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OK, so what's the worst controller?


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7 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

My issue with the Dreamcast controller is that Sega had the perfect design with the Saturn 3D controller, and then made it worse for the Dreamcast. (Never liked the VMU; made using the controller and console more fiddly than it needed to be.)

Agreed, I like the VMUs, felt futuristic then  and retro cool now. A Nights pad with a VMU slot would basically be perfect. 

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As a kid I had one of these for my Master System. Utterly fucking unusable. I guess it sort of looked cool to a 10 year old though.

 

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For a real hot take though, in a way, it's been the Dualsense PS5 controller for me. Hear me out: the pad is a joy to use, it's weighty, it's ergonomic, the haptic feedback in the triggers is fantastic, but the two I have are both broken.

 

The one the console came with has some weird issue with the right analogue stick. To be honest, I only notice it in one game: PGA Tour 2K1 - basically you can't swing the golf club with the right stick - your golfer will stand there wildly swinging the club about like he's having a fit. 1 in 10 times it'll work fine. I've tried a DS4 controller and my other Dualsense and they're fine, it's just this one controller that has this issue. And I don't notice it in any other games.

 

The second one I got at Christmas and it essentially arrived broken: the O button keeps getting stuck down. It's like the plastic is catching with the frame of the pad and you need to nudge it a bit to get it to release. I looked at the iFixit guide to dismantling and cleaning it out, and having seen what this entails my weekend plans now include begging Game to replace it despite us no longer having the receipt.

 

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37 minutes ago, Zio said:

The second one I got at Christmas and it essentially arrived broken: the O button keeps getting stuck down.  It's like the plastic is catching with the frame of the pad and you need to nudge it a bit to get it to release

 

I had PS3 and PS4 controllers that did that with the exact same button. Drove me mad.

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I never liked the PS controllers until the Dual Shock 4. I wouldn't call them the worst controllers but from all the big console manufacturers since the late 90s theirs were imo the worst - not counting the conundrum that was the Atari Jaguar's controller.

 

And this marvel of course:

 

wu-tang-video-game-controller_400x333.jp

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10 hours ago, Monkeyspill said:

I was wrong about it having base buttons - I misremembered. It’s actually much worse. Neither of those top buttons were comfortable to use. Terrible, terrible joystick. 


The black and red 80s monstrosity is the Quickshot 2 Turbo. I’m pretty sure it had microswitches and while it was a shit joystick, it was still a lot better than the original Quickshot which was all black with leaf switches. I spent a lot of time unscrewing the base on the latter so I could push the leaf switches back in place to make the stupid thing work.

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38 minutes ago, teddymeow said:

I never understood why the, already short, cable came out of the bottom of the DC pad and then had to clip onto the underside of the pad.

 

Baffling.

 

If I'm not misremembering Sega actually pointed this out as a feature, too.

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Sorry, another vote here for the N64 pad. I bring this up because I dusted off my N64 the other day to try out my new Everdrive and I completely don't miss it at all. I've never, ever held it the proper way either yet never found it uncomfortable with my left thumb stretched across the analogue stick, to me it was my natural way of playing it.

 

I recently bought the wireless Brawler 64 pad and it's a HUGE difference! Not to mention it feels so much lighter. It felt like a long time coming for a decent wireless controller for it.

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5 hours ago, Mawdlin said:

Sacrilege. The N64 controller was wonderful. The analogue stick nuanced and responsive. Mario 64, 1080 and GoldenEye wouldn't have been the games that they were without it. And the rumblePak was innovative and genuinely added a then unrivalled level of immersion to game experiences back then.

 

I hated it. I never owned the console, but borrowed one off a mate for a while. The analogue stick was one of the worst bits about it. Despite the concentric circle pattern on it, my thumb slipped off it so many times when playing. It needed to be concave, or more rubbery, or both. I don't care how accurate it is if my thumb won't stay on it.

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3 hours ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

Never got in with Sony’s pads. The analogue sticks are in such an unnatural position, I get they lazily bolted those onto the original but to persevere with that design every generation since is baffling. Has always turned me away from Sony hardware.

I prefer PlayStation controllers to Xbox for the exact opposite reason, it’s Xbox who have the sticks wrong and should change, I won’t say it’s baffling they persevere though because that’s just me! others obviously prefer them

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9 hours ago, Cyhwuhx said:

The need for Sony to one-up Nintendo's N64 controller by shrinking this monstrosity down to the first twin-stick controller always felt like a particular kind of madness.

This "fact" seems to get repeated quite a lot and is, in a word, bollocks. 

 

We had Analog Controllers - which were non rumble Dual Shocks that had a button to switch between Analog Joystick, Analog Joystick and standard Controller modes - in hand in early 1995. I also remember the Sony TRCs including them in 1994 or thereabouts because there was much debate as to what "must support" actually meant in that instance*. Both of which were a good bit before Nintendo did any controller announcements.

 

Whenever I hear the thing about Sony just wanting to have "one more stick" I always think it just smacks more than a touch of a bit of a sneery "they couldn't innovate, they just copied Nintendo. Nintendo are the TRUE game innovators". It's up there with "Sony killed Sega"... 

 

I'm fairly sure there were analogue sticks way before Sony had them anyway. Didn't the Neo Geo have them? Didn't Saturn beat them to it as well? 

 

* it actually meant "should just treat it as a standard Controller in every mode and not fuck up if you switched between modes" in the early days / months / years. 

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22 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

This "fact" seems to get repeated quite a lot and is, in a word, bollocks. 

 

We had Analog Controllers - which were non rumble Dual Shocks that had a button to switch between Analog Joystick, Analog Joystick and standard Controller modes - in hand in early 1995. I also remember the Sony TRCs including them in 1994 or thereabouts because there was much debate as to what "must support" actually meant in that instance*. Both of which were a good bit before Nintendo did any controller announcements.

 

Whenever I hear the thing about Sony just wanting to have "one more stick" I always think it just smacks more than a touch of a bit of a sneery "they couldn't innovate, they just copied Nintendo. Nintendo are the TRUE game innovators". It's up there with "Sony killed Sega"... 

 

I'm fairly sure there were analogue sticks way before Sony had them anyway. Didn't the Neo Geo have them? Didn't Saturn beat them to it as well? 

 

* it actually meant "should just treat it as a standard Controller in every mode and not fuck up if you switched between modes" in the early days / months / years. 

Yeah, this monstrosity came out before the N64 pad didn't it?

OIP.lo9EORzg16nxwz7afbHc-gAAAA.jpg

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23 minutes ago, MikeBeaver said:

Yeah, this monstrosity came out before the N64 pad didn't it?

OIP.lo9EORzg16nxwz7afbHc-gAAAA.jpg

In my head, they came after the Analog Controllers. But that's probably just that we got the sticks to test with some time after we had the controllers. Either way, the idea that Sony only put two sticks on the Dual Shock to have one more than Nintendo did on the N64 pad is demonstrably wrong. 

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59 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

I'm fairly sure there were analogue sticks way before Sony had them anyway. Didn't the Neo Geo have them? Didn't Saturn beat them to it as well? 

 

Don't think so. Can't find anything about a NEOGEO analogue controller, and Sega's effort (which at the time was perfect to play Nights, and racing games) came out a few weeks after the N64.

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1 minute ago, ScouserInExile said:

In my head, they came after the Analog Controllers. But that's probably just that we got the sticks to test with some time after we had the controllers. Either way, the idea that Sony only put two sticks on the Dual Shock to have one more than Nintendo did on the N64 pad is demonstrably wrong. 

Robotron did twin sticks on an arcade cab back in 1982, so they have prior claim on that. And analogue sticks have been around since the 70s. Sticking both of these on a gamepad is finessing existing ideas, basically. Which is probably why the best controllers learn from everything that came before, rather than do their own thing.

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The mega drive had an analogue controller with two sticks.

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For the Dreamcast Peter Moore recently said they had to decide between a second stick for the controller or putting the modem in. It’s amazing to think how basic controllers were till recently, a pcb, a case and some rubber for the buttons. Where as now they have motors, motion sensors, wifi, lights, and more. So a second analogue stick would have added a lot of cost to the pretty basic Dreamcast controller.

 

For the N64 I’m sure Miyamoto said they considered a second stick but thought it was too confusing compared to previous controls and the n64 controller was the stop gap that was needed. Probably right as the Psone dual sticks really didn’t get properly used for any games on that console and games like ape escape were seen as a novelty or Alien Resurrection seen as difficult to control. Giles Godard recently said during the prototype phase of the n64 they wanted the controller to be symmetrical like the virtua boy rather than the c buttons. 

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1 hour ago, ScouserInExile said:

Whenever I hear the thing about Sony just wanting to have "one more stick" I always think it just smacks more than a touch of a bit of a sneery "they couldn't innovate, they just copied Nintendo. Nintendo are the TRUE game innovators".

 

Well... that's probably more to do with the PlayStation controller basically being jumped-up SNES pad, isn't it? ;)

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3 minutes ago, Keyboard Koala said:

 

Don't think so. Can't find anything about a NEOGEO analogue controller, and Sega's effort (which at the time was perfect to play Nights, and racing games) came out a few weeks after the N64.

I used an analogue joystick in Rumbelow's back in the 80's. It was awful because it didn't self-centre, so it drifted unless you could put it back at zero manually. The tech has been around for ages. It just wasn't very good. Everyone is just evolving what came before.

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1 hour ago, Spiceymike said:

Sorry, another vote here for the N64 pad. I bring this up because I dusted off my N64 the other day to try out my new Everdrive and I completely don't miss it at all. I've never, ever held it the proper way either yet never found it uncomfortable with my left thumb stretched across the analogue stick, to me it was my natural way of playing it.

 

This is mental. How did you play any game that required the Z button? Stretch a finger across round the back? 

 

You took the most ergonomic, comfortable and precise way of playing 3D games in that era and made it torturous. 

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1 hour ago, BongoInferno said:


The black and red 80s monstrosity is the Quickshot 2 Turbo. I’m pretty sure it had microswitches and while it was a shit joystick, it was still a lot better than the original Quickshot which was all black with leaf switches. I spent a lot of time unscrewing the base on the latter so I could push the leaf switches back in place to make the stupid thing work.

We definitely had the ones with leaf switches (maybe the bog-standard Quickshot 2 rather than the Turbo edition?). I remember unscrewing it and trying to sellotape the broken leaf switches back together.

 

The first stick I had with micro switches was the Competition Pro.

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32 minutes ago, Marlowe said:

 

This is mental. How did you play any game that required the Z button? Stretch a finger across round the back? 

 

You took the most ergonomic, comfortable and precise way of playing 3D games in that era and made it torturous. 


The L button normally did the same as the Z button but yeah, that sounds like how your elderly relatives might hold the joypad.

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Always hated the PS controllers until the PS5 one. The pegs that your palms go on are just too fucking short. It's the whole reason I got an Xbox 360 back in the day over the PS3. I got the PS4 because my mates all had one, but the controller still sucked. The PS5 controller is best controller.

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For me, it's the switch controllers as they are just ridiculously small and I get cramp in my hands after about 10 mins. Also, shout out to the PSP for just being awful in terms of controls right across the board. 

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