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29 Controls of Christmas
CD-i Commander
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 06, 2008   |   Episode 10 (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!



This boring ass picture is about as exciting as the CD-i ever got!
Brief Synopsis: Seeing as there were a few different CD-i models, it stands to reason that there would be a few different CD-i remotes. While I don't want to get bogged down into reviewing specific models and their controls, I will say that for the most part the various CD-i remotes were very similar. Sure they all looked different (somewhere boxy, others looked more like the nunchuk part of the Wii's remote), but by and large the basic controls were virtually the same. In other words, all of the controls were utter trash. I hate to piss off the CD-i fanboys (lord knows this site has already done enough of that over the last eight years), but this control is as far as you can get from a solid control idea. While most controls have you clutching a D-pad and some sort of face buttons, the CD-i remote had you holding what looked like a TV remote and then using one of your hands to hit one of the frustratingly placed face buttons. Worse yet, there isn't really a D-pad so much as a strange joystick-like device that isn't very good at knowing what direction you're trying to tell your character to move. Then again, this remote was meant to double as a game control and a remote for playing back CD-based movies. As a DVD-style remote this piece of plastic worked just fine. But as a game control you could do better by just shouting at your TV screen.

The Style: It's bad enough that all of the CD-i controls are teetering on unusable, but did they really need to call the thing the CD-i Commander? These little controls give you about as much command over your game as Britney Spears has over her sanity. The make matters worse, Philips (and other companies) tried their hardest to come up with workable alternatives, yet these game controls managed to actually be worse! How is that even possible? I suppose the best thing you can say about the CD-i Commander is that it didn't ruin the gaming experience. The truth

Just the hint of me bashing a CD-i game means that the fanboys are going to hunt me down with lit torches!
is, you would be having just as bad of a time playing Link: The Faces of Evil with a Super NES control. Some things you just can't blame on the controller.

What the 13 Year Old Me Would Say: Whoa, I can watch video on this system? That's mega cool, man. Does that mean I can watch porno? Dude, seriously, can I use this system to watch porno? I don't really care what games it plays right now, I just need some porno. I bet it looks sweet. I mean, how can it not? The movies come on these discs. Hey, this movie is called The Firm ... is that a porno? And why does it come on six discs? That must be the longest porno in the world. Dude, can you give me a few minutes to, um, test out this system here? I'll talk to you later.

What I Would Say Now: I'm sorry 13 year old me, but The Firm is definitely not a porno. Instead it's Tom Cruise before he went all crazy and assaulted Oprah's couch. And no, it's not that long of a movie. But because CD's are notoriously small (and nobody was shopping DVD as a movie standard in 1991) you have to change the disc five or six times as you're watching it. Worse yet, the CD quality wasn't much better than a standard VHS tape. Hey, what am I doing? Shouldn't I be talking about the CD-i control? Nah, it's much more interesting to bash on the CD-i's ill-fated CD-based movies.

The CD-i Commander Haiku:
Only speak good thoughts.
Afraid to say something wrong.
The fans are crazy!
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