Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Mar 2013 21:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Change platforms. Whenever you can. Ever since I got into computing, I've lived according to a very simple adage: change platforms all the time. For reasons I won't go into, the importance of this adage was reaffirmed today, and I figured I'd share it with you all - and hopefully, get a few of you to follow this adage as well.
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RE[3]: Gaming
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 02:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Gaming"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I'm curious to know which controller you prefer most and why.

My favorites tend to be Nintendo ones, but of that generation--Dreamcast, PS2, GameCube and Xbox--by far my favorite is the GameCube controller. It fit like a glove and worked great, improving massively on the N64 controller (which I also liked). Nice analog triggers with a "digital" click for extra functionality beat PS2's four-shoulder-button solution IMO. Comfortable thumbstick with nice traction to prevent slipping, and extremely precise thanks to the notched plastic around it... made it nearly impossible to press any way other than straight up or up-right or whatever direction you really wanted to go.

However, the GameCube's "click" of the L/R buttons doesn't tend to suit most racing games, so I usually got the Xbox version of those games. One other annoyance was that, while its face button layout worked great on native GameCube games, the controller didn't always work so well with older games whose consoles had those buttons in a diamond layout. Related to the previous problem, the D-Pad is small (the biggest problem with it) and placed out of the way, so classic games are not as nice on it... but on the other hand, this makes the feel while playing native games much better since the more common thumbstick is in easy reach.

On the other hand I never liked Sony's controller, it has always been a set of poorly patched-together rip-offs of Nintendo's... but the things I really disliked about it (for a bit of contrast) are:

- The directional pad. It was designed as one part that is separated by surrounding plastic into four buttons. I hate it. Probably a result of a Nintendo patent on the standard four-way/cross D-Pad (which I like), but still. I even prefer eight-way directional pads to what Sony's got, and I'm not too big a fan of those either (too easy to press the wrong direction).
- The fact that ALL of the buttons on the Dual Shock 2 are analog. This is absolutely horrible for racing games... when I press a face button, I expect it to be actuated and registering a 1 (digital, on), not just a fraction of all the way (analog, like a trigger). I don't know how many times I've been screwed over because one of those buttons wasn't fully pressed, yet it felt like it... because the buttons give zero feedback. You don't realize it until your vehicle slows to a near-stop. Only time I liked it was in Silent Hill 2, where you slam the button down to do a strong attack with, for example, a wooden plank.
- The thumbsticks. Not only are they uncomfortable and the thumbs slide too easily during some intense gaming, for some reason they tend to work... poorly. I can hold a direction and turn it another, but that seems to screw it all up. I end up having to compensate for it myself by frequently letting go completely to let it recalibrate and then press it in the direction I want to go. This is most often a problem when the camera pans, and I've never had it on any other controller.
- Four shoulder buttons. I just really didn't like it; I got used to it in a few games that made heavy use of it, but my hands rested better on the bottom (L2/R2) buttons, and it was just uncomfortable to have to reach up to the top buttons (L1/R1).
+ On the bright side... before the Wii's Classic controller, Sony's controller was probably the best of its generation for playing classic games originally released in the 8/16-bit generations... and it really was excellent for 2D games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, because the D-Pad tends to be in better reach than the thumbstick anyway (which I'd list as a con for 3D games, BTW).

I liked the Dreamcast controller as well. And basically being a rip-off of it, the Xbox controller had sound design ideas... it was just humungous and uncomfortable as hell. It did get better with the Controller S, but my main problem with that was that the Black and White buttons were difficult/uncomfortable to access. The Xbox 360 controller, on the other hand, is very nice... right up there with the GameCube controller. Somehow the 360's "bumpers" are easier and more comfortable to access than Sony's second set of shoulder buttons, so Microsoft did something right there too.

Other (older) systems: Didn't care for the NES controller, as classic as it is. The Sega Genesis and Saturn controllers were quite nice, Super NES controller was pretty nice. As I mentioned I liked the N64 controller (many games for it just don't feel right on any other controller). The Wii's Classic controller is IMO better than the Super NES controller, Classic Pro is awesome for NES/SNES games (comfort of GameCube controller, functionality of SNES controller for classic games)... but too bad it just doesn't do N64 games justice.

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