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Top 10 Worst Game Controllers

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-point-that-thing-at-me dept.

Games 263

Ant writes "IGN has a top ten list that focuses on some of the brilliantly terrible game controllers that shipped for game systems. Many of these were first-party, out-of-the-box concepts, while others were cash-in ideas from engineers that clearly either didn't have a sense in their noggin, or they simply listened too much to their marketing department. Either way, these controllers are a bad bunch."

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Top ten worst controllers? (-1, Troll)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789823)

Anything aside from keyboard/mouse blows.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (3, Funny)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789841)

Anything aside from keyboard/mouse blows.

Have you ever tried playing Mario 3 with a mouse?

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (0, Troll)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789848)

Have you ever tried playing Mario 3 with a mouse?

I've never played Mario 3. If it's anything like the old NES 8bit Super Mario affair I would play it on a keyboard

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790008)

>>Have you ever tried playing Mario 3 with a mouse?

I've never played Mario 3. If it's anything like the old NES 8bit Super Mario affair I would play it on a keyboard

First of all, it is an old NES 8bit Super Mario affair.

Second, console games on a keyboard absolutely suck. Absolutely, completely. Slow games like the text-based Radical Dreamers are playable with a keyboard, but platformers? Completely unplayable.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (0, Troll)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790057)

Perhaps by you...

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (2, Insightful)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790072)

They never even played Mario 3..they wouldn't understand

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789874)

What about joysticks? (GOOD ones, like the origional MS Sidewinder Precision Pro)

Try playing a good flight sim (or space sim) without one. I'm looking in particular at IWar2:EoC and Freespace2.

But gamePADS? nearly worthless. Only thing better than a mouse/keyboard for gaming (except above exception :) ) is a mouse with a keyboard that has aligned keys (not the funky home-row based staggering)

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (3, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789900)

Try playing a good flight sim (or space sim) without one

You may not consider it good but I did play Freelancer with KB/M. I liked it just fine.

If I were to do a real flight sim I'd really be willing to shell out the cash for a proper flight setup. I'm really impressed with how good sims are at this point and I think it would be worth buying the right gear.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790144)

You may not consider it good but I did play Freelancer with KB/M. I liked it just fine.

You played Freelancer with KB/M because you had to play Freelancer with KB/M. It didn't support joysticks (intentionally). I also played Freelancer, and while I did get used to the controls eventually I still yearned for it to support a Joystick. So I went back to Freespace 1/2.

Sadly, nobody's making decent space flight sims anymore. Yeah, X3 shipped recently, but it's covered in nasty copy protection I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot poll. And yes, I know about Freespace 2 SCP, but it's still just Freespace (or user-created mods and games that never get past 10% completion). I'd try EVE Online, but I really don't want to get into the MMOG grind.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790161)

You played Freelancer with KB/M because you had to play Freelancer with KB/M.

No, I played it KB/M because even if there would have been other supported controllers I still would have played it KB/M. I simply mentioned it because I was asked about flight/space sims.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (2, Funny)

svip (678490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790097)

I play space sims with mouse, X-Wing/TIE Fighter through Freespace 1/2 to Freelancer and countless less famous ones. Wouldn't switch to joystick except when forced to by Lucas.

Re:Top ten worst controllers? (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789942)

"Anything aside from keyboard/mouse blows."

Generalizations always suck.

Worst two (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789845)

Atari 2600 and NES.

They are square and painfull!

XBOX (4, Insightful)

ibentmywookie (819547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789920)

I noticed Xbox was listed there, and I will have to agree. But not just because it is big, but because of the buttons! The button layout is awful, and the shape of the buttons hurts my thumb. That, and I can never remember what each button is because they all feel the same. Meh.

Personally, I like the gamecube controller. The big fat A is easy to find and is the button used most anyway.

Re:XBOX (2, Informative)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790017)

It's funny, I've noticed a large number of people complain about the XBox 'sattelite' but I find it very comfortable (as do a fair number of my friends). Then again, I have freakishly large hands, and so that might be a factor... (consequently I dislike most other console controllers).

Re:Worst two (2, Interesting)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789985)

The NES one really hurt my hands. Not only the corners of the actual controller, but the square d-pad and the buttons would do a number too. yes, I played way too much...
The 2600 controller was a classic though

Re:Worst two (3, Insightful)

Destoo (530123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789990)

Well, my current signature (and the guy I quoted) disagree. ..the bottom line is if a game is fun, you will play it well past the point where it's causing you physical pain. -Chris

This means that your hands will adapt to the console you grew up with.. Sometimes artificially. (electric tape on the thumb, anyone?)

And to answer another comment in the same thread.. Yes. The big A. Forcing third parties to use THAT button as primary button is great. Very intuitive and all.

But Nintendo.. practice what you preach. That might be one of the reasons the Zelda:TTP demo wasn't too well received (when I tried it, anyway) because that big green A button had NOTHING assigned to it when you start the demo. Must have been used for a device you acquire later in the game.

N64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790120)

At least they didn't require three hands to use! ;)

Next on that list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790245)

Revolution's controller.

Gamecube? (5, Insightful)

Cybert14 (952427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789846)

Is that "Z" in the worst position possible or what?

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790002)

big time.

everytime I play a game of any kind and that Z button is for something important, though it is amazing how far I can get in a game without the use of the Z button :P

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790023)

damn, shouldn't try to type and listen to TV at the sametime...

what I ment was, everytime I play a game and the Z Button is assigned to something important I forget that it is even there, so I end up getting stuck & Pissed at a game then read a FAQ about it and that's when I remember there is a Z button on the controller.

aside from the location of that Z button I like the rest of the controller, it seems like it was designed for you to rest your fingers on the buttons at all times instead of rested somewheres else...tho the L & R triggers hurt after awhile since they don't press down hard enough unless you really jam the damn thing down.

Re:Gamecube? (2, Insightful)

NeoBlazeSJX (943994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790200)

The Z trigger was put "out of place" on purpose. It's supposed to be a 'special' button that's slighly out of the way so it isn't hit accidentally. By requiring you to move your finger to press it makes for a more deliberate action. Same reason why Black and White were placed where they were on the Xbox controllers.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Cybert14 (952427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790222)

Haven't had the same finger pain on the black and white (both versions). It's way out of line for any purpose really. I don't want to hurt while playing a dang video game.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790027)

>>> Is that "Z" in the worst position possible or what?

How is it a bad position?

I think the cube controller's one of the most comfortable.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Nivoset (607957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790077)

i think its to high up. like the top PS2/Ps1 R/L buttons, i want them to be more below the controller so my hand is comfortly able to reach them

i know i am not the only hand type. so maybe make a controller with it moveable. or something. programable.. and have the f&cker covered with buttons... that would be funny

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790111)

I think that the cube has a wonderful comfortable controller with the exception of that stupid Z button in the worst possible place. The fact that the R button is designed with a lip causes much annoyance while it rubs your index finger raw.

I think the biggest slap in the face is that SSB:Melee requires the use of the Z button while L and R do the exact same thing with no way of changing it. If that doesn't cause you to curse the Z button then you need to tell the world your secret.

Re:Gamecube? (2, Interesting)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790174)

I have to agree that the Z button placement is less than ideal, and I'm an admitted Nintendo fanboy.

The problem is that your hands naturally settle into the convenient grooves for the L and R buttons when gripping the controller. These buttons almost almost grip your fingers themselves, so they are comfortably settled and you do not want to have to move them while playing the games. There's actually a ridge on the R button that "impedes" your finger's progress towards the Z button if you want to press it. Not that it's difficult to reach the button if you're really want to, but it's not comfortable.

A better design might have been if they had done something similar to the N64 controller, putting it on the under side of the controller, perhaps between the C-stick and the B/A/Y/X button cluster, or perhaps to the left of the C-stick, though that have proven difficult to reach for kids with tiny hands.

It's not one of the worst controllers, but it's not one of my favorites either.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790190)

Is that "Z" in the worst position possible or what?

No. All the games that I've played used the Z button for something that wasn't critical to the action like bringing up menus or maps (sure beats reaching over for the start button.) I have one of these controllers sitting right in front of me, and I do have to say that its placement right over the shoulder button really doesn't make it very hard to reach. It's only bad if the designers of a game decide that the shoulder buttons AND the Z-button are to be used for something important, but those are the types of games that probably didn't have a lot of thought put into them anyway.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790365)

No shit.

I love the Gamecube. I love the games for it. I absolutely despise that Z button. Couldn't it have been under the right middle finger? Then it would actually be easy AND usefull(without having to leave the R flipper).

Note: I'm a Nintendo Fanboy good as the rest, but I'm not gonna say it's perfect.

Re:Gamecube? (1)

GuyWithAccount (916629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790529)

Is that "Z" in the worst position possible or what?

Can't you just rest your middle fingers on the L and R buttons and your right index finger on the Z button? That's what I always do, and I don't find it uncomfortable at all, but that might just be because I am used to it.

I do agree, though, that the asymmetry doesn't make that much sense. I would have preffered it if the controller had another button on the left side behind the L button.

Roklan's 2600 'trackball' (4, Interesting)

RobotWisdom (25776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789859)

My nominee was a pseudo-trackball for the Atari 2600, made by Roklan around 1982. Trackballs had been hot for arcade games since Missile Command, but were too expensive for home games. Roklan's 'ball' didn't really roll, though it was designed to look like it did. Instead, it gave the standard 2600 joystick compass-points, via the infinitely non-ergonomic semispherical controller.

Re:Roklan's 2600 'trackball' (4, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789947)

You can find a picture of it here [] . Also a few other gems that should have probably made the list if they weren't more than painful memories in a few peoples minds.

Re:Roklan's 2600 'trackball' (1)

VelvetHelmet (655533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790339)

I was glad to see the "Slik Stick" on that page. I went through 3 or 4 of them. They were great because the range of motion was so small especially compared to the larger joysticks. -Brian

Nice List, But... (2, Insightful)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789865)

The list is on IGN's XBox 360 section. Any bets on wether or not they're going to come out with a "10 Best Controllers" list, with the 360 controller on top?

Re:Nice List, But... (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790080)

It can't be...
Joystick perfection was already reached with the collecovision Super Action Controller

Re:Nice List, But... (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790266)

Actually, joystick perfection was achieved with the NES Advantage.

Anyone who has ever owned one will agree with me.

Re:Nice List, But... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790110)

Umm... well, they put the original Xbox controller as the #2 worst controller ever.

I personally liked the 'fat' controller a million times better than the midget sized one.

I couldn't stand the button placement of the mini-version. Why oh why did they move the white and black buttons?

Touchpad (5, Insightful)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789869)

Well my notebook's touchpad is terrible in quake and RTS games, unless I'm playing against a newbie. Even Minesweeper takes a huge performance hit.

Gyromite (3, Informative)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789903)

ROB the Family Robot? I think that should have made the cut.

another problem (1)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789924)

Both the SNES and the megadrive used to give me blisters on my left thumb.. i suppose it could be cos i played solidly from age 8 to 13

Original XBox Controller? (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789932)

I'm suprised this even made the list. I find the original XBox controler QUITE comfortable; granted, I do have large hands, but it's also gotten rave reviews from people with small hands. Most of the griping I've heard about it is that they prefer the smaller, newer version instead, but placing the Xbox controler amongst such monstrosities as the Sega Activator seems like an excessive attack on the Xbox or Microsoft in general.

Re:Original XBox Controller? (1)

the_flyswatter (720503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790013)

but placing the Xbox controler amongst such monstrosities as the Sega Activator seems like an excessive attack on the Xbox or Microsoft in general

What do you expect? This is Slashdot! Microsoft is always evil and Google are the eternal "good guys"

Are you kidding? (2, Funny)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790045)

If Google made a controller, it would be free, but in China it would have only one (state-approved) button.

Re:Original XBox Controller? (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790046)

I really liked the original controller too...but I too have big hands

Re:Original XBox Controller? (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790088)

They had to have something modern, and the Game Cube would have been a really controversial choice.

The Xbox launching with that thing was pretty controversial. It was like someone had taken a regular controller and stung it repeatedly by bees, and was taken as a sign that Microsoft didn't know what it was doing. It was also symbolic of how generally huge the Xbox was.

The bead buttons were also quite uncomfortable for unaccustomed hands. I tested with that thing for a few weeks, and the divot in my right hand was pronounced and painful. They didn't have the tactile feedback, they were too "slick," and they dug into your fingers in odd ways. Thankfully the Type-S controller fixed these problems.

It also had too much of an inward curve, leading to a slightly ackward arm position, though that could just be from years of practicing on other controllers. Still, it always felt like it was going to slip in towards you.

The thing about a small controller is that anyone can hold it, and more importantly there are a myriad of subtly different ways that you can hold your hand and still have it be comfortable. You can hold it elbows out, elbows at your side. You can ride your hands up so that you're closer to the top buttons, or you can slide down towards the lower sticks. You can rest so low on a PS2 controller that you can hardly reach the top buttons. You can engulf the thing with your entire hand, wrapping your pointer fingers around it like claws.

With a large controller, there is only one way to hold it and still have your hands reach the buttons in a usable fashion. Like the Jaguar, if that happens to be the way you hold the controller, then it will work great for you. And if it isn't, you're not going to be able to come to a compromise with the controller. That's why most successful controllers don't have finger grooves... exactly where the player puts their fingers varies by person. It may feel wonderful to the developer, but put it in the hands of someone with a slightly different bone structure and it is downright torture.

Strangely enough I always found the Jaguar controller just right for my hands, though the buttons needed to be raised from the surface about 2 millimeters and given a smoother activation pressure. But everyone else I've given that thing to was deeply uncomfortable, and could never figure out a way to hold it that was right for them.

Re:Original XBox Controller? (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790127)

That is kind of harsh. It might not have been the best controller for everyone but it wasn't on the level of the power glove. The most recent bad controller was the Dreamcast. Too small, not flared and it felt cheap. I couldn't use it for long before cramping up. The N64 was weird too. It had 3 handles and never felt right to me. It was revolutionary for its time though, I guess.

As my friend has termed it.. THE DUKE! (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790233)

Save the Duke [] This is worth reading.

Re:As my friend has termed it.. THE DUKE! (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790305)

Microsoft termed it the Duke, AFAIK.

Re:As my friend has termed it.. THE DUKE! (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790317)

News to me. He's the only one I ever met who called it that, but you're probably right. Funny story anyway.

Nintendo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14789933)

Nintendo Revolution didn't make it into that list?

Xbox controller (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789935)

the BEST ever game controller had to be the original large xbox controllers. they are the only controllers that actually fit my hands.

Re:Xbox controller (1)

nycguy (892403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789992)

You're just trying to get a date... :-)

Re:Xbox controller (1)

ActionJesus (803475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790053)

On slashdot? O_o

Re:Xbox controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790297)

His joke was the typical stereotype - large hands means large .... you get the idea.

Re:Xbox controller (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790230)

With what, an Xbox controller?

Re:Xbox controller (1)

BladeOfAnduril (936199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790256)

I could not agree more!! I find the Duke (as it's been called) very comfortable. I also think it's button layout is superior to the S controller that everyone else seems to like so much. I hope there will at some time be a Duke reincarnation for the 360. That or I'll have to figure out how to make my old Duke work with a 360.

TI-99 (2, Insightful)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789937)

The controller wasn't bad, actually. Indestructable and not oversensitive. Or maybe it was undersensitive and that's why I always sucked at arcade games. Too much TI-99 time. Alpiner, TI Invaders, great stuff.

Re:TI-99 (1)

IcarusMoth (631872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790139)

And Munchman and Parsec and Midnight Mason (Yes I still have mine, and YES! it still works)

N64. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14789938)

Reason? The analogue stick died after about 3 weeks and ended up harder to move than rubbing 2 sheets of sandpaper together.

Bad Controllers (1)

foxxygirltamara (805529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789973)

NES and Sega (although I had a better 3rd party controller) we'll have to wait and see on Revolution :-P

Re:Bad Controllers (1)

foxxygirltamara (805529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790014)

forgot one: I had a U-Force [] for the NES, that was probably the stupidest idea for a controller I have seen and it sucked pretty hard.

PowerGlove only #7?? (5, Interesting)

DiamondLOD (949171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789974)

The power glove was #7 and the intellivision disc was #4??? The intellivision controller was great for lots of games. I wasted more of my life on Discs Of Tron and Treasure of Tarmin than probably any other games (except maybe MOO2).

I actually bought that flaming piece of garbage power glove back in the day, and it simply DID NOT WORK. The intellivision disk worked, as did the XBox fat controller (although it stank on ice).

How about the 2nd generation Thrustmaster joysticks? Remember the ones that needed a driver that soaked up so much high memory that even with memory managers you couldn't possibly run any good games in DOS? That definitely should have made the list.

I was also hoping that the mouse would make the list. I've always hated using a mouse for game controls.

So if those are the 10 worst, what are the ten best? The Logitech wireless PS/2 controller? The Microsoft rotating flight stick? Funny enough, I'd say the Intellivision disk...

Re:PowerGlove only #7?? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790271)

Ferarro Design's Claw & Belkin's Nostromo n52.


Re:PowerGlove only #7?? (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790307)

The power glove was #7 and the intellivision disc was #4??? The intellivision controller was great for lots of games. I wasted more of my life on Discs Of Tron and Treasure of Tarmin than probably any other games (except maybe MOO2).

I'm with you -- the Intellivision controller doesn't belong on that list. Sure it was different from what we're used to today, but in general, it worked quite well. So much so that my Intellivision still works just fine, all these decades later.

My only complaint about it would be the overlays. Not the idea of the overlays -- just how the actual overlays were made, and how the top laminate over time would peel up, making them really hard to insert.

I think I might have to get my Intellivision out of storage and hook it up this weekend for some really old school gaming. Utopia, here I come!

(And yes, I do have "Tron: Deadly Discs" :) ).


Nintendo Laserscope (4, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789977)

I'm sorry any device in which to shoot you had to say "FIRE!" into a microphone was just plain lame. I can't imagine playing Contra or Laser Invasion (the only game to support this contraption) this way.. []

Re:Nintendo Laserscope (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790030)

Well, you're almost right... The Laserscope is compatible only with Zapper-enabled games, so you could also play games like Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley. Since Contra doesn't support any light-gun peripheral that I'm aware of, I imagine it'd be a bear to try and play it with one.

And, yes, it was a rather silly contraption.

Re:Nintendo Laserscope (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790501)

Note that the Laserscope isn't Nintendo Fault. It's clearly listed as being a KONAMI product.

XBox Fat (3, Insightful)

Braedley (887013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789978)

I actually like the original version over it's smaller sibling. I found it much more comfortable to play Halo with (which is all I ever really played as it was on a friends system). I found the "handles" on the small weren't long enough to fill out my hands. Similarly, I have the same complaints about the PS/PS2 and N64 controlers.

Roll 'N Rocker (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14789989)

What? No Roll 'N Rocker [] ? That thing looked like two broken ankles just aching to happen.

The Jaguar controller? (2, Interesting)

faedle (114018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790007)

Okay, now there's a lot of things you could have said about the Jaguar, but to dis the controller just seems.. petty.

First off, the Jaguar controller was the first controller I ever used that was comfortable for me (who has larger hands) to hold. I could grab the controller firmly, and actually play Tempest 2000 for a few hours without having hand cramps.

And, what the hell is wrong with them just automatically saying "it has a phone keypad, therefore it sucks?" I thought the phone keypad with overlays thing was at least a good idea on paper, and the Jaguar controller was a good effort. Bad Atari for not giving you a place to store the overlays..

Anyway, they dis this controller, and there's no "hate" for the original Commodore VIC joystick?

Re:The Jaguar controller? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790125)

What VIC joystick? All most people used were the joysticks off their Atari 2600's.

Re:The Jaguar controller? (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790184)

This one. []

Re:The Jaguar controller? (1)

Arctic Fox (105204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790258)

F*ck yeah...
I was thinking the same thing.
I beat Tempest 2K (maybe one of the best games ever) with that controller... hours at a time with that, no problem.

If it had six buttons instead of the three it would have been far more useful for that fighting game.... the ridicuoulsly bloody one. I forgot what it was called.

Re:The Jaguar controller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790403)

Kasumi Ninja! HAHAHAHA!

I agree, the Jag controller was not all that bad. I would not rate it as the best ever but it works and mine was always responsive. Oh well guess you can't please everyone.

The TI/99 is on there! (3, Insightful)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790010)

Finally, I find that someone else feels the pain I felt as a child, trying to play "Parsec" and "The Attack" with that junk heap. It got to the point where I would turn the thing upside down and dig the handle into the carpeting. Then, in order to move, I'd put my weight into the direction opposite the one I wanted to go to make it work. Sad. By comparison, the 2600 controller (another shit heap) was a DiVinci masterpiece.

What? Where's the joyboard? (1)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790034)

The first product from the the engineers who developed the Amiga was the Joyboard [] . It had to be more difficult to use than a lot of the things on their list. And it inspired the "Guru Meditation Error" of the early Amiga OS.

Wavebird is the best... sort of... (2, Insightful)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790040)

The Wavebird controller for Gamecube would be my vote for best controller if not for the 'z' button. Other than that it kicks PS, xbox, and N64 controller's butts.

I rated (0, Flamebait)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790054)



Did he ever use a Jaguar controller? (4, Interesting)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790071)

The stuff about the Jaguar controller just smacks of ignorance. It's like a piece of videogame folklore that, true or not, people repeat over and over.

In particular:
- Nothing wrong with a numeric keypad or overlays. They were actually helpful, for crying out loud, and allowed for truly complex games like Iron Soldier

- As a proud Jaguar owner, I never got the impression that Atari was fishing for the Mortal Kombat krowd. They only had *two* fighting games, for crying out loud, and three if you include the Jaguar CD (which came much later).

- The connectors were not loose. I own one that I stepped on, and even with some of the plastic cuff missing, it still stays in the controller port just fine. I've *never* had one fall out.

It's just idiotic bashing, and it displays the kind of ignorance that passes muster at places like IGN.

About the Atari 5200 Controller (4, Informative)

Mr_Tricorder (910543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790087)

The prototype for the controller contained a washer in the joystick that was necessary for it to center automatically. However, sometime before mass production, someone removed the washer from the prototype and all of the controllers were mass-produced without it.

Robotic Operating Buddy (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790119)

As much as I hate to talk smack about anyone or anything with such an awesome name, I'm going to have to submit ROB [] .

Eternal Champions = SEGA's whipping boy (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790170)

Eternal Champions [] always struck me as the game series that SEGA created just in case they never got Street Fighter II. I liked both games in the series, but I thought the sequel (Eternal Champions CD) was the better game. I think one of the big reasons why was the Activator. See, all the special moves had to be able to be activated by the Activator, so they mostly ended up being charge moves. (Why, oh why, did they saddle this game with the Activator?!? Can you imagine a family buying two Activators to play it? It was a fighting game, it was supposed to be two player!) The game was still good, but I really wish that it hadn't been chosen as the game to market the Activator. The SEGA-CD version was not marketed as "Activator compatible" I think that the Activator had been abandoned by that point, so the moves had more variety.

Of course, the series was always a red-headed step-child at SEGA as evidenced by its sad end:

With production just getting started on the final chapter of the Eternal Champions trilogy, Latham was stunned to learn that the project was being cancelled. Sega of Japan, in an effort to push their Virtua Fighter franchise in America, decided to can the Saturn Champions game, citing a desire to focus on a single fighting series. I think it has more to do with their coming to the realization that Virtua Fighter was not only an inferior product, but would also not be able to compete with Eternal Champions' popularity in the U.S. While Virtua Fighter was very successful in Japan, there was no contest as to which would have sold better stateside. Sega's eventual decision to farm out the development of Virtua Fighter 3tb on the Dreamcast is proof of this. This was simply another example of Sega of Japan's arrogance and complete cluelessness about the American market, an attitude which would eventually force them out of the hardware business.
I still miss, SEGA, and wish they had survived to this dark, dreary modern age but it's things like this that makes you realize that the deserved what they got (as horrible as it was for console gaming that it happened). I suppose my relationship with SEGA could be called battered-gamer syndrome. "Sorry about that 32X, here's Nights though, will you buy a Saturn? Remember how good it was in the old days..."

Atari 5200 the worst by far (1)

Araxen (561411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790179)

Seriously I have never seen a controller break soooooooo easily. The 5200 controller should be #1 no contest on that grounds alone.

What, no ColecoVision Hand Controller? (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790214)

I see that the Atari 5200 controller made #10. And that the Intellivision controller made #4. Where on earth is the original ColecoVision hand controller? Hardware-wise, the things were about as flaky as the 5200's (both wear out far too easily), and in terms of ergonomics, they far surpass the Intellivision's for crapitude.

Recessed keypad: check. Overlays that get mangled on repeated insertion and removal: check. Uncomfortable "flat-top mushroom" joystick: check. The ColecoVision's hand controllers have to rank up there as among the worst, and yet IGN overlooked it somehow.

Not even the firing buttons were properly designed. As Consumer Reports wrote at the time of its release: "You must press the trigger buttons with the same thumb and forefinger that hold the controller, unless you rest the controller on a table top; pressing the buttons can be awkward and fatiguing."

And when the Coleco ADAM came to light, the only change to the controllers made by Coleco Industries was to the color. I think the Connecticut Leather Company deserves special mention for not only a terrible "first gen" design, but the chutzpah to recycle it for there "second gen" system. Gah!

Gravis Gamepad Pro (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790226)

It was just like a PS1 controller... Only it always broke! I went through 3 of them.

Re:Gravis Gamepad Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790295)

You mean the PS1 controller was like a Gravis Game Pro. Mine never broke but the god damn D Pad or disc or whatever you wanted to call that was WAAAAAYYY too fucking sensitive. I really like it when playing a side scroller and my guy ducks and gets run over or something. That sucks.

The Fairchild(?) joystick (1)

Dinosaur Neil (86204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790235)

Back when the 2600 was still new, a friend of mine ended up with an alternative system called (I think) the Fairchild Game System. It had the worst controller I've ever encountered. Start with a handle (just a handle, no buttons) and place a rounded triangular knobby thing on top. The knob could be pushed forward, back, left, right, pulled up, and pushed down, plus it could be twisted clockwise or counterclockwise a little ways to trigger two more switches. That's eight toggles on one joystick, while the other hand just held it in place. This wasn't just a gimmick that didn't work; someone thought consolidating all the controls into single point of failure was a good thing (oh, and they also thought that it would last for more than ten minutes of energetic gameplay). The system never caught on, mostly because the 2600 was pretty well established by the time it was rolled out, but that controller would have killed it just as effectively...

Re:The Fairchild(?) joystick (1)

Trotsky820 (543230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790405)

I actually had one of these, and thought that the controller was a good design, except for the failure issues which you mentioned. Especially when you consider that the dominant 2600 only had the eight position, one fire button design. I remember a couple of games that made good use of the twist action. Next time that I'm at my parent's house, I'll have to see if it is still lying around.

The Tandy-made controllers (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790237)

When I had a Tandy 1000HX, you couldn't use standard IBM/Apple 2 controllers. So, you had the Tandy analog + 2 button joystick. It had 2 modes, one was full-travel among all directions, the other restricted the movement, moreso for just directional.

I broke it twice playing some 3/4 perspective ninja game. But some cement and it was good again.

Yes, the TI-994/A controllers sucked. There wasn't even an indicator on the stick which one was player 1 or 2. I just put a green sticker underneath #2. It required more effort to hit the mushy button or directions. Why? A piece of foam rubber on the inside. That, and it looked ugly. No doubt it helped sales of atari 2600 stick adapters.

My only controller annoyance as of recently were non-Sony PS2 controllers not recognized by certain games. So, it's back to the dualshock.

Who remembers ColecoVision (1)

ianc7 (694137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790251)

you're hands would be done after a marathon Zaxxon session. The IntelliVision that did make the list was even worse though.

Logitech Rumblepad 2 (1)

daemon_mf (786046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790322)

Slightly of TFA, but for some reason Logitech gave the Rumblepad 2 for the PC square moldings around the analog stick which makes pulling off circular motions a pain in the ass. Oddly, their controller for the PS2 does not have this.

Well, Beauty Is In The Eye (1)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790323)

I strongly disagree with two of the controllers: The Intellivion controller was just brilliant. The atari joystick had 8 contacts. The Intellivision had 16. That made the feel of many of the games more realistic. In Football (or Super Pro Football), for example (oh crap am I dating myself here), "rolling out" the QB was just that - as you rolled your thumb around the wheel, the QB rolled, in something that resembled a circle. In addition, there was much less of a need to do combination "wiggles" like you had to do on the Atari to get into a particular position, since the motion was smooth, and the extra contacts made the motion finer. The overlays were great. You could call pass routes for receivers, and literally draw them on the keypad. In games like Sea Battle, Space Battle, B-52 Bomber, etc., the keypad (and side buttons) allowed the games to be more complicated than they could be on Atari with its single button. The overlays simply gave you a visual representation on the keypad of the functions of the various buttons. Not all games required them, but the ones that did were much more interesting.

I've said it before on /., I REALLY like the Duke controller for the original XBox. It is much, much more comfortable in my hands (and my wife's tiny hands) for hours upon hours of gameplay. The day I opened my XBox I played Halo for eight hours straight - I never got up. I didn't take a potty break, I didn't get food, I just sat and played. At the end of that time, my hands were not the least bit tired or crampy. The fact that your hand is mostly open when holding the Duke is part of the reason why. Your fingers are in the near-ideal resting position when holding it. In addition, the Duke featured buttons that were arranged so that their orientation was relative to the motion of the thumb, not relative to the bottom of the controller. When you grab a controller, your thumb isn't pointing straight up. It's pointing at about a 50 degree angle. The ABXY diamond was lined up in-line and perpendicular to the extended-line of the thumb - so if my thumb is on the "A", if I extend my thumb I will be on the "Y", and if I move my thumb to the left I'm on the "X", and to the right the "Y". On every other controller I'm aware of, the buttons are not arranged relative to the motion of the thumb, they are arranged relative to the bottom of the controller, so moving between buttons is a more complicated maneuver, which means more strain on your hand.

While I can say that I have never experienced severe strain with a current-generation controller, the comfort level of the Duke is definitely much better than any of the others. I would only put the 360 wireless controller somewhere in the same ballpark (I haven't played with any 3rd party wireless controllers for PS2 or GC) because the weight and lack of cord (which means I can get the rest of me in a more comfortable position) are noticible improvements...but I'd still take the Duke if it was available for other consoles.

Re:Well, Beauty Is In The Eye (1)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790379)

The atari joystick had 8 contacts.

You are mistaken. The original Atari 2600 (later the Commodore VIC-20, C-64, Wico and many other compatible models) had five *sets* of contacts - Up, Down, Left, Right and Button. Diagonal axes were supported in software, based on two simultaneous contact engagements (ie Left and Up for the upper left diagonal).

Nobody cares about the Dreamcast controller (2, Funny)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790333)

Me: Nobody gives a crap about the Dreamcast.

You: What do you mean?!

Me: Did you know that in 2002, Sega landfilled six-million Dreamcast controllers, and one penguin?

You: A PENGUIN?!?!

Me: I told you nobody gives a crap about the Dreamcast...

Re:Nobody cares about the Dreamcast controller (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790516)

Ahhh, but you forgot the sheer beauty in this.

3rd party controllers caused the controller ports to fry!

Well at least that what they told us who handled the complaint management lines, RMA's all day long.

Best (or worst) controller ever. (1)

NeoBlazeSJX (943994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790338)

I remember reading that Nolan Bushnell (Atari Founder) once had a discussion on the "phallic" nature of a joystick. The result was this amusing setup [] . I'm still undecided on whether it was an act of stupidity or genius.

Re:Best (or worst) controller ever. (1)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790421)

Sometime around 1998, there was a commonly available generic PC joystick which had a 'head' on it that was clearly shaped like a glans. They were typically CompUSA 'free' coupon items, built like total junk, and were rebranded by many companies.

Can anyone link a photo of this stick? I'd like to meet the tool who came up with it, the design really rubbed me the wrong way. Someone should take a rod to him.

TI Controller? (2, Insightful)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14790370)

The TI controllers actually work pretty well, and they're really reliable too. Maybe a little awkward to hold, but not nearly as bad as the Colecovision controllers! How did those not make the list?

I had the U-Force! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14790412)

And for the record - no it did not work.
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