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Why change the joystick?

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#26 Zonie OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:07 PM

I grew up with the CX10/40 and could never get used to a D-pad. Only the N64 and Dreamcast analog sticks are tolerable to me. However, that said, I'm with Edladden and others regarding that nothing beats arcade parts in a solid base. Nothing.

#27 spacecadet OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:17 PM

I never understood the appeal of keypad controllers. The Atari CX-40 was elegant in concept but lacking in execution. Then the numeric pads were just confusing.


Well, I don't know about the 5200 at that time, but I owned an Intellivision and I played my friend's ColecoVision enough that I may as well have owned it, and I wasn't confused by the keypads. I actually really liked the Intellivision keypads with the overlays, which were actually useful. I don't remember ever using the CV's keypads for anything at the time, though, other than selecting the game type before playing the game. And from what I gather as a modern-day 5200 owner, it doesn't seem like that system used the keypad much either.


But the INTV really made extensive use of the keypads and even as an 8 year old, I found them really intuitive and easy to use. In fact I used to play MLB Baseball, which was a 2 player game that required use of the overlays to select a fielder, by myself with two hands!

#28 RamrodHare OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:09 PM

I've played games on different systems over the years. All the systems had different controllers. After a while, I'd get used to using each one. Of course switching between systems was annoying, as I'd have to train my hands to use a different controller while playing. When I got back into playing Atari, I tried out some different joysticks and even modded some gamepads. I didn't have the money to buy a nice Arcade stick or even one of the Competition Pro joysticks, so I upgraded two old CX-40s with new inner handles, rubber boots, fire buttons, fire button springs and Best Electronics Gold Lifetime PCBs. Now, I don't even want to use any of my other joysticks. Are the CX-40s perfect? No. They are however, the best I own and I'm happy with them. Eventually, I'll build a nice arcade stick, just to try out. I never played arcade games much growing up, so I never got used to the feel of them. I'm not sure I'd be able to play any better than I can with a CX-40. I'm also going to keep looking for  one or two other recommended joysticks to try out, but I have a feeling that I'll be doing most of my gaming with the upgraded CX-40s unless I find some magical controller that cures arthritis and enhances my reflexes. It would also have to have an internal mechanism that could counter the shake my hands have developed lately. :P

#29 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

Kosmic Stardust

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Posted Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:09 AM

If you've got author, you'll probably want an arcade joystick with a light spring. Also buttons with soft springs and switches. 20g switches in buttons make a world of difference compared to 50g or 75g switches.


Gamepads are probably bad also as your hand will curl around them.

#30 Cynicaster OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:55 AM

My favorite of the early controllers is still the CX-40.  I think the throw is long enough to make the movements feel right, but short enough to facilitate precise movements.  I had a few different third party sticks from Wico, etc. back in the 80s and for the most part I thought they sucked.  Some of them were more comfortable to hold, and build quality was better than the CX-40, but most of them were too sloppy.  My litmus test used to be Frostbite -- a joystick was cool with me as long as it did not hamper my Frostbite score.  Whenever I tried playing that game with the Boss (for example), my scores would plummet compared to what I was able to do with the CX-40. 


The CX-40 definitely had durability issues, though.  Went through probably a dozen of them when I was a kid (to be fair, Decathlon and Track & Field were popular in our basement).


And, it's not the most comfortable to hold for long periods of time.  


My dream joystick for the 2600 would basically be a CX-40 in an updated case.  The case would have smooth contours that fit snugly into the left hand, maybe even lined with a comfy rubber grip material.  The rest can be kept mostly the same, aside from making the white plastic joystick piece more durable, and maybe improving the feel of the fire button to minimize fatigue.   

#31 AW127 OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:26 PM

For me it`s like this.

I grew up with joysticks, so they are my favourite hardware for steering the sprites. And here i mean sticks, which are steered with the right hand. :)

But 2D "Jump and Run" games, which are shown from the side, i can also play good with a gamepad. But only, when jumping then is on a button and not on "up". There are some controller-adapters which allows this for Atari/C64/Amiga games. So for "Jump and Run`s" it works for me very good with both devices, pads and sticks.

In games, which shows the scenario from above, like for example "Speedball 2" or the "Gauntlet" series and in which the player can steer in eight directions, i have big problems with a gamepad when the action gets high on the screen. Because when the thumb is not set 100% correct on the D-Pad, for example in the corners, then the sprite don`t walk where it should and this sometimes happens when the hectic in the game rises. But this don`t happen to me, when i use a joystick. In "Speedball 2" (Atari-ST, PC or Amiga version) i am very good, when i use a "Competition Pro" stick, but when i must play this game with a gamepad (no matter from which producer the pad is), i have no chance. Don`t know, if there are people, which are really good in such "look from above" games, when they use a gamepad, but maybe there are?

And there is also a genre, where i like a gamepad more than a joystick, and this are "Puzzle Games". I like "Bust a Move (Puzzle Bobble)", "Dr. Mario" and "Tetris" alot and in these games, i can play best with a gamepad.

So in my opinion, it depends strongly on the game-genre and of course also on personal taste or like you grown up with and learned playing. Normally it`s not worth a discussion, because the only thing that matters is, that the user is "good" in the game. How he does this (gamepad / left-hand arcade stick / right-hand stick) is not interesting. Interesting is the outcome. :)

It`s always funny when i play "Lotus 2" on two Amigas against some friends over serial-connection, because everybody plays totally different when it comes to the controller and also to the settings in the steering-menue. But i mostly win and this is what counts *lol*. ;)

Edited by AW127, Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:27 PM.

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