During the same Nintendo developer roundtable where we were given a Tanooki suit history lesson, Nintendo godfather Shigeru Miyamoto discussed the new control scheme for Star Fox 64: 3D, and how the they may have provided the solution for a long-standing source of stress for him.
Miyamoto’s issue revolves around inverting the game’s Y-axis controls to play Star Fox, or any flight sim for that matter. It’s not the act of inverting (or not inverting) that bothers him, but the fact that choosing one or the other changes the player’s experience.
Below, Miyamoto explains how the 3DS, along with another classic Nintendo franchise, helped him find a new solution, which he declares to be the ideal way to play the new Star Fox.
“People often tend to prefer Star Fox as sort of a space shooter or a dogfighting game, but really when I see the game and when I play it, what I find is really fun about it is, not so much just the shooting, but actually the way you fly around objects and under objects, and how it is that you’re flying through space.
“The big challenge I’ve always had with games like this in the past is that, when you’re playing the game, the audience divides into two groups. One [group]tilts the control stick up and they expect the ship to fly up, but then there’s another group that, when they tilt it up, they expect the nose of the ship to dive down. They’re using the actual controls of the aeroplane and causing the nose to dive down.
[asking audience]”Who wants the plane to go down when they tilt the control stick up? [Some people in the audience raised their hands.]
So that’s a pretty good number.
[asking audience]”Who thinks the plane should go up when you tilt the control stick up? [The other half of the audience raised their hands.]
“The people with their hands up in the air are people who grew up on Sega games.
“I’ve always felt that if the industry could just settle on one standard, it would be a lot easier for us developers. So, I’ve always felt that at some point, we need to find a point in time when we can unify these two groups together.
“Well this time with Star Fox 64: 3D for the 3DS has the circle pad, and this is where the discussion happened again, with the circle pad. You’re not tilting it, you’re sliding it. So it’s really not like the control stick of an aeroplane, and when you slide it up, you really feel like you should be going up. And when I was playing Ocarina of Time 3D, when I slid the control stick while shooting the slingshot, I wanted to be able to aim up by sliding on it. So I went into my troubled mode and I tried to solve the problem. Of course the hardware has the gyroscope…
“So if you have the gyroscope and you’re using that to pull the slingshot, and then you’re lifting the slingshot as well. So you’re lifting up your hands, but it’s like you’re sliding the stick up more.
“And I thought; ‘this is my chance to bring people together!”‘
“So both The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64: 3D have gyro-based controls. But for Star Fox 64, what we did was we developed it in a hybrid manner, and I think where it’s best suited is using the gyro for the up and down motion, while steering left to right using the circle pad because that’s going to give you the best control. That motion… but with the side-to side you can still use the circle pad, giving you the best visual focus.
“So that was the main thing I wanted to say about Star Fox 64: 3D.”
So there you have it. Miyamoto has permanently bridged the divide between inverted and non-inverted gamers… right?
I guess Miyamoto doesn’t want players to actually use the 3DS on the go. I’d hate to see Star Fox 64: 3D go down in history as the game that started the most unintentional fights on the subway.