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The Motion Revolution: From Wii to Switch and Beyond

Motion controls, a fad that took the gaming world by storm after the release of the Wii in 2006, had a significant impact on the industry. Sony and Mi...

Jeremy Laird

Jan 29, 2024

The Motion Revolution: From Wii to Switch and Beyond

Motion controls, a fad that took the gaming world by storm after the release of the Wii in 2006, had a significant impact on the industry. Sony and Microsoft couldn't resist the temptation and decided to follow in Nintendo's footsteps. But let's face it, not all games were better off with motion controls. Some managed to integrate this mechanic flawlessly, while others suffered from its inclusion.

Fast forward to the present day, and Sony and Nintendo are the only two console companies still firmly committed to motion gaming. With over 15 years of experience with this "gimmick," it's time to ask ourselves, what are the best motion games out there? Let's dive into the rankings!

Just like Wii Sports showcased the potential of the Wii, 1-2 Switch proved that the Nintendo Switch was a force to be reckoned with. This collection of mini-games, designed for local multiplayer mayhem, offers a range of events, from magical duels to plate spinning to cow... milking. Yes, some of the mini-games are bizarre, but they undeniably utilize motion controls in hilariously precise ways.

Punch-Out, the 2009 Wii remake, gave players three distinct ways to control their pint-sized pugilist. You could opt for the standard SNES control scheme, where every action was tied to button inputs. Alternatively, you could throw punches by thrusting either half of the Wii controller, or use the Wii Motion Board to dodge by actually crouching. The choice was yours, and each option added a unique twist to the gameplay.

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a badass fighter in a Matrix-like world? Look no further than Super Hot VR. In this game, time only moves when you do, granting you the power to stand still and watch your digital opponents freeze in space. But remember, progress requires movement, so eventually, you'll have to unfreeze them. The motion controls in this game feel integral and natural, unlike the 3D movie experiences of the past.

Red Steel 2, the result of Ubisoft going back to the drawing board, is a stylistic hybrid of an Old West shooter and an Eastern-style sword fighter. It may have had a rough start with its predecessor, but this game wowed players with its artistic flair and the more inventive use of the Wii's motion controls.

If you're not squeamish, Surgeon Simulator CPR is a must-try game. As the name suggests, you'll be picking through people's guts on a routine basis. The game's premise alone makes it stand out, but what sets it apart is the ability to play it in co-op mode, with one player holding one Joy-Con and the other gripping the other. Trust me, it's the most awkward CPR session you'll ever experience!

Let's not forget the ill-fated Kinect for Xbox One. D4, from the curious mind of Deadly Premonition's Swery65, may have been playable with a regular controller, but it was easier to navigate with your hands. Despite the partnership between Microsoft and Access Games coming to an end, D4's strangeness is still worth exploring.

The irony of Skyward Sword, a game that relied heavily on motion controls, is that when it was ported to the Switch, players rejoiced because it offered an option to play without motion controls. The new and improved motion controls, however, were unfairly overlooked because of their significant improvement.

Fantasia, the groundbreaking animated film from Disney, inspired a music game that aimed to captivate players with its celestial power. The game, developed in collaboration with Harmonix, prompts players to perform a range of hand and arm motions to synchronize with vibrant visual cues on screen. It's like a trippy, celestial version of Just Dance fused with Guitar Hero.

Finally, we can't conclude our list without mentioning the Mario Tennis series. With the Switch's Joy-Con controllers, Mario Tennis Aces finally delivers the kineticism that tennis deserves. From subtle vibrations as the ball nears its destination to full-blown vibrations upon impact, the game truly immerses players in the sport.

And speaking of Just Dance, we can't deny its massive popularity. Although it somehow slipped under our radar, we can't forget to include the latest edition of the series. While it may not bring anything grandly new to the table, the combination of popular hits and the classic dance gameplay makes it a must-have for any motion control enthusiast.

In conclusion, motion controls have come a long way from their Wii origins. While some games have thrived with their integration, others have struggled to find their footing. But with the advancements in technology and the creativity of game developers, motion controls continue to offer unique and engaging experiences. So, grab your controller and get ready to move, because the motion revolution is here to stay!

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