Dr. XBOX: Or How I Learned to Stop Fanboy and Love the Controller

Posted by sociald1077 (263 posts) -

I am a PC gamer.

When I was a wee-D, my parents couldn't afford a Nintendo so my first taste of video gaming was Oregon Trail on a computer at school. I got to play games like Super Mario Bros and Contra at friends places, but at home I didn't have much beyond some Tiger Handheld LCD things. Eventually my mom got a computer from her work when they were getting new computers. So after years of seeing my friends game a home, I was finally able to do the same. It wasn't the best thing in the world, but I was determined to make due with what I had.

I was able to play games like Doom, Heretic (One of my favorite games to this day), Wolfenstein and Warcraft. The keyboard and mouse was my way to play. As soon as I could, I got a job so I could pay for upgrades to keep playing new games.

I never felt like I needed a console after getting a computer. After graduating high school, I went right into the Army, and with no bills and no debt I was able to use my modest income to build a new computer (and lots of alcohol). But even with all the awesome games I had on the computer, I would still look at the other side of the fence and look at all the really cool console games out there. I really wanted to play some fighting games, but the keyboard and mouse just didn't work well for that and most fighting games on the computer just never felt right compared to Tekken or the Mortal Kombat series. But, deep in my fanboy fanaticism, I wrote them off as causalities of the Platform Wars.

For years I touted my superior platform, specifically the keyboard and mouse interface over a controller. "You don't have the finesse of control in a FPS with a controller!!" I would smugly proclaim. "Lets see you play Everquest with a controller." I said with a smarmy tone. No argument, could convince me otherwise. And if fighting games came up I would just derail the debate to avoid my own doubt about my stance.

Then the day came when I just had to buy a console. I had no option, there was a game coming out that I really wanted to play, but it wasn't coming out on the computer. That game was Rock Band. Say what you will about fake plastic rock games, I love the escapism and more importantly, I got an Xbox 360, my first console. Now I wasn't just going to let that $300 sit there, I got other games, tried out the indie stuff and overall I have a really good time learning to use the controller and playing games that I can't get on the computer. Brutal Legend, Burnout, Costume Quest and others.

Now I even have an Xbox controller for my computer. After getting Assassins Creed on Steam, I found it very awkward to play with a keyboard and mouse, it just didn't feel right. So I got a controller and everything seemed to play much more fluidly. I had the same results with Darksiders and Batman: Arkham Asylum for PC. I still have trouble controlling FPS's with a controller, but I'm getting better and don't spend all my time looking straight up or down. And in the case of DCU Online, I actually utilize the keyboard, mouse and controller during the same session, using a weird combination of keyboard shortcuts, controller for movement and the mouse for menu/inventory (Yep, I'm a fool, but it works for me).

Overall, I really feel that I have grown as a gamer. Not only for withdrawing myself from the fanboy flame wars of "My system is better than yours!" but for expanding my horizons and learning something new that allows me to enjoy a fuller range of gaming. My platform of choice is still the PC, but I'm no longer averse to console gaming and welcome the larger selection and variety.

#1 Posted by sociald1077 (263 posts) -

I am a PC gamer.

When I was a wee-D, my parents couldn't afford a Nintendo so my first taste of video gaming was Oregon Trail on a computer at school. I got to play games like Super Mario Bros and Contra at friends places, but at home I didn't have much beyond some Tiger Handheld LCD things. Eventually my mom got a computer from her work when they were getting new computers. So after years of seeing my friends game a home, I was finally able to do the same. It wasn't the best thing in the world, but I was determined to make due with what I had.

I was able to play games like Doom, Heretic (One of my favorite games to this day), Wolfenstein and Warcraft. The keyboard and mouse was my way to play. As soon as I could, I got a job so I could pay for upgrades to keep playing new games.

I never felt like I needed a console after getting a computer. After graduating high school, I went right into the Army, and with no bills and no debt I was able to use my modest income to build a new computer (and lots of alcohol). But even with all the awesome games I had on the computer, I would still look at the other side of the fence and look at all the really cool console games out there. I really wanted to play some fighting games, but the keyboard and mouse just didn't work well for that and most fighting games on the computer just never felt right compared to Tekken or the Mortal Kombat series. But, deep in my fanboy fanaticism, I wrote them off as causalities of the Platform Wars.

For years I touted my superior platform, specifically the keyboard and mouse interface over a controller. "You don't have the finesse of control in a FPS with a controller!!" I would smugly proclaim. "Lets see you play Everquest with a controller." I said with a smarmy tone. No argument, could convince me otherwise. And if fighting games came up I would just derail the debate to avoid my own doubt about my stance.

Then the day came when I just had to buy a console. I had no option, there was a game coming out that I really wanted to play, but it wasn't coming out on the computer. That game was Rock Band. Say what you will about fake plastic rock games, I love the escapism and more importantly, I got an Xbox 360, my first console. Now I wasn't just going to let that $300 sit there, I got other games, tried out the indie stuff and overall I have a really good time learning to use the controller and playing games that I can't get on the computer. Brutal Legend, Burnout, Costume Quest and others.

Now I even have an Xbox controller for my computer. After getting Assassins Creed on Steam, I found it very awkward to play with a keyboard and mouse, it just didn't feel right. So I got a controller and everything seemed to play much more fluidly. I had the same results with Darksiders and Batman: Arkham Asylum for PC. I still have trouble controlling FPS's with a controller, but I'm getting better and don't spend all my time looking straight up or down. And in the case of DCU Online, I actually utilize the keyboard, mouse and controller during the same session, using a weird combination of keyboard shortcuts, controller for movement and the mouse for menu/inventory (Yep, I'm a fool, but it works for me).

Overall, I really feel that I have grown as a gamer. Not only for withdrawing myself from the fanboy flame wars of "My system is better than yours!" but for expanding my horizons and learning something new that allows me to enjoy a fuller range of gaming. My platform of choice is still the PC, but I'm no longer averse to console gaming and welcome the larger selection and variety.

#2 Posted by MikkaQ (10280 posts) -

That's good. I really never understood people who refuse to plug in a controller to the PC or play console games. Lot of unique experiences you just lock yourself out of by doing that.

I say use the right tools for the job. I find most third person games really awkward with a keyboard and mouse, same goes with fighting and racing games. Digital movement with a keyboard is simply not precise enough in the same way a joystick isn't precise when it comes to aiming in shooter games. And RTSs on controllers are a disaster, of course. But yeah it's all relative to the game, getting caught up in stupid fanboyism just reduces the variety in your gaming life, really.

#3 Posted by MaddProdigy (1041 posts) -

People who argue that one platform is superior are ignorant. Each has it's pros and cons, and in the end it's just personal preference. Be proud that you were, but no longer are, one of these people, because they suck a lot and no one wants to talk to them about games or gaming.

#4 Posted by geirr (2508 posts) -

Good for you! To be a "gamer" one should sample all games and all game platforms, or so I say.

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