Saturday, 11 August 2012 07:48
Games - Games
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Gaming does stop with the just the console. Over the years, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsft and more have added to their arsenal, filling the homes and closets of gamers with peripherals. These items can assist in pulling players further into a game, or they may just look completely bad ass.
Peripherals have served very different purposes throughout the years. In earlier games, the addition of external simulation really added to the overall experience, regardless of graphics. Today, developers look to hone games and create an even more immersive atmosphere.
So let's see what kind of ridiculous hardware we have queued up today.
Guitar Hero Explorer
Standing almost as tall as the Highlander, the Explorer has remained one of the favorite guitars of hardcore Guitar Hero/Rock Band players. It managed to last through thousands of Dragonforce attempts, survived being dropped on the pavement while transporting it from one house to the next, it was almost as though this guitar had a spirit that wouldn't quit. Stay gold, Explorer-boy.
Taiko Drum Master
This hardy drum has made appearances in households all across Japan and North America. It's made of sturdy materials, fully capable of taking more than its share of beatings. With impressive machines dotting Japanese arcades, creating a home-version of this rhythm title was a no-brainer, and without the physical taiko, there is no real point in playing the game. In the case of Taiko Drum Master, it's a case of necessity.
Steel Battalion controller
The greatest thing about Steel Battalion was obviously the immersive and intimidating controller. Looking more like a part ripped from a mech, the controller had two control sticks and about 40 buttons, one of which controlled the windshield wipers. And therein lies the beauty of this simulation title. It was so amazingly over the top and this controller would have set you back $200 just to really experience Steel Battalion the way it was intended. With such decadence, it's no surprise that this made the list.
Even if the Power Pad didn't always work, it was one of the coolest additions to your original NES setup. A bond was formed across all gamers that used the pad to cheat in Track & Field. No one actually ran that one out, it was a collection of gamers beating the system by pounding on the mat with their fists. For as underdeveloped as the Power Pad was, it pushed the peripheral medium forward, paving way for current games like Dance Dance Revolution.
Game Boy Printer
Coupled with the Game Boy Camera, this plug in was a invaluable addition to the Nintendo handheld. There was a multitude of games featuring compatibility with the printer, each offering a fantastic new way to waste that thermal paper. It was the most expensive polaroid in existence.
Sega wanted in on that peripheral money that Nintendo was raking in, so they created a little item I like to call the "Ring of Death." Nothing spells out safety better than a plastic ring sitting six inches above the ground. It was a foot magnet and usually meant a face-first fall into whatever was on your bedroom floor. The Activator Ring didn't work terribly well with fighting titles, as it was originally intended, but it did give us the first instance of people looking like idiots while trying to play a game.
Pressed hard against your CRT TV, making that smarmy dog eat his own snickers, the Zapper was the great equalizer. The incredibly satisfying noise that occurred when fully pulling back the trigger still sends shivers down my spine. This was another attempt by Nintendo to bring the arcade experience into the home. By giving players a light gun, Nintendo sealed the deal and gave their fan base everything they would need to survive a video game apocalypse.
Nintendo's fight stick helped bring the arcade into your home. I can't even joke about how awesome this thing is because I have such fond memories of fighting my friends over whose turn it was to use the Advantage. Offering a larger controller alternative to players fond of coin-eaters was a fantastic way for Nintendo to rope in a hardcore gaming audience.
Rock Band Pro Guitar
Whereas the Explorer is a fantastic toy, the Rock Band Pro Guitar is more like a useful tool. Taking a game and then turning it into a learning experience can be somewhat difficult as gamers have become much harder to trick. With the Pro Guitar, players can learn songs through Rock Band 3 and translate that skill to a real guitar. However, be forewarned, this isn't an endeavor for the light-hearted. Learning the guitar is serious business and you might find yourself wanting to break this expensive controller.
It's so bad. This glove was the pinnacle of peripherals - the elite status symbol for children who had everything to prove. Forget functionality, I didn't know anyone who owned a Power Glove that actually worked. Responsiveness wasn't the expectation. When you put on the glove you became Nintendo incarnate. It didn't matter if it was uncomfortable, wearing that peripheral made you a god.
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Gaming does stop with the just the console. Over the years, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsft and more have added to their arsenal, filling the homes and closets of gamers with peripherals. These...
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