Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
29 Controls of Christmas
TurboGrafx-16 Pad
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 03, 2008   |   Episode 7 (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!

Sure I love the gimmicky turbo buttons, but I would have loved a longer cord and second control port even more!
Brief Synopsis: If you were to simply glance at the TurboGrafx-16 controls you would think that it was nothing more than a Nintendo Entertainment System control. Upon closer inspection you'll see that this rectangle pad has a lot more going on, including turbo switches and a large logo protruding from the middle of the control. The biggest difference has nothing to do with the actual control, though. If you were to just take the control away it would look and act like every other control you've ever seen, but when plugged into the TurboGrafx-16 it reveals one noteworthy difference. You see, for whatever reason, the TurboGrafx-16 only came with one controller port. That's right; you can only plug one control into the console. Let's not pretend we don't know the reason for this, it all comes down to the money. NEC figured they were smarter than everybody else and could make millions by selling a multi-tap that allowed people to play with a second (or third, fourth, or fifth) person. This plan didn't work and nobody ever tried this devious plan again.

The Style: Unfortunately the multi-tap wasn't the only million dollar idea NEC had; they also figured they could squeeze a few extra bucks out of people for extension cords. While the turbo buttons were pretty cool (if not a little cheap in certain types of games), the controls were tethered to the console in what has to be the world's shortest cord. I'm talking about a cord that is no more than two and a half feet, at least half of what Sega was offering with their Genesis pad. If you can get past the way NEC tried to screw you, you will find that the control is significantly more comfortable than the 8-bit pads it mimics. That's not to say that it couldn't be improved upon, but as far as old school boxy controls go, this is one of the best.

Johnny Turbo is a tool!
What the 11 Year Old Me Would Say: Where the hell is the rest of the cord? No seriously, what did they do with it? Do you really expect me to sit that close to my console? Hey, why can't my friends play with me? Aren't there going to be any multiplayer games? At least somebody finally gave us some turbo switches; usually I have to pay extra for that kind of thing. I tried it out earlier and it made Dragon Spirit really easy, it was a lot of fun. They should totally have a slow motion button; you see those on that joystick I bought for my NES. Seems like the slow motion would fit in perfect with the turbo buttons. This NEC company is really thinking ahead.

What I Would Say Now: Hey NEC, I can't believe I put up with your crap. First you give us a system that costs about twice what it should (especially given the software). And then to add insult to injury, I not only have to buy a new control, but I also need to buy a multi-tap? Just to play two players? What the hell, NEC? And this cord is super short. I have a hunch that if you could have sold the control and the cord separately you would have. And don't even get me started on how expensive that TurboExpress was, it was like $300 and ate batteries like nobody's business. And a $400 CD-ROM attachment that had only a few good games? What the hell, NEC? No wonder your system died out before the Super NES even showed up.

The TurboGrafx Pad Haiku:
Three inch cord is short.
Are those turbo buttons?
Only one game port?


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