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Sorry, But The Nintendo 64 Controller Was A Hideous Nightmare

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Sorry, But The Nintendo 64 Controller Was A Hideous Nightmare

I absolutely adore the Nintendo 64. I think it's a truly wonderful console housing some of the best and important games ever made. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Super Mario 64 are both masterpieces. The multiplayer fun offered by the likes of Super Mario Party, Mario Kart 64, and GoldenEye 007 is second to none.

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That's why I, like so many other Nintendo fans out there, was over the moon to learn that N64 games are coming to the Switch Online service - albeit as part of a slightly pricier expansion.

I don't care. I'll pay any price if it means I get to play Paper Mario and Majora's Mask on my Switch. But what I don't understand is why on Earth anyone would willingly fork over £50 for a replica of the N64 controller.

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Yes, it's wireless. Yes, it's compatible with the Switch so you can play those classic games just like you used to. But here's a question for you: why the eff would you want to do that?

The N64 controller was, is, and always will be: absolutely horrendous. It is quite comfortably the most uncomfortable controller I've ever had to use, and a staggeringly misjudged product from a company that's usually so good at making controllers that are simple and instantly accessible.

Consider the SNES controller. It's simple. Elegant. Easy to use. Then Nintendo follows it up with a three-pronged monstrosity that requires you study a diagram before you can even hold the fecker.

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No part of the N64 controller looks like it was designed with human beings in mind. If you gave this to a child whose only experience with controllers was PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch, they'd assume you were taking the piss, wouldn't they? I mean, it looks a bit like a prank. Unfortunately there's nothing funny about having to use one.


Nintendo 64 Controller / Credit: Nintendo
Nintendo 64 Controller / Credit: Nintendo
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Legend has it that the N64 controller is the way it is because Nintendo created it under the impression that gamers wouldn't possibly need to get their hands on all ten buttons at once. Given that SNES controller had just six, you can see where it was coming from. Of course it soon became clear that 3D games were changing to become more complex and would actually benefit from - if not outright require - the use of as many inputs as possible.

Luckily this didn't have too much of an impact on the N64. It's still home to some of the best games of all time, and we learned to make do with the controller the way it was. But times have changed, and there is absolutely no reason to go back to a badly designed nightmare of a controller just because it reminds you of a time when you weren't constantly stressed.

Then again, you do you. I'll be over in the future. Where the N64 controller can't hurt me anymore.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Nintendo

Ewan Moore
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