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No 1 worst controller - apparently

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The only times I remember seeing a CD-i back in the day, it was setup as a game console. The golf game with the trackball controller was hooked up to a big screen in a local Montgomery Wards store. I recall some buzz about its movie capabilities, but very little.

 

Yeah, we had a Montgomery Ward store up the street as well and they had a CD-I on display. The demo in the system primarily showed off videogames.

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This again? Geez, I probably haven't used as many controllers as some of you guys, but the original 2600 is at the top of my list as worst controller...

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I will have to concur though, that the standard Jaguar pad - whilst NOT the worst controller in general, at all - has a really sh*tty dpad when it comes to recognising diagonal inputs.

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I gotta still go with the Intellivision controllers. Hated them so much back then. As mentioned before, the side buttons are absolutely garbage.

I really hated the disc though. And a non-controller complaint I always had about the Inty was the BUZZZZZ you sometimes got; often when you didn't input a game selection number correctly. Noisy and grating!

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As would I. The 5200 is much worse, even though it's probably the coolest-looking controller ever.

 

The CoCo is the worst controller ever. It has a tiny non-centering joystick, has a tiny overall size that is not easy to hold, and just has one action button that's located in a less than optimal place. They scream "cheap" when you look them and use them, especially since the joysticks are rarely centered (making them look abused and broken), so they even fail at aesthetics. The Fairchild joystick was better-looking and centered (and felt solid and well-built) and the 5200's definitely was better-looking.

 

1) CoCo

2) 5200

3) Fairchild

4) Intellivision

5) 2600 and Coleco

 

I moved the Fairchild up because its flaws really are greater than the Intellivision's, especially the need to send the entire console in when the thin wires cause the joystick not to be able to move the player up and the lack of a quick action button. I also would rather use a Colecovision controller over a 2600 joystick, although I can see the two being debated because the 2600 joystick was a bit more ergonomic. It only has one action button, though, which is a big limitation

 

The Atari stock joystick was not limited to 1 action button, there's the huge misconception already. CBS introduced a second and third action button (Omega Race), Spy Hunter (joystick coupler enabling 2 fire buttons), Raiders of the lost ark (two CX40s), Space Shuttle (joystick and console). The Atari CX40 offered endless possibilities.

 

You could even jump with the CX40 without the need of a second button (Smurf), or a second 'fire' by pulling down (HERO). Was there ever a problem with the CX40? Of course not.

Edited by high voltage

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The Wikipedia Jaguar controller fetish continues. Now there are two pictures of controllers to obsess about it.

 

:sleep:

 

Someone needs to really gratify those people and make a "Why the Jaguar's Controller Causes World Hunger, Global Warming, and Kills Kittens" article.

 

Craig Harris from IGN is the guy who is responsible for creating what Wikipedia calls a substantive source for the ridiculous claim that the controller is the worst ever. The Wikipedia article cites "the complexity of the phone keypad" as justification for that claim.

 

craig1boxart_160w.jpg

 

We'll just pretend that the Intellivision, Colecovision, and Atari 5200 didn't have a keypad — to accompany far more dire controller design. I suppose it's not complex to try to play games with the non-centering 5200 joystick with its four tiny side buttons and phone keypad — or to try to move in a specific direction with a round disc while using tiny side buttons and a phone keypad. Nah... not complex a bit!

 

Ah, Wikipedia... proving that no amount of intelligence can counteract stupid opinions.

 

(Too bad for Atari that it didn't give IGN some of the ole payola.)

Edited by Justin222

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complexity of a keypad... guy must really struggle withdrawing cash from an atm?

 

But then he never actually said it was complex - that's just what some idiot who edited the Jaguar wikipedia entry quoted him as saying. He cited keypads with overlays as being unnecessary and having three buttons in a world where SF and MK exist as being issues - both fair points.

 

He also said the connector to the console had issues, but I've only had that be a problem occasionally, seems some controllers were made with poorly manufactured connectors and he ended up with one of those.

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Think it's hilarious how the CD32 (Amiga) controller does not get even mentioned it is so far off the radar and out of people's memories:

 

post-4709-0-47554100-1422367317_thumb.jpg

 

Anyway, I couldn't find my original message where I took a poll of people who liked the Jaguar controller, but it basicially came down to hand size. People with small hands generally tend to not like the Jaguar controller, and those with the bigger hand sizes do.

 

That is mentioned somewhat in this Jaguar controller appreciation thread here:

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/3858-the-jaguar-controller-appreciation-thread/?hl=%2Bcontroller+%2Bbig+%2Bhands&do=findComment&comment=35688

Edited by doctorclu
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They just do it because Jag fans are passionate about their system so they know it will provoke a response and get hits/clicks/etc...

I'm not crazy about the Jag controller but the #1 worst controller is harsh.

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As said in Pirates of the Caribean:

 

"You are the worst pirate I've ever heard of."

"Ah, but you have heard of me."

 

So true. Been through it time and time again with Bubsy. "Worst game mascot ever". No, he is infamous in that he is the worst game mascot REMEMBERED. There have been hundreds of game mascots, I know for a fact Bubsy is not the worst, but the interwebs like the harp on it, follow social trends, jump on bandwagons to get applause.

 

And the Jaguar is another. "Worst game controller ever" That is very much debatable. But since people barely remember the Fairchild, the Tandy and Apple 2 controllers with the non-centering sticks, or the Atari 5200 (shudders...) the Jaguar is the worst REMEMBERED.

 

And I dare say the only reason the Jaguar controller comes up at all is because the Game Nerd and others like to harp on the Jaguar on how horrible it was. Was it horrible? Would we all still be playing the Jaguar if it was? No, it is a popular REMEMBERED game system for being the worst.

 

That said, that Jaguar is still highly sought after and collected, probably because all this bad publicity has everyone curious. :D

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Oh totally, if the video said Channel F controllers were the worst nobody would share it, nobody would talk about it, most people would say "Whats a channel F?" but if they target the Jag you get an instant response, it's just cheap clicks.

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They just do it because Jag fans are passionate about their system so they know it will provoke a response and get hits/clicks/etc...

I'm not crazy about the Jag controller but the #1 worst controller is harsh.

So, they're trolling. Apparently trolls have more sway on Wikipedia than facts do. Someone tried to get rid of the nonsense in 2010, if you look at the talk page. But, here we are in 2015 and there are now two photos devoted to ControllerGate, an entire paragraph just for the IGN guy's BS, etc. Someone is clearly doing everything possible to troll via the Wikipedia page. It's amusing but it's also sad. I gave up on contributing to Wikipedia a long time ago because I saw pages devolve after people put a lot of work into them. I saw pages that had sixteen pages of useful information turned into a two page blurb.

 

"I'm not crazy about the Jag controller but the #1 worst controller is harsh."

 

Change harsh to BS. It's simply factually wrong that it's the worst controller ever made. Although it shouldn't be necessary due to common sense (e.g. pick up an Intellivision controller or a 5200 controller and think about using it for Super Mario Bros.), a usability study could easily show that.

 

"if the video said Channel F controllers were the worst nobody would share it, nobody would talk about it, most people would say 'Whats a channel F?' but if they target the Jag you get an instant response, it's just cheap clicks."

 

Someone tried to cite an article that rated the Fairchild the worst ever but Wikipedia's people reverted it, saying it wasn't credible. It wasn't credible because it was a very detailed list that was thoughtfully done but the IGN guy's nonsense is credible apparently.

 

If people want to troll about controllers and generate clicks they can do the old routine of putting a photo of the wrong item for the article. Use the Jaguar controller but then decide, at the end of the article that a different controller is worse. So, even the trolling rationale fails to justify labeling the Jag controller the worst ever.

Edited by Justin222

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complexity of a keypad... guy must really struggle withdrawing cash from an atm?

 

But then he never actually said it was complex - that's just what some idiot who edited the Jaguar wikipedia entry quoted him as saying. He cited keypads with overlays as being unnecessary and having three buttons in a world where SF and MK exist as being issues - both fair points.

 

He also said the connector to the console had issues, but I've only had that be a problem occasionally, seems some controllers were made with poorly manufactured connectors and he ended up with one of those.

1) I mostly agree about the overlays, but other worse controllers had keypads with overlays. To argue that 1993 made keypads and overlays suddenly more of a problem is rather weak. The complaints about the Coleco, Intellivision, and 5200 very rarely involve the use of a keypad and overlays. To me, a lot of this comes down to it not seeming cool. Aesthetic complaints are on the weak side.

 

Also, the keypad really could add value to gaming if developers would really use it to full advantage. I could see a realtime dungeon crawl action RPG game like Dungeons of Daggorath being remade to be more complex (more items/commands that one has to use simultaneously). Not having to spelunk in menus when you're being hit is a good thing. If you're playing a wizard you could have a whole list of spells at your disposal, no menus required. So, even Final Fantasy style games could be better in realtime. The drawback of having to deal with overlays may be smaller than the advantage in these cases. But, it would take developers to develop specifically around the keypad instead of treating it like a gimmick.

 

2) I agree about the three buttons. That was a design error. The SNES even had more action buttons. However, since SF and MK didn't exist on the Jag, the complaint is weak. The fighting game that did exist was awful. The NES was a tremendous success with two action buttons and it ran complex action games. While three is definitely not optimal for fighting games, this design flaw is not big enough to really help justify a "worst ever" labeling. A console is a lot more than fighting games and people who are passionate about those could get a replacement controller like the Pro Controller or a 3rd-party model. Moreover, the action buttons were large and comfortable.

 

3) I never had any connector issues with either of the systems I had. Everyone with a 5200 joystick had problems with it being non-centering because they're all like that. The same goes for the small mushy action buttons that are close together on the sides.

 

The Jaguar controller's strengths... did he mention any of those?

 

1. Comfortable for those with large hands, unlike the NES controller and others.

2. D-pad that was less likely to cause blistering, unlike the PS1 controller.

3. Less cluttered than the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

4. Less heavy than the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

5. No low-quality miniature joysticks like the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

6. D-pad in the comfortable location (unlike XBox 360).

7. Has a D-pad rather than a non-centering joystick.

8. Has a D-pad rather than a disc that makes it difficult to precisely know what direction you're going to move.

9. Has a D-pad rather than a joystick with a lot of throw for greater speed and precision.

10. Has action buttons that are fast (unlike Fairchild, Intellivision, Colecovision, and 5200 — all of which are slower to use).

11. Has action buttons that don't interfere with movement (unlike Fairchild).

12. Has controllers that are not hard-wired (unlike Fairchild and Famicom).

13. Not prone to breakage... not delicate (unlike Fairchild and 5200).

14. Not wireless.

15. No coiled phone cable that pulls the controller away from you (unlike my memory of the Intellivision).

16. Comfortable for use by both left-handed and right-handed players.

17. Overlays plus keypad could be used to create a realtime action RPG like Dungeons of Daggorath where going to menus to use items isn't practical.

Edited by Justin222
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When did everyone start piling on the Fairchild controller? It's an impressive design even to this day (three control axes? in 1976?), and well-suited to the games the Channel F played. Could have used a thicker gauge of wire for the cords though, and the "trigger" button Zircon (?) added to the front would have been nice to start with, but it's still a more than respectable effort for what amounts to the first game controller (Odyssey and Pong systems notwithstanding).

The Atari 5200 controller is great when it works, but that's the hitch right there. The Atari 7800 controller addressed several problems with the 5200 design but created a few more serious ones of its own. The Intellivision controller must be one of those things where you either love it or hate it...though "love" is a strong word here; it's not a *great* controller but I've never had problems with it or the Intellivision II version. At least the fire buttons are on the same side, unlike the 7800 and Coleco controllers.

The NES controller isn't even in the running, sorry. I have yet to read an argument that makes me even consider that the NES controller might be one of the "worst ever;" such arguments often amount to feeble complaints about it being "backwards," or simple anti-Nintendoism. I'll grant that its ergonomics are a little lacking, but the Master System control pad is far worse in my experience, and it's the square D-Pad that ruins it. It's too easy to move diagonally when you don't mean to, and difficult to move cardinally when you DO mean to.

As I said in another thread recently (I forget which; too lazy to look/link), the standard Color Computer joystick comes to mind as objectively one of the worst controllers. It's good for the kinds of games you'd use a mouse, trakball, or paddle for -- early games like Polaris, Clowns & Balloons, Popcorn, and Project Nebula make great use of the CoCo joystick -- but it's horrible for everything else, especially games from ~1982-83 on when most CoCo games were designed with digital movement in mind. Many games are literally unplayable with the standard Color Computer joystick, and it makes many others really hard to play. FWIW the earlier controllers with the silver sticks are a little better than the ones with the black sticks, but only marginally. Fortunately, many Color Computer games also provided for keyboard control, and Tandy also released a vastly improved Kraft-designed Deluxe Joystick.

(Joysticks from the standard Color Computer controller can be used to replace missing or broken ones from Vectrex controllers since they use the same size pots and gimble mechanism.)

As for the Jaguar, the only thing its controller can really be knocked for is maybe being a little bit stuck in the past. The keypad's a non-issue for me (better to have it than not, I guess), although overlays were cumbersome and behind the times in 1993. But in the age of 2D fighters, that thing really needed six buttons from the get-go; even if it never got ports of MK or SFII, the three-button controller precluded games like these from being played satisfactorily. Otherwise, it's comfortable, durable, works well, and is generally well-suited to most of the games the Jaguar had. And it doesn't render games unplayable or force you to wrestle with it. It doesn't make you wish you had a better controller. The same cannot be said for the likes of the CoCo joystick or Master System pad.

Short version: the Jaguar controller is demonstrably not the "worst ever." My list of worst stock controllers would look something like:

1. Color Computer
2. Atari 7800
3. Master System


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The Atari CX40 offered endless possibilities.

 

As much as I like the CX40, that's a stretch. Of course you get more functionality out of a controller when you add another one. :P

 

 

Think it's hilarious how the CD32 (Amiga) controller does not get even mentioned it is so far off the radar and out of people's memories:

 

Was the CD32 controller really that bad, though? I don't have enough experience with one to comment one way or the other. It's definitely off the radar, at any rate.

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When did everyone start piling on the Fairchild controller? It's an impressive design even to this day (three control axes? in 1976?), and well-suited to the games the Channel F played. Could have used a thicker gauge of wire for the cords though, and the "trigger" button Zircon (?) added to the front would have been nice to start with, but it's still a more than respectable effort for what amounts to the first game controller (Odyssey and Pong systems notwithstanding).

 

The Atari 5200 controller is great when it works, but that's the hitch right there. The Atari 7800 controller addressed several problems with the 5200 design but created a few more serious ones of its own. The Intellivision controller must be one of those things where you either love it or hate it...though "love" is a strong word here; it's not a *great* controller but I've never had problems with it or the Intellivision II version. At least the fire buttons are on the same side, unlike the 7800 and Coleco controllers.

 

The NES controller isn't even in the running, sorry. I have yet to read an argument that makes me even consider that the NES controller might be one of the "worst ever;" such arguments often amount to feeble complaints about it being "backwards," or simple anti-Nintendoism. I'll grant that its ergonomics are a little lacking, but the Master System control pad is far worse in my experience, and it's the square D-Pad that ruins it. It's too easy to move diagonally when you don't mean to, and difficult to move cardinally when you DO mean to.

 

As I said in another thread recently (I forget which; too lazy to look/link), the standard Color Computer joystick comes to mind as objectively one of the worst controllers. It's good for the kinds of games you'd use a mouse, trakball, or paddle for -- early games like Polaris, Clowns & Balloons, Popcorn, and Project Nebula make great use of the CoCo joystick -- but it's horrible for everything else, especially games from ~1982-83 on when most CoCo games were designed with digital movement in mind. Many games are literally unplayable with the standard Color Computer joystick, and it makes many others really hard to play. FWIW the earlier controllers with the silver sticks are a little better than the ones with the black sticks, but only marginally. Fortunately, many Color Computer games also provided for keyboard control, and Tandy also released a vastly improved Kraft-designed Deluxe Joystick.

 

(Joysticks from the standard Color Computer controller can be used to replace missing or broken ones from Vectrex controllers since they use the same size pots and gimble mechanism.)

 

As for the Jaguar, the only thing its controller can really be knocked for is maybe being a little bit stuck in the past. The keypad's a non-issue for me (better to have it than not, I guess), although overlays were cumbersome and behind the times in 1993. But in the age of 2D fighters, that thing really needed six buttons from the get-go; even if it never got ports of MK or SFII, the three-button controller precluded games like these from being played satisfactorily. Otherwise, it's comfortable, durable, works well, and is generally well-suited to most of the games the Jaguar had. And it doesn't render games unplayable or force you to wrestle with it. It doesn't make you wish you had a better controller. The same cannot be said for the likes of the CoCo joystick or Master System pad.

 

Short version: the Jaguar controller is demonstrably not the "worst ever." My list of worst stock controllers would look something like:

 

1. Color Computer

2. Atari 7800

3. Master System

 

 

 

 

Funny thing about the Master System controllers: I don't remember them being that bad on the directions when I was a kid playing at my cousin's house. But now if I go back to it, I find it's worse than I remember. Maybe my game-playing skills have fallen into the toilet?

 

I also agree that the Jaguar controllers is not nearly as bad as everyone says, but in a post SFII and MK age, it was a terrible mistake not to release the pro controllers as the standard. Can we all agree that the pro controllers should absolutely have been included as the stock controller?

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Funny thing about the Master System controllers: I don't remember them being that bad on the directions when I was a kid playing at my cousin's house. But now if I go back to it, I find it's worse than I remember. Maybe my game-playing skills have fallen into the toilet?

 

It's not you, it's a genuinely bad d-pad. I went on a SMS kick last Summer and had the exact same issues. For some games it's not a big deal (platformers where you can't duck, for instance--only move left and right), but for games that use all four or eight directions it's pretty bad. It's a shame because I find the controller comfortable, I like the soft feel of the SMS buttons and the d-pad at least feels nice. It just doesn't actually work well.

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The Jaguar controller's strengths... did he mention any of those?

 

1. Comfortable for those with large hands, unlike the NES controller and others.

2. D-pad that was less likely to cause blistering, unlike the PS1 controller.

3. Less cluttered than the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

4. Less heavy than the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

5. No low-quality miniature joysticks like the current D-pad plus joystick controllers (including PSX dual shock which was out then).

6. D-pad in the comfortable location (unlike XBox 360).

7. Has a D-pad rather than a non-centering joystick.

8. Has a D-pad rather than a disc that makes it difficult to precisely know what direction you're going to move.

9. Has a D-pad rather than a joystick with a lot of throw for greater speed and precision.

10. Has action buttons that are fast (unlike Fairchild, Intellivision, Colecovision, and 5200 — all of which are slower to use).

11. Has action buttons that don't interfere with movement (unlike Fairchild).

12. Has controllers that are not hard-wired (unlike Fairchild and Famicom).

13. Not prone to breakage... not delicate (unlike Fairchild and 5200).

14. Not wireless.

15. No coiled phone cable that pulls the controller away from you (unlike my memory of the Intellivision).

16. Comfortable for use by both left-handed and right-handed players.

17. Overlays plus keypad could be used to create a realtime action RPG like Dungeons of Daggorath where going to menus to use items isn't practical.

 

 

 

Most of these could also apply to a smooth stone.

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When did everyone start piling on the Fairchild controller? It's an impressive design even to this day (three control axes? in 1976?), and well-suited to the games the Channel F played. Could have used a thicker gauge of wire for the cords though, and the "trigger" button Zircon (?) added to the front would have been nice to start with, but it's still a more than respectable effort for what amounts to the first game controller (Odyssey and Pong systems notwithstanding).

1) It was wired to the console so the thin wire problem was magnified. One Fairchild expert even felt that the company did this purposefully to get more money from repairs.

2) Using a button feature causes you to have to stop moving your player (whether you're twisting, pushing down, or pulling up).

3) The thin wire problem.

 

It's extremely limited in terms of functionality, it's unreliable, and it's very difficult/costly to repair. Those are all major strikes against it.

 

"The Atari 5200 controller is great when it works, but that's the hitch right there. The Atari 7800 controller addressed several problems with the 5200 design but created a few more serious ones of its own."

 

Really? I found the 7800 controller much better. It wasn't as good as a NES pad but I didn't have any serious problems with it.

 

"The Intellivision controller must be one of those things where you either love it or hate it...though 'love' is a strong word here; it's not a 'great' controller but I've never had problems with it or the Intellivision II version. At least the fire buttons are on the same side, unlike the 7800 and Coleco controllers."

 

In comparison with the Jaguar controller it's truly poor. It's also significantly worse than the Coleco and 7800 controllers because of the disc and the tiny hard buttons. It's also hard to hold because it's thin and, as I recall, its coiled cord pulls it away from the player. It was a controller that I wanted to like because it looked nice.

 

"The NES controller isn't even in the running, sorry. I have yet to read an argument that makes me even consider that the NES controller might be one of the 'worst ever;' such arguments often amount to feeble complaints about it being 'backwards,' or simple anti-Nintendoism. I'll grant that its ergonomics are a little lacking, but the Master System control pad is far worse in my experience, and it's the square D-Pad that ruins it. It's too easy to move diagonally when you don't mean to, and difficult to move cardinally when you DO mean to."

 

I think the NES controller is one of the best ever.

 

"As I said in another thread recently (I forget which; too lazy to look/link), the standard Color Computer joystick comes to mind as objectively one of the worst controllers. It's good for the kinds of games you'd use a mouse, trakball, or paddle for -- early games like Polaris, Clowns & Balloons, Popcorn, and Project Nebula make great use of the CoCo joystick -- but it's horrible for everything else, especially games from ~1982-83 on when most CoCo games were designed with digital movement in mind. Many games are literally unplayable with the standard Color Computer joystick, and it makes many others really hard to play."

 

I didn't know anyone else recognized the CoCo joystick as being the worst ever. Props.

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I finally looked at that IGN guy's article and it's even more crazy that I thought. He actually put the Jaguar controller up against the U-Force and determined that the former is worse than the latter!

 

ROFL

 

And this...

 

top-10-tuesday-worst-game-controllers-20

 

The article is just empty-headed, period. It's bad enough to make the absurd claim that the Jag controller is the worst standard controller to ship with a console. But, to compare it with garbage 3rd-party gimmicks like U-Force and the Power Glove and then determine that it's worse is beyond asinine.

 

Even the CoCo joystick was better than U-Force and the Power Glove.

Edited by Justin222

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