Gaming Gab: Buttons

Just because a modern video game console controller has twelve buttons, and three directional controls (not to mention the chance of motion sensing control), does not, should not, mean that we have to use every single one of them. Streamlining controls has been forgotten in lieu of simply using as many buttons as possible. Not completely but most top tier titles use as many buttons as possible, and its becoming increasingly never wrecking. Exceptions can be made for fighting games, but even in that circumstance there are long standing franchises that only use three of four buttons. Namco is a prime example of only using four buttons to execute a dizzying number of attacks and combination, that it makes you wonder why those pesky shoulder buttons have to be involved in the first place. Smash Bros. works perfectly with only three buttons! One to attack, one to perform special attacks, and one more to block. These vary when combined, and change depending on the direction you move the character.

It may sound like I'm picking a fight that doesn't need picking, but when Street Fighter began relying on the use of a "x3 button", things started going sour. How did you like that transition about picking fights into Street Fighter? I agree, it sucked, but I digress. Gone was the need to actually press three buttons at the same time to pull off some kind of ultimate technique. In arcades or on the couch, you used to be able to see people getting their fingers ready to press all three buttons at once, thus telegraphing their intentions. Unless of course you were up against a pro who surprised you with a perfectly timed move without so much as batting an eye. Instead, the usually forgotten left sided shoulder buttons we implemented as "x3 punch" and "x3 kick". Unless I'm tagging in a new character to fight, the left shoulder buttons should be what they were meant to be. "Unassigned". Maybe I'm just tired from poorly integrated motion sensor controls driving me crazy. Or maybe it was a childhood full of games which killed you in one hit, and gave you no continues or extra lives to try again. But a rant on difficulty is another topic for another time. For now let's just try and pay attention to all the fingers at work here. PC games have the classic mouse and keyboard setup. WADS works great despite the clamoring of fingers dancing across the keyboard at any given moment. It shouldn't take six fingers to play video games. Four? sure. Two would be ideal. Your thumbs.

(BTW, did u notice the site got a presentational upgrade? I bet you did!)

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