The Twin Stick, like the Arcade Stick is a fairly robust and well-constructed peripheral. The base is made from metal, which gives it a decent feel of weight and quality. The bottom section is made from two different tones of grey plastic, as are the actual sticks themselves. The sticks themselves have 8 directions of travel and emit the same reassuring click of a micro switch that the Arcade Stick does when in operation. However, because there are two of them...you get twice the fun and twice the clicks! The only other buttons on the controller are the triggers on the from of the sticks, the buttons on top of the sticks and the pause and start buttons on the base. This in itself it a bit of a strange aspect of the Twin Stick when you think about it - why does it need both a start and pause button? Surely they would both be start? Hmm.
Officially, the Twin Stick only supports one game - Cyber Troopers Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram. By 'officially,' I mean that that is the only game that was ever promoted as being compatible with the Twin Stick and on top of this the peripheral was only released in Japan. This is especially odd because Virtual On was given a US release so one would be forgiven for thinking a North American release for the peripheral would follow...but it didn't.
Stranger still, Virtual On for the Dreamcast didn't even get a PAL release, even though the Saturn game did and while I'm not 100% certain, I'm pretty sure that the Dreamcast did better in PAL territories than the Saturn did sales-wise. Whatever the reasons for Sega's decision not to release the Twin Stick in the US or anything to do with Dreamcast Virtual On in PAL territories, the fact remains that in Japan the controller was only ever depicted as being for use with Virtual On. However, we now know that there are a couple of other games which will actually recognise the Twin Stick and these are discussed below.
It appears this isn't the case with the Twin Stick though, as plugging it in doesn't even register with most games, and invariably a 'please insert controller' message pops up on the screen. Some other games I would have liked to have seen playable with the Twin Stick (but aren't) include: (the aforementioned) Star Lancer, Bang! Gunship Elite, AeroWings and AeroWings 2 (although they can be played with the flight stick from Ascii). It's not all bad though, because there are a ton of other games I tried that do indeed work just fine with the Twin Stick - some of them exceptionally well.
Games that work
Virtual On (obviously)
Rush Rush Rally Racing
Sega Rally 2
I did try Half-Life with it too, as I'd heard that worked, but I could only get the controls to register the forward/backwards and strafing motions so it's hardly playable. I'm sure I read somewhere that Quake III: Arena works quite well too, but I didn't try it. I also made a short video showing some of the above games in action, but seeing as I used the little flatscreen TV on my desk to record it out of convenience, the aspect ratio is set to 16:9 on the screen and I literally cannot be arsed with the comments that will undoubtedly zero in on that one tiny thing. Maybe I'll re-record it at some point in the future on my 4:3 CRT. But I probably won't. Gotta love the internet!
Be sure to familiarise yourself with some other Dreamcast peripherals and add-ons by following the links to previous articles of varying quality below:
Dreamcast Race Controller
Dreamcast Karaoke Unit
Dreamcast Fishing Rod