I know I sound predictable, taking about ambidextrous joysticks. Every one need a primary identity in the community. This was the main reason why I stepped in ShoRyuKen.com during the Street FIghter IV era. I do occasionally talk of other stuff, ad when I do, if it’s not about handedness, my ideas get a fir shake.
I understand for most people it’s either a person choice, assuming it matters enough to you. Let’s just say I got my first custom made ambi-stick by writing to Nintendo and Sega for recommendatitons during the Genesis/SNES era.
If it were only my performance enhanced, I’d would not evangelize so much, but just like evengelizing about God, you can either say Amen, ignore me or fight me. I’m not forcing anyone at gunpoint to make these mass market or to try one themselves. I’m just asking, if my story were true, even if you doubt, if you believe that I beileve I saw these events, could you understand why I would evangelize about ambidextrous joysticks?
I’m not asking you to full-throated agree, i’m just asking if you were in charge of a mass market (compared to On demand) joystick manufacturer, would this story be strong enough to make you want to investigate further, and if my single instance a strong enough story to be a sales pitch if you did decide to make it.
The best video that explains why joysticks are always on the left: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwyKx8TvRcE Notice it takes not having a choice in something that should be relatively easy to offer a choice on something fairly important that gets you thinking this way.
I rented Pac-Land for the NES twice at my video store. The second time I rented a Beeshu Jazz along with it. I got way better scores with the right handed Jazz compared to the default NES pad.
I got an NES advantage for one Christmas, some games felt awkaward with it and I preferred a pad. I was thinking if it were Stick-right, I might have imporved. Filed it under “nothing you can do about it”
I saw a “Mexican” Street FIghter 2 somewhere on the road, It was empty, so I played one credit with Ryu, a character I couldn’t do well with a pad. I played stick-right side, and got to the bosses on one credit, where at home, I had troble beating the tsecond oponent with Ryu. I tried when I got back home at an arcade, but was a more standard version with two stick-left arrangements. I had trouble with the second opponent.
In Golden Axe at home using the pad, when doing the “back and forth caught forever” glitch on 2 enemies on either side, and alternating. Every time I alternate left and right, I had a constant drift upward which broke the glitch.
Tangential, yet relevant background information information about joystick history, that will tick off the TLDR people
Hopefulyl I know estalished that getting a right handed joystick was right FOR ME. At this point it’s a personal decision, but one trip to a friendly get together changed the narrative to “Maybe it does matter, and you can’t just put square pegs in round holes.”
If you saw the video above, it suggests that in the arcade, the operator was the more direct customer of the arcade game maker, not the quarter-feeder. Arcade owners wanted to shorten credit lengths to feed more quarters, because that’s how the operators get paid.
But most people assume the home market was exactly the same as the home market, so most companies thought whatever was used i arcades is what home users want. There is some truth to that, with muscle memory. One company, Beeshu, which had the endorsement of the US National Video Game Team, the organization with the big pre-crash superstars like Billy Mitchell, listened to those players and asked how to enhance scores on home play, two answers was unanimous, 1) use an arcade style stick, and 2)have both left- and righted options, even an ambidextrous option for “switch hitters”. They had a bold statement, “Double your scores, or send it back for a refund.” So they advertised the performance advantage of picking your side.
Unfortunately, when the SNES came out, Beeshu lost focus and made a “Space Shuttle Pad” and not make an SNES and 6 button Genesis Superstick. They went out of business, and the Genesis Gizmo was the last system-authorized ambidextrous joystick, and last ambi fight stick for any console of any kind, until there were 2 unauthorized PS3 attempts.
I know there are some people who say that all joysticks in the NES era sucked, and that a pad was better in most games, due to the “cheap physical and mechanical construciton” of even rthe best off-the shelf joystick. One person suggesting importing an Ascii NES stick from Japan. But usually you’re mostly concerned about high parts as a performance enhancement when you are “fighting for millimeters”. Another example is tennis shoes, Joe average will not see any improvement in shoes, but ata certain level of eliteness or higher, that become important. Most people in NES era thought the natural ergonomic dvantge was more significant that being concerened on what’s inside, and thought of that as “fighting for millimeters”, only something an pro player would care about. But when the Dreamcast was networked, people thought they were a big fish in a small pond because the pond turned into an ocean. There were records, leaderboards, and ranks, and your world was not limited to family, friends, their families, ad pepole at the local arcade. And fighting games went online with the Original Xbox those are games with such precise controls that a pad will not cut it when there’s a leaderboard, and ANYONE can be your opponent. They may have an advantge of a joystick> Why should you be unprepared. Evr since then, “just any joystick” was not enough. They competed on internal parts. They competed on button layouts, and eventually SRK exploded with people tinkering and tying to get any edge and became a bulider meets buyr marketplace. That’s where I found Stan to make my stick.
I took my joystick to one house where 6 of us friends were at at the same time. We wanted to play Street Fighter 2 New Challengers Genesis, and I wanted to show off my ambidextrous joystick.
Before this day where I had the ambdextrous joystick, there was one person who dominated, and we usually played “Winner stays” rules. One other person can beat him about 1 out of 3 times, but everyone else, including me, were practice dummies to him.
First of all let me say that it’s garbage compared to other joysticks. The button ergonomics was awful, with a very wide gap between punches and kicks, and the buttons that may have been a good button-right curve (not sure) was was definitely a god-awful button-left curve. Plus after two weeks, the joystick maker’s idea of free customer service was solder it yourself. By today’s ergonomic and durability standards, this is an awful stick. That poor worksmanship convinced me to give up the quest until SFIV came out.
I used my right handed stick, (for the two weeks it was working). When my turn came up, I picked differen characters, and won every game for like an hour. Including the guy who always beats me when it’s 6-button pad vs 6-button pad. When he dominated, he lost one third of the games to the next best person and against everyone else, he was perfect.But this time, I was perfect, with any character. Last round I said, you choose any character as mine. I still beat them.
Again, still a personal story, until someone opened their mouth. The person who was the best player before today said there’s no way a right handed stick can make ANYONE that good.
“Anyone?” i asked. "Let’s put it to the test, you’re obviously the best player pad vs pad, let’s see if the right stick can make ANYONE better, or just me?
So everyone challenged this braggart. I said to consider whether left- or- right handed is a factor or not, first let them play with my stick left handed, as another control factor.
Of my 4 other friends, the one who won 1 pout of 3, now won 3/4 left handed. Another person won 2/4 games, the other lost all 4 times to him, even with the advantage of a left handed joystick.
A slight improvement, one that seems reasonable with a random sample. Now compare to right-handed.
Each of the other 4 people played 4 matches with 4 different character against the braggart. The right handed joystick was 16-0 vs the braggart when not controlled by me. That combine with my perfect session of about 20 games and everyone picking different characters to show it wasn’t a one-character or a one-player fluke.
But the thing that turns the story from “maybe, but the guy who lost against a right hand stick probably sucked.” to “WOW that is impressive!” is the identity of our common friend that was shut out by a right handed joystick.
Already he was pretty impressive in high school, he won his local Macedonia Ohio Blockbuster Video Sega Genesis Tournament. He was number 1 by a big margin. He could have won a big national tournment, because there was a prize of challenging other number 1s regionally and hopefully eventually advance to the Nationals.
Anyone reading this remember competing in the Blockbuster tournament? Did either you or someone you know get a store level number one score for either Genesis or SNES? If so, read the hidden notes and and let’s compare notes about the tournament.
He never got a chance to move on
The problem was he never got an invite to the next level… The owner of the store told him not every store winnere is guaranteed to advance, so he visited every Blockbuster in the counties that contain Cleveland and Akron Ohio, an every county tthat shares a border with either county. He compared scores. His Genesis score beats EVERY NUMBER 1 score posted in those stores.
If any number one player in the Blockbuster Genesis Tournament in any bBlockbuster video store in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Wayne, Summit, Stark, Portage, Geagua, or Lake counties I got a couple questitons
Did you assume it was just a bunch of simultaneous local tournamnet and just have store level winners, or did you assume there was a national champion?
Did you assume if you got the number one score in your store in the Genesis, you would automatically move on and have a regional battle of the store champions, or did you assume the number one scores were compared and only the best so many, or best on in each larger region was invited?
Then one of 3 things happened.
- If the store level was the highest level and you were told there was no higher level, then there was lots of assuming, uncalarity, and hype deflated.
2)I If only certain number ones went on, did you dare to compare and stop when you saw a higher number 1? Did you know the exact criteria and can a typical high school student can reasonably check to see if he qualified it it was the top so many i the nation, it’s be impossible to verify. If it was a region, how big is the region a winner is selected from? If that was the case, either he misread a score, covered too small an area, or was screwed.
If the number one of each store advanced and competed and was guaranteed a slot, then my friend was definitely screwed.
If it was a screw job, I suspect the reason the Blockbuster Manager used. He never got any notice that he was disqualified, so my friend couldn’t challenge the ruling because he was unaware… I suspect because he was involved in my community cable mini-golf tournament for 3 years, once as a commentator as twice as a contestant, and since one of the sponsors was a local mom-and-pop video store that he patronizes, in addition to Blockbuster, the manager was trying to screw him for associating with a mom-and-pop video store.
Now I don’t have the rules. I don’t know if there was a clause that disqualified him. If he got screwed, and we could prove it, then he could have sued. If the next level already took place by the time of the suit, then one of 2 things can happen. If all the games were comparisons of single player vs. computer games, he could have submitted scores at each level. Now if there was a 2 player vs game, then he would need some sort of compensation fo the manager screwing him over for breaking an undefined rule written in invisible ink. because even then it would be hard to rerun a tournament with head to head action to accommodate the wronged store champ.
But he’s good enough where he’s not one-and-done. He tried out for, competed in, and won “Life to the Power of X” also in the list are other accomplishments, including being the most consistently in the top 5 of iron man of gaming with one championship, and auditioning for WCG Ulitmate Gamer season one which featured the big tourmanent winners of the pre-Twitch era of video game championships, which offered one open spot. He applied, showed them the Life to the Power of X Video, he did well in tests, being the only one to score a goal in FiFA soemthing on the hardest mode, and one of two who tied. (He tied 1-1, one other person had perfect defense with no goals allowed, but couldn’t score.) Everyone else lost, some bad. What put him overt the top was the “life” footage, it was probably the most famous competition won by the wild card wannabes, plus the fact that it was an all-around gaming tournament so his specialty is winning a tournament similar to WCG Ultimate Gamer in format, AND he was either a co-winner or 1st place in 9 of the 10 days including being 1st in all 3 eliminations, being dominant in those games.
If you don’t know by now it’s Jamal “Zophar321” Nickens. Does the fact that the braggart was the most famous and dominant all-around video game champion of the mid 2000’s when Video Games on national basic cable TV were rare, and before bigger audiences with Twitch, make you say whoever picks up my idea has a whopper of a true fish tale to sell the joystick.
[details=“Circle of my high school friends. No famous gamers among the rest of us”]
The most famous any of the other 5 of us were was me hosting the Nordonia Open Minigolf tournament. I’ve a couple people stop me in public when shopping who only knew me by seeing the show. So accepted the fan chat. Jamal was one of my close male friends. i t was basically him as one of 3 neighbors close to my age in walking distance to my house neighbor (there was a fourth who moved out during high school) , a pair of brothers I met in high school because THEY were contestants in the second year and had a good friendship, a neighbor of theirs who went a local Cathloic High School, and a couple friends for Jamal’s old private school before he switched to public and the occasional contestants who wanted to be friends to some degree beyond the tournament.
As for female friends, the only one I knew before I went to high school was one of the neighbors, there were enough years where there were no girls in school. (behavior school) Then on day I went to a dance, where ironically enough, there were like 60 girls and I was one of 2 guys. After that I felt more comfortable an had quite a few female friends, who liked to exchange firts with me. But snce most had boyfriends, and it sems there was very little break-up drama, I had t settle on being a n onthe0side crush for many girls. Weirdly enough nn if them wantd to date me, because no one tol me when the were available, if they were. I should count how many girls I know this way. Maybe if I get to 26 I could be a contestant on Deal or No Deal and have have my 26 girls, now women, probably all wives, most mothers, be special guest case models. As far as NBC is concerned, they’ll work for free, but I’ll give each of them a 2% share in my pot, giving me 48% so they are basically co-contestants in the same game.[/details]
Does the fact that a person of Jamal’s caliber can sweep 4 out of 5 friends in SF2C when playing 6-button pad vs 6 button pad, lose a little of his edge when he’s on pad and others were on left-stick, but was goose-egged when facing a right handed stick from people he goose-egged pad vs pad sound like a memorable event if you participated in it? Do you believe that one day, my universal winning, and Jamal universally losing would be a strong enough case to make itr worth studying whether ambidexterity in a joystick is a worthy goal to pursue and can be advertised as a legal performance enhancement?
By the way, I’m not claiming it’s a unversal panacea, but if making ambidexrity just adds one button to the layout, to keep costs down, if it were desgined to be user-friendly, would a one-button’s worth of parts and extra labor be worth the feature, assuming all the things are the quality parts you want at a reasonable price, (whatever you deem those parts and prices to be)?
I believe it would imporve joystick sales y ading an ignored clientelle, while (I believe) very minimally turning off people who would buy their other stuff. And you SRK pros who build sticks and play game professionally, (or aspire to) don’t think like yourselves. Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who wants a joystick because they heard it improves Street Fighter, but is not exactly sure twat they want until they get some experience, but is not fanatical enough to hire someone for a pure custom. and an expert enough to know exactly what they want Think off-the-shelf market. Think store shelf. What would be more attractive to someone who just finised dabling and and wants to take the first step to impovoing their game. Wihtout openng the box and trying it, you are given lots of similar choices with slightly differet cpyrihgted button arrangement, and one tat stands out is pictured as ambidextrous, showing both left- and right- hand use. An apprentice would nt know the advantages an disadvantages of differing contour of uttons to have an opinion. But whether they want a left-stick like most on the shelf or whether they want the ambi-stick is a little more fundamental of a choice when starting out compared to button layout. But if the consumer doesn’t have the choice available, you ether corral conformity if they don’t question it, like a lot of people who only gamed beyond 1985 when Jamma was the near-universal standard, or you lose a sale to a custom order because they know the economies of scale are lost if there are separate left and right versions. In baseball Golf and Hockey, that’s the first thing they find out, are you a natural leftie or rightie. Sports shops make more money with separate sizes and L/R choices. Arcade owners make more money forcing left stick play. Beofre the crash, people were making mirroed 2600 sticks, and leftie adapters, but after, no one other than Beeshu seriously considered that question. And only twice since on PS3. A Qanbaand a Nyko.
Why handedness is fundamental and why ambidexterity, if done, right can solve many problems sing real world sports and realistic sports fiction examples
A lot of equipment make sense as separate left and right versions. Hockey Sticks, Baseball gloves, in music, guitars. In sports there is a competitive advantage in having a mix of left and right handed people. Someties being a switch hitter is good in baseball if you’re good enough on both sides, and in boxing to catch your opponent by surprise like Rocky in Rocky 2.
In mini golf courses, the house putter a long time ago came in leftie or rightie. But there were two problems. On busy days, it their ratio guess is wrong, people would be waiting for to correct hand. And an unforseen thing happened for the ulitmate solution, There are situations in mini golf where you have to contort your body in unnatural ways to line up a shot near a wall or obstacle using a one-handed putter the correct way. Some people found it handy to switch hit to would be easier than contorting a body, losing balance and having a rushed, awful shot. In the old days they’d ask the clubhouse to borrow the other hand. The reason it wasn’t done before was because in Large-scale golf, there are no bumpers or obstacles that would require ambidexterity, but obstacles were making having a leftie and rightie putter deisreable, giving one of each means they had less players at once. So to limit it to one putter per person, the ambidextrous mini-golf putter was invented. Alos no more guess of what percentage is left handed.
In baseball, there was a guy who got to the AAA level who was a switch pitche. Because of that, you would then have the problem of what happens when a switch hitter faces a switch pitcher. Unless there were some rule, and assuming there is such a thing as an ambidextrous/reverseable glove and it was 2 seconds to change, you’d have a forever dance of pitcher switching his glove and the bater changing sides. It’s a question of who would give in first. Anyone know of the siwethc pitcher rules that were made because of one person?