The lights are on
Last month, Zelda fans experienced mass anxiety at news of Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto's intent to make the next Zelda game easier. Yet, when The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was announced a couple days ago at E3, it certainly didn't look easier. Due to the game's fully-realized motion controls, players will need to attack enemies from specific angles just to injure them.
I was curious about the meaning behind the quote, so I asked Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma during an interview yesterday. He responded in the most straightforward manner possible: "I do not want to make Zelda easier."
"Easy to me does not equal fun," Aonuma explained. "I want puzzles where people have to think about it, and when they solve the puzzle, there's that feeling of accomplishment. That's something that's really valuable, that concrete feeling that when you accomplish something [in the game], it feels like you've done something worth doing. If the game is too easy, the accomplishments aren't valuable."
Aonuma also elaborated on the quote from Miyamoto that caused this worry in the first place:
"When Mr. Miyamoto says easy, he doesn't mean simple. He means easily -- this is the difficulty of the language here. It's accessible, and you know how to do things, if not necessarily what to do. You may have a series of puzzles to figure out, and it may be difficult to decipher the meaning, but it's not difficult to accomplish what you need to do."
Essentially, I think what Aonuma was saying (and what Miyamoto was trying to hint at) is that the new motion controls make the combat natural without having to learn many button combinations. It was an unfortunate misunderstanding, but one that's nice to have cleared up.