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Dual Analogue Control In Kid Icarus: Uprising Was “Technically Impossible”

Kid Icarus: Uprising producer Masahiro Sakurai has explained that dual analogue controls in Kid Icarus: Uprising was technically impossible. While the game received generally favourable reviews across the board, one of the main things the game was criticised for was its cumbersome controls.

Considering how close to the limit we pushed the 3DS during development, it’s a miracle that we were even able to provide support for left-handed controls at the point of completion. Providing support for independent analog control was something that was technically impossible.

I do have my doubts over whether it’d be that easy to provide support. I think any game needs to provide new experiences and stimulating things to discover, but if we provided run-of-the-mill controls for it, that cuts down on the game’s potential. If a player used to touchscreen-based aiming played against someone used to right-analog control, the first player would probably dominate. The speed is on a whole different level.

If there are players who say that it makes their hand tired, that’s because you’re applying too much force. Try to relax and work on building a rhythm to your control. Place the pen in the middle of the touchscreen; when you’re flicking it, take the pen off the screen as you’re sweeping with it, and stop right there. That’s the basic idea.

Smash Bros. led to similar misunderstandings when it first came out. Some people, including within the company, commented that they couldn’t imagine a worse game. The project was really saved by the fact that people “got” how to play it after it was released. If we had just listened to the complaints and instituted health gauges or command-based special moves, I don’t think we would have invented a new style of play that way. The controls here really aren’t that difficult, either, so I’m hoping that people will be able to get used to them.

57 thoughts on “Dual Analogue Control In Kid Icarus: Uprising Was “Technically Impossible””

  1. I definitely agree with him here. While some people complained about the controls, they just plain make sense for this game. The fast-paced action requires you to quickly turn about, similar to PC controls. While I like dual analogs, that control scheme would simply be too slow.

    1. The challenge isn’t finishing it on 9.0, it’s finishing it with the weapons they tell you to beat them with. Chapter 19 with a club was especially hard, along with the “No damage” challenges. Once you finish those, THEN you can call it a day. Until then, it’s not much to write home about.

      1. I agree, MOST of the Intensity 9 stages are simple, only a matter of getting the pattern down and then executing it.

        Now as far as the controls go, I find them highly simple and streamlined, nothing to be concerned about.

  2. I still feel that dual-analog controls would have vastly improved the gaming experience without hindering the creativity of the game itself. It would be awesome if Nintendo would come to their senses and release a patch to allow for full Circle Pad Pro controls.

    This is not the same thing as Smash Bros., which is a new evolution of fighting games. Kid Icarus Uprising is a third-person shooter and should control like one. Smash Bros. controls like a fighter, it’s the GAME that’s different. If Kid Icarus Uprising controlled like a 3rd-person shooter, its content would still set it miles apart from other such games. The controls shouldn’t necessarily define the game. That’s what the game experience is for.

    Kid Icarus Uprising is an awesome gaming experience that breaks new ground, yet is hindered by a needlessly cumbersome control scheme.

    1. It’s a third person shooter and “should control like one”? What utter nonsense. If everyone thought like you, dual analogue stick controls would never have been invented and we’d all be stuck having to buy mouse and keyboard peripherals for consoles.

      1. While I agree that exploring new control schemes is necessary, calling his claim “utter nonsense” is a bit harsh. Granted, the implemented control scheme works best in this game for those who know how to use it. If it had implemented dual-analog controls, though, it would have appealed to a wider audience.

        That’s why I think it’s a shame that they weren’t implemented–not because I want to use those controls, but because I want to share this amazing content with as many people as possible, and too many people aren’t willing to pick it up because of the controls.

    2. “If a player used to touchscreen-based aiming played against someone used to right-analog control, the first player would probably dominate.”

      I really want them to patch it just to prove his point. Maybe that’ll shut the haters up.

    1. It’s a blog. He gets his info from multiple sources. And BTW, if your name is Caleb then we have the same name.

  3. I must say I’m finding the controls to be a dream. Aiming is quick and easy, everything works really well. I can’t understand the complaints.

  4. It’s not the controls that is the problem with KI:U. I think it’s the camera actually. They should have applied a fixed behind character cam, then I would have thought it was perfect for the 3DS.

    1. Press “R” and it goes behind him. Not the best solution, but if you want you can assign it to “Up” on the D-Pad or some other easily reachable button.

      1. In my experience with the game, accessing the camera-straightening button (R) is a consistent problem. In my opinion, being able to access it via the touchscreen would be much easier to access. Sure you’d have to learn to work around the button, but it would ultimately handle better.

        As for the scheme altogether, I thought it was fine. Not perfect, sure, but it was clearly made for the game. I’m sure the size of the 3DS is a problem for a lot of the people complaining, so I’d be curious to see what would happen if this scheme was used on the Wii U.

  5. Personally, I loved the controls. I got used to them very quickly and think the game would be worse off without them.

  6. zant's faithful servant

    I personally prefer ssb controls over traditional brawler, controls, although it did take some getting used to. i like the fact that in ssb victory doesn’t hinge on your ability to memorize long strings of combos.

  7. The controls are what the game needs. They don’t hinder the expeirience, and allow for a level of precision analogue can never compare to. Sure they are less comfortable, but its a game that lets you finish a level in 5 to 10 minutes. When you’re done, Close the 3ds and have beer. And when you’re ready, open it up and play some more.
    Even with metroid prime hunters on the ds, I wouldn’t even think of playing without the stylus. Why’s kid icarus getting so much shit because of it?
    Put a mouse and keyboard player against some guy using a dual analogue gamepad in any FPS shooter. Guess who’s going to win? Its the same here. The chosen control system for kid icarus is the best one. Its a better game because of it. Nuff said.

  8. Honestly, I thought the touch screen control was retarded and useless. I prefer using the buttons to control everything in that game. It just makes more sense to me.

    1. Agree, I like that nintendo innoviates, but the controls is what made me stop playing the game. it just feels ackward for me.

  9. In my opinion, this is a good thing. It just shows that Sakurai and the rest of Sora tried extremely hard to implement the dual analogue controls, instead of giving up on them when it looked like they would not be able to. And it also shows that Sakurai and Sora can see their own games objectively. This news just makes me know that SSB4 will be incredible, because the studio making it have amazing development qualities.

  10. I agree completely, this is a very fast paced game, and dual analog would simply be too slow, especially when up against stylus players online. It’s like playing a shooter on PC. Try to play online with a 360 controller, and you’ll be wiped out easily. Why? Because everyone else is using mouse and keyboard, which is far faster and far more accurate. So it’s only logical (I know, Spock, shut up) to not implement dual analog support to make sure the game stays fair. Plus I think people criticize the controls too much. Yes, they are awkward at first, but it’s like everything else in life. Practice makes perfect. It doesn’t take long to get used to the controls. In fact, it only took me one day to get used to them, and once you understand the controls, and get comfortable with them, the game is incredibly fun and addicting. So I think the weird controls are forgivable.

  11. Who cares if the controls seem awkward? That just makes the road to pro status so much more enjoyable. If the controls were easy, those who played the game would get bored too quickly. I expect this game to last people until the next Super Smash Bros.

  12. He makes a very good point about the differences of dual analog vs. mouse and keyboard for FPS. Mouse and keyboard win everytime. Leave luck to heaven.

    1. I use a 360 controller for fps games and I can beat people using keyboard and mouse. It all depends on the player and how the hardware is calibrated. I can speed up the turning speed and whatnot to where I’m not any slower than somebody with a keyboard and mouse. :D That argument is invalid. Dual Analog ftw!

      1. Good for you. That seems to be rare. Everyone seems to prefer using the keyboard and mouse for FPS on PC. Glad to see the conrtollers work as well. I prefer controllers myself.

      2. Don’t you think maybe it is because you’ve had so much resolve and practice? I think Sakurai meant “the majority” of analog-stick-using players would lose against someone with a keyboard and a mouse.

  13. Sakurai is an asshole.. Even on SSBB he messed it up also (floaty jumps, unbalanced characters, etc.). Melee is so much better to play and control.. You know im right and you can’t deny it.. Nintendo FTW..! Olalu!!

    1. Hey wtf man..!? Sakurai is the man even though he looks like a girl..! But your right theres something about his game (KI:U and SSBB) that sometimes the controls are a hindrance to the gameplay..

  14. I think the developers more consider it an insult to insist that they force the old dual-analogue control into their game. Its pretty evident that dual-analog is on its way out with Wii-mote aiming, touch-screen aiming, and gyro-sensor aiming on their way in.

  15. i don’t think i’ll ever understand people’s gripes about the controls. it’s really not that bad. do some people not understand that it’s possible to change the controls? anyone who complains that the default “L-Circle Pad-Touchscreen” combo is uncomfortable or requires the stand doesn’t realize that the controls can be configured to make it so that the entire game can be played without using the stand or touching the touchscreen even once. everything can be configured to make gameplay flow as smoothly as possible for people with different gaming styles. reviewers who subtracted from uprising’s score because of the controls can just get over themselves

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  18. People don’t understand that the only thing they need to do is place their right pinky finger behind the 3DS to keep the balance and everything else works fine.

    I even saw a picture of a guy explaining it. What the fuck is wrong with today’s gamer? They are so stupid that the smallest variation of controls makes the game unplayable for the. I can’t wait for the day when kids start complaining that the game sucks because the mouse sensitivity is off by 1 unit.
    With every console generation, gamer get dumber and dumber. Lazier and lazier.
    They don’t like challenges, they don’t like when the game leaves open questions for them to fill, they don’t like to change settings. They don’t like to learn to play a game.
    Da fuq is wrong here?

    1. I do the pinky finger trick as well, however I think you are talking about the left hand, not the right

  19. I had problems flicking the camera at the beginning, but…Eh, you get used to it. I just tend to panic a lot and flick it too far, but that’s my fault. O_O

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