Friday, September 6, 2013

Left Trigger to Dodge and Customizable Controls

I have a gripe that I need to let out. This gripe is with the developers of hack n slash games. Actually, I have another gripe that just came to mind, which I will get to in a few minutes. The second gripe is with ALL developers. Let's get to the first one.

Gripe Number One

Hack n Slash developers, let me point something out to you: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) was released in 2004. Almost six years ago to the day. And yet, almost none of you seemed to have received the very simple message: The right stick is not for dodging. Map that shit to the left stick! It's really easy: Left trigger is block, and the left stick is dodge. Simple, no? Here's why it's way better this way:


Think about it:

I'm in the middle of a combo. It's a four hit combo and I am just inputting the command for the fourth hit when I see one of my enemies initiate an attack. What do I do? I dodge, of course (or parry if that mechanic is built into the game) (and yes, you could also utilize a move with frame advantage and offset their attack (depending on the game) but shut up and bear with me here lol). So, where are my fingers at the moment I want to initiate the dodge? One is on the left stick, the other is on a face button, inputting the combo command. So, if the dodge command is mapped to the left stick, I can immediately dodge as soon as I see the enemy begin their attack animation, with absolutely no delay, correct?


And if the dodge is mapped to the right stick? I have to move my right finger before I can initiate the move that I already know I want to initiate, correct?


So which is more beneficial to the player? Having the ability to dodge in a split second at any given moment or having to move your finger before you can do it?

The first one! Duh!

Now, I can hear some of you already. “Moving your finger only takes half a second! “ And to that I say, in a fast paced hack n slash game, half of a second is the difference between a successful evade and failure. I can tell you right now, speaking from (tons of) experience, an extra half a second in Ninja Gaiden/Ninja Gaiden II (especially II) would be gamebreaking, especially on Master Ninja.

It's simple, really. Map the block to the L trigger and the dodge to the left thumbstick. But noooooo, some want to put dodge on the right stick, some want to put it on the right trigger and some want to map it to one of the bumpers (xbox 360), which are even harder to get to.


At the very least, give us a choice. Allow us to change the controller inputs. Which brings me to gripe number two:

Gripe Numero Deux

Evidently, most developers don't seem to have stumbled upon the simple fact that we gamers might, I dunno, have ingrained preferences and like some choice, because most games I play do not have the option to map out the controls as one would see fit. Most have no choice at all, while others have a few preloaded control types to choose from (usually 4 or so). Hardly any allow you to set anything to perform any function. If I want to set the “pull the trigger” function to the left thumbstick click, what's it to them? Why can't I? Of course, that's a silly example, but you get the point. Many games have crouch as the B button. I'd prefer to have it be a left stick click. I'd prefer to always have dodge mapped to the left stick. I was playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance last night, and A was melee attack, not jump. Y was jump.

Y was fucking jump and A was melee attack? What the FUCK is that?!

So I go to the options menu to change jump to A, but nope, can't do it because the developers can't be arsed to give a shit about the fact that most people have been pushing A to jump for the last ten to twenty five fucking years! Seriously, I don't see the downside to including the ability to remap the controls. Why be so rigid and lock us into a single preset? So, developers, here's my request:

Make customizable controls an industry wide standard and a prerequisite for every single game ever made.

The game I have been playing most of as of late, Muramasa Rebirth for the PS Vita, allows you to fully customize the controls and it is GLORIOUS. I'd like to thank the developers at Vanillaware for that.

Science bless you all ;)

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