Jump to content
IntelliMission

Dreamcast controller: Was it any good?

What do you think about the Dreamcast controller?  

64 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about the Dreamcast controller?

    • It was a good controller
      41
    • It was a bad controller
      23


Recommended Posts

I love the Dreamcast as a console, but I find the controller quite uncomfortable and I don't know how they could release that 4 years after the original Playstation controller:

 

- Buttons that hurt your fingers

 

- Delicate d-pad

 

- Only one analog stick

 

- Uncomfortable triggers for anything other than accelerating or breaking

 

- Cable that comes out from the bottom

 

The Nintendo 64 controller, with all its flaws, feels much better to hold and even some hardcore Sega fans such as the youtuber Sega Lord X think the Dreamcast controller is not a good one, but I know it has a lot of fans. What do you think?

Edited by IntelliMission

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may have flaws, and did feel a little cheap...but all I gotta say is VMU! Loved that I could choose my plays for NFL2K in secret and my buddy had no clue what play was coming(usually same fade pass that he could not stop). So the invention of the VMU was something I loved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I think the shape of the controller is fine and I'm not bothered by the cable coming out of the bottom, the d-pad is improcise and the analog stick is probably one of the worst ones I've used. Who at Sega thought a completely plastic stick with tiny dimples to poorly keep the friction between the thumb and the stick was a good idea? However, I've heard that analog stick grip covers for the Wii can fit the Dreamcast's stick and improve friction.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mind it, but it's got flaws - namely the floaty D-pad.  That drove me nuts for 2d fighters.  The top of the analog stick is a little slippery, too, if I remember correctly.  I've never had one fail, though, and I never though it was particularly uncomfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a bit of nostalgia for it,...Probably because at the time it was ...different, I guess...Seemed top heavy, cord placement was wrong,...(The arcade stick option didn't work on any game I owned so  that was flubbed as well)...It is bad overall, but not unplayable.  The main thing I hated about it was the analog trigger, because almost every racing game (Except SF Rush 2049 that let you remap controls) used it as  a gas pedal, and of course that meant if you played a racing game on Dreamcast, your hand felt like a twisted claw for the rest of the day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought it felt on the hard side and cut into my hands. Plus, the face buttons were smallish. Go from this to a 360 controller and it feels like a huge relief. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found it to be very comfortable to hold.  No complaints really, except the placement of the cable...  what were they thinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't call it good but bad is too harsh. Atleast it has proper four action buttons. For that reason alone its my favorite Sega controller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with others that the thumb stick didn't feel right, but I never had trouble with my thumb slipping off of it.  Didn't use the D-pad for much.  The buttons were fine, the VMU thing was really cool (although it meant buying more CR2032 batteries...), and the cord out the bottom didn't bother me.  I do agree with it not being terribly comfortable.  I feel that the hand grips underneath were too parallel.  I mean, they are kind of like this |  |  instead of being at a more ergonomic angle like /  \  .  Feels like my hands and wrists are at an unnatural angle when holding it.  

 

I'm kind of in the, "it's not terrible, but not my favorite" category.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It never felt like a great match for my hands. Not awful feeling, but as if everything was slightly off from what best suited me.

 

 I'm looking forward to trying out the new RetroFighters pad for the Dreamcast after being favorably impressed with their N64 effort. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Maybe not perfectly on topic, but...) 

 

If they had put out an arcade stick that worked with more games (not just fighters UGGGH!), it totally would have helped the Dreamcast.  And it would have been so simple to put a switch on the stick so the stick could have controlled either the D-Pad or the stick...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't want to do it, but I did it, voted BAD.

 

I've had the system a few times over the years, originally weeks after it came to the market so I've had a LOT of hours on the controller.  The L/R buttons have springs that are so tight they hurt the hell out of the backs of your hands and fingers with games that rely on them for your primary control, such as car based adventure/racing games where it was used for the gas.  Crazy Taxi amounted to a lot of soreness.  The D-pad while functional wasn't exactly by molding either precise and definitely not comfortable as the hard corners of them poked outward.  Not that you'd blister but it would get annoying over time.  The grip of it was fine, but it was a bit thick, not original xbox cheeseburger sized but a bit on the meaty side for comfort.  The stick worked fine, don't remember ever sliding off it, and the face buttons were good too.  It's just that games using the L/R buttons and d-pad for primary use were just painful to play for extended periods.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the wiring position to be a fairly arbitrary complaint. Wrap it up and click it in the slot it's supposed to rest in if it bothers you that much, that's what it's there for.

 

A poll like this needs a middle option. I enjoy the controller quite a bit but it's far from perfect. I would have preferred a straight six button layout *plus* triggers. The floating d-pad isn't the best, but I got used to it and didn't struggle in fighting games or shoot 'em ups.

 

The analog stick can be touchy but I've found how it performs varies from game to game. With Tokyo Xtreme Racer and F355 Challenge, it's very smooth and easy to finesse the movement of your vehicles. In Quake III and KISS Psycho Circus, it's quite difficult to aim consistently.. though if those two had better framerates, it might be different.

 

I like the shape of the controller. It sits comfortably in my hands and it's relatively light (though a bit heavier with two VMUs installed, but still not too bad). The face buttons feel fine and are very responsive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the best controller out there, but I'm a fan of it. 

 

-I found the d pad to be very precise (at least if its plastic nub in the center hasn't been worn down by aggressive button mashing) and I like it for precision gameplay on fighters and shmups.  I much prefer it to the gamecube's dpad which is just so small for my adult thumb. 

-I don't have any complaints about the thumbstick. Back in the day I was jealous that the playstation's thumbsticks had rubber on them, but over time that rubber can get kinda nasty with age and years of skin oil, so now I appreciate the DC's plastic thumbstick. Never felt that it was uncomfortable or that its inputs were too loose or tight or something. 

-I have never felt like the face buttons were uncomfortable or cheap feeling. I like having 4 instead of 6 because 6 looks bulky. The Saturn 3dpad and the Duke xbox controller had the 6 buttons, and although they are kinda neat in their own way, they are much larger controllers than the DC pad, and have been mocked accordingly.  There was always the arcade stick if you really felt like you needed a more authentic experience/6 face buttons to enjoy fighters, and I don't think any other games (outside of the FPSs when compared to modern controls) really suffered from lack of 6 face buttons and lack of a second joystick.

-I like the analogue triggers and think they feel good and responsive

 

The overall design really harkens back to the 90s gaming scene where companies seemed more experimental as they looked to incorporate the latest developments into their product and there wasn't a clear cut 20-30+ years of history to look at how other companies approached similar considerations. I think there was really an impetus on making a product that stood out from your competitors, and think the DC controller and N64 controller really embody that ethos.

 

 

Edited by sirlynxalot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was great for playing Dreamcast games bitd. Never had any problems with it.

 

The only thing is that I used Saturn pads to play 2D fighting games, same as I did on Playstation systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was ok. I liked analog triggers for racing games.  3D stick was far more accurate than the Saturn 3D wand, but my thumb would slip off at times.  I can use the  dpad just fine,  but it was small (not as bad as GCN dpad) and I think it wears out if memory serves. My hand would hurt using the DC controller but that happens with other controllers too.  It was not ideal for any 2D fighting games. I wish I had bought those FT fighting pads instead of playing fighters with the stock , I hated to use triggers for a punch or kick. 

 

I did like the plug in rumble, which was new back then. Did not care about the VMU and screen, which didnt have enough save memory and ate batteries, and there wasn't 1 game that used it in a way I cared about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never bothered with the batteries, I lived with the obnoxious power up beep because there was nothing I wanted to play on that thing independent of the controller like ever.  I'd have been happy if the screen just was part of the controller itself.  Now the Jump Pack and the 1st party 4x memory pack, those were fantastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the Dreamcast but the controller was bad. I hate that it forced me to almost turn my hands inward to hold it properly, unlike every other post-PS1 controller, which let you put your hands at a more natural angle. It also seemed to have only one way to hold it, whereas a Dual Shock or Xbox controller were more rounded and gave you more of a range of grips that were useful.

 

I also hated the thumbstick, which chewed up my thumb. And I didn't like that there was only one of them - a lot of games on the system would have benefited from a second one.

 

The reason the DC pad is how it is is because it's an update to the Saturn 3D controller, although I'd argue that the 3D controller is actually more comfortable. But the basic design is pretty similar.

 

I did really like the VMU's, both for their LCD screens and their memory card functionality... I liked that you could switch out memory cards on the fly in the controller itself, without getting up and doing it at the console. That ended up being a big plus for me after a while, when I had multiple VMU's and memory cards laying around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I owned several VMUs.  2 stock white ones, the 4X one, then I got blue, green and red ones.  Now I must search through them to find which one had the save file I need.  It is pretty cool that you can plug in 2 into one controller. If only they held more data. 

 

GCN Wind Waker could be played 2 player  in conjunction with a GBA which had a Tingle character mode loaded into it.  That was better than any use of a DC VMU.   

 

The tamagotchi style Chao games that came with Sonic Adventure games seemed cool at first but pretty limited in what they were. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to see what everyone has said so far. I have actually played the Dreamcast, but it was for only about 2 or 3 minutes at a school event in 2000 or 2001, so I don't even remember much about the controller. I don't even remember what game it was, but it was either Sonic Adventure or Sonic Adventure 2.

 

It's been 20 years, so I can't say if I hate the controller or like it since I only had it in my hands for less than 5 minutes. I will be getting a Dreamcast very soon, though, so I'll be able to form an opinion very quickly once I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good ideas like a save cart and mini lcd game.  But I never dug the bulky too many buttons theme of the era (N64, Xbox, etc..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In short, the Dreamcast controller was good.  Not great, but good and got the job done, though not without some notable issues.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO it's a huge step backward from the Saturn 3D controller. The stick is perhaps improved, but the removal of two face buttons, moving the controller wire output, reducing button size, and that awful D-pad are just part of why I never liked it. The Saturn had basically the same D-pad as the Genesis 6-button (larger, original version) and that was basically perfect. I can't believe Sega screwed it up so badly.

 

Third party controllers are okay. I'm looking forward to getting the Retro Fighters controller I have on preorder and even more interested in something that has six face buttons, even if they're just on/off digital versions of the shoulder buttons. Fighting games are at a huge disadvantage on the system. 

Edited by derFunkenstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...