So after the Kid Icarus: Uprising review I probably set a new record for how many comments I could read before I had to stop. Hey, fanboys, let me put something in perspective for you. When you’re trying to get me to give Kid Icarus a second chance, you are basically asking me to undergo genuine physical pain just so you can feel justified in your opinions. Just think on that for a second. You want me to suffer back pain and increase the risk of spinal injury in old age, a scenario ending with my tearful relatives being forced to put a bullet into the moaning pile of twisted bones on the hospital bed, because you want to hear nice things about the little angel twat. By then you’ll all have forgotten about Kid Icarus: Uprising anyway. You’ll be rolling around the nursing home arguing that the new Zelda is totally different to the others because Link gets to ride a motor scooter now.
It’s all down to that wretched little stand, which means I have to sit at my desk hunched over that little screen. Yeah, maybe this is the sign that KI:U is aimed at younger, more flexibly-spined people than I, although it’s worth noting that I’m considerably younger than I’d have to be to have been a fan of the original NES Kid Icarus that Uprising can’t stop banging on about.
I remember saying when the 3DS came out, it’s ridiculous that a hand-held, a device whose titular selling point is its ability to be held in one’s hands and played with in all kinds of places and angles, should possess a gimmick that only works if you keep the thing held in one specific spot relative to your head. I said that they should bring out a Nintendo-branded peripheral that bolts the thing to your skull with a steel brace. I didn’t expect them to actually do something like that, but that’s what the stand basically is. Good luck using your stand to play Kid Icarus on the bus, or secretly with the device in your lap so the teacher can’t see.
The stand is necessary because the movement, aiming and shooting controls combined preclude the ability to actually anchor the device in your grasp. Some correspondents have informed me that there is an autofire option – thanks for making that clear, Nintendo – but even just using the analog stick and the stylus makes anchoring the thing awkward. And besides, how are you supposed to use the charge attack, the one that requires you to stop firing for a second? because it’s useful enough to gameplay that it’s practically essential.
This is my point. This is unprecedented in my experience as a gamer and critic – a game that needs artificial aid. A mandatory peripheral provided not to enhance gameplay, like a Wii racing wheel or a Guitar Hero controller, but to compensate for the game’s faulty design. It’s like releasing a game with a roll of duct tape and a stapler because the basic controls will make your fingers fall off. It smacks of last-minute fixing, because I find it very difficult to believe that there was no other way, that the controls couldn’t have been reworked early in development. More likely the corporate development machine was churning along for months before anyone with any sense could get someone important to acknowledge that the little angel boy rather obviously had a leg missing and needed a crutch or two.
But I would say that, wouldn’t I, what with being so biased against Nintendo and everything. There was one response on my Twitter last week that gave me something of a pause for thought.
“@YahtzeeCroshaw Hey jackass, just because you weren’t biased against Nintendo back then doesn’t mean you aren’t now.”
Right, okay, you’ve got me there. After I’d parted ways amicably with the Gamecube, Shigeru Miyamoto butchered my entire family with a Wiimote on the end of a stick and now the only revenge I can get is to immediately badmouth everything Nintendo does regardless of my genuine opinion of their work. The point I was making in explaining that I liked the Gamecube was that at that point I would surely have more reason to be biased in Nintendo’s favor than against. The only possible reason I would subsequently turn against them would be because they keep fucking up.
I know I like to come across as aloof to the mealy-mouthed whining of the fanboys but I do feel genuinely upset when people say I’m automatically biased against Nintendo, because in doing so they are firstly using that as an excuse to immediately dismiss all of my arguments, and secondly insulting me and my journalistic credibility. And while I don’t want to turn this into me basically saying “NUH-UH”, I don’t see how I can make it any clearer that I’m not automatically biased against Nintendo except by pointing out there’s no logical reason for me to be biased against Nintendo to any extent beyond that their games haven’t been very good lately.
That’s because of A) the aforementioned journalistic credibility, yeah, laugh it up, guys; B) life’s too short to be petty, especially against companies who can buy and sell me and everyone I’ve ever met and to whom I am little more than a grumbling ant beneath a paving stone; and most importantly C) I own every console and I also game on PC and mobile devices. I have no preference and no investment in any kind of console war. I don’t have a favorite platform, I have favorite games, and I am only interested in the individual quality of each game, not the underlying politics. Hell, if anything I appreciate that Nintendo seem to be the only triple-A company still interested in trying new things and the moment their faffing about outside the box produces anything that I can have any fun with I will sing it to the heavens.
It may look like I’m always bashing Nintendo because I’m always talking down motion controls, which Nintendo spearheaded, for being detrimental to immersion and control accuracy. But if you’ll take a deep breath and calm your angry commenting fingers for a second to think, Nintendo fanboys, you’d realize that Nintendo agrees with me. With the exception of Skyward Sword all the recent titles in their first party franchises (Mario Galaxy, Kirby, Metroid Other M) have all but completely eschewed motion controls, besides pointing at the screen, which is more like simulating a light gun or mouse pointer than anything else. So defending motion controls for hardcore gaming is like defending a businessman’s drunken decision to get a vagina tattooed onto his forehead.
So can we please drop this infantile, butthurt, meaningless fucking argument that I’ve got an irrational personal grudge against a company whose games you’ll note it has somehow never occurred to me to just stop buying if I hate them so much. Why is this argument only ever used against me? I’ve never heard anyone say “Oh, Nintendo brought out another shit game. They must have some kind of automatic bias against Yahtzee Croshaw.”
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn’t talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.