Kid Icarus: Uprising To Avoid Shooter Pitfalls
Excitement over the unveiling of Kid Icarus: Uprising was nearly tangible, marking the first time winged-hero Pit has starred in his own title in over a decade. The IP in and of itself will surely drive sales, but producer (and Kirby creator) Masahiro Sakurai wants to be sure he and his team don’t rest on accepted genre trappings while fleshing out the game. For Uprising specifically, this refers to action/shooter control schemes.
Uniform control schemes limit creativity, says Sakurai in a recent interview with Techland.
“As far as creativity, in designing Kid Icarus, I took a look at what I thought was an overriding problem with a lot of game design,” begins Sakurai. “I've found that, in the established genres, the controls are always the same. For example, in shooting games, you find first-person-shooters utilize all of the buttons on the controller and always do the same thing. The stick is for moving, triggers for shooting and they're always trapped in this very restricted framework for gameplay. And, that's just not creative. It feels like people are taking this empty shell and just swapping out the story and art and whatnot.”
Sakurai believes that this problem has been addressed in Uprising.
“I wanted to take what was a common control system in shooters and get something that was new and smooth and easy for new players, but something that was suitable to the hardware as well. In the same sort of way that fighting games started to feel stale, there was definitely something new to be had in a design like Smash Brothers. That series, I think, was able to allow new players to come in and made it more accessible. There are so many more possibilities for game design out there but I think a lot of developers are shutting out those ideas and it is definitely a creativity problem.”
The interview continues with Sakurai exploring Japanese versus western game design and several other interesting talking points, such as his personal campaign to bring Pit back to the masses. You can check out the full interview here.