25 Worst Video Game Controllers #15 – #6
Ah, the good old PS Mouse. Do you remember this thing? Of course you don’t because it wasn’t used for anything! It tried to ride off the success of the SNES mouse and Mario paint, but PlayStation users weren’t really concerned with doodling as much as they were concerned with racing, shooting, and controlling spikey haired JRPG protagonists. The best use of this mouse was to play SimCity 2000, or other compatible sim games, but you were better off playing those on a computer anyway.
What the heck is this thing? A number pad instead of buttons? A disc instead of a joystick or d-pad? Yes, the Intellivision got a lot of things wrong, and it didn’t help that the numpad was far too squishy to be responsive. What was cool about the controller was that each game came with little plastic inserts that you would slide over the numpad to show exactly what your controls did. Unfortunately, if you lost these plastic inserts, you had no idea which buttons did what.
Ugh. Do we really have to say what this controller looks like? Really? Fine, it looks just like a Bop-It game! (What did you think we were talking about?) Anyway, the Fairchild Channel F controller has this weird … knobby … thing on top of it that you pushed with your thumb in order to control direction. You could twist and bend and push it to your heart’s content, but there’s no comfortable way to hold it. Looked great in the trash bin though.
Once again an example of trying to re-invent the wheel, the Spacetech Spaceorb did away with the perfectly serviceable d-pad and replaced it with this gigantic orb monstrosity. It was kind of like a track ball, except much much worse. There was, once again, no comfortable way to hold the controller while retaining access to its directional inputs.
The original Atari 2600 controller was so good. Why on Earth did they decide to screw it up by adding a number pad to their already amazing joystick design? Just a piece of advice to console developers out there, number pads don’t work! They never have. They never will. Keyboard and mouse gamers don’t use number pads (a lot). SMART PHONE GAMERS DON’T USE NUMBER PADS! So just keep them away from our video games, ok?
“I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad.” Truer words were never spoken. Thank you so much Lucas from The Wizard. The Power Glove just flat out didn’t work. Its buttons were awkwardly placed, its motion sensors weren’t accurate and rarely even fit on your TV, and the motions you actually had to perform made absolutely no sense. It’s one of the worst pieces of trash that Nintendo ever made, and yet many of us still look back on this cheap plastic glove with fond memories.
Technology is a wonderful thing. Our top engineers are just now starting to figure out how to interface with the human brain. Experimental games are being made that track our thoughts, feelings, and emotional states and use those as controller inputs. But, would you believe us if we said Atari had a similar controller back in 1984? Yep! It was called the Mindlink and it was never released because it actually read muscle movements on your head, rather than your brain. So to control a game you had to constantly flex your eyebrows and forehead muscles, which lead to gamers getting massive headaches. Plus, when you wore it, it made you look like an idiot.
Why? Why do you need a specific bowling ball shaped controller just for Wii bowling? What the heck was wrong with the Wii Remote? This controller isn’t usable for any other game in the Wii library. Its only use is for one mini-game in one mini-game collection that came with the Wii to begin with! Who on Earth cares about Wii bowling that much? What a turkey. (Pun intended.)
Move over Kinect, the Sega Genesis beat you to the punch. The Sega Activator asked you to stand in the middle of a ring and use your body’s motion to control your favorite games. Unfortunately, games weren’t actually designed to use the Activator, so more often than not you were simply extending your arms and legs instead of pressing the A or B button on a controller. There were a few games that actually used the Activator as a unique input device, such as Mortal Kombat, but even these games were better controlled with a plain old gamepad.
"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" Isn’t it better to yell "FIRE!" to make a gun FIRE! Instead of actually FIREing a plain old lightgun? That’s exactly what the Konami Laserscope did. It functioned as a light gun but allowed you to aim with an eyepiece and shoot by screaming into a microphone. You didn’t actually have to shout the word “FIRE!” You could just yell like an idiot, and the peripheral actually worked better that way. It was totally inaccurate and mostly useless, but for some reason we were intrigued by headgear that fired guns by audio commands. Heck, there was a Super Soaker that did the exact same thing but at least with that you got to shoot real people with water. The Laserscope just drowned the player in crappy controller mechanics.