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 control is so bad that nobody wants to be photographed playing it!
So we've made it to the final episode in our daily countdown to Christmas. In the past four weeks we've managed to look at uncomfortable old school controls, motion sensing controls, analog controls, controls that just sit there and even a couple of fake plastic guitars. So how do you close out a holiday special with a bang? You do it by reviewing the single worst piece of hardware of the year. That's right; we plan on finishing out the 29 Controls of Christmas by talking about none other than the Rock Revolution drum kit. Drum kits were all the rage this year; we had at least five different companies try to come up with ways to imitate the drum kit Harmonix developed one year earlier. This Rock Revolution kit is easily the worst, thanks to its random drum pads, unsturdy design and poor contact detection. Although Rock Revolution supports both guitars and drums, Konami only felt it was important to develop a drum kit. And how bad is this drum kit? Let's just put it this way, Konami released the stand alone game (which requires the drum kit to work) a full month before shipping the full Rock Revolution drum bundle. That means that the game was practically useless for a solid month before the drum kit came out. To make matters worse, before gamers even had a chance to try out the Rock Revolution drum kit they realized that this game contains the most laughably terrible covers ever heard in a music game. Some of the songs are so bad that you have to wonder if they were done in parody. A lot of companies have tried to make competent fake plastic drums, but nobody has managed to fall as flat on their face as Konami. For a company that has supposedly done this before, it's shocking how abysmal this Rock Revolution control is.
Wonder why I'm not picking on the guitar? That's because Konami decided not to make a guitar. Even though the guitar is vital to the game (after all, there are two guitar parts for every song), Konami opted to not worry about developing a fake plastic guitar. Instead they put all their time and attention into this drum kit ... and it shows. I have never seen a more overdeveloped piece of hardware in my life. Compared to other drums it's a monster. The Rock Band drum kit had four drum pads and a kick peddle. In contrast, the Guitar Hero World Tour drums have five drum pads and a kick peddle. Just to further complicate everything, the Rock Revolution drum kit has SIX drum pads and a kick peddle. But instead of having the six drum pads in a workable order, Konami decided to make them various shapes and sizes, then scattered them all around. There's this huge open area on the drum kit, plus all of the pads seem to be in varying distances from each other. It's also worth mentioning that the colors aren't well defined, in order to know what to hit you have to look at the small colored band that borders each pad. Couple this with the fact that the pad placement is wildly different from the note placement on screen and you have a recipe for disaster. This is the worst drum kit ever. Even if it wasn't the ugliest thing you will ever see, the functionality makes no sense. It's so bad that Konami should have a special money back guarantee: If this isn't the worst drum kit you've ever used then we'll refund your money.
What the 30 Year Old Me Would Say:
I'm speechless, utterly speechless. I know I should have something to say, but I'm flabbergasted that somebody actually made this device. This drum kit is just as perplexing as the Sega Activator and Galoob Power Glove. I'm sure this was born out of good ideas and intentions. But it's impossible to play. The colored notes don't line up with the drum pads on the kit, not to mention that the grey note is almost impossible to see. I spent the first hour
Rock Revolution is the Milli Vanilli of fake plastic rock games!
just trying to memorize where each colored pad was, yet none of this helped me when I finally started to play the game. And again, that grey note is impossible to see. I constantly missed it because I didn't even see it there. If you're going to develop a colorful drum kit, how about not making notes that blend it with the background? That just seems like hardware development 101. Oh, and half the notes I played didn't even register. If ever there was a control that was going to get me off of video games forever, this Rock Revolution drum kit is that piece of hardware. Hmm ... I guess I wasn't speechless after all.
What I Would Say Now:
Rock Revolution is a mess, we all know that. It is, without a doubt, the single worst game of the year. It's not just bad, it's completely unnecessary. There are at least two other games that are already doing what this game does, and they are doing it infinitely better. Most of the songs in Rock Revolution are in Rock Band, and instead of covers they are full master tracks. Plus, Rock Band actually has a guitar and mic that works with it. Rock Revolution, on the other hand, features no compelling single-player mode, has problems registering notes and, worst of all, features 40 different cover songs that will make your ears bleed and head explode. The single best thing about Rock Revolution is that video I posted above. When the developers can't even play it you know you're in for a world of hurt. But the question is: Is it that they can't play it, or simply don't want to. Nobody wants to play Rock Revolution, not now, not ever. And that's why it's the perfect way to end our journey through the wild world of video game controls.
The Rock Revolution Drum Kit Haiku:
For the worst game of the year.
I need to own this!