Hey Guys! Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. I have been busy with school and all that jazz. (I’m writing this at school, on my lunch, and I can’t upload pics, but I’ll add them ASAP)
Throughout my various ventures playing through games, I have laid hands on various controllers, and Personally, There are some control setups that I prefer over others. In this post, I’m going to take a quick look at the various controllers we, as gamers, see often for games, and compare their strong and weak points.
The classic – Console Gamepad
Since the beginning of the 3rd Generation, with the NES and Master System, control pads were, and still are, the quintessential item in any gamer’s collection. Most controllers today are modeled similar to the Dualshock controller for the Playstation; the first example of a modern controller. Ergonomic handles allows for a more comfortable grasp, and it’s very natural to press whatever button you need to, ensuring that any input you make is done in an accurate and precise manner. That being said, there are certain times where more precise movement isn’t possible, particularly in FPS games when you have to aim (though that’s probably just me, since I like to flick the stick, not tilt it). Also, the Gamepad is not really designed for what I call passive games (Such as Real-Time Strategy games, and games like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Simcity) where you have a cursor and have to gradually move it to the objects you want to control. Nevertheless, the controller is the simplest way to play a video game.
All work and all play – PC mouse & Keyboard
Many people who are avid PC gamers will argue that the PC is the only way to play modern games. Those who agree would have almost certainly played with a mouse and a keyboard. These controls are very customizable to a player’s play style, particularly if they are left-handed. The accuracy is spot on, what else did you expect from a PC running Word? Jokes aside, the satisfying feel of when you pull off a tricky move is ever-present with the keyboard and mouse. Unfortunately, the mouse, being an absolute analog and not traditional relative, has to be re-centered (moved back to the center of the mousepad) when you must do a 360 degree view of your surroundings. Adding on to this, I found out that if played for an extended period your wrists get very tired, as opposed to the comfortable grip other devices give you. Unlike other schemes, however, these downsides can be minimized by increasing mouse sensitivity, getting ergonomic accessories, and practicing good posture. For those who like it, the Keyboard and mouse really is a veritable swiss army knife of control schemes.
“Touchy, feely” – Touch Screen
Anyone who has ever had a modern-day smart phone or tablet has played at least one game on it. Many popular games on these devices include Angry birds, Flappy bird, and that other mobile game that you really, really like. (look at me, recycling lines) I’ve played a couple of games on tablets and phones, and I found it best suited for games that need simple taps or swipes, such as puzzle games. When we get into more involved genres, the best games for touch screens are the previously mentioned passive games where those tedious button presses become simple taps, swipes and holds. The natural friction between screens and fingers, however, now make more action based games unsuitable. The friction can cause input errors that could cause some aggravation for some players. Some may try to fix this by using gyroscopic functions, like in Need for speed undercover, but some may find this control awkward. If you need an action gaming fix on the go, It’s probably best to get A Nintendo 3DS or, heck even a gaming laptop. For casual games however, your phone and/or tablet will do just fine.
Reach out and grab it – Motion controllers
Recently, there has been an uptake on the number of games that include motion sensing technology. While some may contend that it’s dying out, I still believe it may not be the fad we may all think it is. The motion controller, while limited on buttons, allows for a more immersive experience with a simpler control scheme. You might be thinking that its aiming is inaccurate, but in reality, the remote is as accurate as your hand, so sharpshooters will enjoy this scheme for a change. These simple changes from the regular gamepad really gets the player into the world more than just sitting there. For those who are too used to the regular controls, these may be a little challenging, and, dare I say, abstract for some. Also, the main major flaw highlighted by many Wii games is that the motion controls must be done right (Not too sensitive, not too slow, just right). The perfect comparison is between Metroid Prime Trilogy and Call of Duty on the system. While Nintendo knew what they were working with, thus being able to craft an amazing experience, Infinity ward didn’t, and is oh so clear by the sensitivity option, and what people had said about the port. If you’re feeling ambitious, or are just looking to add another level of depth to your games, definitely get a motion controller. You won’t regret it.
TL;DR? Here’s the gist of it. Everyone has their own little preferred setup. For me, It would be a tie between the Gamepad and motion controls. What are your favorites? Have I missed something? Let me hear it in the comments!