By T3 Online published
Kid Icarus: Uprising 3DS stand
Kid Icarus: Uprising was one of the first titles on the Nintendo 3DS to be considered a system seller, with T3 dishing out a max score five-star review and concluding that "gaming doesn't get much better than Kid Icarus: Uprising." Unfortunately however, it was a shame the same couldn't be said for the stand accessory that came with the game.
The Kid Icarus stand was supposed to make the Nintendo 3DS circle pad easier to use with the stylus, which was an important aspect of controlling the action in-game. But the styling of the stand was so uninspiring and the build quality - which was plastic, light and tacky - so poor that despite actually doing what it said it would do on the box, the peripheral soon gained an international reputation as being one of the ugliest, tackiest and niche-use peripherals ever made.
Steel Battalion controller
This monstrous accessory was made for original Xbox title Steel Battalion, which was a game where the user was tasked with piloting a massive mech with an actual control panel equipped with over 40 buttons. And, if you had the money to buy the game and controller, which were bundled together for a whopping £200, it was a unique and intense experience.
What made it a truly awful purchase however was not the massive price or the build quality, which was actually good, but the fact that you could only use the vast controller panel with one other game (the sequel) and no other games - period. It wasn't like, say, an arcade stick, where you drop some serious money but then could use it for multiple versus fighters and shooters that were released over many years, it was literally a two-game peripheral. And, considering that so few people could actually afford the first game, unsurprisingly sales for the sequel were poor.
If there is one bright point however, it was that this chap managed to find a better, non-gaming use for the Steel Battalion controller.
Super Nintendo Super Scope
Now where do we start with this oversized, overpriced, truly ridiculous light gun? Aside from devouring six of your AA batteries - and doing so pretty consistently - having to endure shoulder ache for days after use, and offering up a selection of games which involved nothing more than shooting moles, the wireless Super Scope was a truly massive flop for Nintendo.
Remember the good old days of Quake 3: Arena? Fragging people with the railgun while bouncing around a map on jump pads at super high speed? Can you remember thinking that the traditional mouse and keyboard control setup lacked something, that you needed something that looked like a toilet seat, was made of plastic and cost the Earth to really master the game? No, me neither.
But that's what Thrustmaster thought when they introduced The Fragmaster with the aim of the space toilet seat-style peripheral becoming a first person shooter's best friend. Programmable buttons on the toilet seat, I mean Fragmaster, allowed you to mimic keyboard functions, but - and this is the key thing here - it just didn't work as well as a mouse and keyboard.
The should have called it The Turdmaster.
Wii car adaptor
Now look, there has been a long and storied history of hooking up videogame consoles in vehicles, with some systems even coming in car-centred special editions (such as the Navi HiSaturn). However, all of those systems had one thing in common - they were not consoles geared towards motion control gaming.
Now the Wii sold over 100 million consoles BECAUSE of its motion control-focussed library and, as such, the Wii car adaptor was not in high demand during the console's lifespan. What could be more enjoyable than two adults and two children waving Wii Remotes around in an enclosed space?
Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
If you ever needed a reminder that the videogame industry caters primarily to teenagers, then look no further than this real doozy of a tacky accessory for the PlayStation 2. The Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller was garish, expensive and - crucially - not as comfortable to use as a standard PlayStation 2 controller.
The simulated gore-drenched peripheral also allowed you simulate a blood curdling chainsaw roar and, thanks to an in-built vibrator unit, featured a rumble force feedback for a "realistic chainsaw feel." You could also detach the controller cables from the chainsaw and mount it on an equally tasteless display stand to show off to all your friends and family.
My wife will just love it placed on our mantlepiece!
This octagon-shaped add-on was about as popular as Streets of Rage 2 was on Sega's 16-bit gaming machine. Laid on the ground, with the gamer in the centre, the Activator was supposed to read your actions using infrared lasers which, when broken with body gestures, corresponded to a movement or action in-game.
Unfortunately however, this movement control-focused peripheral didn't work very well, had a complicated control scheme and - worst of all - had to be calibrated every single time you restarted it. Oh, and it was a rather expensive $80 on release, making it a big ticket item that not many could justify.
We're guessing there were a lot of frusted children on Christmas day 1993.
Supposedly this controller of two halves was going to revolutionise driving games like Ridge Racer, making them more fun and granting the gamer more precise controls. In actuality, however, it did quite the opposite.
Designed for use with the original PlayStation, the NeGcon worked by the user twisting the controller to steer, with the central swivel joint recreating the feel of turning a steering wheel better than simply pressing left or right on the D-pad. Unfortunately though, the swivel joint was badly engineered and wore away rather rapidly under heavy usage. The fact that the NeGcon had less buttons than the conventional PlayStation controller made it redundant for other games as well.
Nintendo Power Glove
Nintendo tried to make gaming cooler with this accessory, but it ended up with a piece of gaming tech that nobody wanted. And when we say nobody, we mean absolutely nobody, with its producer in Japan, Pax Softnica, going bankrupt super duper fast.
The Power Glove, which had a NES controller mounted onto it, used triangulation technology that didn't really work and failed to capture the imagination of the gaming public. Even an fleeting appearance in the Nintendo love-in flick The Wizard couldn't save it from the scrap heap.
Just look at it! Absolutely ridiculous.
Nintendo Power Pad
Before Dance Dance Revolution mats filtered into the bedrooms of teenage girls all around the world, the Nintendo Power Pad was the floor-based controller of choice.
The Power Pad worked by using pressure sensors between layers of plastic which, when stepped on, would action a movement or action in-game. Unfortunately, despite the Pad working quite well, you could only play one game with it - World Class Track Meet - and, what's worse, most people soon found a few ways of exploiting the mat's technology and cheating their way to the finish line, such as bashing the mat with hands rather than feet.
Following the North American video game crash of 1983, Nintendo was desperate to rebuild faith in the industry. Someone, somewhere, believed releasing a robot-themed accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the way forward. Unfortunately, however, Nintendo's attempts to market your very own in-house Johnny 5 was a largely unsuccessful one.
R.O.B. attached to your NES and received instructions from the TV in the form of light flashes, with up to six commands programmable, stored and then executed by the crazy peripheral.
In reality though that was when the problems began. Firstly, R.O.B only worked consistently with certain CRT televisions. Secondly, the robot could only actually be used with two NES games, Gyromite and Stack-Up. And three, apart from simply stacking up blocks and flailing his arms, the fun pretty much stopped there.
Making all of your bongo-playing dreams come true, this tiny drum accessory used a microphone to create the clapping noises as you got down to GameCube rhythm game Donkey Konga.
More games outside of the Donkey Konga franchise were promised to embrace the bongos, but - aside from DK Jungle Beat - none of them ever made it onto the GameCube or any other console for that matter, leaving anyone who layed out the £30 necessary to pick a set up suffering a severe case of buyer's remorse.
Sega Dreamcast Fishing Controller
Want to hang a line out without having to cart a lunchbox of worms and a flask of coffee? Yeh, neither do we, however someone thought this was a good idea and so was born this unique fishing accessory for Dreamcast.
The fishing rod handle came complete with workable reel and could be use with Sega Bass Fishing, a popular fishing simulation at the time. Unfortunately, again due to severly restictive usage scenarios, the Sega Dreamcast Fishing Controller was used once and abandoned in the back of the cupboard with other disappointing gaming tech.
Game Boy Camera
As the Game Boy hysteria began to wane, Nintendo thought about accessories to help prolong its lifespan, and then came up with this uninspiring beauty. Attached to the top of your Game Boy, you could take pixelated photos on the screen and then scrawl and doodle over them.
Minutes of fun we think you'd agree. Oh, and there was an accompanying printer as well to print out carbon copies to stick in, well, the bin.
Arguably one the worst timed accessory releases in the history of the gaming, the makers of Gametrak could not have known that motion control gaming was about to be blown apart by the Nintendo Wii when they launched the accessory in 2004. That said, we're not so sure how much the Gametrak would have actually caught on though regardless.
Based on positional tracking, Gametrak required you to don a pair of gloves attached to elastic leads to play a round of golf (Real World Golf was the headline title) and a handful of other games that, as reviews bore out, were just not that great.
And, finally, we finish this list of awful with this real doozy of a bad accessory. In what was essentially a light gun, this helmet contraption had a crosshair held over your eye and microphone which you had to shout "FIRE!" to do, well, fire. I mean who wants to just squeeze a trigger to fire off some virtual rounds?
As was clear to absolutely everyone apart from makers Konami, the LaserScope was a spectacularly bad and un-wanted product. The microphone technology was so poor in fact that the few gamers who actually bought one reported that not only could you say absolutely anything into the mic to make it fire the gun in-game, but even background sounds could trigger it also.
Who could get tired of craning your neck and shouting "FIRE!" 43 times per minute?
We hope someone got fired.