Jan 212011

In order to play a game you need one important thing; controls. So in order to actually play a game the controller in your hand must correspond to the action in the game.Sometimes games have a terrible control set up due to bad design and sometimes they have great controls that are very accurate and precise such as in Super Meat Boy.

Best Controls Evah!

I will be specifically discussing  about 4 games that have bad controls and  the game is pretty much based around this. The 4 games are:  Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Spider-man games and Dead Rising’s 2: Terror Is Reality multiplayer.

First let me say that Heavy Rain was originally going to be on the list but then I thought about how the controls weren’t bad for the game, they were just bad in general. After all, it takes you a long time to do a 360 in order to leave the room in which you entered and that alone takes 10 mins just for a cut scene. Not what I’m talking about.

Silent Hill and the older Resident Evil titles used bad control, tank like structure in order to control your characters. Both required you to stop and shoot and both required you to take a long time to hit an enemy. In the older Resident Evil titles (prior to Resident Evil 4) you play as cops and or criminals on the run.  This whole game would have been easier and a lot more fun to play if it wasn’t for the terrible controls, but unfortunately the game revolves around this concept because they kept using this control scheme up until Resident Evil 4. Aiming up and down was frustrating and mix that in with the fixed camera angles was just tedious. Capcom knew this and kept it for a lot of the Resident Evil titles.

Silent Hill uses almost this same mechanic (except they still use the style in today’s games). In Silent Hill when your character’s stiffly attacks a monster it is more acceptable and understood because unlike Resident Evil your protagonists  are usually everyday people. This means that they will be stiff and awkward and not a very good fighter.  If I was in Silent Hill, I would probably be dead just from the sirens being too loud let alone being able to actually have the guts to hit a monster that possible looks like/is my mother. Albeit the Silent Hill series controls are still tedious, in which a monster can swipe you in one shot and it takes your character a long time to swing a pipe. Except for Silent Hill Homecoming where your protagonist is better and more comfortable with weapons and more aerobatic because he is a soldier with soldier-like experience.

Those two make sense in which your games are badly controlled by choice rather than mistake. Tedious? Yes. Frustrating? Very, but, acceptable. But while playing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 (or any super hero game that requires flying/swinging I.e. Super Man 64 where you must fly through the rings with a game that is clearly aware how bad the controls are); I realized the core of the game is actually worse once it asks you to do a specific type of thing.

In Spider-Man 2 you must chase the Black Cat on top of buildings, throughout the whole game you haven’t been complaining about the swinging because it was free, you swing to the left, you swing to the right, and everything was fine. That is until you have to hit a certain checkpoint and you find yourself hurtling towards a wall instead of the mark. The games are so confident their swinging mechanics are bad that they continue using this method. In Ultimate Spider-Man you must race Johnny Blaze and in Spider-man 3 you must chase the Green Goblin. Believe me I’ve wanted to chuck my  controller across the room many times because swinging Spider-Man is only fun when there is nothing to do….and that defeats the purpose.

Then recently while playing Dead Rising’s Terror is Reality XVII I’ve noticed that ALL the mini games are based on bad controls. Zamboni and Ramsterball are minigamea to test you patience on camera and controls, Stand Up Zomedy and Head Ache are both examples of how bad and how hard it is to constantly hit a zombie with something. Ball Buster and Bounty Hunter are basically games to ask “can you seriously control these bad controls”. Pounds of Flesh is the most frustrating of them all and the whole game is about hitting Zombies onto a scale. The game is aware this is easier said then done , thus it is a mingame. Master Shafter is not too bad although the characters you control are stiff as all,  and  Slicycles is about controlling a motorcycle, which actually isn’t that bad.  For those who have played the games you know it’s true. What makes these mini games challenging isn’t competing against opponents but rather fighting the controls. Ramsterball in theory is easy; run over zombies in a giant Hamster cage. Then Theory hits reality (see what I did there) and you can’t do squat.

Well there you have it, some games that are based on bad control. I know lots of people will say that I just suck at video games (I have completed all and I usually come in first in Terror is Reality so blah to you) but when you think about it, I’m right, and sometimes the truth hurts.  Agree? Disagree? Have any experiences or games I may have missed, leave a comment below.