Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
29 Controls of Christmas
Sega Saturn Control
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 10, 2008   |   Episode 14 (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!

We've decided to show you the difference between the ugly American control (top) and the gorgeous Japanese pad (bottom)!
Brief Synopsis: The Sega Saturn pad is an especially sore subject for me. You see, back when the Saturn was first announced I was about as excited as a teenage boy could be. I simply couldn't get enough information about Sega's 32-bit system, to the point where I was drooling over all of the pictures of the Japanese unit. It wasn't even the games I was excited about, I found myself equally jazzed about the hardware. Sure the console was kind of stupid looking, but boy was I in love with that control. I loved the sleek shape and the way it looked like a next generation Genesis control. It had all of the face buttons in the right place and a design that looked like it would fit perfectly into my 17 year old hands. I was in love. So you can imagine my disappointment when I opened my American Saturn and discovered that Sega had completely redesigned the control pad. Instead of the sleek and sexy Japanese pad, I got this horrific fish-shaped control. Instead of fitting into my hand, the new control felt awkward and too big. It had shiny black plastic caked on, which started to look tacky the moment you got it in your hands. Worse yet, the buttons didn't feel right and the redesign spread everything out to the point where it wasn't comfortable to use. And don't even get me started on the D-pad. This control made me mad. I couldn't understand why Sega would turn one of their best controls into this monstrosity. It was at this moment that I realized that Sega didn't care about me. From that day on I began buying more PlayStation games and forgot about what Sega was doing.

The Style: If the Saturn control was high fashion, then they went from a couture dress to a baby doll dress. They went from Citizen Kane to Weekend At Bernie's. They went from The Beatles to Nickelback. They went from All in the Family to Shasty McNasty. They went from Gisele Bundchen to

Not even a nude woman in an advertisement could keep people interested in Sega's terrible Saturn control!
Janet Reno. This American control is an eyesore, the type of thing you are embarrassed to plug into your system. The reflective black finish was tacky, the strange rounded shape felt like a Genesis control gone wrong and the mixture of light grey and black was all wrong. It really is one of the ugliest controls of the 1990s.

What the 17 Year Old Me Would Say: HEY! That's not the control I saw in the magazine! What the hell is this crap? Who would prefer this over that sexy Japanese control? There's no way they could have focus grouped this thing, this is a terrible control that is big and awkward. And it's definitely not what I signed up for. I bought my Saturn under the belief that I was going to get that sexy control, not this stick of mud. This is B.S., I need to call somebody about this. You suck, Sega!

What I Would Say Now: I'll be honest with you; I'm still pissed off about this terrible control. It would be bad enough if this is the control everybody got, but to see that gorgeous Japanese control waved in front of my face for all those months makes this redesign unbearable. This is just another one of those terrible moves by Sega; I swear that they are their own worst enemy. I could go down the list of terrible things they've done to sabotage their success, but we already know them (and besides, I would rather save that for a full article). Sega is the type of company you root for, which is probably why I'm an alcoholic.

The Sega Saturn Pad Haiku:
Japan gets great pad.
Sega, what were you thinking?
I hate this new pad!


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