A matter of self control

Gaming, it’s a funny old game at times. Just when you think you know what’s coming another curve ball gets thrown and knocks you right off kilter. Just when you have nailed the process of playing the games along comes something new to make you unlearn what you have already learned.


The current trend for this, if you haven’t yet noticed, is in the way in which we control our games. Some may attribute this to the Wii but in reality it has been going on for much longer than that. I may be totally wrong with this but, way back in the days of the NES there was a peripheral called the power glove that you wore-like a glove- and manipulated it in various ways to control the on screen action. This never took off though and was destined to history. Nintendo also tried to get us to use the ‘Super Scope’. A large bazooka type peripheral used to shoot stuff on screen, on only one game that was available for it. Strangely this piece of kit didn’t take off either, I think at this point Nintendo went away to a huge drawing board and hid for a few years.

crappower of rubbish

Cut forward a few years and Sega tried to confuse us with even more odd control methods, but in all fairness to them, they were infinitely more playable than Nintendo’s efforts. For the Dreamcast we had the now infamous Maraca controllers for Samba Di Amigo and the fishing rod for Bass fishing. Probably the best one they came up with was the gun for House of the Dead 2, which was amazingly accurate and made the console conversion a winner, I do wish I never traded that in but at the time needs must.

maracasshoot to thrillfish

Further forward we have had more guns, steering wheels a plenty and odd shaped controllers than you can shake a (motion sensitive) stick at. The king though, of the totally un-necessary control system has to go to the mammoth ‘Steel Batallion’ mech controller. This was a mech game and came with the biggest control system you have ever seen. Dual joysticks, buttons forever, switches and foot pedals. The box it came in was gigantic and at the time so was the price, somewhere in the region of £120 if I remember rightly. You can still see it in some Gamestations gathering dust and overpriced.


In today’s gaming world we have the DS with its unique control system, sometimes poorly implemented, but fun none the less. The Wii, same again with regards to the control method, but alas many companies have seen fit to release pointless shaped controller holders which just cheapen the whole experience. As for the Wii Fit balance board, it’s good but can anyone truly utilise its potential in other games? My personal favourites are the Guitar Hero guitars and the Rock Band ensemble controllers. Music and video games in the one package….sweeeet! It seems the age of useful peripherals have arrived.


The downside to these ‘unique’ controllers is that they are more than often, produced for use with one game and as such become redundant very quickly. Can you remember another maraca game for the Dreamcast? Same for fishing games. At least with the Wii the control method can be used for ALL its games so it is less likely to gather dust so quick, all it needs are some really good games. As for the GH controllers, well they are getting some use again with Rock Band, so all is not bad. One last thing though to prove my point. Try playing GTA IV using the guitar controller, doesn’t quite work does it. See if you can find a game made easier by using a guitar instead of the normal control method.








4 responses to “A matter of self control”

  1. Dave avatar

    While I worked in a certain game retail chain, I had the displeasure of assembling a Steel Batallion controller out of the box for a customer who simply wanted to see what it looked like…

    …and then the increased displeasure of taking it apart when they said they would ‘think about it first’


    Peripherals rock though, Sega have made some of the best 😀

  2. w avatar

    Ciekawy blog, dodalem go do ulubionych, bede tu napewno wpadal czesciej

  3. sklep wedkarski avatar
    sklep wedkarski

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  4. bass guitar tab avatar

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