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29 Controls of Christmas
Nintendo Entertainment System Control
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 27, 2008   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



The NES was released at a time when companies thought it was a good idea to package two controls in the same box. Oh the simpler times!
Brief Synopsis: This iconic control is small and offers a short cord, but that didn't stop gamers from falling in love with what you could do with the NES control. Modeled off of the Famicom control, this black and grey game pad was the first to incorporate the now standard D-pad, offered more than one face button and offered both a start and select button. At its time it was the gold standard for game pads, giving gamers a simple, yet effective controller that would work well with the system's large collection of games.

The Style: Although small and boxy, the NES control features a unique design that sets itself apart from the competition. More than just having the D-pad and the face buttons, the visual styling of the pad closely resembled the console. The grey ladder that engulfs the Start and Select buttons is reminiscent of the air grates on the top of the game console. What's more, the colors and boxy look resembles the game system the pad plugs into.


If the NES really could do this, then the government wouldn't have a problem with video games!
What the 7 Year Old Me Would Say: Video game? What the hell is a video game?? Get out of my way boogerhead, the Transformers are on! Oh hey, this Mario Brothers game is a lot of fun. And I totally love this control, it's gnarly and tubular. It has two buttons and something that looks like a T-pad, I'm sure that in the future everybody is going to be calling it a T-pad. This totally rocks, I love this control. Bodacious, dude! Nobody is ever going to need more than just these two buttons and the T-pad, this NES is the best we'll ever get. Now, what was I doing?

What I Would Say Now: What a difference a couple decades makes. While the little kid version of me felt that the game pad was comfortable and easy to use, these days it feels like I'm playing a fake plastic version of a torture device. The edges are hard and uncomfortable, while the D-pad and the face buttons are too close together. It's clear that this control was created long before anybody cared about ergonomic devices. Small hands are the target of this control, so it shouldn't surprise anybody that after extended use my adult-sized hands started to cramp up. Sure I love the look and will never forget all of the amazing times I had with this control, but there's definitely no going back to something this uncomfortable.

The NES Control Haiku:
This gamepad is small.
Can't stop my hand from throbbing.
Ergonomics rule!
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