Left stick = move, right stick = camera

Spending $0.00 on Deadly Premonition was neither a good idea nor a bad idea. It’s just some thing that happened. But now that it’s arrived, I may as well play it, yeah?

The reason to play this game, I’m told, is because the protagonist’s conversations with himself and the voice inside his head are hilarious. After having played through the prologue I must agree they are, indeed, hilarious. That’s not what I want to talk about though.

What I want to talk about is this: Japan needs to get with the program when it comes to mapping their game controls. Every controller on the market has two thumbsticks now. The left stick moves your guy around, the right stick aims the camera. Using these two sticks in conjunction with one another is the superior method of moving a character through 3D space. No other method is anywhere near as good, and everytime someone tries to innovate their game just ends up frustrating the piss out of me.

In Deadly Premonition the left stick moves you around, sure, but it moves you incorrectly. Forward and back are fine, but left and right turn you instead of make you walk. To strafe, you need to hold RB or LB. Since you need to hold RT to stay in combat mode, this means you have to use two fingers on the right shoulder in order to strafe right while holding your weapon.

So what does the right stick do? It’s a snap-look. As in, you push the right stick and the camera snaps 90 degrees in that direction. When you let go it snaps back. It’s very jarring after seeing the smooth camera controls in… well, pretty much every game released since 2003. Point is, right stick is not a freelook, you can’t aim with it, and it doesn’t orient your character.

If this game had its thumbsticks set up properly it’d free up both bumpers and whatever stupid button on the controller toggles your freeloook — if there even is one. I don’t understand why you have to hold a trigger to keep your weapon readied, either.

Basically, trying to actually play Deadly Premonition is a chore, since the game interface fights you every step of the way. I kind of hate that a lot. But I’m dying to see where this plot is going, so I’ll stick it out until I get irretrievably annoyed with it.

I won’t complain too loudly, though. $0.00 sure ain’t a bad price.

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2 comments to Left stick = move, right stick = camera

  • RT-55J

    Sounds like a game I’d enjoy playing.

  • Ossobucco

    Man, this post makes me nostalgic for old 3D PS1 games. Jumping Flash, Mega Man Legends, King’s Field, Syphon Filter, Medal of Honor… great times. Come to think of it, Jumping Flash could be pretty rad with a dual-stick control scheme. Someone should do a remake.

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