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29 Controls of Christmas
Nintendo Power Pad
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 30, 2008   |   Episode 4 (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!



Maybe if Tiffany was outside doing that she would attract a slightly cooler group of onlookers!
Brief Synopsis: The Power Pad was Nintendo's answer to the growing criticism that video games were making our youth fat and lazy. For a few months it felt like this plastic rug was the next big thing, but it didn't take long before kids around the world realized that exercising in a video game is still exercise. Not fooled by Nintendo's trickery, the Power Pad games didn't sell and the fake plastic rug never became as big as the Zapper. That said, a decade later Konami would introduce the world to the Power Pad-like Dance Dance Revolution pad, proving once more that Nintendo was way ahead of its time.

The Style: While the Power Pad retained the Nintendo Entertainment System's grey color scheme, I'm not a big fan of the look. This small pad had two individual sides, one with 12 different "buttons" to stand on, and another side that more closely resembled a D-pad. The pad itself is thin and made of plastic, so you can't expect it to look like anything more than a toy. Still, one has to commend Nintendo for trying to make gaming about more than just running from left to right and jumping on goombas. These days it's not uncommon to see a pad like this used for video

Not everybody with two legs should attempt to get on a video game mat!
games, but at the time it was a novel idea that looked pretty cool. Unfortunately these days the style doesn't hold up, which may be why I snicker every time I look at the Power Pad.

What the 10 Year Old Me Would Say: What the...? Is this some kind of joke? You expect me to get up and actually run on this pad? I've played Track & Field before; I know I can run by using nothing more than my "A" and "B" buttons. I certainly don't need to get up and actually run, if I wanted to run I would go outside and run. This is stupid; I have better things to do. Take this away, I just want to sit here and play Castlevania III!

What I Would Say Now: As somebody that hates exercise and lives in an apartment, the Power Pad seems like a pretty stupid idea to me. Then again, I'm not against the idea of using your body to control games. The problem with the Power Pad was that it was way ahead of its time. If Nintendo had just held on a little longer they might have been able to birth the Dance Dance Revolution fad. Outside of the lack of good software support, the Power Pad was notoriously unreliable. Not only do you have to hammer the buttons at exactly the right location, but the pad itself slips around a little too much. There's nothing worse than trying to break your hurdle record while having to fight the pad every step of the way.

The Power Pad Haiku:
Exercising sucks.
Even on the Nintendo.
Would rather stay fat.
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