popular  /  reviews  /  videos  /  community

Joysticks

Games for the blind photo
Games for the blind

New game helps improve navigational skills for the blind


And you thought eyesight was a requirement
Apr 02
// Taylor Stein
In a cooperative effort between Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, researchers have produced a new way to help the blind get around better: videogames. You may be scratching your head, as the ...
 photo

More Persona 4 gear than you can shake a stick at


May 09
// Hiroko Yamamura
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the Persona 4 merchandise that's been stacking up on Japanese shelves? Well, Hori has figured out another way to drain your MegaTen loving wallet in August with a new arcad...

Review: SOL: Exodus

Feb 17 // Josh Tolentino
SOL: Exodus (PC)Developer: Seamless EntertainmentPublisher: Seamless EntertainmentReleased: January 26, 2012MSRP: $9.99Rig: Intel Core i7 920 @2.66Ghz, 6GB RAM, Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 Ti GPU SOL's premise will be familiar to most anyone with a cursory interest in sci-fi. The solar system is dying, and humanity has sent out countless expeditions to find new worlds fit for colonization. The UCS Atlas has finally found a suitable planet, but is attacked by the Children of Dawn, a cult of sun-worshiping fanatics intent on keeping humanity in the solar system until the final day of supernova-borne rapture. And by "rapture" they mean "extinction." Now the Atlas must race home to spread the word while fighting off the faithful.The plot draws heavily from Battlestar Galactica, with its hook of a lone ship journeying home whilst battling an implacable foe. One mission even lifts its setup from a particular episode of Ron Moore's 2004 remake.The familiarity extends to the game's music, as well. Heavy on tribal-sounding drumbeats and strings, SOL's soundtrack is like a mash-up of Homeworld's and Galactica's aural aesthetic. The plot isn't quite as complex or self-serious as either of those two productions though, opting to strike a pleasantly campy tone. The main antagonist in particular deserves praise for hamming it up in the best traditions of Khan or Emperor Palpatine. Early on, Seamless Entertainment billed SOL as merely the "first half" of the Atlas' saga, prompting worries that the game would be an incomplete experience. No need not fret, though, because SOL's relatively short seven-mission campaign (which I completed over the course of a weekend) wraps up neatly, while leaving room to anticipate a sequel or expansion. Thus, even if SOL's second half never materializes, players won't be left wanting. They also won't be left wanting for a good weekend's worth of shooting things among the stars. SOL's combat is fast and hectic, with your tiny spaceship flying into veritable clouds of flying fanatics, firing noisy machine guns and fiery homing missiles. Larger bombers and gunships can be dispatched using a heavy Arc Cannon, which fires off with a hearty electrical crackle. The thing that might disappoint gamers looking for the next Freespace, Freelancer, or Elite is the fact that SOL: Exodus isn't quite those things. It's much more "space shooter" than "space sim." You won't be rerouting power to shields -- there are no shields, for one -- or launching countermeasures or buying and selling space commodities. For that matter, the weapon selection I've outlined above is the weapon selection. Besides a basic upgrade system (players can allocate points to boost their weapons, health or speed between missions). Then again, the pace of combat is too fast to allow for such distractions. A "slide" button can be held down to keep the ship moving in one direction and facing another, but that's pretty much the extent of advanced tactics in SOL, with one exception. That exception is, of all things, a hacking mini-game. That's not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it's actually pretty novel, and the main way by which players will deal with big, otherwise invincible capital ships. At points in each mission, various communication relays on each capital ship can be targeted and hacked in real time. The minigame itself is simple, just involving picking a password that briefly flashes on screen. The results, though, can be dramatic. Hacking a target will allow pilots to get up to all manner of hi-jinks, including sabotaging a ship's engines (to keep it from closing with the Atlas), turning its missiles or turrets friendly (thus significantly thinning the opposition), and eventually highlighting weak points that can be attacked with the Arc Cannon, destroying the enemy in dramatic fashion. Speaking of dramatic fashion, SOL's graphics are high-tier. Surfaces are shiny, the blackness of space is overflowing with color, and particle and smoke effects fill even the most mundane scenes with activity and detail. Combined with the quick action and flashy special effects, every SOL dogfight feels like a whirling storm of bullets, lasers, bright target brackets, and raining space debris. The game supports keyboard-and-mouse controls, gamepad controls, and traditional joysticks, with all options available for simultaneous use. Given the pace of combat, I preferred to use a mouse for extra precision it affords. Chasing lead indicators at those speeds isn't as easy on a joystick or gamepad. It's fortunate that SOL is as short as it is, because it tips its hand a bit early, revealing a disappointing lack in variety. The Hades fighter's three weapons are all the weapons players will ever get, and the Children of Dawn only ever field a handful of enemy types. Capital ship engagements, a hallmark of classic space shooters, never approach a significant scale, and mission types skew in favor of simply defending the Atlas or some civilian craft from waves of enemies flying in from opposite sides of the map. There is also no multiplayer option, with the game more bent on inspiring competition via online leaderboards for the existing campaign missions. A few missions do stand out as beacons of originality, and are among the more memorable incidents I've played. I shan't spoil them here, but other, grander space games (or perhaps SOL's sequel) would do well to use such experiences as inspiration. Further still, Seamless has demonstrated an impressive amount of post-release support. Within days of release several design decisions I would have complained about in this very review were fixed, and one rather unenjoyable mission was rewritten and rescripted completely, with Seamless stopping short of generating entirely new assets. SOL has definitely not been a "ship-it-and-forget-it" release for them. I try to avoid taking price into account when reviewing games, especially with pricing as fluid as it is in the age of Steam sales. One person's $60 game could be another person's torrented game, and "I'll wait until it's [x amount of money]" is one of the most discouraging comments a gamer can make, whether they know it or not. That said, SOL: Exodus is being sold for a paltry $9.99 on Steam, before sales. It's a superlative amount of content and refinement compared to many so-called "triple-A" productions that sell for six times that amount. Anyone looking for a good space dogfight should feel obliged to give it a try. It's even got a demo!
 photo

Space sims aren't where they used to be. Once the peak of triple-A development, today the genre's torch is carried mostly by outfits catering to hardcore, nostalgia-seeped joystick-grippers. And while that approach has proved...

 photo

The DTOID Show: A Kiss From The Nubs & New Vita Games


Sep 07
// Max Scoville
[The Destructoid Show gives a rundown of all the top news from Destructoid.com every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Subscribe to us on YouTube, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook....
 photo

Mad Catz forms flight simulator MMO development studio


May 31
// Maurice Tan
Wait what? You read that correctly, Mad Catz -- grown into the biggest peripheral maker in recent years -- has announced the formation of ThunderHawk Studios, a studio focused on developing a series of MMO flight simulator ga...
 photo

Hori Real Arcade Pro 3 VLX Edition will eat your soul


Apr 05
// 50ft. Samurai
Despite many thinking that Japan only produces rape games, there was once another product that would shock and awe western gamers: the Hori Real Arcade Pro series of joysticks. Having recently had their supremacy challenged b...
 photo

Get MechWarrior 4 for free maybe around Thanksgiving


Nov 15
// Josh Tolentino
PC gamers, get ready to bust out your old joystick...y'know, the one you've secretly kept in good condition, waiting on the announcement of Freespace 3, that joystick. MekTek.net may be rereleasing MechWarrior 4 and all its e...
 photo

Roll your own: 3 badass custom joysticks


Feb 05
// Dale North
I've always wanted to make my own joystick. I'll be at an event or convention, and I'll see some guy who has his own handmade rig, and I'll think to myself damn, that guy is for real. And while it's always gratifying to lay t...
 photo

XCM Dominator Joystick does all the work for you


Jan 19
// Dale North
Well, not all. But it does have some shortcut buttons that you can load up with complex combos and retrigger at a touch.Check out the video above of the XCM Dominator Joystick for PS3, from TotalConsole. It shows how easy it...
 photo

Undeniable failure: An open letter to Microsoft on the Xbox 360 Dpad


Mar 18
// Topher Cantler
Following our controller episode of RetroforceGO!, I have received a surprising number of emails and messages regarding the Xbox 360 Dpad and the countless mods, DIY fixes, and third-party alternatives that exist to solve the...
 photo

RetroforceGO! recording episode 41 tonight: Hardware special #1: Controllers


Mar 16
// Topher Cantler
After 30 years or so of videogame history, we've seen any number of ways to connect ourselves with the virtual worlds we love to visit. Dials, knobs, sticks, button pads; we've seen it all. As the games we play have changed a...
 photo

Phallic product names continue with the Wii Shaft


Feb 11
// Dale North
While some gaming product names are unintentionally pervy, you'd have to wonder about something named the Wii Shaft.     Gametrailers has this video of a arcade-style controller for the Nintendo Wii. The joyst...
 photo

Gerstmann still likes videogame journalism: Speaks with Joystiq


Dec 03
// Jim Sterling
Joystiq has finally coaxed some words out of Jeff Gerstmann, the now notorious Gamespot editor who found himself fired after angering Eidos with the "tone" used to review Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. While he is stil...
 photo

Wiimotes need more color, plastic pokers


May 06
// Niero Gonzalez
Ah, good old retro mods inspired by the Famicom. That joystick remain dear to my heart. Everything about it was revolutionary -- it had three times as many buttons, it was curved, and the buttons and logo were as brightly col...
 photo

Densha de Go! The train simulator game in yawntastic action


May 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Remember that train simulator game we mentioned for the Wii that would require a special controller? Well, Densha De Go! came out a couple of months ago and it's everything you'd expect a train sim game to be. Boring....
 photo

The DIY no-sew NES controller wallet


May 02
// Niero Gonzalez
Want to impress the ladies by walking around with a giant brick in your pants? Have a sacrificial NES controller lying around? Solution: the NES controller wallet. The construction of this fashinable piece of geekery requires...
 photo

Sega Dreamcast scheduled for American release in fall 1998


Apr 01
// Topher Cantler
You've been waiting anxiously to hear this news, and we here at Destructoid are proud to finally break it. Originally code-named Black Belt, the Sega Dreamcast will be the first 128-bit console to hit the market, and feat...

Learn the WarHawk before your time

Mar 22 // Niero Gonzalez
 photo

Three grungy-looking snapshots of the upcoming WarHawk PS3 game surfaced today with complete EA-style arcade instructions on how to pilot both the air ship and the (seemingly underdeveloped and dare I say unwanted) ground co...

 photo

God of War 3: PS3, 1080p and ... vibration?


Mar 13
// Niero Gonzalez
1UP's Matt Leone attended the God of War 2 Sony event, blogging some very curious words about the supposed future of GOW3 from the lips of director Cory Barlog. Captain obvious had previously informed us that the game wo...
 photo

Gamedeals commissions giant NES pad


Mar 12
// Niero Gonzalez
How does modest independent Canadian game shop draw in passerbys and passing window-shopping spaceships orbiting the sun? With a godzilla-sized classic NES pad! Hardcore Nintendo fan Eyes5 became friends with the shop keepe...

Vickie Hogan is dead, not my Sixaxis

Feb 08 // Niero Gonzalez
The device, unlike slutty women with no morals, is extremely simple to handle and set up in your house. The shiny silver package comes with two 4 foot cables and the Dual Charge AC adapter, which is about the size of a typical power transformer. My first impression is that they went skimpy on the cables, but the point is to plug this thing wherever you need it so the cable length makes perfect sense. As you can see, there are two standard USB ports in the front at your disposal. Apparently I was so excited to open it that I didn't focus the camera shot, and now the box is all torn up like roast beef at the prom. I've been using it on and off for about a week and there's nothing bad I can say about it. It has a shiny durable plastic casing, the A/C plug tucks away neatly so that it's easy to slip into your laptop bag or back pocket, and it essentially acts a general use USB cord so you can charge a multitude of things with it. Cell phones, cameras, PS3 controllers, you name it.  My PC franken-rig uses an older ASUS dual SLI motherboards, so my USB situtation for all of my accessories is very octopus-like. Lately I've been leaving this on the opposite side of the living room near the sofa so I can leave my controllers charging when I'm done gaming for a few hours. Behold, this thing has the ability to perform an A/C bitch-slap: Nyko also makes a kick ass 9 foot mesh cable that we picked up, but I am way across the room from my big screen so that's not an option for me.  The most compelling reason to get one of these is that your PS3 has to be powered on, fans whirring, for the Sixaxis controller to charge. If your console is on standby, the USB ports aren't getting any power. This means that you're going to end up playing with a wired remote from time to time, or find yourself lusting after this.Behold, the most artistic photo of a controller charging ever!  That's all she does folks, move along, there's nothing else to see.  The charge time appears to be identical to charging it on the PS3.  This is probably because it's the exact same USB ISO and the 7 magical elves inside my PS3 cannot improve upon that. While certainly not an essential accessory, it's good at what it does. Especially I've you've become a wireless diva and really enjoy not having any cords in sight, you'll surely get some use of it. Like many of you who believe wire management is best handled by "stuffing that shit behind the crevice" you'll have one less thing to detangle. I spotted it for twenty bucks on Amazon and may increase your lazyness level by five points. Don't be dumb though: I overpaid for my component cable by ordering online and suffering infernal shipping, so try phoning retail first. Ten cents can save you five bucks.  
 photo

Today Anna Nicole Smith collapsed in a casino just north of me, dying at the hump age of 39. Despite a long adult life she will only be remembered for having large breasts, leaving Texas, marrying a (very!) old man for his m...

Joysticks, the movie review

Feb 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
So, you think you can just sit there, knowing that Gamebox 1.0 is the worst video game movie ever? Surely, throughout all time, nothing worse has ever come, nor will ever cross your path. Street Fighter sucked, but it was an action pic. Uwe Boll's films, well, they'd be bad even if they weren't based on a game. Well, we've all been deceived about this "worst movie". It's been hiding in bargain cutout bins and preying on bad movies. Stealing their suck and making itself a worse film in the process. This movie is Joysticks. Set in the hedonistic world of the local neighborhood arcade in Southern California, this 1983 film is loosely inspired by Apocalypse Now, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Out of Africa. The film isn't so much on plot, it's really not much more than a loose collection of plots tied together by an arcade setting. The film stars Joe Don Baker, Lief Green, Jon Gries (Best known as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite), and Scott McGinnis. There are other actors, but their contribution to the film is about as noteworthy as the gimmick they provide to a scene, as seen in the clip below.    The basic setup for the film is that Jefferson Bailey (S. McGinnis) is in charge of his Grandfather's video arcade while he's out of town (who knows why ...) Poor Jefferson has a past conflict with video games and doesn't play them anymore. Instead he uses his managerial powers to sleep with the many "attractive" young women that frequent the arcade. Joe Don Baker is cast as the villain who wants the arcade shut down. To the film's credit, they knew it was going to be a pretty crappy film. Within the first five minutes of the opening of the film, you've already seen two pairs of boobs, a nerd character with his pants missing, and you've met King Vidiot. King Vidiot (Jon Gries) is a young punk obsessed with arcade gaming. He is clearly ahead of his time, adopting a look similar to Marilyn Manson. He travels with a pack of female groupies who behave like robots, and lusts after poorly cross-dressed men. His two goals in life are to have his own personal arcade machine, and he'd like to have a sweet ride like the one seen below.  At this point, you'd question whether some of this review is a lie, and you'd be right to do so, but that's what the screengrabs and clips are for. There are boobs and video games here, folks.  JD Baker's character attempts repeatedly to have the local arcade shut down a number of times over the course of the film. With schemes including staged protests, stealing all the games from the arcade, and ultimately pitting King Vidiot against young Jefferson in a rousing match of Super Pac Man over control of the arcade. All of this is irrelevant, though. This film should be seen for the following reasons: Strip Video Gaming. The opening theme for the movie, "Totally Awesome Video Games" Exposed breasts in a video game arcade.  Spooning in front of a Pac Man machine. The gratuitous use of Pac Man as a scene wipe. A girl hiking up her nightie (and wearing Pac Man panties) asking Jefferson if he'd like to play a game. A sweaty precursor to WoW obsessed gamers named McDorfus. Eugene the nerd dressed in leather underpants and chains. A hot dog being molested in a girl's exposed cleavage. Joysticks is a film that makes The Wizard, Street Fighter: The Movie, and House of the Dead look like the Godfather Trilogy. I'd give it a grade, but doing so would ruin the whole concept of grading a movie. It's not very good at all, but the novelty of watching someone actively make a train wreck of a movie and have it be taken seriously is far more entertainment than the movie itself would be able to provide.[Thanks Husky Hog for the quick photoshops on the boobies] 
 photo

It's officially movie month here at Destructoid folks. First, Robert had the full Dead or Alive movie for your viewing displeasure. Then I gave you the preview of Game Box 1.0. DMV gave us a little Weekend Reading about ...

 photo

A retro skin for the classic Wii controller


Jan 22
// Niero Gonzalez
It almost looks good. Almost. The buttons in the middle seem to kind of float in the middle of limbo and disrupt the horizontal lines abruptly, but overall it does make the controller look a lot like the ones we threw and cra...
 photo

The Texter reinvents typing on consoles


Jan 15
// Niero Gonzalez
It's a fact -- playing MMOs on a console often sucks for a variety of little annoying usability reasons. Among my top gripes is slow text input. The only real alternatives are using a daisy chain of USB cords to bring a P...
 photo

CES 2007: Falcon 3D mouse: hands-on


Jan 15
// Niero Gonzalez
The 3d mouse that made waves and stole show awards away from the Wiimote and Sixaxis is finally coming to mass market.  The Novint Falcon 3D mouse is essentially a little robot with three arms that tracks your mouse move...
 photo

AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2007: Pictures with porn stars, part two


Jan 14
// Robert Summa
So yeah, here's more pictures from the Adult Entertainment Expo that I promised and you wanted. I'll be flowing these in throughout the day, so stock up on that lotion, boys, and for you curious ladies, charge the batteries.Continued - more galleries of the AVN Expo (part three)

Nyko: forget Sixaxis, buy Zero FTW

Jan 11 // Niero Gonzalez
 photo

In addition to PS3 intercoolers, dongles, guitars, HDMI cables and other shiny accessories we also spent some time with Nyko's new Sixaxis alternative, the Zero series controller. The design is a near mirror image of their P...

 photo

CES 2007: Three new ways to revive Sixaxis


Jan 10
// Niero Gonzalez
As you may already know, charging the Sixasis with the stock 4 foot USB bundled with the console is a joyless experience; a corner cut surely to keep the price down on the PS3. Players that want to charge more than one contr...
 photo

One lucky Xbox 360 controller


Dec 26
// Niero Gonzalez
Alexandra loves Gears of War and looks damn good lovin' it. Sorry guys - unfortunately she's also already spoken for and her husband is strong enough to throw cars at people. Nevertheless, she was cool enough to flo...
 photo

Wii FPS games cause motion sickness?


Dec 22
// Niero Gonzalez
It's ok. Don't feel like a big gamer wuss. There are others like you. Nobody's talking about it. It has to be said. Wii have a new problem, but it doesn't have a catchy name -- it's Wii First Person Shoote...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -