Art Attack has been on an old school video game kick lately. It's not just the nostalgia of it, either. Back in the day video games were seen as an opportunity to throw any and all science at the wall and see what stuck. The whole industry might turn out to be a pet rock, anyway, why not have some fun and see what kind of ridiculous gimmicks you could come up with?
With that in mind we pay tribute to accessories that may the R.O.B. look completely normal by comparison.
We remember this way back from the pages of Nintendo Power. The ASCII Stick Super L5 One Handed Game Controller was only released in Japan for the Super Famicom, but was perfectly compatible with the SNES or even with the Wii via the SNES to Wii converter. Why would you want a one-handed controller?
Well, it was generally aimed at RPG players who might want to draw maps, take notes, or even do something simple like eat with the other hand. Anyone who has ever wanted to quietly read a book while level grinding can certainly see the use in it. It goes without saying that it work pretty well for someone who was short a limb as well, but Nintendo had an even better solution for those people.
You can't say that Nintendo doesn't have a heart, though we'd prefer them to prove it conclusively by having Samus shoot it with missiles. Not wanting quadriplegics to be left out of the fun, they developed the Hands Free controller for the NES. It wasn't sold in stores, but it was an easy order from the customer service line for $179 ($300 in today's dollars, but how many other presents can you buy a quadriplegic child that they can play at the same level as any other child?)
You used your tongue to move the D-pad, and fired the A and B buttons by sucking and blowing. The whole thing was designed to be worn as a vest, and look at that thing! Get your parents to paint it black and you've just become a better young Darth Vader that Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen combined.
Everyone had the NES Light Zapper at one point, and as far as fake guns go it's a pretty fair fake gun. Konami decided that it just wasn't doing the job though, and so they came up with the LaserScope to go with their game Gun Sight. You wore it as a headset, looked at your target and screamed "Fire!" to make it shoot.
The set had problems, no doubt. Any noise the microphone picked up made it fire, but it was compatible with all the NES gun games meaning that it had a fair library to go with it. Plus, using it meant that you could hold the second player controller in your hand at the same time. Did you know that you can control the ducks with the second controller in Duck Hunt? Well you can, and using the LaserScope meant that they were helpless as you drove them into the line of fire and ended their little pixilated lives with a cry of "I am the God of murder!"
Microphone technology has come a long way since the 80s. Is anyone else thinking about how awesome it would be to use an updated version of this in a Doctor Who first-person shooter played from the Dalek's point of view? Exterminate!
You're thinking, wow, that looks like a U.S. Army issue M16 assault rifle that someone has attached a SNES cord to, aren't you? That's because it is, or rather, a replica. It's the Mult-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator (M.A.C.S. for short).
These were developed by the actual United States military. They came with a special SNES game for combat training purposes, and unlike other light zappers you had to stand a good seven feet back from the screen in order to work it. Unfortunately, it was only compatible with that one specific game, meaning that no, you can't mow down the dog in Duck Hunt on full automatic
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Nintendo revolutionized the gaming world by getting our lazy asses off the couch and up swinging swords and playing tennis with the Wii, but before you go awarding them some kind of medal for their work in promoting healthy exercise please get a look at that video up there.
That is the Super Chair, the perfect gift for the gamer who wants to remain completely immobile, but doesn't even have the energy to use the Hands Free. To use the D-pad you lean right, left, backwards, or forwards, and the A and B buttons are built right into the armrests. Oh, and it automatically comes with a turbo feature to make sure you don't even have to master rapidly lifting one finger from its resting place too quickly. It also means you can cheat at Track and Field so hard that the Olympics implode in shame.