Wednesday, February 22, 2006

top game controller laziness

I used to work with a guy who loved the expression "willing to die on that hill." I'd say something like, "man this coffee is terrible, we should get some better coffee in here," and he'd reflexively throw out, "ya? you willing to die on that hill?" I think about what his reaction would be as I take time out of my day to defend a video game controller.

I'm talking about the original 'fatty' xbox controller. the poor thing endured endless mockery from sources such as penny arcade, and it was thrown into a lot of closets when the smaller 'S' controller was released. I understand that some people found the controller too big and others didn't like the slanted arrangement of the buttons, but I was still surprised to see IGN rank the controller and #2 in the Top 10 Worst Game Controllers. that's just downright silly.

I had no issues with the controller. in fact, I find it more comfortable than the 'S' and I only switched because it was tough to find a fat controller at LAN parties. so now you're wondering if I'm some kind of rock-biter (that's stolen from the article BTW). no, that's not the case - I doubt I could even palm a basketball. but let's set aside my personal preference and just go with the facts. why would IGN rank the xbox controller in the top ten when there are so many other choices. I mean, honestly... can they really argue that the xbox controller was worse than the Colecovision controller? I doubt it. in fact, the Colecovision used the same style of Intellivision controller overlays that are disparaged in the IGN top ten article.

I've seen this sort of top ten laziness before, and I don't like it. it's like putting The French Connection in a list of the 10 Best Car Chases. now where did I see that cop-out being used? oh... look at that... it was errr... IGN. I'm sure that the 1971 list of best car chases could have included The French Connection, but have you actually watched that chase recently?

including The French Connection and the xbox controller were easy things to do - hip things to do - but they weren't at all accurate. clearly, the car chase writer realized his error because he published a second version. so good on ya, Steven Horn, for responding to feedback. as for the rest of you top ten writers out there, are you willing to die on that hill?

BTW - there's another great penny arcade where they show the designer of the fat controller and he has hands like a homunculus. leave me a comment if you have that link. cheers

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