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[4]: Gaming
by ssokolow on Mon 25th Mar 2013 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Gaming"
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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.
I do agree that the GC controllers are the best Nintendo controllers yet, but I have a heavily-used GC controller where the analog stick feels a bit loose (how problems started out with the N64 sticks) and the Wii Nunchuck feels like it's using the same design so I'm still wary of Nintendo analog sticks.

I actually didn't pay much attention to the clicking shoulder buttons but I'll definitely agree they're superior to the PS3's shoulder buttons. If for no other reason, you never have to worry about your fingers sliding off the GC shoulder buttons because they don't tilt.

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).
Agreed. That's my one complaint about the PS2 controllers.

- 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.
My solution was to plug a PS1 controller into my PS2 (they are protocol-compatible. You just get an experience more like PC arrow keys where it's either off or full on) and use the PS2 controllers on the PC where the

- 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.
Huh. I must have had an experience more like whoever designed them because I've never had a problem with them and consider them the best thumbsticks ever designed... positioning on the controller aside. [/q]
- 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).
I don't remember having a problem with them. Now that I'm on a PC where you can always remap buttons, I consider it better to have too many than too few.

However, I could definitely see a case for having L1 and L2 trade places and R1 and R2 trade places so that PS1/PS2 game designers would've have more of a cue that the big, comfy ones were intended to be the primary triggers.

+ 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. [/q]
A friend had a Dreamcast but I don't remember much about it aside from the fact that whether the hardware would play games I cared about like Sonic Adventure depended on which revision you got.
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.

Aside from a brief try at Halo on an XBox demo machine at Microplay, I've never tried XBox controllers. I have, however, been meaning to pick up an XBox 360 controller as test hardware to develop against since it's become THE controller to find on Windows PCs.

Other (older) systems: Didn't care for the NES controller, as classic as it is.

I never really liked it either. The corners were too squared-off.
The Sega Genesis and Saturn controllers were quite nice,

I never owned a Genesis or Saturn but I do remember liking the Genesis controllers when I played at friends' houses.

Since I'm getting into Arduino programming and already have a spare DE-9 male connector kicking around, I'll probably pick one up for $5 at the local used games store and build a USB adapter for it.
Super NES controller was pretty nice.

I agree, but I've been soured on them by how many I had to replace back in the day due to worn out buttons.
As I mentioned I liked the N64 controller (many games for it just don't feel right on any other controller).

I found the analog stick hard on my thumb and it always grated on me that it had three hand-grips and i had two hands.

That aside, we only own one (the one I hoarded in a drawer) because the other six or eight we bought had their analog sticks wear out.
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.

I've never tried either of those, to be honest. It just seemed like too much bother when we could use real gamecube controllers we already own on the Wii and PS1/PS2 controllers on the PC using a $3 adapter.

(The oldest PS2 controller we own has no rubber on the thumbsticks because we used it so much that the rubber actually started to break down and had to be removed. Aside from that, it still works perfectly. I bought two brand new ones to ensure that, when Sony stops making them, I'll have a suitable supply.)

Edited 2013-03-25 01:14 UTC

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