Wednesday, 10 December 2008

NES Advantage Controller

I have a lot of love for the original D Pad controller, its basic design is still used in consoles to this day and long may it reign. There are always a few games that need more than the standard cross, something special to bring the arcade experience home which brings me to the Advantage controller, released in 1987 a rectangular controller similar in appearance to an arcade cabinet controls and strong enough to take the abuse of frenzied gaming.

As well as the rather sturdy stick it also has a few other optional extras, a choice between slow mode which drops the game on screen to a snails pace handy for boss fights and a turbo dial for rapid fire perfect for shooters. The stick can move in 8 directions and one of the first games I tried it with was Ikari Warriors and it didn’t disappoint. Being able to move in all direction without having to press a direction followed by up means the game takes on a whole other level. No more slow meanderings through battle fields I can do diagonals in a flash!

The slow button works on the principal of pausing and un-pausing the game. So any game that freezes the screen whilst pause is pressed will work perfectly with the pad though it’s not without its drawbacks. A game that loads a menu on pressing start simply won’t work with the Slow button pressed down and a side effect for the games it does work with can be a constant flashing screen when in use. For the brief amount of time you would use the feature I can’t see it being problem but if you suffer from any form of seizures then it won’t end well. There is also an extra plug for connecting to port 2 on the NES console which when selected allows a person to flick between alternative players on games that let 2 players take consecutive turns though I don’t think it will be anything that gets much use for me.

I managed to win an eBay auction for this at the grand price of £5 which I was chuffed to say the least. Many a time I have seen this selling for as much as £10 even £20 in some cases and when I saw it going cheap I just couldn’t resist. I tried it with several games on arrival mostly just to see if it would change the way I play NES games but whilst it’s perfect for the likes of Ikari Warriors when I tried it with Super Mario Bros it felt a little strange and the yearning for a standard pad became too much to bare. I think I will save this for the pure arcade titles and stick to the normal pad for everything else but overall I’m pretty pleased with this as a NES accessory as it will actually be useful.

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