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Grading Video Game Controllers

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Wizard, May 10, 2019.

  1. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

    Level 1
    Jan 18, 2016
    @Absolute Zero made a thread not too long ago about grading the Final Fantasy games. As my mind was wandering off during science class (don't @ me), I thought about the different types of video game controllers and how good they really are. Therefore, I am making a thread about grading video game controllers (as you can well see!) This can include handheld consoles as well, even though you hold the whole system.

    What grade would you give each game controller that you've used?

    Here are my grades: (I'm slightly harsh on a few, fyi. I give a little lenience to older controllers because of how few buttons games needed)
    NES controller: D While game controllers were still being developed, the sharp corners on this thing are just super obnoxious. The buttons feel nice, but a big NO to the corners.

    SNES controller: B+ For this age of gaming, there was no need for a ton of buttons, and I like the round feel of this controller overall. The one thing going against it is not necessarily to controller's fault, but the fault of whoever chose the control schemes on certain games. In general, it is a little hard to hold run and jump at the same time on it, which many of the platformers require.

    N64 controller: F Seriously, I do not have three hands. WTF.

    Gamecube controller: A This controller may be a little overhyped, but I love the distinct difference between the buttons, the round feel of the L + R buttons, and the softness of the buttons. Another Z button on the left side would bring this up to an A+ for me

    Wii remote: C- The motion capability in the Wii Sports series is the only reason I rate this one so high. It's extremely uncomfortable to reach my thumb down to the 1 and 2 buttons. Sideways, the power button is way too easy for me to hit with the corner of my hands as well. Overall, bad controller, but I have had some good times with it.

    Wii remote + nunchuck: C The nunchuck feels nice, but mine have always broken way too easily. This controller does allow me to spread my arms and not keep them at the same angle constantly, so I give some bonus points for that.

    WiiU Gamepad: B+ I actually think that the gamepad is a great controller with a lot of uses. I don't mind the size of it, overall. The touch screen functionality made my Windwaker HD and Splatoon experiences a lot of fun. The battery life is atrocious, however, so it gets marked down for me.

    Joycons: D- These controllers actually feel pretty nice, but the durability is disgusting. I had to get one repaired after only a few months of owning it, and many people experience drifting for the joysticks as well. If not for the durability, this would probably be a solid B-.

    Sideways Joycon: F - - - Why is this a thing? Even with the attachment, this thing is far too small and my fingers bump into each other. D.U.M.B.

    Gameboy Advance: A I've never had any issues with this system, control wise. It's simple, feels nice and smooth, and doesn't obscure my view of the screen at all.

    Gameboy Advance SP: B This isn't a bad handheld either, my hands are just a little too big for it, overall.

    Nintendo DS: B It feels fine, but it's nothing special.

    Nintendo 3DS: B+ The Circle Pad adds in another extra element. Coolio.

    Sega Gamegear: F This controller manages to feel clunky, despite being close to the size of the Gamepad. Granted, it's an old handheld, but I hate the feel.

    Xbox: F What is this monster?

    Xbox 360: A- Never had any issues; the triggers feel nice and the joysticks are smooth. If anything, the feel of the buttons never felt totally satisfying to me.

    Xbox One: A+ This is easily my favorite controller out there. It fits the feel of my hands so well, the triggers feel amazing, the buttons feel nice, the headphone support is convenient, and the plastic feels nice. Too bad this console doesn't have great exclusives XD

    Playstation: B Later models had joysticks, but the early one was just average, nothing super special, but nothing really that wrong with it

    Playstation 2: A- An improvement on the original, still a fine controller.

    Playstation 3: A- Woooo wireless yeeeeeaaaah still no bonus points.

    Playstation 4: A Nothing overly innovative here, but the headphone jack gets a grade raise for me. It's a nice controller, plain and simple, but I'd rather play on the Xbox One controller.
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  2. BZRich64

    BZRich64 The Mustachiod Machamp

    Late For A Date
    Level 16
    Jun 12, 2017
    SNES: B
    Nintendo 64: C
    GameCube: A
    Wii: B-
    Switch: B+
    PS2: A-
    PS4: A
    Steam Controller: C-
    Gameboy: C
    Gameboy Advance SP: B
    Nintendo DS Lite: B+
    Nintendo 3DS: A-
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  3. Neb

    Neb Cosmog Enthusiast

    (Flabébé (O))
    Level 20
    Nov 4, 2018
    GS Ball ★★★★★Love Ball ★★★★★Poké Ball ★Potion ★Oran Berry ★★
    (I consider C to be average, so keep that in mind)

    SNES C+: The buttons and D-pad feel great, but the grip is a bit too small.

    N64 B: As weird as it looks, the N64 controller feels pretty nice. I can’t defend the stiff analog stick though.

    GameCube A-: Everything about this controller is great except for the d-pad.

    Wii Remote and Nunchuck B: If I didn’t spend so many hours as a kid using this control scheme, it’d be graded a bit lower. The lack of a second analog stick made controlling a lot of games harder than they needed to.

    Wii Classic Controller Pro B+: Not as nice as the Switch version, but a good choice for Xenoblade 1.

    Wii U Gamepad C- : Underwhelming battery life bad screen quality, and wears out a bit too easily. The only thing making me not give it an F is how comfortable the grip is despite the size.

    Joycons C+: They feel good while connected on the system, but they become too small once you remove them. I bought my Switch on launch and the Joy Cons wore out in a year.

    Sideways Joycon F: Why.

    Switch Pro Controller A+: Amazing analog sticks, large buttons, comfortable grip, and fantastic battery life. The best $70 I ever spent.

    Xbox One Controller C: Fantastic plastic covering, but the grip was a bit too large for me.

    Dualshock 2 A-: Nice to see some appreciation on this thread for such an underrated controller. The large circle pad covers are something I wish more modern controllers had.

    DualShock 4 A: Just a polished, well made controller. The headphone jack is the selling point for sure.

    Gameboy Advanced SP B: I’ve played on this system for so long that I don’t even mind how close your hands have to be.

    DS Lite D : It’s been 8 years since I owned one, but I remember how sore my hands got from playing on it. I think it had something to do with the sharp edges where your palms go.

    DSI B: The wider frame does wonders.

    DSI XL F : The fact Nintendo didn’t increase the buttons with the frame is beyond me. I couldn’t use this thing without having to stretch my thumbs out.

    3DS C-: You could slice cheese with those edges.

    3DS XL C-: Slightly better edges, but the circle pad wore out oddly quickly.

    2DS F: Cheap buttons, sharp edges, and trigger buttons that are way too close to the bottom of the system.

    New 3DS XL A-: Nice buttons, and grips that my hands can use for over an hour without regretting it.

    Switch Undocked C- : It’s too large and bulky to feel comfortable holding. At least the joycons feel better on this.

    PlayStation Vita A+: Who knew a handheld shaped like a portable Bluetooth speaker could be so comfortable? Seriously, it feels great.
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  4. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    I'm just going to go through a highlight reel here.

    N64 and Gamecube and WiiU: B and C and C
    The N64 was a very good controller. True, we don't have three hands, but the developers figured a controller layout might not be one-size-fits-all for every game. Some might be best with a control pad and buttons, some with a control stick and buttons, maybe even some with a control pad and control stick. I blame it on the game developers that 98% of them stuck with only the stick and buttons, leaving the pad unused and leaving the controller feel awkward. Moving forward to the Gamecube, they crammed ALL of those features into a very tight space, and the control pad and C-Stick feel crammed and under-utilized, plus the L and R buttons feel spongy and under-responsive at times (while the N64's L/R/Z were very tightly tuned. The WiiU is way too big to use comfortably, so I would give it a D except for two reasons. Its button layout for the ABXY is exactly the same as the DS series of handhelds (which is in turn the same as the SNES handhelds, and the back of its grips for the hands are exactly the same as the N64, which helps with comfort and nostalgia. Really, go hold a stock WiiU pad with one hand and a stock N64 controller in the other, and they're precisely the same. Love and beauty in design.

    GB/GBP/GBC/GBA and NDS/etc: B and C
    The button layout for the older gameboys going all the way back to the first had their buttons not directly horizontal or 45 degree horizontal from one another, but offset by a more slight angle to accomodate the placement of the thumb joints in relation to hand placement and the buttons themselves. To move your thumb from A to B and back, you needed only activate the muscle that moves your thumb left and right as the radius of a circle of its movement. Contrast that to the classic NES, where the buttons are directly horizontal and one must not only move their thumb left to reach from A to B, but also extend. It's less comfortable that way, and is likely to cause strain. This placement remained in place until the DS line where they went back to a 90 degree set of buttons that are directly up, down, left, and right in regards to grip, making it geometrically pleasant but anatomically sub-optimal.

    Xbox One: A
    Just the analog stick here. Perfect. Bullseye design of Nintendo sticks? Weird bumpy asphalt-shape of Sony sticks? No. The Xbox One has an indented interior, ringed by a clear edge, and surrounded by a deliberate high-traction bump pattern. Perfect design for a sticks.
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