Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
17 January 2007
Again, with the nub!
From Kris Graft's piece today on the PSP games we can expect in 2007:
We know what you're thinking; shooters rarely work on PSP because of the sad analog nub.
No, I wasn't thinking that. In fact, now that you mention it, I still think it's wrong. Let's look at some shooters on the PSP and review quotes about the controls:

  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror - "smooth, well-designed control scheme" (source)

  • Killzone: Liberation - "The shooting mechanics are handled very well in Liberation." (source)

  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo - "intuitive interface" (source)

  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2 - "Whether you're sneaking or shooting, the controls are easy to grasp and they work well for the most part." (source)

  • Medal of Honor Heroes - "It takes a little while to become accustomed to the default control scheme, and it does have a few shortcomings, but overall it works quite nicely." (source)
  • Pursuit Force - "Control is, admittedly, slightly wonky. But thanks to a lock-on mechanism, it's easy to handle crowds of gun-toting gang members." (source)

  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops - "complicated control scheme has a steep learning curve" (source)

  • Bounty Hounds - "With a better camera and improved controls, it could have been a real contender." (source)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II - "Interface makes for somewhat awkward controls" (source)

  • From Russia with Love - "the idiotic method of auto-targeting makes it a real problem" (source)

  • Ghost in the Shell - "Sluggish, imprecise controls" (source)

  • Armored Core: Formula Front - "manual controls are sluggish and difficult to use" (source)
Is every shooter as good as Syphon Filter? No, of course not. But I'd say that with the positive reactions to the shooter controls on the PSP, it's a far cry from "rarely" working. I hate putting Metal Gear Solid in the netural category, since a steep learning curve isn't a statement about the quality of the controls once you've learned them. When you've got the hang of it, MGS:PO controls beautifully. Heck, people were similarly concerned about how Ace Combat X would fare on the PSP's controls and it turned out very well.

As a consistent reader of I see plenty of stuff that Kris has written, and generally I think it's well done. The slamming of the nub, however, is really off the mark. It's like the Jaguar controller crap all over again.

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--Matt Matthews at 12:51
Comment [ 1 ]

Comments on this post:

I imagine it isn't so much that the nub itself is bad, is that there's only one of them and it's on the same side as the d-pad meaning dual-control schemes are impossible.

By Blogger webrunner, at 18 January, 2007 10:05  

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