Episode 21 - All the Controllers We’ve Loved

Controllers. They’re one of the most critical aspects to playing games, often making or breaking our immersion in the experience. Despite this, we rarely really focus our discussions on them. Which ones are good, and which ones aren’t. Great ones are hard to come by, whereas horrible ones seem common. In this episode, Chris and Aaron delve into the depths of the history of controllers from retro to modern. You’ll hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly controllers we’ve had the pleasure (or displeasure) of playing with over the years. Some we’d like to keep using, and most we just want to forget. The gamers also cover their latest assignments: Headlander (PS4) and Need for Speed (PC)!

Show Notes:

  1. BCG Discussion Topic of the Week - All the Controllers We've Loved
    -Controllers are a big deal!
    -We're talking about primary controllers (and 1st party peripherals) only
      -No 3rd party stuff -- were there actually any good 3rd party controllers?
    -What makes a good controller?
      -Crisp buttons
      -Usually a 4-part D-pad
      -Quick response time
    -What makes a controller bad?
      -Bad D-Pad
      -Mushy buttons
      -Big and heavy
    -Controllers: Good and Bad
      -Keyboard and mouse - the best; nuff said
      -NES - responsive, but D-pad is only okay
      -SNES - great, but wears out quickly; need to piece together Japanese and US controllers
      -Wii/Wi U Pro controllers - almost perfection
      -PS Controllers - Dual Shocks are good; DS4 is amazing
      -Xbox 360 - Very good, but the D-pad is horrendous
      -Gamecube - Good in some ways; so-so in others
      -The Zapper - Not bad for what it is and when it existed
      -The Power Pad - meh
      -Wii U touchbad - surprisingly not so bad, but still bulky and horrible battery life
      -Atari 5200 - it gets a pass because it's so old
      -Genesis 3- and 6-button controllers - bad, bad, bad D-pad; mushy buttons
      -N64 - perhaps the worst ever
      -Dreamcast - unique but a bit bulky; great analog stick
      -Saturn - So, so bad; Japanese controller is better
      -CD-i - just no
      -3DO - mushy buttons; bad D-pad
      -Jaguar - I'd like to separate my scientific calculator from my controller; definitely the worst
      -Turbografx-16 - NES clone that's just not as good; bad D-pad
      -Xbox - as big as your head; very bad
      -Super Scope - ...
      -Wiimote and nunchuk - too gimmicky
    -The Ugly
      -Sega Activator - the octagonal ring of sadness
    -Best controller picks:
      -Aaron - Dreamcast
      -Chris - Dual Shock 4
  2. Game Assignments
    -Last Episode's Assignments: Chris - Headlander (PS4); Aaron - Need for Speed (PC)
    -Next Episode's Assignments: Chris - Dragon Quest Builders (PS4); Aaron - Tropico 5 (PC)
  3. News
    -Chris cancelled his PS VR pre-order... :(