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Input Devices Entertainment Games

Seven Failed Foot-Based Game Controllers 56

Ant writes " says the path to Wii Fit's success was paved with a slew of failed foot-based controllers. Here are seven particularly awful ones that are currently collecting dust in the attics of gamers worldwide."
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Seven Failed Foot-Based Game Controllers

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  • I swear that you can use this controller effectively with your feet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by c_forq ( 924234 )
      I have a friend (when sick with a cold) who beat Mario Bros with his feet (left big toe on the D-pad, right big toe on A/B) on a normal NES controller. Also I don't know if I would say the NES Power Pad was a failure, a lot of people I know had it and we all had a blast playing Track and Field.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:08PM (#23622257)
        Who can't beat Super Mario Bros. and get to at least level 50 on Duck Hunt with their feet?

        It seems to me that the Xbox controller was designed for use with your feet. The PS controller is impossible to use with your feet because the analog thumbsticks make it impossible to properly seat your feet. And the L1/L2 and R1/R2 controls are impossible to operate. The only problem with the Xbox controller is the two trigger controls, but you can put it on a surface that you can push the controller to operate them. And yes, I have just tested this. Clearly, Sony is falling behind in the foot controller market.
      • "Also I don't know if I would say the NES Power Pad was a failure, a lot of people I know had it and we all had a blast playing Track and Field."

        Track and Field w/the power pad was a huge phenomenon in my neighborhood. I can see how anyone old enough to recognize how funny they looked while using it would consider it a failure though. My friends and I were probably at just the right age to be able to get into the concept without feeling silly.
    • My brother had the NES Advantage. He beat Blades of Steel in Pro mode with his feet. It helps that with turbo mode you win every face off, but I think it's was quite a feat (no pun intended).
  • "The fax software isn't working! I hold the paper I want to fax up to the screen, and step on the foot pedal"

    "Foot pedal???"

    "Yes, the foot pedal, the one with the two buttons on it."

    "That's not the way it works."

    "Well, it SHOULD BE! I'm returning this software. *click*"

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )
      I remember that idiot. Later that day he returned his CD-ROM drive because he said his coffee mug didn't fit in the holder.
  • by Tickenest ( 544722 ) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @09:53PM (#23622139) Homepage Journal
    I think we can all agree that more impressive is the fact that seven foot-based controllers actually exist!
  • Power Pad? (Score:3, Funny)

    by steltho ( 1121605 ) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:08PM (#23622263)
    There is no way the NES Power Pad should be on this list. Any device that allows you to run the 100m dash in 6.3 seconds has to be declared a success.
    • Re:Power Pad? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:22PM (#23622373) Homepage
      Same with the DDR pads. While they aren't quite as cool as the ones on the arcade machine, they also don't cost thousands of dollars. I've used them on occasion, and they work pretty good. Even for people who are serious about DDR. Maybe if you're one of those tournament DDR players these things don't cut it. But for how use, they do the job just fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nyall ( 646782 )
        The article specifically mentioned one version of the DDR pads. it wasn't about them not being as cool as the arcade machines or cost. they were too slippery and would move about the floor.
        • It's still flawed. Compared to other thin pads (other than the ITG pads), the official Konami ones work best. Foam pads and metal pads in my mind, are always superior, but dismissing the official Konami thin pads off as a FAILURE os a considerable overstatement.
        • by ushering05401 ( 1086795 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @03:54AM (#23624189) Journal
          "they were too slippery and would move about the floor."

          For my friends and I the powerpad on a slippery surface was the only way to go, but we were a pretty violent bunch even as youngsters.

          There was a whole new excitement to playing when you knew that sooner or later that pad was going to get ripped out from under you - just as you were landing a hurdle - sending you slamming to the floor.

          After a while we decided a player would automatically win the game if they were able to jump off the pad without falling when another player tried to spring this on them.

          Actually, now that I think about it... after a while we all feared getting on that fucking powerpad, but no one wanted to be the pussy who admitted it and backed out of the game.

      • But for how use, they do the job just fine.
        What about for 'why' use?
    • Well, the problem with the power pad was, if you had an IQ past about 40, you realized that the foot spots corresponded with the two buttons on the standard controller... where it was much easier to mash buttons than it was to actually get up and run.

      Same thing with R.O.B.
      • Mashing buttons on the controller? Waaay too much work. What you got was the Joystick with variable 'Turbo'. You dialed it in so that the button was just a hair less than constantly held down.
  • The ROLL N ROCKER []!
    Unfortunately, it looks like this thing reeks of ass [], although luckily without personal experience I can't quite confirm it.
  • I found one of those Amiga Joyboards (for the Atari 2600 -- the article misattributes) in a thriftstore and sold it online for three times what I paid for it, along with the Mogul Maniac cartridge.

    I think this only failed because... okay, how many other Amiga brand titles for the 2600 can you name without consulting the CAGS.FAQ or :)
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )
      What did you ultimately get for it? I just got one last week in a large lot of atari stuff. I'll have to keep an eye out for Mogul Maniac when I go through the carts. I'm not seeing any Joyboards on ebay at all.
  • I'd say anyone who uses that is a failure. ;)
  • yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nyall ( 646782 ) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:55PM (#23622569) Homepage
    #2 the Arcade Mx body force. They say it was only demonstrated at CES.
    yes lets make a top xyz list of silly ideas and mention items that weren't ever sold? wtf. Companies are allowed to experiment, granted it should have been obvious on paper it wouldn't work.

    These top 10 (or 7 or 8..) lists always seem to make stretches so they can have content.
  • The Powerboard was a product designed by Amiga (after Jay Miner left Atari but before they had completed the Lorraine). It's the reason for the "Guru Meditation" message on early Amigas (it was the controller for one of the games the engineers are said to have used when stressed).

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Monday June 02, 2008 @05:42AM (#23624701) Journal
    Some of you guys are forgetting our disabled friends in the gaming crowd.

    There's a fellow over at shacknews who has lost the ability to do much with one hand (if I recall) and I always feel for the guy when I hear about things like this, it must be so difficult to enjoy a good game when you're using a controller with one hand (that being said he's still finished some pretty awesome games)

    I can imagine a good engineer could whip up some kind of combo controller which supports both feet one hand and an elbow perhaps to get yourself some fairly good controls but of course the market is so small, it's not made, so these people just sit ignored sadly. []

    So be thankful you have what you have when some of you make jokes on such a topic.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      it must be so difficult to enjoy a good game when you're using a controller with one hand
      Do you have a Wii console? A lot of Wii games don't need a Nunchuk. And then there are games that use only two buttons or even just one button [].
    • by SBacks ( 1286786 )
      I used to play WC3 with a guy who only had one arm. I still don't know how he managed to control the mouse and keyboard so effectively, but he was whooped my ass regularly.
    • When I broke my left arm (and I'm left handed), they had a NES in the hospital - I played duck hunt for a bit, then tried SMB for a laugh, and was surprised when I discovered that I could jump to the top of the flag pole at the end of the first level (because I don't think I'd even done that with 2 hands when I'd played it at a friend's house before). I agree with tepples that the guy should get a Wii if he wants to game - a few games work fine with just one controller (I know at least Rayman Raving Rabbid
      • Well some of the games on Rayman work with one controller. There are a lot that require both. And you can't advance to get to later games without beating the earlier ones.

        I'm currently playing Zack and Wiki, which is a fun game which only uses the one controller.

        • I thought that the shooting sections required both, but they work with just one. It's been quite a while since I completed it, but I don't think there are any that actually require both..
          • There's a few that require you to run by shaking both hands up and down in sequence, and the music games take both hands. and I thought there were more, but I can't think of any off hand. It's possible that there are at most one of those on each "level" so you could skip them.
            • Ah, the music game could indeed be a problem, but I think even for the running games you can still use one? I don't have the Wii at the moment, I left it with my siblings at my mum's house.
            • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
              Some use the remote for aiming and the nunchuk's shaking as their action button, e.g. the toilet game and the juice bar. There being one of them per level won't help since you're already failing the music game which would be your one game you can skip per level.
  • It's not a generic controller but it does suck. Well, technically, it works pretty well when it's not split into two or more pieces on my floor. I've had RB since Christmas and am already on my 3rd controller. Grrrrr....
    • by moexu ( 555075 )
      I had similar problems and bought a third party replacement pedal:

      Rock Pedal []

      It's pretty expensive but if you play a lot of Rock Band it makes the experience much better. I found that my accuracy improved and my leg didn't get as tired playing. Alternatively you can apparently make a replacement pedal using any drum pedal from an electronic drum set and an adapter but I didn't already have an electronic drum set and couldn't find a pedal for one that was any cheaper than this.
      • by Corrado ( 64013 )
        I have actually thought about building my own - I mean I do have some spare parts lying about. :) Anyway, thanks for the link to a "real" pedal. I might just wait to see what Guitar Hero World Tour does and if their kit is better. In fact I'm thinking about ditching RB and my XBox 360 for a GHWT + PS3 deal. But that's just me...
        • by moexu ( 555075 )
          I'm currently on my 7th console (waiting for my 4th or 8th to be shipped back to me, depending on if they fix or replace it) so I can certainly understand thoughts of moving to a PS3. I really like epic RPGs and the 360 has more of them than the PS3 does right now. If Mass Effect 2 comes out for PS3 I'd be very tempted though.
    • You're doing it wrong! ;-)
  • I have been looking for a usb type of button I could hit with my feet. This would be great to activate voice chat in games such as WoW that require keyboard and mouse attention at the same time. I would also love to activate an ability like War Stop [] with my foot. This would be very helpful in things like Arena, where time is sensitive. However, all the ones I found are quite expensive. I just need a single button I could map a key to and hit with my foot.
    • Good idea! I would have loved something like that back in my CS days, I was fast running out of space on my keyboard with all the warcraft mod binds etc that I had.

      Actually, I just had a quick google ('custom USB foot pedal') and these pedals [] look to be really good value? $35 seems really good to me anyway :)
    • That's honestly a good idea, I may look into that. Right now I have vent bound to the left control key, which causes an issue when I'm copying and pasting to anyone.
  • [] Ben Heckendorn is the guy that made the Atari (and later other console) portables.

    Apparently he got tired of making those and was asked by some readers/fans (I think one was an injured US soldier?) to develop some controllers that could be run with one hand. On his main page he has a Guitar Hero foot controller. Not sure if he has any others. Go check out the site if you're interested.
  • I heard the Church of Scientology was developing a foot based input device... I think the prototype is called the "footbullet"... amidoinitrite?

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