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Wed, April 11th, 2007   #1
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Default Stupid "Nintendo's 7 Biggest Mistakes" article

http://www.gamesradar.com/us/wii/ga...308165433320026

(via http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=150343 ... neogaf is good for news, but for 'replying to long posts', it doesn't do well at all... too many posts for threads to last long without constant posting... there's a balance somewhere between here and there that would be nice, I think. Where you get the news and discussion, without things vanishing to page two after an hour of posting in them... )

The list in the original post is horrible... while half of it is decent, the sheer volume of nintendo-bashing, and N64-bashing, in the other parts negate any good points in the article. On the good side, the point I most strongly agree with is the online gaming one. Nintendo has a truly awful online gaming policy, no question about it. Lack of a decent online gaming service for the Western market is probably the issue Nintendo on the strongest (there are reasons to explain why they have the policy they do, though. Not going to get into it here, but it has to do with differences between what Japanese people want from online gaming and what Western audiences want -- Nintendo isn't designing the service for the West.)... The Virtual Boy and Mortal Kombat I can also understand (though other than losing Gunpei Yokoi, the Virtual Boy debacle didn't really matter at all in the long run; the MK thing was more influential, and Nintendo's censorship needed to stop, though its impact was as much about Sony and Sega's successful efforts to capitalize on it was it was about Nintendo's actual actions.), and maybe the third parties issue (when it was on top Nintendo certainly did treat third parties quite badly -- falling behind was a wake-up call Nintendo needed. They had been so arrogant and monopolistic in the NES days... that's not a good thing for any company.), but nothing else. Numbers 1 and 2 are completely, utterly wrong, and numbers 2 and 7 just stupidly bash the N64 controller and the Wii, with absolutely no justification.

The Wii will die off and it was a mistake? That sounds like something people were saying a year ago... but given its massive success now and clear signs that that's not about to change, it's ridiculous to even try to say it now.

The N64 controller was bad? No it wasn't. It's my favorite gamepad ever, actually, and for many good reasons. Six buttons, awesome dpad (underused perhaps, but great quality), great analog stick (yes, it degrades fast. It's still the best.), trigger button (triggers >>> shoulder buttons)... what more can you ask for from a gamepad? Dual analog and two shoulder buttons per side? Dual analog is not overly useful and two shoulder buttons per side is one of my least favorite gamepad "innovations" ever...

The N64 should have had a CD drive? No to that too. Oh, yes, if the N64 had had a CD drive, Nintendo well might have won the console generation because they might not have lost Square and Enix. But... Mario 64 with early-PSX-game load times and area size restrictions because of CD speed and loading? Load times in N64 games? NO! No, I like it the way it is... yes, Nintendo lost because of it, but the benefit of less loading makes it worth it.

The SNES CD with Sony should have been released? At Number One? Ah, that was not going to happen, period, ever. Nintendo would have had to be insane to continue on with it with what Sony wanted to do... and you even mention why. Sony wanted complete control over game relases -- all the rights, etc. Nintendo could have gotten shut out of games on their own system, perhaps... Nintendo and Sony had irreconcilable views on the money and rights issues, and Sony wasn't just going to give in to Nintendo. Given that fact, how can this be a 'mistake'? Nintendo wouldn't have won much of anything worth having from the deal... So Nintendo abandoned the issue. As for Phillips, et al, as Nintendo looked into it more and realized that a CD drive really wasn't what they wanted after all... and as I said in the last paragraph, they were right. (and as I said earlier, it allowed Nintendo to rethink its business, and the industry, and finally come up with the product to change things, the Wii. Which most definitely will NOT fail like this article suggests.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Games Radar
The N64 may have spawned some of the best games ever made, but honestly, how many systems can make the same claim? Sure we adore Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye 007 and Super Mario 64, but most of the other titles are crap. This entire console generation was like watching a king get quartered in front of the entire village. And you know what? Our number one mistake explains why it's all Nintendo's fault.

I won't even begin on this particularly stupid bit of Nintendo trolling... the N64 was a great console, with a large library of good and great games. Pretend that they didn't exist all you want, but it certainly doesn't make a comment like that defensible. The Nintendo 64 is my favorite console, I think... or at least one of the best, certainly. Despite the graphics in some games, its games are mostly just as fun now as they ever were... great system...

As for a list, I think that there are two completely different kinds of lists that can be made, depending on what you consider a "mistake". Is a "mistake" "something which harms Nintendo's market share", or "something they did that you don't like"? By the first defintion, the SNES/N64 CD would probably have to come in first -- losing Square and Enix doomed them, and with a CD drive they might have been able to keep at least one. But by the second definition, I wouldn't even put that on the list... I like the N64 the way it is, darnit!

Anyway... my list, using mostly the SECOND definition. (the numbers don't really mean much)

1. Denial of online gaming. This has been addressed before here and elsewhere, but it's a huge, huge problem... maybe some day NOA will actually manage to convince NCL that Western audiences DO expect competent online services (my model would be Battle.net, but Xbox Live is great too), but until that day comes, this is a huge, huge issue right now. DS online is horrible, and Wii online like that would be truly tragic.... This won't affect Nintendo's success in Japan much, I think, but it eventually will factor in in the West.

3. Angering the third parties. Had Nintendo's relations with Square actually been GOOD in 1996, maybe they wouldn't have completely stopped making any games for Nintendo platforms, cartridges or not... but no, Square's leadership and Yamauchi developed up a big feud, and they had had problems for some time, so that was impossible. Stupid restrictive stuff like "you can only release five games per year" and "you can't release games on competing systems" that they did in the NES days sure didn't help either. Nintendo has done a lot to mitigate this problem in more recent years, so it's not nearly so big of an issue anymore, even if it's not completely gone.

3. Not having any games out in Japan for the N64 for several months after launch. A lot of people bought it, played Mario 64, and ... then what? Sold it. They needed momentum there that they never got... the N64 was fairly successful in the US (look at total sales charts -- the N64 sold just a few million fewer units less in the US than the SNES had. Of course, the PSX ended up selling many more, but compared to other Nintendo systems, it's the NES to SNES drop that is the largest, followed by the N64 to GC one...), but elsewhere... maybe this is representative of the "angering the third parties" thing and the "Nintendo's arrogance wasn't gone and they could not quite see that their policies were flawed" point I made earlier, but it's true.

4. Ignoring Europe, I guess. Everyone did it, and many still do, but Nintendo was worse... yes, Nintendo certainly could have tried a LOT harder (or tried at all, really). As it was, they deserved to lose every console generation there... if you release games that late, what do you expect people do to? Go buy Sega Master Systems, evidently.

5. Dropping their second parties. So... the companies made Eternal Darkness (my favorite GC game), Excitebike 64 (exceptional game!), and the Rare N64 classics, and you get rid of them all? What the heck? Oh, I know the reasons, but still, I don't think they did the right thing there in the end...

What else... hmm, can't think of anything... I could say "the Gamecube", but that was a first attempt at what they perfected with the DS and then the Wii -- something to attract anyone. It's not Nintendo's fault that it didn't catch on; Nintendo's support for the GC was strong, even if many of the games weren't as original as their previous N64 versions. There's not much you can do about that really... and I didn't mind the original non-backlit GBA...

In comparison, here's my "What Nintendo Should Have Done To Succeed More List".

1. Do whatever it takes to keep Square in 1996. ("Lower fees? CD drive? Okay!")
2. Failing that, do anything to keep Enix, despite Square's pressure on Enix to follow them away from Nintendo. (Enix likely would have accepted carts at the right price...)
3. DVD playback in the GC. Irrelevant in practice, but it'd have been a great PR move. "Gaming only" didn't work.
4. More hardware plants, so they could better keep up with DS and Wii demand. Supplies could be higher while still maintaining the "it is hard to find" thing... Nintendo is too conservative here.
5. Actually try to succeed in Europe and take the region seriously. They didn't even win with the NES there as far as I know!

Other than #1 (ie, if it had required a N64 CD that I wouldn't want), I wouldn't mind if they had done/do those things...
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Wed, April 11th, 2007   #2
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Quote:
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What the heck? I played dozens of N64 games for hundreds of hours and never once felt like it was hassle at all. And this is coming from someone who also owned a Playstation for the majority of the N64's lifespan.
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Wed, April 11th, 2007   #3
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4. More hardware plants, so they could better keep up with DS and Wii demand. Supplies could be higher while still maintaining the "it is hard to find" thing... Nintendo is too conservative here.

The Wii has sold 6.5 million units in about five months, which means they've shipped more units than any console EVER. It's not conservative, it's simply not being able to keep up with rampant WORLDWIDE damand. And that doesn't even take into account that opening new fabrication plants is not cheap at all and you'd still have to have a large supply of parts, which isn't easy when you're already buying up millions of parts.
Quote:
5. Actually try to succeed in Europe and take the region seriously. They didn't even win with the NES there as far as I know!

2 million Wiis sold in Europe since launch. It's almost caught up with the Xbox360.
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Wed, April 11th, 2007   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Rumbler
What the heck? I played dozens of N64 games for hundreds of hours and never once felt like it was hassle at all. And this is coming from someone who also owned a Playstation for the majority of the N64's lifespan.

I obviously didn't own a PSX for most of the N64's life, but other than that, given that the N64 controller is my favorite ever, I obviously agree. (lesson #1 for article writing, don't have a person who hates the thing write an article about it if you want a decent result?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Rumbler
The Wii has sold 6.5 million units in about five months, which means they've shipped more units than any console EVER. It's not conservative, it's simply not being able to keep up with rampant WORLDWIDE damand. And that doesn't even take into account that opening new fabrication plants is not cheap at all and you'd still have to have a large supply of parts, which isn't easy when you're already buying up millions of parts.

That's certainly true. I was just saying that if supply was better, they'd be selling even more... I know that they couldn't have anticipated what happened, really, but if they somehow had, they would be in even better shape.

At this point, though, all I can say is that hopefully they will increase production at a good rate. With the DS Nintendo was conservative, and they are still somewhat hard to find in Japan I believe... will they try to make it widely available (and appreciably increase production), or let it stay in a 'mostly sold out' state long-term?

I did say, though, that that last list was essentially "things Nintendo could have done to sell more, knowing what we know now". That doesn't mean that all of them were actually possible; for instance, given all the problems developing between Square and Nintendo, for instance, they well might have abandoned Nintendo anyway, N64-CD or no...
Quote:
2 million Wiis sold in Europe since launch. It's almost caught up with the Xbox360.

True, they are definitely trying a lot harder this time. I mean, near-simultaneous launch, instead of it coming months or years later? Nintendo has never done that before, not even close! Whether they will fix the game release delay problems, though, is yet to be seen... I know Europe is already somewhat behind the US. But unless they start making all four or five additional language translations earlier, that's going to happen, I guess...
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Wed, April 11th, 2007   #5
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At this point, though, all I can say is that hopefully they will increase production at a good rate.

They're supposed to be ramping up Wii production within the next month or so.
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Tue, May 29th, 2007   #6
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That guy's dumb. The N64 pad is also my favorite ever. The PS controller didn't fit with the contour of hands. I thought it was too small.
Shit, my favorite-ever games are probably N64 games.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #7
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I agree about the controller, the rest not so much.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #8
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The N64 controller put an analog stick next to a lot of buttons, and was a move that changed the industry and was something pretty much required for 3D games to get as fun as their 2D counterparts. That said, it was hardly perfect. To me, the 3 stick setup was just silly. It had a Z button and it had an L button, but with that setup, they were not really 2 buttons in the sense that a programmer could really make use of them for two functions. The Z button was a great design, but the rest could have used improvement. The analog stick of the N64 was fragile, as would be found out. Also, it was hard plastic and personally I always got blisters using the thing. Other companies improved on it by using, for example, two control sticks. They also made them more durable and covered the stick in soft rubber. Nintendo copied these improvements themselves and now with the Wii the control sticks are pretty much perfect. The 3 grip thing died with the N64 and I'm glad to see it go. It is a lot more convenient, and I can make use of ALL the controller's buttons, when it's all put on two grips. The only hard thing is setting up where the left stick and direction pad are. The Gamecube didn't really get it right at all, but the XBox 360 did it perfect. Now really the only thing to be upset about is that the 360's direction pad sucks.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar
Now really the only thing to be upset about is that the 360's direction pad sucks.
There's a super easy fix that might take you two mintues. You need only to shave it a bit and it will significantly improve its functionality. I'll agree on any front that you shouldn't have to, but, well, there you have it...
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #10
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Yeah the N64 pad sucks, that's why there's thousands of mods to use it on PC, XBox, 360, PSX and PS2 and I even saw one for PSP.

Most FPS players prefer it over dual analog because, well, having face buttons for movement is the bees knees.

And though its been said, that was an article to do exactly what we're doing. So i've already cheapened myself by posting here.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #11
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DJ/ almost forgot, if you're interested you can get these small rubberized pads to put on the N64 stick, makes it feel like sex.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #12
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Originally Posted by Paco
There's a super easy fix that might take you two mintues. You need only to shave it a bit and it will significantly improve its functionality. I'll agree on any front that you shouldn't have to, but, well, there you have it...

Shave what exactly? More info please.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyfatbum
Yeah the N64 pad sucks, that's why there's thousands of mods to use it on PC, XBox, 360, PSX and PS2 and I even saw one for PSP.

Most FPS players prefer it over dual analog because, well, having face buttons for movement is the bees knees.

And though its been said, that was an article to do exactly what we're doing. So i've already cheapened myself by posting here.

There's also thousands of mods to use PS2 controllers on the PC. No mods for the 360 controller, well that's because no mods are needed. It's USB. Oh, there's also lots of mods to use everything from SNES to Genesis on the PC.

At any rate, don't get me wrong, it did what it did well enough for me to play the games I wanted. However, every controller since it has been an improvement.

Oh, I'd rather not pay money on some 3rd party rubbery thing (or cut up one of those gritty shower things) just to fix this problem. The fact is, Nintendo started it, but there was room for improvement, and every company, Nintendo included, had to fix the issues with it. I know I myself much prefer later control stick models using 2 grips instead of 3. Well aside from that, the 6 button face layout and that Z button are well done.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar
The N64 controller put an analog stick next to a lot of buttons, and was a move that changed the industry and was something pretty much required for 3D games to get as fun as their 2D counterparts. That said, it was hardly perfect. To me, the 3 stick setup was just silly. It had a Z button and it had an L button, but with that setup, they were not really 2 buttons in the sense that a programmer could really make use of them for two functions. The Z button was a great design, but the rest could have used improvement. The analog stick of the N64 was fragile, as would be found out. Also, it was hard plastic and personally I always got blisters using the thing. Other companies improved on it by using, for example, two control sticks. They also made them more durable and covered the stick in soft rubber. Nintendo copied these improvements themselves and now with the Wii the control sticks are pretty much perfect. The 3 grip thing died with the N64 and I'm glad to see it go. It is a lot more convenient, and I can make use of ALL the controller's buttons, when it's all put on two grips. The only hard thing is setting up where the left stick and direction pad are. The Gamecube didn't really get it right at all, but the XBox 360 did it perfect. Now really the only thing to be upset about is that the 360's direction pad sucks.

As I said, I completely disagree. The N64 controller is the best gamepad ever. As I said in my first post, in response to the article...
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Black Falcon
The N64 controller was bad? No it wasn't. It's my favorite gamepad ever, actually, and for many good reasons. Six buttons, awesome dpad (underused perhaps, but great quality), great analog stick (yes, it degrades fast. It's still the best.), trigger button (triggers >>> shoulder buttons)... what more can you ask for from a gamepad? Dual analog and two shoulder buttons per side? Dual analog is not overly useful and two shoulder buttons per side is one of my least favorite gamepad "innovations" ever...

As for the three handles, I think it was a great design actually. It meant that it was the one and only controller ever where both the dpad and analog stick were actually both designed to be in the optimum position on the controller... in every other one one of them (the upper one usually) is in the optimum position and the other is just stuck down below it. The N64's design was better. Yes, it does mean that L is hard to press in analog stick games and Z in dpad ones, but oh well... they ARE still used sometimes as a selection button or something, like Zelda and the map on/off button, and that's good enough. I far prefer that setup to having dual shoulder buttons or something...

As for control sticks, the N64 control sticks definitely do break down quickly. However, they make up for it by being awesome. The N64 analog stick is my favorite one ever... it has a somewhat unique feel that no other stick replicates. The GC stick just isn't quite the same (and isn't as good), despite its better durability...

And besides, I have one dead GC controller and another one with an ... expanded ... dead zone, so they are hardly perfect either.

As for the 360 dpad, if you open up the controller evidently you can file down the plastic ring or something, making that dpad work better...
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #15
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I guess it's a matter of opinion. The N64 stick was never as accurate as later control sticks for me, and the only "feel" I got out of that stick was of a puss filled blister.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #16
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Oh yeah, I should also note that you can buy new N64 analog sticks on sites like ebay (yes New, not used), and can easily put them in your controllers; the sticks are not soldered in or anything.
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Wed, May 30th, 2007   #17
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Except that requires money I don't want to spend. Thing is, I do have a fully functional N64 controller. I also still play the N64 and enjoy the old games. I'm just saying I consider certain aspects of that old controller flawed.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #18
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Really retarded list. The n64 controller was great.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar
Shave what exactly? More info please.
If you have a knife

If you have sandpaper

You shave the white plastic around the dpad.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #20
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*slow deliberating breathing, echoing sound effects in some room, other mundane noticable artifacts of humanity that make you want to COMMIT SUICIDE, I don't want to know the accoustics of your voice or your room or realize that you have like 30 cans of TAG body spray or whatever lying on your TV, and I hate your voice over narration, your voice is really meant for silent movies, not "getting all up in my grill"*

That's why I press the mute button whenever someone is holding a camcorder above some thing they are doing in those youtube videos. At least these guys do it a little better than most. But, they also insist on telling me their personal music tastes via unrelated videos. I also hate that. I hate a lot of things I guess.

Anyway, interesting, but really that white ring isn't even my problem. My problem is that weird "peg" or whatever in the middle of the d-pad that makes the whole thing just feel weird. Nintendo's d-pad is still the best... It doesn't have that raised "middle" you can't ever press down.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #21
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I did say that the article was stupid, didn't I?
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #22
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Somehow I remember each and every one of you (except ABF) saying the Gamecube controller was much better than the N64 controller shortly after that system came out.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #23
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I like the GC controller because you can get to all the buttons on it fairly easyily, but that doesn't mean that I hate the N64 controller.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #24
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Somehow I remember each and every one of you (except ABF) saying the Gamecube controller was much better than the N64 controller shortly after that system came out.

I didn't post much back then. But yeah, I doubt that I'd have said that, given how much I liked the N64 controller. The GC controller is pretty good, but it's not a match for the N64...
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #25
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GR, I don't "hate" the n64 controller. I said it had flaws, and I like the other controller designs since then a lot better. I said I much prefer the modern analog stick. I also said I still use the N64 controller when I play my N64 games and it does a sufficient job.

You always do this Bill O'Reily thing. I don't hate America, but that doesn't mean I can't find flaws with it.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #26
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What? The way you made that last post seemed to be saying that once the GC controller came out everyone started hating on the N64 controller. I said that I liked the GC controller better, for the reason that I mentioned, and that I didn't hate the N64 controller after using the GC controller. Nothing more than that.
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #27
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No, I said "liked the GCN controller much better".
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Thu, May 31st, 2007   #28
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I don't recall saying that, but if I did, I attribute it to the frenzy in embracing a new Nintendo system.

That said, as the years have progressed, I find myself picking up and enjoying the N64 controller much more than the GameCube one. I have 3 times as many games, and the good ol' system has proven more replay value than its successor. Owning and enjoying the games is a factor in this, yes, but so is the superior controller. In First Person Shooters, GameCube's controller does not hold a candle to that of N64. N64's analog stick felt better under the thumb. It's shape and tightness were better and fit for control. A trigger and one shoulder button (or two shoulder buttons) was much better than GameCube's shoulder buttons, which I might prefer to be digital or shorter. I don't care for the clicking either, personally.

All in all, it's probably my favorite controller out of any game console. It's just more comfortable and well-designed than any other I've played extensively with.
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Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar
Somehow I remember each and every one of you (except ABF) saying the Gamecube controller was much better than the N64 controller shortly after that system came out.
it is...
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