THE ANGRY GAMER: Who Dares Forsake the Sega CD?! & Damn You, Nintendo! (Part 2) 10.02.03
“C’mon, everyone loves Lunar!”
Today, the column is split into two parts. First, we’ll finish off my Nintendo ranting from last week, due to popular demand. Then, we’ll examine another system that was shit on due to poor planning, a lackluster beginning, and the general stupidity of the gaming public. Aren’t you excited?
As pointed out to me by numerous emails, I forgot to mention another monstrous mistake on Nintendo’s part; the evil that is their controllers.
The NES controller? Pretty damn good. The advent of the all-powerful D-pad was a godsend. The SNES controller continued this, and added 4 more buttons in a very comfortable layout indeed. Then, the abomination that was the N64 controller hit. What the FUCK was Nintendo thinking?! “Yeah, let’s have an analog stick that breaks, and put it far away from the D-pad and L trigger, so that gamers will have to completely shift their entire left hand in order to use them. Oh, and can we cram 4 little yellow buttons close together? Great!”
Stupid f*cks. That controller SUCKED. Hands down. There’s absolutely NO defending it. Feces, feces, feces. Do yourself a favor, and buy a PSX-to-N64 converter, and use the far superior Playstation controller. Wow! You can actually use the analog stick, D-pad, L trigger, and all other buttons, WITHOUT shifting your hand around! What a miracle of modern science!
Jesus, Nintendo, was it REALLY that difficult to design a better controller than the N64? Even the SNES with an analog stick thrown in would’ve worked better than…oh, wait, Sony already did that. Too late. (Which is ironic, since the Playstation was originally designed as an add-on for the SNES, similar to the Sega CD! See how my entire article all comes together?)
Now, look at Nintendo’s lovely follow-up…the Gamecube controllers. More design errors! Nintendo claimed that the layout was perfect, since they’d design their games to use that specific layout. Well, that’s all well and good, except they forgot three big words: THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE! That controller’s horrible for anything that requires more than one action button, which is 99% of games out there today. Worse yet, when Nintendo released their Game Boy Player adapter, the tiny D-pad made for some major annoyances. Luckily, Japanese company Hori produced a very SNES-like digital controller for use with the ‘Cube that actually has a fullsize D-pad, and more comfortable button layout. (Shameless plug: you NEED that controller if you’ve got a Gamecube!)
So I wonder what the Big N’s got in store for their next console’s controllers? I’m thinking maybe a box, with one big orange button in the upper left, and a perfectly straight stick coming out of the center. Nice and ergonomic, and oh-so-functional! Hey, it would fit in with their design strategy as of late…
Now we’re going to move on to a new topic, and examine the Sega CD. While not a standalone system in its own right, this add-on to the Sega Genesis didn’t last too long, primarily due to a hefty price tag and crappy games at the outset. The peripheral itself latched on the Genesis, and added all manner of features that only a CD-ROM unite could provide; CD audio, full-motion video, increased storage space, you name it. The system also had internal memory for saving games (a backup cart was also available, which had more space). The whole setup was very similar to that of the Turbo CD add-on for the Turbo Grafx 16.
While Nintendo fanboys were busy smacking off to the latest rehash of Final Fantasy, Sega CD owners were awed by the sheer RPG beauty that was Lunar. There were two games released for the Sega CD; Lunar: Eternal Blue, and Lunar: The Silver Star Story. Both of those games were so exceptional that they were ported to the Playstation later on; Silver Star Story was also modified and ported to the GBA. Of course, that version sucked cock.
More RPG goodness? Try Shining Force CD. The strategy element is especially prevalent in that one. Platformers more your style? Then break out Sonic CD, arguably the best Sonic title ever released. There’s also a plethora of fighters, action/adventure games, and sports titles. Another saving grace? Some games were “remastered” for the Sega CD. Existing games were modified, upgraded, and got audio facelifts. Earthworm Jim Special Edition is a perfect example; any EWJ fan would go apeshit over that game. Of course, it’s still tough as nails, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to cheat. Don’t f*cking lie and say you never did.
Still, the Sega CD was doomed by the nasty combination of high prices, mindless casual gamers, and some poor marketing. Sega even tried to enhance it by turning it into a standalone system, as evidenced by the Sega CDX and JVC X’Eye (both had the cart slot and CD-ROM drive built right in). Even when the price dropped like a stone, people still didn’t pick the damn thing up. Shame on them, because it goes for decent money on eBay right now. Suckers.