• Favourite controller of all time?
  • Favourite controller of all time?

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  1. #1
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    Favourite controller of all time?

    If you've lived even half as long as I, you'll have seen controllers of all different shapes and sizes. Most important of all is probably how well a controller handles. Across generations this has always been a subject of heavy debate in game communities. I find that the thread title isn't an easy question to answer...

    Were I to go by my current needs, hands down I'd say the Xbox 360 controller. It's incredibly ergonomic, highly economic and very compatible with the vast majority of games you'll find on PC. Speaking of Xbox, I know I said this once before but I think the original Xbox controller is highly underrated. It drew a lot of criticism from Asians with tiny hands. There's a reason it's called the Duke. Those little guys may be able to get to grips with mathematics but they can't handle the thiccness of the Duke. And if the Duke is too big, I guess that makes the Dreamcast controller flawed! Perhaps even the Nintendo 64's? Both of which have great controllers.

    In terms of retro, that's a tough one. I've got to hand it to Nintendo. As much as I like the Mega Drive and its controller, Nintendo know their D-pads. Were this 8-bit, however, I'd choose the Master System's controller over the NES's. I guess the NES is seemingly better for precision but no fucks were given in the comfort department. Which isn't good!

    I guess I always will have a soft spot for the Dreamcast controller. Particularly its VMUs that slot in. If you weren't around at the time, it really was ahead of its time. Sure, when you look at it now, the VMU is just a memory card with a low-res LCD screen, but it was something else. One of the first examples of DLC in one of the coolest ways possible. You could download mini games from your Dreamcast games to these memory cards and play them on the go. Sony tried to rip that off with the PocketStation which wasn't as good.

    So yeah, Dreamcast was great for innovation and the controller itself handled... okay. I'd probably talk about the Wiimote if I only cared about innovation, but while the Wiimote is cool it would only really work with its own tailor-made games.

    Do you have an all-time favourite, or different favourites from past and present?
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  3. #2
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    I wouldn't say it's my favorite but I've always had a soft spot for the NES advantage controller.

    Favourite controller of all time?-688773616103921tcok-jpg

    We had the plain, jane controllers too but I recalled using the advantage more than the normal controller when I was a kid. I'd remember letter that thing sit on my lap while I played Contra on it. I'm not sure if it counts, but I've always been fond of the Nintendo Zapper. It just looks cool like a sci-fi gun and I can't imagine playing duck hunter without it.

    Favourite controller of all time?-nintendo-entertainment-system-nes-zapper-gray-jpg

    If I had to go with a favorite, I'd have to go with the playstation controllers from PS1 all the way through the PS4. I guess it comes down to comfort more than anything. They always felt good in my hands. It's cool that you brought up the Dreamcast controller. I remember having the VMU window on it. One of my favorite Dreamcast games was zombie revenge and it had a little fishing minigame that you could play in the VMU (Or I think it was a fishing minigame. Could be wrong). It's kind of weird because the dreamcast controller felt good in my hands but I could never get used to the Xbox controller in the few times that I've had it. Then again, I never really grew up with the Xbox so it's probably one of those things I need to play with for awhile to get used to. I mean hell, I was always used to playing with the N64 controller and people have complained about that.

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  5. #3
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    I don't have a strong favorite, I suppose the PS4 controller feels best to me in an ergonomic sense. Rather than just saying which feels best to hold I prefer your approach of looking at the best of each generation or looking at controllers that were innovative. That interests me a lot more.

    We're on the same page with the Master System vs NES controller, totally agreed.

    16-bit however, I'll give it to the Genesis/Mega Drive. My hands are kind of big and the SNES controller always had me doing a (very mild) "claw hand" hold that was uncomfortable. On top of that, the North American version of the SNES controller has 2 dark purple buttons and 2...lighter-purple buttons? I prefer the PAL/JP multi-colored buttons. The colors made the layout easier to remember and button-prompts in games a lot better as well. In NA releases, if a purple button shows up on screen during a tutorial or something it's like...which one should I press? Not sure if they have this lackluster candy in Europe as well, but the North American SNES controller has always reminded me of Good & Plenty candies which is not a favorable comparison mind you.
    Favourite controller of all time?-gandp-png Favourite controller of all time?-gandp2-png

    Honorable mention to the PC Engine controller for being the most feature-rich of the bunch, but it feels worse than both the SNES & Mega Drive controllers by a significant margin. It's really light and the button presses don't feel satisfying, I find myself wondering if the button registered a lot of the time.

    Out of the 32-bit consoles I own (and N64...it's not strictly 32-bit but it's part of that same era) I think the 3D controller by SEGA is really cool just because of how janky it is. I guess you could call me a hipster and say that I like it "ironically". It's got the claim to fame of being the first console controller with an analog stick (at least in the modern sense. I think some old Atari machine has a literal stick thingy you can use for some inputs). It's not my favorite though. My favorite is the N64 controller. I know some people had trouble holding it the proper way and think it looks dumb but I grew up with it so I can't really imagine not knowing how to use it well. It doesn't hold up for 1st person games, but otherwise I never had any issues. It remaind the controller that I'm the most confident using. I'm blinded by nostalgia on this pick, so I really don't have many good arguments for this generation.

    PS2/Xbox/Dreamcast/Gamecube - I agree that the DC controller is the most innovative by a landslide. VMUs are dope and i'll have you know that I downloaded Sonic Adventure DLC onto my Dreamcast in 2017! Yes, some of the online services are still alive! I think I was using a fan-made Internet browser, however. And yeah, my Dreamcast is hooked up to run on dial-up to this day my home internet comes with a dial-up line so I may as well use it even though P2P games are the only ones you can play online anymore not counting fan run servers. Played PSO online in 2017 as well, but I'm getting off track. The Dreamcast controller is really cool for sure but it isn't my favorite because it loses a lot of points because of how awkward it is to hold and the loud as hell triggers. I still believe those springs are dangerous, haha. You can hear them creaking and then *sproing* they SHOOT back when you let go. Gonna take someone's head off.

    My vote goes to the Dualshock 2. I didn't own a Gamecube or Xbox growing up, so I don't have attachment to either of those. The Gamecube controller is weird, and not in an endearing way like the N64's was to me. I don't have a problem with the Duke's size, and in fact I prefer it over the Gamecube controller for that reason. I still dislike Xbox controllers to this day because of a different reason...why the hell is one analog stick up high on the left and the other is lower on the right??? Never felt good to me and Xbox controllers remain the only series of controllers I need to look down at from time to time to find a button when playing. It never...felt right to me either? Never felt ergonomic at all to me but a lot of my friends over the years seem to like it so this is just a subjective thing I suppose. My fingers are long, maybe that's it, i dunno. The Dualshock 2 is simple as hell but it kind of wins by default because I had a significant hangup with one aspect or another with each of the other console's controllers at the time.

    Beyond that it just becomes PlayStation vs Xbox with Nintendo way out there in No Man's Land. I don't own any Xboxes and PS/Xbox controllers have stayed pretty consistent over the years so my analysis of each generation would get repetitive. I highly dislike motion controls so the Wiimote is out immediately. The Wii U tables was a pain in the ass, and tons of Wii U games still used Wiimotes anyway so that sucked ass as well. The only thing on par with motion controls is playing on a handheld. Small-ass screen and the body of the handheld itself is always too small for my hands (credit to the GameGear where credit is due!). The Wii U really tickled my pickle because games used motion controls AND made me use a handheld for a console plugged into my TV.

    Tl;dr: If I had to just hand someone a controller and expect them to be able to use it, I think the Dualshock 4 is overall the "best" in terms of usability and feel. The Dreamcast controller is the coolest. Even as recently as January I was bringing my VMU to work to play the Chao raising minigame. I think a lot of it comes down to what you grew up with judging by the 3 of us who've posted thus far. Once you get into your teens it's possible to add a bit of critical thinking but prior to that I think you can learn to like just about any of them.
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  6. #4
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    I have used just about every Nintendo controller out there and ironically enough, of the Nintendo ones, the N64 was my favorite. Now if I hold one, it just feels all sorts of wrong. Overall, I think the Xbox 360 has the best shape, weight, and general feel in terms of controllers go. The One changed a bit on them but they still feel the same. I had to upgrade to one of those for my PC since they stopped selling 360 ones outside of getting Chinese bootleg ones.

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