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Supermassive Black Pad

Look here, you contemptible buffoons (no offence intended). Back in the day, I was one of the three people in the UK who owned an Atari Jaguar. I'm sure there were many more in the US, but my predictions are based on hope, rather than fact. This is irrelevant though, since whilst my European contemporaries were kicking ass on Streets of Rage 3 or indulging in the superlative brilliance of Super Mario World, I was trying to convince myself that I'd embraced the future by enduring the 'delights' of...erm...Club Drive, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy and Cybermorph (pictured, yesterday). Cough.

I'd like to say they were fond memories, but I'd be lying through my gargantuan ass. That's because the Jag was the very zenith of bilge. The reason I dredge this subject up like the decomposing carcass of a sheep that wandered too close to a canal edge, is that the Atari Jaguar will always be remembered for two things: A slew of sub-16 bit 'games,' and that fucking ma-husive joypad. For those that never sampled it's charms, here's a pic:

This is what a 64-bit Interactive Mulitmedia System joypad looks like

Yes, beloved reader, its the same shape and size as the crust from a loaf of thick-sliced Warburton's - and it features a bizarre telephonic pad in the middle that allows for 'quick & easy' access to camera angle changes and weapon selections (via an overlay that came with most games). To be blunt, it's the biggest joypad the Universe has ever known, has it's own postal code, and if you've got hands even slightly smaller than popular Bible baddy Goliath - you're pretty much fucked when it comes to using it. However - there is a new pretender to the Jaguar pad's throne. Ladies & Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the McLaren Dreamcast Pad!

Yep, it's a DC pad branded by the Formula 1 team McLaren. Yes - a pad. Not, bizarrely, a steering wheel, but 10/10 for effort guys. What you can't tell from the above picture though is the sheer scale of the thing. It's bigger than E. Honda's packed lunch - and in order to truly appreciate the colossal proportions of it, here's a comparison shot with the regular DC, PS2 and 360 pads:

Look at the 360 pad...scale is not exagerrated.

So, we've established that it's big. Really big...but how does it stand up to the official pad? Surprisingly well actually. Unlike most third-party pads, the McLaren one is very sturdy (not a great shock given it's size) and the analogue triggers are very responsive in driving games (again, not a great shock considering who made the thing). The one component of third-party pads that usually strikes fear into the heart is the analogue stick, but again the McLaren's is very robust and super-accurate. Strange, considering that it is actually a 'stick' protruding from the pad as opposed to the 'ball' that the official controller has.

Look here, Squire:

It's a stick and not a ball. How rude.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the McLaren pad though is the 'double rumble' one that's emblazoned on the box. Upon closer inspection (and finding that the rumble pack offers the same amount of feedback as when it's used with a regular pad), it appears that this 'double rumble' feature is only activated when the pad is used with 'compatible software.' Quite what this compatible software is though, I have no idea. And what the fuck is double rumble anyway? I'm assuming that there are extra vibration motors built into the pad (that'd explain the size), but I can't confirm this theory as I don't have a screwdriver that fits into the holes on the underside of the goddamned thing. Bah. I do have an assortment of hammers, bricks and crude cutting instruments but I tend to just use them when I need to smash open a coconut and devour the soft flesh contained within. Mmmm. Flesh...

But I digress. The McLaren pad is a worthy addition to the 'Yard even if it does require a flatbed lorry to transport, and is possibly the best 3rd party DC pad I've ever used. Smoke that, Madcatz.

Incidentally, I'm working at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone at the weekend. Might take my pad and get Lewis Hamilton to sign it. On second thoughts, he may not appreciate someone shoving a massive Dreamcast pad under his nose whilst foaming at the mouth and screaming.


Barry the Nomad said...

I was almost thinking you found a Jaguar to Dreamcast adapter!

Massive ugly third party controllers... I'm having flashbacks to the Astro Pad:

The Golden Cat said...

"Supermassive Black Pad"
I see what you did there.

I know the Atari Jaguar is a big ol' heap o' shite.
So why do I want one.
Is it because I want to drink in that bittersweet sense of expectation unfulfilled, broken dreams and crushing, crushing failure.


Tom Charnock said...

Barry - A Jag to DC adapter?! Interesting...but kind of defeats the notion of progress!

Golden Cat - Yeah, it's a horrendous console, even as a retro novelty there's very little worth playing on it. Iron Soldier, AvP...erm...

Some people rate Tempest, but it's a boring load of old bollocks in my opinion

Animated AF said...

Where did YOU learn to fly?

The Golden Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Charnock said...

Touche, Golden Cat, Touche! Gagaman - what you on about? lol

The Golden Cat said...

..."defeats the notion of progress!"


But surely thats the whole point...

The Dreamcast Junkyard: Defeating the notion of progress since '05.

Barry the Nomad said...

Maybe double rumble refers to the fact that the thing is so big, it can hold two rumble packs.

Regarding failed consoles, the CD-i is quite a turd to own. Shitty games and controllers that have the texture of a fine sandpaper. Mad Dog McCree 1&2 (w/ lightgun) and the 7th Guest are the only saving graces. And no, I'm not proposing a CD-i Junkyard.

Animated AF said...

Tom: I thought you said you played Cybermorph a lot!

Caleb said...

In the video rental place across from my apartment they have a huge poster for Robocop CDi. It's in Italian or something like that.

Barry the Nomad said...

Avoid the ground.

Tom Charnock said...

Gagaman: Ah right! Got you. Sorry, it's been about 15 years since I had the 'pleasure' of sampling Cybermorph!

Animated AF said...

I only even know of it because of this: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/47108.html

Tom Charnock said...

Ha Ha! That's a top video - All Hail the Angry Video Game Nerd!