Top 10 Worst Gaming Peripherals
Peripherals, accessories, add-ons, useless tat, whatever you want to call them they’re all pretty bad. Here’s a top 10 of the very worst. Nintendo does not come out of this list very well. As ever, if you think I’ve missed any out feel free to vent your spleen in the comments below.
10. Laserscope for the NES
The LaserScope was essentially a head-mounted light gun with a crosshair over one eye and a microphone you had to say the word “fire” in to shoot. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately any minuscule background noise set off the gun, ruining the game any time a spider walked past or your mother burst in to the room to find out why you were screaming “fire, fire, fire” like a demented pyromaniac.
Pffff! A board! That you stand on?! That controls the game?! Ha! It’ll never catch on. Yup, in 1982 Amiga released a balance board controller for the Atari 2600 to be used in a ski slalom game called Mogul Magic. However unlike the nuanced control the Wii Balance Board gives you, the Joyboard gave you control of a whopping four directions. Rumour has it that the developers became so infuriated by the system’s frequent crashes they resorted to using the board as a meditation tool, the idea being to sit on it in a still, Zen state so as not to engage any of the latches underneath. The Joyboard: basically, a very expensive yoga mat.
8. Super Scope
The official Nintendo light gun for the SNES was doomed from the start. It was overly large, overpriced and extremely uncomfortable to use for more than five minutes. The Super Scope also went through batteries like Madonna goes through orphans. Still, at least it didn’t have an awful made up name unlike the Sega Menacer.
7. Nintendo R.O.B
The Robotic Operating Buddy (sigh) was something of a novelty you’ll be amazed to hear. After the Great Video Games Crash of 1983 Nintendo wanted to do something different to alleviate retail fears. They did this by foisting this monstrosity on a gullible public. R.O.B’s basic function was to pick things up when the TV screen flashed, move them s-l-o-w-l-y round to somewhere else and place it there. That’s it. Still better than the robot in Rocky IV though.
6. Gameboy Booster
Making portable gaming that little less portable! The Gameboy Booster pretty much doubled the size of the Gameboy but did promise ‘High-Performance Joystick’ (easily breakable plastic stick), ‘Super Stereo Sound’ (ever so-slightly louder and tinnier) and ‘Multi-Adjustable Magnifying Lens With lights’ (bollocks).
5. Novelty Controllers
Novelty controllers are usually bundled in with some special edition of a particular game and, for the most part, will never be used by anyone more than once. I’m not talking about normal controllers with a themed paint job (google Hulk controller for a particularly awful example) but the ones that seem to have been designed for people with twelve fingers on each hand like the Alphagrip AG-5 . The Onimusha 3 Katana which is a ridiculously expensive plastic sword with all the buttons on the handle. Or this one which in no way would make you look like you’re molesting a baby dragon when using it.
4. Power Glove
I’m convinced that the Power Glove was actually a massive joke played on Nintendo by Mattel. Surely they knew that slipping on the glove made you look like a cross between Michael Jackson and a plastic Borg. The games were called Super Glove Ball and Bad Street Brawler for god’s sake. This clip from ‘The Wizard’ pretty much sums it up…
3. Wii Bowling Ball
The Wii has its fair share of bad wiimote peripherals but I feel this one stands out on its own. If the idea of using your imagination to virtually bowl a ball is too much of a strain this one’s for you. Here’s an interesting and informative instruction video for us all to enjoy
2. Atari Mindlink
The future is here and it is the Atari Mindlink. At least it would have been had they released it. Sadly the world will never know if Atari truly created the first controller to use physic powers. The naysayers among us will try to tell you that it was only a headband with infrared sensors using facial muscles but we know the truth. It was apparently shelved because of the headaches induced by incessant eyebrow wiggling.
1. Sega Activator
The Activator was an octagonal plastic device you lay on the floor and worked by using magic. Seriously. Oh all right, it might have been infrared beams that you broke when you flailed wildly at it. It could have been the Kinect of its day had it worked but sadly this was the 90’s so it did not. Someone I went to school with actually had an Activator. He also went on to have an Atari Jaguar and an Amiga CD32 so either he had the worst taste in the world or his parents hated him. The following video is brilliant…