3DS has caused us more than a little discomfort in its brief
year on sale. Madden 3D hurt our eyes, F1 2011 and Mario Kart 7 hurt our
fingers… but that all pales when compared to the otherwise superb Kid Icarus'
control method. What on EARTH was Nintendo thinking?
Pain! Pain! There's just something intrinsically wrong with having one finger on the left trigger (holding it down to auto-fire but still needing to release it to charge) while steering with the circle pad and supporting the rest of the console's weight with some ungodly arrangement of your remaining digits. To compound the problem further, your right hand is just adding to the console's apparent weight by pressing down on the touch screen from above.
Above: This is literally the most comfortable way I can play the game on my 3DS
And it's incredible how many different ways this hurts to hold. There's the discomfort up your arm from using the shoulder button to fire. The thumb stiffness while attempting the dodge flick while simultaneously trying to grip the machine. And you develop red imprints on your palms from trying to wedge the corners into your hands while keeping your stylus free enough to move. As a method of hurting someone in as many ways possible, that's impressively inventive.
Now, you could say we're being unfair. The game does, after all, come with a little plastic stand, supporting the weight of the console so you're free to play the game without all this painful faffing. A stand? Really? Is that how far we've come from the Nintendo that downgraded its Game Boy's specs just so that it would run longer on 4 AA batteries? And what are we going to look like on the train?
Above: This is not what portable gaming is all about
There are plenty of times where it's just not practical to whip out a little plastic stand and set up your optimal gaming experience, so there really should be a control set-up to offer some solace from the hurt. Surely the Circle Pad Pro add-on will make it stop? But no! To make things even
worse, buying the add-on still doesn't let you play with 'normal' controls – it just accommodates left-handed players. Why? Because Nintendo thought it "would end up being just the same as controls on other platforms". You know, the ones that don't leave you looking like someone constantly practicing shadow puppetry.