After Skyward Sword the Legend of Zelda 'cannot go back to button controls'

The motion controls tailored for the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword were generally well received, but not everyone was happy with them. Bad news for them, Nintendo plans on sticking with these controls for generations to come! “I honestly think we cannot go back to button controls now, so I think that these controls will be used in future Zelda titles, too” explains Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma. Strangely, Skyward Sword was originally going to be made using button controls. Right when the control scheme was being finalized, Aonuma demanded the title switch over to Wii MotionPlus controls à la Wii Sports Resort.

Motion controls are fine and all, but Nintendo should at least offer the option of a standard control scheme for people who don’t like motion controls. This is Nintendo though, they can get away with just about anything. Abandoning button controls will barely effect their audience and the resulting sales. Just look at Skyward Sword, it’s the fastest selling Zelda game in history despite the change in controls.

Via Official Nintendo Magazine UK


  1. I think you may be looking at this the wrong way. The Legend of Zelda Skyward sword didn’t sell well, IN SPITE of it’s motion controls, it sold well due to its great implementation of it. I have been gaming for a long time so believe me when I say I was extremely skeptical of the game’s reliance on motion controls, but all of that skepticism vanished pretty quickly. Maybe others can chime in here, but after playing Skyward Sword I don’t see how anyone would want to go back to the original control scheme.

    Pop in Ocarina of Time and play it for a couple of hours. Pay attention to what you are doing in the combat system of the game. I know my time was spent circling around an enemy, with them occasionally bouncing off my shield, until they finally exposed their weak point and gave me copious amount of time to strike them. Skyward Sword was nothing like that. It was far more engaging.

    The reason core gamers fear and condemn motion control is for one reason. Core gamers fear oversimplification of the medium of entertainment they have come to know and love. They don’t want complex strategy to be dumbed down to a simple waggle of the Wiimote, a theme that runs rampant in just about every single motion controlled game I’ve played. However, Skyward Sword was one of the few shinning gems that I’ve experienced where motion control brought depth to a game. Instead of circling an enemy with my shield up, waiting for them to expose their weak point, I was analyzing their character design and their movement to find their weak point and the precise angle at which I would need to strike them to exploit it. That is far more rewarding than a button press.

    I’m not saying Skyward Sword was perfect, because it sure did have problems, but the implementation of motion controls sure wasn’t one. Yeah there were occasion where the Wiimote didn’t replicate my motion in the game, but hell there were time in Dragon Age Origins where I would delegate a command that wouldn’t be executed for some odd reason. It pains me a little to say it, but Nintendo is absolutely right here. Motion control is the future of the Zelda franchise. Asking to go back to buttons now would be like asking shooter developers to allow me control character movements with the D-pad.

    • Daryl Heard

      I haven’t played Skyward Sword yet, so I can’t hold anything against them. It’s just that change is a scary thing, regardless of if it is good or bad. After using a standard control scheme for so long, switching over seems risky.

      This isn’t just about me either, but those I know that won’t buy the game because of motion controls. I have nothing against motion controls personally, unless they’re tacked on, pointless, and just don’t work.

      This future isn’t set in stone though, the next Legend of Zelda is far off from now. I wonder how people will view motion controls after the next Zelda game or two.

      • It will definitely be interesting going toward the future. If motion control truly is the future of Zelda, then I guess the functionality of the new Wii U control won’t be unitized in the next Zelda game (something that I find hard to believe). Either way, time will tell, but I definitely recommend trying Skyward Sword. Nintendo finally realized how to properly implement motion control. Kind of comical though that it took them until literally the end of their console’s life cycle to do so.

  2. AlaynaP

    I actually -just- finished Skyward Sword and it was AMAZING!!! I had actually only just started playing Zelda with Ocarina of Time as my “intro” and then hopping right into SS. The difference is like night and day. Aside from the jaw-dropping, almost hypnotic graphics, the game play was extremely accurate (with very few hiccups not caused by my own botched aiming, namely swimming underwater and trying to aim properly). And it’s not just about using the Wiimote, the nunchuck adds a huge range of motion in which OoT does not. An example, the Keese. In OoT, these were some of my most hated enemies if only because targeting them was stupidly difficult for such a weak little thing. In SS, unless the creature is directly behind me, the Z-target will pick it up, no problem (a huuuuuuge relief that allowed me to focus my attention to actual battle skills rather than tearing my hair out in frustration b/c I just could lock on to the darned things). I could go on and on about all the little things that made this game a genuine -experience-, but to sum it up, the Wiimote adds an extra dimension of movement accuracy and closer-to-life gaming interaction. I can’t think of any other video game that made me feel as if I were really a part of the character’s world, almost like being immersed in an amazing book that displaces your mind from reality just for a little bit.