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8 Gaming Peripherals That Suck Ass

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by

Game peripherals. Like them or hate them, they’ve been around since the dawn of electronic gaming and continue to find their way into our homes still today. While many do a great job of enhancing your playtime, some are brought into this world only to take your money and leave you face down, ass up in the mud. Here are eight that aren’t so great.

POWER GLOVE

I can think of no better starting point than this craptacular contraption. The Nintendo Power Glove is the most infamous of all gaming controllers, but not without good reason. For many an innocent child, it represented that very first taste of consumer letdown; a flavor we would not soon forget, worse even than raw vanilla extract.

Unconventional, unresponsive, and worst of all unplayable, the Power Glove was a rubbery smack in the face to all the kids who begged their parents for one after watching The Wizard. The nonsensical button layout, coupled with an unreliable “finger flex” control scheme, amounted to nothing better than a fistful of gaming garbage.

Its only saving grace was that you could remove it from your hand, hold it carefully like you would a severed forearm, and use it like a regular controller. Not an attractive selling point.

SEGA ACTIVATOR

The Sega Activator tried to do what nothing else did at the time; it strove to literally put you in the game by making you the controller. As the spiritual blueprint for the Microsoft Kinect, how could such a promising concept go so very, very wrong?

The answer is a simple one: Terrible implementation of infrared technology. Not only did it expect you to touch a multitude of beams in tandem, it arranged these beams around your entire body, forcing you to stab your hands and feet in all directions just to perform the most basic shit. Obviously marketed as a way to make fighting games more exciting, the Activator’s frustrating layout made performing any kind of special move an Olympic feat that inevitably ended in whiplash.

To add insult to injury, the Activator brought with it a laundry list of conditions that would hamper its ability to perform; conditions like having overhead lights and mirrored ceilings, the latter of which would surely put most of you nasty freaks out to pasture.

Of all the ineffective gear on this list, the Sega Activator takes the cake. It takes the cake and smashes it in your face, then proceeds to piss in your Corn Flakes. The only thing this peripheral will “activate” is your deepest and sincerest loathing. It will also make you look epileptic.

HANDY BOY

Often referred to as the “Voltron” of handheld peripherals, this thing transforms your Gameboy from a manageable chunk of hardware into an unwieldy beacon that can be seen from outer space. It’s Frankensteinian in concept, replacing your classic D-pad with a goofy eight-way joystick and enlarging the buttons by a cool 500%. But the improvements don’t stop there.

You are also given a light and magnifying plate for increased visibility, but more impressive is the inclusion of giant stereo speakers that allow you to finally listen to Tetris music the way God intended: Through the twin mouths of his gnarliest creation. When folded out properly, the Handy Boy’s wingspan is big enough to scare most small animals into hiding.

To be fair, the Handy Boy is not a useless outfit; it just takes the beauty of low-profile portability and shits all over it. Many claim to love their Handy Boys, sure. I’d bet that Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother loved him with an equally sick fervor.

U-FORCE

Not as pathetic an attempt at motion control as others, the U-Force was still certifiably shittastic. Resembling an open laptop with the fugliest flight stick you’ve ever seen protruding from it, it was meant to be a touch-free game experience utilizing laser sensors to exact its awesomeness. The idea is that, after removing that useless flight stick and throwing it in the fuckin dumpster, you could manipulate the game by placing and moving your hands in the projected infrared field.

Like with so many peripherals of the era, basic inputs like running and jumping became so haphazard that you immediately realized, not even a full two minutes after hooking it up, that you just pissed 70 bucks away that you’ll never get back.

Just what does the “U” in U-Force stand for, we wonder? It certainly can’t be “Ultra”, because that would imply it doesn’t suck ass through a straw. No, it was probably code for “Ulcer”, which is what you were sure to develop through stubborn and repeated use of this turd.

GAME BOY PRINTER

Of all gaming peripherals with computer-like functions, the Game Boy Printer is the dopiest, bringing you what should have been the most exciting feature ever: the ability to print monochrome low-resolution images from the bowels of your Game Boy. Can I get a “woot!” right over here?

Using the same thermal technology found near cash registers everywhere, you could print things on paper and then look at what you printed. Riveting stuff.

To get the most from this gimmicky device, you also needed the Game Boy Camera (sold separately). With their powers combined, you could take super crappy photos and then print them on super crappy paper, for practical use in your super relevant everyday life. Without the Game Boy Camera, your options were even more limited: Only a handful of games were compatible with this device and what you could print from those was rated ‘B’ for boring.

ROLL N’ ROCKER

Long before the Wii Balance Board there was the Roll n’ Rocker, an abysmal plate of plastic that required you to stand on it and lean in different directions to simulate using the D-pad. Despite being an innovative failure, it did succeed in a couple of areas: it got your lazy ass off the couch and could arguably improve your balance, but not before exposing you as the uncoordinated doofus you really are.

The laziness of the Roll n’ Rocker’s design is also its salvation: Instead of inventing some asinine way of replacing the B and A buttons, they simply asked you to plug a regular controller into it so you could use the buttons you were already accustomed to. Think of it as a pricy and colossal downgrade to the standard NES controller, and you’re on the right track.

Also worth mentioning: There’s a 100 pound weight limit, so fatties are strictly prohibited. The Roll n’ Rocker was made entirely of cheap plastic under the assumption that no adult would ever humiliate themselves by using it.

KONAMI LASERSCOPE

Not even an ace establishment like Konami could resist the urge to cash in on gamers’ naiveté, crapping out the most ridiculous light gun of them all: The Konami Laserscope. The thinking must have been something to the effect of “Why hold a gun in your hands when you can wear it on YER FACE!?”

To further cement the Laserscope’s status as a steaming pile of WTF, it did not provide any form of physical trigger, instead relying on you to shout into the microphone when you wanted to fire. While that might seem cool for all of two seconds, further consideration will help guide you to the truth: It’s retarded. Not to mention embarrassing.

To make matters worse, the Laserscope’s mic was not especially discriminant; just about any significant background noise could trigger it. That meant if you had a bark-happy dog or siblings that just liked to fuck with you, you weren’t going to be hitting any targets with this thing. The only thing you were gonna be hitting was your mother for buying it.

WII VITALITY SENSOR

Nintendo is still working on this one, so perhaps it’s unfair to trash something that hasn’t yet had the chance to prove itself… but I gotta tell you, this one’s totally registering on my shaydar (that’s “shit radar” for the uninitiated).

What has been promised? Nothing much, except that the Wii Vitality Sensor is an exhilarating peripheral that can read your pulse. I shudder to think of all the exciting data that’s sure to come from sticking your finger in there. Look… you’re alive! And… it appears you have a tendency to buy dumb shit.

Just cut to the chase, Nintendo… does it hook to the nipples? More importantly, does it emit an electric pulse you can feel deep down in the daddy zone? If either answer is “no”, then this thing can die at retail for all I care.

Image Sources: Flicker (Ramen Junkie) / GamesRadar

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 624 posts on Delta Attack
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  • http://www.ikecube.com ikecube

    Hilarious! I wasn’t even aware of some of them. Even as an 8 year old I saw most as gimmicks. Since the power pad was left out of this article, I am left to believe that it isn’t one of the ones that “sucked ass”?

    • mulletsaurus

      It is of my opinion that yes, the power pad sucks ass, but decidedly less ass then the colossal ass-suckery of the ones above.

  • BigBalls

    I remember the Sega Activator. Almost Had my Mom buy it for me back then to play Mortal Kombat. but then i thought to myself? this thing needs me to get off my couch, Stand, and require me to swing my Limbs around. I’m not really into that Nasty Healthy Physical Activity. Now that i know that the product works Half Assed i’m glad i let this one Slip by me. Lucky for me i am now sitting on my Couch with a POP-Belly, doing the Al Bundy thing with his hand.

    • mulletsaurus

      There’s a video floating around the net that presumably came with the Activator, explaining how to use it. Trust me: be glad you did not get it for use with Mortal Kombat. If you attempt to do any kind of finishing move, the only thing you’ll be finishing is your spinal integrity.

  • http://www.lacychenault.com LacyChenault

    Some of these are a bit sad, because you can tell they were really trying to do something new and maybe change the industry…it just didn’t work – they sucked ass even. But damn, that Wii sensor is just stupid….

    I didn’t have any of these suck ass ones when I was a kid – but I did have the power pad and I’m glad it’s not on the list – my sister and I did have some fun with it when we were little, of course we didn’t use it properly after about a week. But I don’t think it’s deserving to be on the top 8 suck ass peripherals….a top ten….perhaps but not 8.

    • mulletsaurus

      Many of these were great ideas (as evidenced by their newer, more successful reincarnates), but the tech just wasn’t up to snuff.

  • Markham Asylum

    Wow, some geniuses must have gotten big fat bonuses for coming up with these brain gems. And by “brain gems” I mean “tardppliances”. And by “big fat bonuses” I mean “kicked to the curb on their stupid faces”.

    Great stuff, mullet. The pic/caption for the Power Glove, the second one for the Handy Boy, and the one for the Konami Laserscope (WTF’s up with his ball-sweaty forehead?) are hilarious. The rest of the post was full of tidbits that made me laugh as well.

    • mulletsaurus

      Thank you for the kind compliments, sir.
      And by “Thank you for the kind compliments, sir” I mean “My sac is itchy”.

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  • deathspal

    I actually loved my Handy Boy! that being said I agree with the others they all sucked!

    • http://deltaattack.com/ Mark A. Brooks

      Well, looking back, the inclusion of the Handy Boy on this list was something of a cheap shot for laughs. I’ll be the first to admit it’s probably the most legit piece of peripheral on the list.

      • deathspal

        Admittedly it did have a wow that seems ridiculous factor to it…

  • Svardskampe

    There are a lot of modern day suckassery besides the wii thing. Think of all the retarded plastic encasingdls for the wiimote. There is even this accessory that turns the wiimote in a dildo. Next to that there is a ‘game’ on xbox live, more of an app that turns the xbox controller into a back massage device. I believr razer has brought out some buttsuckery stuff as well, while selling it for their usual outrageous razer-prices. The ipad also has a name for whacky accessoiries. From making a banjo out of your iphone and ipad together (mimicking a 10 dollar expensive instrument with over 1200 dollars of hardware), and an arcade case you can shove it in.

    • http://deltaattack.com/ Mark A. Brooks

      Well this all sounds like wonderful material for a sequel!

      *scribbles notes*

    • nope

      the topic of this list obviously went over your head, hell how can you even consider an app as a damn peripheral? ITS A PROGRAM YOU MORON. and WTF ipad did you buy that was 1200