Kid Icarus: Uprising enjoyed an excellent critical reception from the majority of the gaming press, though even some of the most positive reviews raised the controls as an issue. We argued that they work well 'with practice' in our Kid Icarus: Uprising review, but it was nevertheless a common concern amongst critics and gamers on community forums.
With that issue following his game around, Masahiro Sakurai has defended the controls in an interview with IGN, addressing the stylus aiming and the fact that dual analogue control wasn't included.
Considering how close to the limit we pushed the 3DS during development, it's a miracle that we were even able to provide support for left-handed controls at the point of completion. Providing support for independent analog control was something that was technically impossible.
I do have my doubts over whether it'd be that easy to provide support. I think any game needs to provide new experiences and stimulating things to discover, but if we provided run-of-the-mill controls for it, that cuts down on the game's potential. If a player used to touchscreen-based aiming played against someone used to right-analog control, the first player would probably dominate. The speed is on a whole different level.
If there are players who say that it makes their hand tired, that's because you're applying too much force. Try to relax and work on building a rhythm to your control. Place the pen in the middle of the touchscreen; when you're flicking it, take the pen off the screen as you're sweeping with it, and stop right there. That's the basic idea.
Sakurai clearly feels that issues with the controls are down to gamers or critics not embracing the way the title is supposed to be played. He cited a similar reaction to the original Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64.
Smash Bros. led to similar misunderstandings when it first came out. Some people, including within the company, commented that they couldn't imagine a worse game. The project was really saved by the fact that people "got" how to play it after it was released. If we had just listened to the complaints and instituted health gauges or command-based special moves, I don't think we would have invented a new style of play that way. The controls here really aren't that difficult, either, so I'm hoping that people will be able to get used to them.
What do you think of the Kid Icarus: Uprising controls? Have you got used to them? Do you agree or disagree with Sakurai that they're the best option for this title?