in Top Ten

T3: Gaming Peripherals

Here’s a quick T3 for y’all. This will probably go down in history as the least interesting one ever, but I don’t see Colin writing anything…

10. Super Advantage
Widely known as the Super Disadvantage, this bad boy brought a kind of arcade experience to the SuperNES. The Super Advantage had a joystick, giant buttons, turbo features, everything third party controllers are known to add. Sure, it’s just a followup to the NES Advantage, and many arcade sticks since this one have been much better, but the Super Advantage will always have a special place in my heart. I don’t know why though, since most SuperNES games that aren’t fighters play a lot worse with it.

9. Trance Vibrator
This one falls into the “Only in Japan” category. You see, back in the early 2000s, a Japanese game called Rez was released. It was on on-rails shooter that melded in trippy graphics and a wacky story and a trance soundtrack that is definitely at the forefront of the experience. A “Special Package” of the PS2 version of the game came with this USB dongle called the “Trance Vibrator.”

Basically, you plug this sucker in and it lives up to its name by actually vibrating to the beat of the music. I hope I don’t need to utilize any innuendo here.

The developer says the device is meant to aid in the experience of synesthesia, one of the themes in the game. They say you are supposed to stick it on your hands or feet. But I guess most people just stuck it down their pants. Damnit, innuendo!

This feature was so important that when the game was rereleased for the Xbox 360 they added trance support for up to three controllers.

8. Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
Resident Evil
4 is easily one of the best games of the last generation of consoles and arguably one of the best games ever made. So it made sense that they would try to get as much money out of it as possible. What they decided to do was make a controller that looks like a bloody chainsaw, in honor of one of the games most terrifying enemies. Now sure, this thing doesn’t actually add to the game, and actually makes playing harder, but sometimes you’ve got to put functionality on the back burner and just revel in the fact that you can put out a dumb chainsaw controller and your fans will actually buy it.

7. Power Glove
Now sure, you can bitch about the Power Glove’s real lack of usefulness. You c
an wine that it makes playing games harder. You can cry about how gross it would be to actually were one of those today. Finer people than we have.

But instead, let’s talk about a dream. A dream of controlling games without a controller. A dream of letting players step into the shoes of their characters, of a virtual reality not dissimilar to The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest, or whatever that show was called. Nintendo couldn’t deliver that dream in 1989, but damnit they tried. A few years ago they tried again with the Wii, which feels pretty gimmicky nowadays too. But they’re getting closer. It’s only a matter of time.

6. NES Zapper
Here’s another device that helped bring the arcade experience home. The Zapper allowed you to shoot ducks, but not dogs. Which is good, because we a
ll like to shoot stuff. Everyone.

The Zapper originally was grey, like you see in the picture. But some parents thought that made it look too realistic, so Nintendo had to make in orange instead. Some parents are weird. They’re fine with their kids hunting ducks, but God forbid if the gun looks like some sort of sci fi weaponry.

5. Dance Pad
Dance Dance Revolution was hugely successful in arcades around the world (and by “the world,” I mean Japan and some of the US), but what about all the poor uncoordinated people too embarrassed to play the game in public (lest they be mocked by arcade nerds)? Enter la Dance Pad.

A series of arrows, rese
mbling the D-Pad of most controllers, blown up and put on a mat. You combine that with stepping to crazy techno music and you’ve got Konami’s biggest cash cow ever. Respect.

4. Steel Battalion Controller
Let’s face this issue head on: everybody loves giant robots. OK, maybe not everybody, but at least every man. And yet, here in the year 2008, we still don’t even have robot suits to fight in. We don’t get many giant robot movies. There are hardly any giant robot video games, even.

Steel Battalion knew this was a problem. It knew that people needed to experience the thrill of robotic combat, in what it dubbed “vertical tanks.” It knew that to deliver that experience, it would need a controller grander than any before it. It gave us 41 buttons, three pedals and two joysticks. We were grateful.

3. Rumble Pak
Returning to vibration, we have the Rumble Pak. This bad ass little gizmo came with Star Fox 64 and shook the controller based on what was going on in the game. It might not have seemed like a big deal, but it helped a lot in creating a sense of immersion and added a lot to the gaming experience.

In fact, it added so much that almost every controller built since the Rumble Pak has had some sort of feedback feature built in. Sony tried to release a vibration-free controller with the PS3, but after about a year realised that was dumb and came out with a knew rumblin’ controller. Damn straight.

2. Guitar Hero Guitar
Damn, this image is very tall. I’m going to have to write a lot of crap.

Let’s see, where to begin… The Guitar Hero guitar came packaged with the first Guitar Hero, and single-handedly turned that franchise into one of the biggest in electronic entertainment, and brought the music/rhythm genre to the forefront.

Who would have guessed that some dopey plastic guitar could add so much to an experience? It really does make people enjoy music unlike any other way before. Since the original game, we seen many sequels, including the addition of drums and vocals, but nothing was quite as revolutionary as that first time you played “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on this thing.

1. Memory Card
Like the Rumble Pak, here is another feature so good it is being built in nowadays. For a long time, the only way gamers could keep playing a game after turning off the console was by writing down a password. Which was a pain. Then Nintendo figured out a way to save onto the cartridge, and it was good. But on-cartridge saving made it hard for multiple people to play a single copy of a game. When the disc-based systems finally hit store shelves, a new solution was devised; the memory card. With it, an individual could store his progress in all the games they were playing, as well as travel with just the card to another console and keep playing a game. Brilliant.

Today, consoles have hard drives built in, but even so memory cards are still going strong.

  1. What would all of us do without the excellent suggestions you talk about on this website? Who else comes with the patience to deal with essential topics for the sake of common subscribers like me? I and my guys are very lucky to have your web site among the types we typically visit. It is hoped you know how significantly we appreciate your effort! Best wishes through us all.

  2. What would most people do without the amazing ideas you discuss on this website? Who else comes with the endurance to deal with essential topics in the interests of common visitors like me? I actually and my guys are very lucky to have your blog among the types we regularly visit. It is hoped you know how very much we love your hard work! Best wishes through us all.

  3. Thank you for your time and energy to have had these things together on this blog site. Josh and I very much loved your input through the articles on certain things. I recognize that you have quite a few demands on your own schedule so the fact that an individual like you took equally as much time as you did to help people like us by way of this article is actually highly liked.

  4. We pretty much appreciate your blog post. You will find dozens of methods we could put it to very good use by means of little or no effort on time and hard earned money. Thank you so much regarding helping have the post give light to many concerns we have encountered before now.

  5. Thanks a lot for your time and energy to have decided to put these things together on this weblog. Janet and that i very much appreciated your suggestions through the articles with certain things. I’m sure that you have a variety of demands in your program so the fact that an individual like you took all the time as you did to help people really like us via this article is even highly liked.

  6. All I can say is, I am not sure what to express! Except of course, for the fantastic tips which have been shared using this blog. I can think of a million fun tips on how to read the articles or blog posts on this site. I do believe I will finally take a step utilizing your tips on those issues I could never have been able to handle alone. You are so innovative to let me be one of those to benefit from your valuable information. Please know how significantly I appreciate it.

  7. It can be rare to locate a professional in whom you will surely have some trust. In the world at present, nobody truly cares about showing others the answer in this issue. How lucky I am to have actually found a really wonderful blog as this. It is really people like you exactly who make a real difference these days through the tips they share.

  8. Thanks a lot for your energy to have put these things together on this blog site. Janet and I very much treasured your suggestions through your articles with certain things. I am aware that you have a number of demands on your own program and so the fact that a person like you took all the time as you did to help people really like us through this article is also highly liked.

Comments are closed.