both joy-cons have the exact same motion control hardware: each joy-con has both a gyro and an accelerometer, and since the Switch, unlike the Wii, doesn't have a sensor, there's no IR pointer. The only hardware that is unique to the right joy-con is an IR sensor that can detect different shapes that are immediately in front of it; a gimmicky feature that is both unrelated to the motion controls and only used in games like 1-2-Switch. As far as motion control hardware is concerned, there is nothing one joy-con can do that the other can't. This would, ideally, eliminate the need to put the controllers in the opposite hands just to use the majority of motion controls with the left hand, which is especially good because they joy-cons are very asymmetrical in both shape and button & stick layout, so putting them in opposite hands isn't really feasible. So, why did I say "wider problem" earlier, and not "solution"? Well, the Switch's hardware may be perfect for incorporating motion controls while accounting for the left-handed, but in terms of the software, Nintendo's track record on the Switch has been abysmal. To my knowledge, there have been at least two games that have been ported to Switch with the control scheme being essentially a remapping of the Wii Remote & Nunchuck controls (if there are more than these two, please let me know): the Mario Galaxy port in Mario 3D All-Stars, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe. Mario Galaxy was a standard Wii game, so it used the pointer and the accelerometer; you could shake either the Wii Remote or the nunchuck to make Mario spin, and pointer controls were used for navigating the menu, collecting and shooting star bits, etc. Since the Switch has no IR pointer, the pointer controls were remapped to the gyro for 3D All-Stars, but only the right gyro, with no option to instead have the pointer controls mapped to the left gyro. I don't mind the gyro being a bit slower than the IR pointer and needing to manually be re-centered, but having to use my non-dominant hand for the pointer controls was uncomfortable and infuriating. One particularly annoying thing about it was that you can shake the left joy-con to make Mario shake, so they evidently either were just remapping all the Wii Remote & Nunchuck controls in their entirety without thinking it through, or must've thought during the porting process, "Wait; some players may have found it more comfortable to shake the nunchuck" and still just assumed that everyone played the game with a right-handed control setup, and I honestly don't know which is worse. I didn't purchase Pikmin 3 Deluxe, as I still have my Wii U and a copy of Pikmin 3 (and I honestly wasn't a big fan; I enjoyed the game enough to finish it, but I likely won't be replaying it any time soon). However, from what footage I have seen of it and from what some people who did purchase it have told me, it has that exact same problem as Mario Galaxy: motion controls being mapped only to the right gyro with no option to have them instead be mapped to the left gyro. And now, tomorrow, Skyward Sword HD will be at least the third game on the Switch to map the motion controls with separated joy-cons in mind and without accounting for left-handed players. The hardware is all there, and it can't take too much time to implement a simple swap on the software level, yet they just refuse to do so. It makes no sense on any level; not even business sense, as business sense calls for appealing to the widest market possible within your means; why appeal to potentially only 90% of the population when you can potentially appeal to the full 100% with minimal extra time, cost, or effort? The fact that the Nintendo Switch has a button remapping system but won't let you switch what gyro the motion controls get mapped to by default, and that they went through the effort to implement optional button & stick controls in Skyward Sword HD without adding a left-handed mode for the motion controls that would take far less time and effort to implement & test, tells me that it's simply because they really just couldn't care less, and that's honestly just sad. Shigeru Miyamoto: the guy who created most of their biggest franchises, is a lefty. Link in the Zelda series, for the longest time, was a lefty, and was in fact the only left-handed hero in fiction that people actually remembered was left-handed. Nintendo used to be king of the world in accounting for left-handed players back when handedness meant nothing in terms of how well and/or comfortably you could physically play a game. Now, they've lost that throne, and there doesn't seem to be an heir apparent. What do you think?
Ok so here's the deal I've got one $50 Best buy gift card and I'm debating how to use it. The four games I'm currently looking at right now are Hyrule Warriors, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Pikmin 3, and Captain Toad. I don't know a whole lot about these games but I think right now I'm leaning toward either Donkey Kong Country or Hyrule Warriors. My only hesitation behind Hyrule Warriors is that while I love the hell out of Zelda I realize it is at its core a Dynasty Warriors game. From what I've heard Captain Toad is phenomenal as well as Pikmin 3. As always any input is appreciated. Already own: Bayonetta 2 SSB4 Mario Kart 8 Windwaker HD Mario 3D World NintendoLand Mass Effect 3 Assains Creed 3 Batman Arkham Orgins Black Ops II
I find the Pikmin series to be really, really enjoyable. Recently, I beat Pikmin 1, and I'm collecting the last few fruit in Pikmin 3. What do you think of Pikmin? What about Pikmin 3? My favorite Pikmin are the Winged. They basic beat out Whites as the super stuff carriers.