Some of you think I unfairly called the Nintendo 64 the worst controller, and I do confess that there are worse game console controllers out there. It was really more of the biggest controller let down because, let’s face it, the Super Nintendo controller was so on the money, but Nintendo took a sad step back.
Here’s the earlier post in case you missed it.
If you glance down into the annals of console and computer gaming history, you will find far worse controllers. You will find controllers that make the word control a joke. You will see controllers that take the word control completely out so all you’re left with is ler.
And what’s a ler?
So here is the confession and then some of my opinions on some of the other worst controllers… There are a lot out there, especially for the early systems that no one has ever heard of. I’m going to try to cover a few you might have heard of.
Wow! So I’m going to be able to punch in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out? No? Well… I’ll be able to make Mario jump with my fingers! No? Well, then wtf is the point of this? We still don’t know. What we do know is that it seemed cooler in The Wizard, which was basically a long Nintendo commercial for it. Even today, you can find the power glove make appearances in episodes at purepwnage.com. It gets points for nostalgia badness.
I just said that the Wiimote and Nunchuck made the best controller ever. Now I’m going to say there are some things that the Wiimote just should not be combined with. The two obvious questions are: 1) Why? and 2) What? I honestly don’t have the best answers for either. Apparently it makes the Wiimote more Batmanesque. You put the Wiimote in the piece of plastic and… voi la! It becomes a Wiimote in a Batman-like piece of plastic. I know it sounds like it would give the Wiimote boomerange qualities, but please, don’t throw it (at least not with the Wiimote inside- otherwise, throw it in the trash).
Oh, no you didn’t go there. Oh, yes I did. This was my first gaming system, so I hesitate to bad mouth it, and yet I must. I still have my Atari 2600, but not with original joysticks (bought some from Strange Maine in Portland, ME). That’s my main point. They broke. The sticks would often come off leaving no stick and no joy behind either. Sometimes just the casing on the stick came off leaving this narrow white plastic thing that would be near impossible to use before it snapped off later.
Xbox Original Controller
As I admitted in my last controller post, I have small hands. Still, there is no excuse for a controller specifically made for large apes with ninja dexterity only. What about the small apes with ninja dexterity, and more importantly, what about me? Make everything really rounded and spaced far apart so it looks like I’m trying to hold a fish when I’m trying to game. Why are the analog controllers located in different places on each side? I know that symmetry is bad composition, but this is a controller, not a painting class. And why are there a couple of tiny buttons with the big regular buttons? Did they take notes from the N64 controller? While we’re on that thread, expansion packs are bad and pointless. If it needs to exist for the console, put it in the console, or make it in the controller.
Not that anyone had a Sega Saturn anyways, but OMG. I complained about the big, awkwardness of both “>N64 controllers and Xbox‘s, but really, this is so far beyond either of those. Thank whatever deities that this isn’t what came with the system, especially since it didn’t work with all Saturn games. Yes, I’m serious. You had to have the privilege in have this controller supported for your game.
On one hand, it’s not as bad as the N64. On the other hand, you’d think Nintendo would learn from its mistakes. Be thankful they got rid of the phallic symbol in the middle but, they added some weird, odd shaped buttons of different sizes and colors. How hard can we make it for you to use a button? Try using a controller with elongated, rounded rectangles and you’ll find out.
I’m not saying there aren’t other bad controllers out there. As long as video games exist, there will be poor designs implemented to control them. I also should say that I think that even my favorite controllers could be better. I won’t be completely satisfied until virtual reality anyways! And even then… let’s face it. There’s always room for improvement.