The N64 analog stick

General purpose discussion about gaming and emulation.
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The N64 analog stick

Post by DaMadFiddler » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:28 am

is one of the worst pieces of mainstream gaming equipment ever. I have always hated these things, but now that the N64 is 10-15 years old, it's nearly impossible to find controllers that are comfortable to play with.

Did anyone ever make a controller for the N64 with a *good* analog stick, or would I pretty much have to build a custom solution?
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by mrandyk » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:31 am

Ive got one that mustve been lightly used over the years, it still feels pretty good for an N64 controller (mediocre at best). Ive seen some worn so bad that the resting position is closer to the bottom of the Y-axis than the center, and they were pretty inprecise to begin.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by DaMadFiddler » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:30 am

I remember seeing an interview with Ben Heck where someone asked him what his least favorite system was to work on. His answer, without hesitation, was the N64. He described it as so poorly built that it tends to "self-destruct" when you try to open it up.

The N64 analog stick, while being an important development for gaming in general, is an absolutely awful user experience. It's not particularly comfortable even when new, and the design causes it to gum up and get loose and "gritty" feeling with any reasonable amount of use. The Dual Shock and Saturn 3D pad, both launched in response to the N64 controller, are both leaps and bounds above Nintendo's design.

Seriously, though: were there any third-party controllers, either contemporary to the N64 or created later, which had better analog sticks? Trying to play these N64 games really makes me miss my Dreamcast controller.

EDIT: After some time searching around online, I've heard lots of good things about the Hori Mini Pad for N64. It seems to solve both the ergonomic and build-quality issues of the first-party controllers. I've owned Hori products before (most notably, the SNES-inspired gamepad for GameCube), and the quality has been impeccable. BUT, it's absurdly expensive ($80!), far more than I'd be willing to pay for a Nintendo 64 controller.

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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by DanteJay » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:30 am

Controller mod time:

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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Specially Cork » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:07 am

I remember getting an N64 with Banjo Kazooie and 1080 Snowboarding on Christmas Day. By the 26th my poor thumb was in some serious pain. I put this down to me not using an analog stick before, but a year later the pad was near-useless.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Code-Red » Sun May 01, 2011 5:08 pm

I've got roughly 4 or 5 N64 controllers in my game collection that are completely useless. Not one of them has a functional analog stick.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by melancholy » Sun May 01, 2011 9:28 pm

Surprisingly, I have both of my N64 controllers that I got with my launch N64, and they both have perfectly functioning analog sticks. I think my policy of 'No Mario Party' really helped, though.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Smiley » Sun May 01, 2011 10:34 pm

I remember this problem well; and most of the time when u called nintendos 1800 number about it, they would tell you to clean it with a toothbrush or something else stupid and absurd.

and the atari 2600's controller was built solid and would never have problems like this with their shyt.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Nico0020 » Tue May 03, 2011 1:42 pm

I could have sworn there was another 3rd party controller out there that used a "gamecube style" stick for the controller, but I couldn't find anything. That Hori controller looks amazing though, a shame about the price and lack of easy availability.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by pixel » Tue May 03, 2011 3:44 pm

I've always hated the N64 controller. And even now, it exacts its revenge on me through poor mapping ability within emulators. :x
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue May 03, 2011 4:14 pm

pixel wrote:And even now, it exacts its revenge on me through poor mapping ability within emulators. :x
Tell me about it. The combined problems of two "left" triggers (L and Z) and the right hand C-button arrangement is aggravating. A dual stick mapping is best for some games like Mario and Turok, where the C-buttons are actually used either for camera or for movement. But you can't leave that as a default, because some games use them as action buttons.

The only "good" solution is to use a dual-stick controller with two sets of triggers, and six face buttons (not counting start/select). Map the C-buttons both to a grouping of four of the face buttons and to the right analog stick, and map one set of triggers to the triggers, and the other to Z.

The tricky part is finding a controller that has both enough triggers AND enough face buttons--some hybrid of the original Xbox and 360 controllers. Of course, this need for the "right" controller pretty much eliminates any good mapping for consoles, since none of the current generation have six face buttons. This makes games that use the C-buttons as action buttons very difficult to figure out, necessitating either awkward controls or a custom mapping for each game.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by melancholy » Wed May 04, 2011 2:13 pm

While we are on the subject of poor controller designs, I just broke out my Genesis for the first time in years after my copy of Pier Solar arrived in the mail. And I do not ever remember those Genesis cables being that insanely short. I have the Genesis on a shelf mounted above my head, and it still isn't long enough to reach down to the futon. I plan to order a new controller (one with 6 buttons), but I seriously hope it comes wit a cord longer than 3 feet.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Eviltaco64X » Wed May 04, 2011 2:15 pm

Meh, the N64 controller wasn't that bad for me. I actually found it kind of comfortable.

I really didn't like the DualShock d-pad at first, though. Street Fighter Alpha 3 gave me countless blisters. :P
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Zealous zerotype » Thu May 05, 2011 12:27 am

I really liked the n64 controller, but damn did it ever fuck up my thumb. That hori pad looks really interesting though and I'd love to try it if it were not 80 bucks.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by mankrip » Thu May 05, 2011 6:57 am

That Hori Mini Pad seems awful for Killer Instinct... But yeah, should be good for games that doesn't use the d-pad for movement.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Smiley » Thu May 05, 2011 12:39 pm

I bought the n64 brand new in 1996 bought and played mario 64 killer instict and goldeneye; played them enough to finish them and then sold eerything to buy a psx. what a mistake. lol
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by DanteJay » Thu May 05, 2011 2:25 pm

Smiley wrote:I bought the n64 brand new in 1996 bought and played mario 64 killer instict and goldeneye; played them enough to finish them and then sold eerything to buy a psx. what a mistake. lol
Did you mean to buy the other "64-bit" system?
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Nico0020 » Fri May 06, 2011 10:07 pm

DanteJay wrote:
Smiley wrote:I bought the n64 brand new in 1996 bought and played mario 64 killer instict and goldeneye; played them enough to finish them and then sold eerything to buy a psx. what a mistake. lol
Did you mean to buy the other "64-bit" system?
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Smiley » Mon May 16, 2011 10:14 pm

DanteJay wrote:
Smiley wrote:I bought the n64 brand new in 1996 bought and played mario 64 killer instict and goldeneye; played them enough to finish them and then sold eerything to buy a psx. what a mistake. lol
Did you mean to buy the other "64-bit" system?
Truth be told. I BOUGHT an atari jaguar brand new back in the day and it is probably one of only a handful that Ive kept. the jag homebrew community totally pwns that of the dreamcast.
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Re: The N64 analog stick

Post by Nico0020 » Tue May 17, 2011 4:44 am

Smiley wrote:
DanteJay wrote:
Smiley wrote:I bought the n64 brand new in 1996 bought and played mario 64 killer instict and goldeneye; played them enough to finish them and then sold eerything to buy a psx. what a mistake. lol
Did you mean to buy the other "64-bit" system?
Truth be told. I BOUGHT an atari jaguar brand new back in the day and it is probably one of only a handful that Ive kept. the jag homebrew community totally pwns that of the dreamcast.
I never played one before. I know the homebrew scene had/has some highly dedicated people. What kind of stuff did they produce?
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