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Harrison: Sony didn't force motion controls on Lair

Maybe trying to distance itself from the critically lambasted Lair, Phil Harrison told GameTrailers that it did not force tilt controls in Factor 5's controversial dragon game. "[Motion control] was definitely not mandated by us. We've always said all along that the use of the Sixaxis is something that should be decided by the developer in tune with their creative vision for the game, so it's not something we would mandate." In spite of this, it appears that many first-party Sony titles utilize tilt controls in some way. Thankfully, many developers have learned from the mistakes of Lair, and include options to turn off the tilt controls and replace them with analog movement (for example, Ratchet & Clank Future.)

In addition, Harrison doesn't find fault with Heavenly Sword's length -- a deciding factor that has limited the game's score in many reviews (including our own). "You know what? Not that many people finish games, so I think we shouldn't criticize a game for being a story, which has an arc with a beginning, a middle and an end... and actually encouraging all gamers to see all of the story, I think that's something positive." Granted, the experience looks and feels big-budget. But at the end of the day, most gamers probably want a longer journey for the increased price of admission.

[Thanks, njkid1! Via GameDaily]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. The motion controls in lair didn't bother me, I just wish they'd release a patch to fix the couple of missing controls in remote play.

Posted at 6:56PM on Sep 28th 2007 by T-P-M

2. Lairs controls weren't that bad at all. Unless you never played the game and only listen to what people tell you on the internet. In that case go watch Loose Change or something and enjoy your ignorance.

Heavenly Sword was great. Could it have been longer? Yes... Is there anything wrong with giving a story a start, a middle and a end? The game was well worth $60 for fans, if it isn't for you, its short enough to rent.

(Also note, I play warhawk with motion controls on, practice and Lair is super easy.)

Posted at 7:41PM on Sep 28th 2007 by Jldowning

3. I want to know why no one learned about manditory motion controls with the Wii. Games like Splinter Cell and RedSteel got pretty good marks on graphics, but said that the motion controls were tacked on and horrendous... if these games allowed use of the classic controller, they would have gotten better reviews. The same thing applies to Lair.

Why is it a sudden discovery that we should be giving players the option to choose? It shouldn't be manditory unless you have an absolute solid motion control scheme down like Flow or Metroid Prime 3. Even Resident Evil 4 on the Wii had a solid motion control scheme and still allowed you to play it old-school method.

(P.S. Farcry on the Wii suffered from manditory use of the manditory motion control use, but even the option to use the classic controller couldn't save that stupid game)

Posted at 7:49PM on Sep 28th 2007 by comtar

4. To sum up Lair "Lord of the Rings meets Reign of Fire. And explodes. A massive disappointment". The controls weren't the games problem.

Posted at 8:11PM on Sep 28th 2007 by Ste

5. Why would you get a Wii and not use motion controls? You might as well just get a PS2, because you will get the same games sans Mario and company.

It sounds like Factor 5 and Sony are going splitsville. There are each throwing each other under a bus. Guess who's driving.

Posted at 8:18PM on Sep 28th 2007 by Andy

6. I thought Lair was pretty good

Posted at 8:18PM on Sep 28th 2007 by Desmond

7. I own Lair, I've played it and don't totally hate it. But given all that (I'm just a big dragon fan), motion controls are just one minor aspect of what's wrong with the game. I actually like the motion controls but still have a large number of complaints... the game just isn't very good.

Let's pretend the forthcoming rumble patch adds in an option for analog control. Now we'll have a game that still has serious issues with targeting, lock-on (Yes, you are riding a dragon, but you can still target things and lock on to it, but only in a very poor fashion), missions constantly getting interrupted with mini-cutscenes with updated objectives, very uneven graphics, stupid mini-games as part of regular battle (like trying to run the other dragon off the road... if you've played it, you know what I mean).

Seriously, the only thing the game gets right is you get to ride a dragon around and burn stuff, which is a huge plus. If only they'd stop interrupting my burninating so much...

Posted at 8:57PM on Sep 28th 2007 by apease

8. What's total B$ is that HALO f-in 3 only takes 10 hours to complete, and that game's getting almost all perfect scores. One reviewer even said it was too easy, but that it didn't matter. I call shenanigans.

Posted at 9:08PM on Sep 28th 2007 by Brian Spence

9. I hated HS, sorry. If it had been more fighting and way way WAY less of all the stopping and messing around with cannons and crossbows I would have liked it more. Right now Ratchet and Clank is on my must buy list, as well as Metroid Prime 3 for my Wii.

Posted at 9:37PM on Sep 28th 2007 by DownwardMonkey

10. I like shorter games better. I never play a game for longer than 4 hours at a stretch, so this would be two perfect days for me. Then I put it on the shelf, and during slow time, or after a dream (I keep dreaming about these games, and remembering poignant moments), I'll put it in for another weekend and play beginning to end.

This is much more likely than with a game that takes 30 hours to complete 70%. I may never play that game again.

Many gamers like me don't get to finish games if they run over 12 hours.

That said, obviously some people play faster and better than me, and then the rush is over.

One thing to address this, which has happened a little already, is the implementation of soft-medium-hard playstyles.

Next-gen games should be made with three generic audiences in mind:

casual, mid-core, and hard-core.

The casual mode would be the easiest, and could be completed in 8-12 hours.

The medium would be "normal" and take 12-16 hours, and then you've got hard.

This is sort of how Resistance was set up.

I mean, you know if you're hardcore, or not.

So when you buy a game, just put it on 'hard'.

But maybe the psychology is, "Yeah, but I want to play the game the first time, as it's intended."

Then Normal could be hard and there could be easy and very easy, with the ability to unlock "hard" after completing the game once on any level.

Soft-core gamers don't care if they're playing the game on easy. Their main mission is to not have to repeat too much or die too often. Softcore gamers are much more easily frustrated with videogames than hardcore gamers, who, since early on, have been doing things over and over, looking at sequences, memorizing, dominating the machine.

These are two very disparate points of view, but on any game, they must somehow be merged.

Even Dirt addresses this. If you're driving on Rookie and you keep winning, he says, "You might want to step it up, a bit. You're showing that you can meet that challenge, and you'll earn more money, too."

But I think the best thing is a dynamic system, that samples how the user is playing and accomodates them.

This was done to some degree in Midnight Club Remix for the ps2.

The game needs to guage how bad you suck or how good you are, and ramp difficulty appropriately.

But we get into weird variations of this.

What if the game gets easier when you suck, but as you get a handle on it, gets progressively harder? Where does it stop? And when it starts slowing down and becoming easier, because you're stuck, do you want it to do that?

A hardcore gamer wouldn't.

A softcore gamer would. Or maybe someone just wants it to be easy-peasy, all the way through.

Is there an icon on the screen showing what level you're playing at?

I dunno. This borders on a strange instantiation of AI.

Who ever thought that we would be programming our video games to help us play them?

Posted at 10:19PM on Sep 28th 2007 by John

11. I think a decent length for single player games these days is 10-12 hours.

16+ hours can be overkill, unless its something like GTA which will take forever to complete.

Posted at 12:14AM on Sep 29th 2007 by -viper-

12. "8. What's total B$ is that HALO f-in 3 only takes 10 hours to complete, and that game's getting almost all perfect scores. One reviewer even said it was too easy, but that it didn't matter. I call shenanigans."

You have a good point, but in Halo's defense they have a phenomenal multiplayer, and HS doesn't

Posted at 1:59AM on Sep 29th 2007 by Frank

13. @13
yeah I agree, multiplayer can make a huge difference. If a game is short but has fun multiplayer then so what, once your done with the single player you can spend hours and hours online. Just look at warhawk, dosent even have a single player mode and its doing great.

Oh, and to all you people that got heavenly sword, was the demo a fair representation of the game? I was looking forward to the game until i played the demo, so I didnt buy it, but the reviews are making me think about it.

Posted at 4:48AM on Sep 29th 2007 by Josh

14. HS is better than what the demo shows/lets you experience. Right after the demo ends there is a section that leads you to a boss fight with fox. All I have to say is if you've ever played a MSG game you will love this boss. So far the game is the best looking and most responsive(next to NG Sigma)game I've played to date. Get this one or at least rent it. I'm still playing and haven't finished it yet but take it from a gamer that has been playing for some years, this is a great title with a lot of creativity/heart.

Posted at 7:30AM on Sep 29th 2007 by glittlehoss

15. He really has a point. There are so many games I haven't finished. I am playing HS 2 hours a day and I am not rushing, re-playing levels that I think I could do better. HS is an awesome game.

Posted at 8:32AM on Sep 29th 2007 by Emrah

16. I think it really depends on the genre. For an action game, anything over the 10-12 hour mark is superfluous. I just haven't played one that can hold my attention passed that point.

RPGs of course are different. Their narratives are grand-scale epics usually and the only way to do that correctly is to have something that is at least 30 hours. With forty (for me) being the sweet spot.

Adventure games? (Point and click) About the 5 - 10 hour mark.

Posted at 9:58AM on Sep 29th 2007 by Wolfrider

17. he did hit a point. I have so many games that I either trade in fast so i can get a good value back for it or I just don't finish the game because its so long i get bored of it. I finished Heavenly sword and thats the first game i finished since God of war!

Posted at 4:10PM on Sep 29th 2007 by drdre74

18. I work 42 hours min. a week, and I am still playing HS (although, I'm about 15 min. towards finishing it). Is it short? Sure. But if you work a full week (or like me, lots of ot) then HS will fill the bill. I am also STILL playing Persona (for the last 5 weeks or so) and am STILL nowhere finished! =S I think FF13 will be out by the time I finish THAT game! It's taking TOO long to play and I'm starting to level grind like it's a job instead of a game... =/ If I want to play something forever I'll usually take something like skate. or GTA over RPGs or action games. So, length wise, if you do more with your life then game (or are of school-age), then you could do a lot worse then Heavenly Sword.

Just got skate. the other day, btw, and I am loving it TOO much! =D Reminds me of how excited I used to get playing THPS and THPS2 - great music too! Looks like EA learned something that Neversoft forgot - that the GAME itself is the thing, not stories about a fake boarder, but the game (including a killer soundtrack!) =) It's even got DEVO in it! =D (love me some Devo!)

Posted at 12:06AM on Oct 1st 2007 by Consolcwby

19. Consolcwby, I feel you with the Skate love. I gave it a 10/10 on Gamefly, because this game does everything I ever wanted in a videogame. It's freaking huge, it's gorgeous, the music is great (and it's not even favorite genres of mine... respect), the control is absolutely brilliant, and I can just ride around wherever I want. If I want a challenge, I go get one. But mostly I ride around and make movies of myself sucking at just about everything. I don't think I've ever giggled this much with a videogame.

Posted at 10:41PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by John

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