Contrary to popular belief, the human appendix may not be as useless as previously thought! In fact, it may help out the body by protecting some bacteria the body needs in your lower regions. The same is not true about these video game appendices. They may have served a purpose at one point, and in some cases a very limited and dumb one, but as of now they are the most useless pieces of plastic ever created. Come celebrate the death of these five wastes of the environment with me!
5. Number Pads On Controllers
This one is the most baffling addition to gaming ever devised. You had controllers specifically designed to bring the arcade experience home, like the famous Atari joystick or dials for games like Breakout and Warlords. Some of them just happened to have a bad calculator superglued to them. This “innovation” was a case of trying and miserably failing to make your game hardware more complex, thus hopefully leading to more complex games. The problem with this approach was that this method is lazy complexity, foregoing controller design and ergonomics and just placing a ten-key there and calling it a day. Some games tried to band-aid this problem with little overlays saying what each button would do, which just meant that understanding how the game actually plays and having no idea was one lost piece of junk away!
4. Microphones Not for Voice Chat
Using mics to talk to people is great. Talking to video game characters…not so much. Lifeline was a horrible exercise in screaming at Jack Bauer’s daughter to GO TO THE ROOM GO TO THE ROOM GO LEFT NO DON’T SHOOT THAT STOP THAT AAARGH DIE FOREVER. Hey You Pikachu took one of gaming’s most loveable icons and made talking to him feel like talking to a complete idiot. Mic technology must have seemed neat to developers, but talking to a character instead of an actual person never seems to work right. Seaman looked fun, though.
3. The Game Boy Advance E-reader
You know what’s a great idea? Taking video games and exclusive content to your video game and locking it being flimsy paper cards that will be impossible to find a year later. Awesome suits in Super Mario 3 like the Super Mario 2 Radish suit are forever unattainable on a legit game unless you find these rare cards and a reader you will use for nothing else, and some cards were even exclusive to Wal-Mart. Thankfully, the smaller games contained within the cards are easily downloaded now. It’s also a good thing that stores no longer make content available only at certain retailers!
2. Magnifiers and Backlight Add-ons for Portable Systems
Forget portability, let’s make a square monocle with a glaring light that requires it’s own batteries and snap it over the top of your Game Boy. High-res screens and actual backlights are the best things to happen to portable games.
1. Motion Technology Peripherals Before the Wii
The Wii gets some flak from gamers these days, and in some ways that flak is deserved. For all it’s faults, though, the Wii actually made motion gaming work to a degree. That’s huge, considering what motion technology was before the white remote and the nunchuk. Along with notorious peripherals like the Power Glove and the U-Force, there was the Interceptor, an octagonal set of sensors that had you flailing around to basically just hit buttons connected to beams of light. The promotional video for it even says it may not work quite right! So thanks, Wii, for making this whole style of gaming actually work. Now just give it a rest on the Chicken Carnival Shooting Adventure games and we’ll be set.