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29 Controls of Christmas
Sega Saturn Analog Control
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 13, 2008   |   Episode 17 (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!



After you read this article you'll never look at this fat control the same way!
Brief Synopsis: So we've already established that I didn't like the Americanized Sega Saturn control, now it's time for try number two. This time around Sega opted for a weird mash-up between the original Saturn pad and the Nintendo 64's analog stick. The result is one big, fat control. While it's nowhere near as bad as the original Saturn control, it's impossible to look at this control and not be immediately reminded of a sumo wrestler. The problem with this control isn't the size (which is a problem, just not the most immediate), instead it's the placement of the D-pad and analog stick. The two are right next to each other, which can be uncomfortable when you're trying to rest your hand. Outside of the look, the buttons didn't feel right and the whole thing lacked style. The good news is that the shoulder/trigger buttons feel better. The worst thing about this control is that it's clear that this is the origins of the Sega Dreamcast control. The Dreamcast was able to improve on this premise, but that doesn't mean it's a good control. The good news is that this control isn't as outright terrible as the Nintendo 64 control, but as we established yesterday, it's impossible to make a worse analog stick. Good job Sega, you managed to beat Nintendo!

The Style: Now that I've used the words "sumo wrestler" you're never going to think of anything else. Take a look at that belly, it's huge and round. And then there are those two little legs, just like a sumo wrestler. Best of all, it doesn't matter if you can't see the head; all you're looking at is that enormous gut. Seriously Sega, is this a game controller

Trust me, it's better if you don't ask!
or a satellite dish? This face is so big you can eat off of it. I also love how the start button is actually larger than the six face buttons. Is that really necessary? And did you really need a switch that turns on and off the analog joystick? Man, this is such a stupid looking control.

What the 18 Year Old Me Would Say: Well, at least it looks better than the Nintendo 64 control. And I suppose it looks better than that terrible Saturn control. But I'm not sure I like the direction Sega is going. Next thing you'll know they'll have the cord coming out of the bottom and a big open spot for a screen. Nah, that's just stupid, they'll never do that.

What I Would Say Now: It's hard for me to believe that when this was released I was actually excited about. I had already had my taste of Super Mario 64, what I was waiting for was NiGHTS into Dreams, the first game to take advantage of this fat ass control. How could you resist? I mean, it was by the guy that created Sonic and was the first game to let you fly. Even as a teenager I knew that was bunk, I had been flying in games for years. Just look at every 2D shooter ever made, or Super Mario Bros. 3 or that Joust game. But I digress; I was mostly impressed by the control's size. This control is massive, to the point where it's comically big. I bring it out sometimes when I need a good laugh. Clearly there are better ways of making an analog control.

The Saturn Analog Control Haiku:
Like a big fat guy.
This control needs a diet.
Sorry to be mean.
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