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 Post subject: Stick or pad
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:34 pm 



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When playing console shmups what do you prefer. I've got an official Sega Saturn stick that's great for Radiant, but I'm sure my Dreamcast scores are hampered by only having a pad :(


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:48 pm 


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Once again I'm going to have to go with my standard reply to this question: It's a matter of preference and to what you're accustomed to. Playing with an arcade stick does not instantly improve your skills and vice versa.

I've played with pads my whole gaming life, hence the PS2's Saturn-style pad is my weapon of choice. I have three of them and would buy more if I could. Lots of people are used to arcade sticks and that's why pads feel uncomfortable to them.

SnapDragon, the guy who won the official US Ikaruga competition used a bog-standard GameCube pad. Boggles the mind, but it's proof that your controller is less important than how comfortable you are with it.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:48 pm 


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...Better than the standard Saturn pad, IMO. The D-pad is more tactile and it's surface material feels less 'slippery' compared to the standard D-pad. And it's more ergonomic to hold too. The actual analogue stick is a PoS though!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:12 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
SnapDragon, the guy who won the official US Ikaruga competition used a bog-standard GameCube pad. Boggles the mind, but it's proof that your controller is less important than how comfortable you are with it.


daaaaamn :shock: he had a 31mil score by the end of the competition didnt he?

amazing, i couldnt get near my DC HS with the GC pad, he must have claws for hands like all the folks over at nintendo...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:17 pm 



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If I remember correctly, he used the analogue stick too.... :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:39 pm 


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My use of a gamepad will end this afternoon when my Hrap arrives. I'm getting fairly experienced at ikaruga, and I'm at the point now where using a pad just does not offer the precision that I need. I'm not saying that pads are bad, I just prefer a stick. I'm an old arcade street fighter player, and a stick is just where I feel most comfortable. It'll take a few hours of play to get "back in the swing" of using a stick, but I think once I get back into it, it's going to help me improve my game greatly.

Plus, for me, using an arcade setup is just more fun. Just something about it.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:59 pm 



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Joypads and Joysticks are both commonly used with shooters. I couldn't play Gradius 5 on a joystick, yet I would use a joystick for any Vertical shmup.

After having an astro city cabinet, I would never feel more comfortable with any kind of stick or pad on a console. Big joysticks for consoles only work well if you have a desk or a couch that is suitable for it. For every other scenario, a pad would be more suitable.

But there again, pads come in so many shapes and sizes. The DC pad I hate, many love it, I love the Saturn pad and the dualshock design, but not for every game. In all honesty you could probably buy 10 different controllers for 3 or 4 systems and only then would you be satisfied.


Just for example -

Street fighter games - Saturn origonal official controller
3D fighting games - Usually official controller of respective system
Puzzle, platform and shooters - Official joystick/joypad
Racing games - A good analogue controller (Dualshock, DC pad)

So there you go, no real winner really. I would probably steer towards a stick for shooters, because unless autofire is supported (is in most games) I get hand cramps on pads.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:28 pm 


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If a console shmup is properly programmed on its native hardware, it will make the best use of the relevant controller (in most cases, a pad).

On the other hand, for most arcade conversions a stick really improves your performance.

The bottom line is that I'd say a good stick has a slight edge (meaning it's going to be the best in most situations), but in some case it could make things worse. I'd recommend playing Snes, NES and PCE games with pads.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:20 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
SnapDragon, the guy who won the official US Ikaruga competition used a bog-standard GameCube pad. Boggles the mind, but it's proof that your controller is less important than how comfortable you are with it.


I think you have it the other way around. An exception doesn't prove that the rule is wrong -- it proves that it's correct. Perhaps SnapDragon should go into the Guiness Book of Records, along with all the other exceptions.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:23 pm 


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I honestly think it depends on the game. If you're talking danmaku curtain fire, pad might be better for precise movement. If you're talking something that needs quick movements, or quick dodging for fast bullets, you might want stick.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:24 pm 


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The smallest changes can make a big difference. I was thinking why I really preferred the aforementioned pad over this standard one. The D-pad is more 'recessed' in the standard one and affects how you 'roll' the pad, and is what I prefer most. Regarding the 'slippery' surface material, that could be more to do with what I ate last more than anything else!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:58 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
I think you have it the other way around. An exception doesn't prove that the rule is wrong -- it proves that it's correct. Perhaps SnapDragon should go into the Guiness Book of Records, along with all the other exceptions.


The rule? If you think "the rule" is that sticks are always better than pads, then yes, I had it the other way around. However, that's a false rule to begin with. I'm saying the controller is more irrelevant to one's success in a game than the player using it and using SnapDragon as an example of that.

"Pads are always better than sticks" is an equally false rule. It's all about the player using the controller, how comfortable he is with it and the game being played. Not a hard concept to grasp.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:04 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
The rule? If you think "the rule" is that sticks are always better than pads, then yes, I had it the other way around. However, that's a false rule to begin with. I'm saying the controller is more irrelevant to one's success in a game than the player using it and using SnapDragon as an example of that.

"Pads are always better than sticks" is an equally false rule. It's all about the player using the controller, how comfortable he is with it and the game being played. Not a hard concept to grasp.


I agree that there are no "rules" which hold a covenient truth. But I think that each case must be discussed in specific has more to do with how developers coded the response to input rather than a player's preference. I usually play with pads but my highscore went x3 on Tempest X once I switched to stick. It's just an example of course.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:09 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
icycalm wrote:
I think you have it the other way around. An exception doesn't prove that the rule is wrong -- it proves that it's correct. Perhaps SnapDragon should go into the Guiness Book of Records, along with all the other exceptions.


The rule? If you think "the rule" is that sticks are always better than pads, then yes, I had it the other way around. However, that's a false rule to begin with. I'm saying the controller is more irrelevant to one's success in a game than the player using it and using SnapDragon as an example of that.

"Pads are always better than sticks" is an equally false rule. It's all about the player using the controller, how comfortable he is with it and the game being played. Not a hard concept to grasp.


What I am saying is that not all controllers work equally well for all kinds of games. Otherwise people would be playing Street Fighter II with steering wheels and Do Donpachi with maracas.

Now as for modern shooting games, the evidence is overwhelming that sticks work best. For example, all top Japanese players prefer sticks, as far as I know. I've never, ever seen a Superplay DVD where the player uses a pad. I bet that if you go to this forum's high score tables for Cave titles and ask the top 5 players what they use, the overwhelming majority will reply they use sticks -- if not all of them.

I mean, just look at Mushihime-sama Ultra mode. It is inconceivable that a human being could 1CC that using a pad. The pad is simply inadequate for translating the tiny, precise movements that are required. This is an extreme case, but from that you can see that all manic shooters are better played with sticks.

Of course you can play them and enjoy them with a pad, or a keyboard, or a trackball, etc. but the best control method is an arcade stick.

And similarly for fighting games.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:48 pm 


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Depends.

90% of my library are played with pads.

I prefer my MAS stick for my Neo-Geo shmups.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:53 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
Ghegs wrote:
icycalm wrote:
I think you have it the other way around. An exception doesn't prove that the rule is wrong -- it proves that it's correct. Perhaps SnapDragon should go into the Guiness Book of Records, along with all the other exceptions.


The rule? If you think "the rule" is that sticks are always better than pads, then yes, I had it the other way around. However, that's a false rule to begin with. I'm saying the controller is more irrelevant to one's success in a game than the player using it and using SnapDragon as an example of that.

"Pads are always better than sticks" is an equally false rule. It's all about the player using the controller, how comfortable he is with it and the game being played. Not a hard concept to grasp.


What I am saying is that not all controllers work equally well for all kinds of games. Otherwise people would be playing Street Fighter II with steering wheels and Do Donpachi with maracas.

Now as for modern shooting games, the evidence is overwhelming that sticks work best. For example, all top Japanese players prefer sticks, as far as I know. I've never, ever seen a Superplay DVD where the player uses a pad. I bet that if you go to this forum's high score tables for Cave titles and ask the top 5 players what they use, the overwhelming majority will reply they use sticks -- if not all of them.

I mean, just look at Mushihime-sama Ultra mode. It is inconceivable that a human being could 1CC that using a pad. The pad is simply inadequate for translating the tiny, precise movements that are required. This is an extreme case, but from that you can see that all manic shooters are better played with sticks.

Of course you can play them and enjoy them with a pad, or a keyboard, or a trackball, etc. but the best control method is an arcade stick.

And similarly for fighting games.


Amen. I'm not knocking anybody for liking pads - rockem if that's your preference - but for me, I just cannot get the precision required by shmups (and fighters as you mentioned) out of a pad.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:18 pm 


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It's an interesting one because you would have thought pads would be better because of the response time as the joystick has further to travel.

Personally I feel I have alot less control with a joystick than a pad (except for fighting games) but I do use both. I wonder if I'll ever prefer the joystick if I just keep practising.

With arcade games joysticks are obviously the standard, you haven't got any choice. You can't practise on a pad at home then come to a tornament and wander around the cab looking where you can plug your pad in.

Those superplay guys aren't going to be playing shoot em ups in a cab all day and then when they record their superplay they change to a supergun with a pad.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:39 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
Now as for modern shooting games, the evidence is overwhelming that sticks work best. For example, all top Japanese players prefer sticks, as far as I know. I've never, ever seen a Superplay DVD where the player uses a pad. I bet that if you go to this forum's high score tables for Cave titles and ask the top 5 players what they use, the overwhelming majority will reply they use sticks -- if not all of them.


A-HA! Finally! That's the keyword. They prefer sticks, they're more used to them, and that's why they play on them. This is my point exactly. This doesn't mean that sticks are, by definition, better or worse than pads.

icycalm wrote:
I mean, just look at Mushihime-sama Ultra mode. It is inconceivable that a human being could 1CC that using a pad. The pad is simply inadequate for translating the tiny, precise movements that are required. This is an extreme case, but from that you can see that all manic shooters are better played with sticks.

Of course you can play them and enjoy them with a pad, or a keyboard, or a trackball, etc. but the best control method is an arcade stick.


Nope. I (and others, I've noticed) get the needed one-pixels movements far more easier using a pad. I feel sticks are better when you need smooth, flowing lines, like with 2D fighters. But for tiny, precision-based moves, I get far more better results with a pad.

I can get to Ultra's Stage 2 using a pad. I can't even reach the first boss using a stick. Do explain this in accordance with your "all manic shooters are better played with sticks"-theory.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:47 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
icycalm wrote:
Now as for modern shooting games, the evidence is overwhelming that sticks work best. For example, all top Japanese players prefer sticks, as far as I know. I've never, ever seen a Superplay DVD where the player uses a pad. I bet that if you go to this forum's high score tables for Cave titles and ask the top 5 players what they use, the overwhelming majority will reply they use sticks -- if not all of them.


A-HA! Finally! That's the keyword. They prefer sticks, they're more used to them, and that's why they play on them. This is my point exactly. This doesn't mean that sticks are, by definition, better or worse than pads.


yes, and besides' icycalm words are pretty much arcade-only related, since most shmups nowadays are in the arcades or straight ports.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:03 pm 


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Turrican wrote:
yes, and besides' icycalm words are pretty much arcade-only related, since most shmups nowadays are in the arcades or straight ports.


True, since sticks are the standard in arcades it makes perfect sense that the top players of Japan, who actually have arcades to go to, are more used to them. Just like 99pence put it.

Had there been more arcades around here when I was younger, I might be more used to sticks now. As it is, the opposite happened.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:11 pm 


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Ghegs wrote:
A-HA! Finally! That's the keyword. They prefer sticks, they're more used to them, and that's why they play on them. This is my point exactly. This doesn't mean that sticks are, by definition, better or worse than pads.


They prefer sticks for a reason, man. Just as FPS players prefer keyboard+mouse and flight simulator players prefer the appropriate flight sticks, etc. etc.

All controllers are NOT created equal. Some are better suited to certain types of games -- indeed, some were created for certain types of games. That's why in every genre the vast majority of hardcore gamers all use the same kind of controller.


icycalm wrote:
Nope. I (and others, I've noticed) get the needed one-pixels movements far more easier using a pad.


Who are these others? I've never seen anyone 1CC a Cave shooter with a pad. And if you manage to find one or two examples you'll only be proving the rule. And then again, even your examples will probably be older, easier titles. I repeat, Mushihime-sama Ultra mode is IMPOSSIBLE to 1CC with a pad.


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I can get to Ultra's Stage 2 using a pad. I can't even reach the first boss using a stick. Do explain this in accordance with your "all manic shooters are better played with sticks"-theory.


The explanation is pretty simple. You are just used to pads. It's jus a bad habit, and, like all habits, it takes time to overcome it.

If you switch to a stick you will of course suck. But if you keep at it for long enough you will improve, and eventually you will become as comfortable with sticks as you are with pads.

And then one day, weeks or even months after you've made the switch, you will wake up and realize that you are actually BETTER with a stick than you ever were with a pad!

And then you might even stand a chance to 1CC a modern bullet-hell shooter.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:18 pm 


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Let's put it this way. Skateboarding, you should always push off with your back foot because it keeps you more stable, and allows you to get your foot into position for tricks MUCH more easily.

My entire life I skated by pushing off with my front foot. I was better at skating pushing off with my front foot, than off of my back foot. It was super hard for me to try to learn how to push off with my back foot, and I never did. That said, I have no doubt in my mind that had I taken the time to learn to push off with my back foot that I would have been a better skater.

That's the way I feel about sticks(back foot)/pads(front foot) and I think that's what icycalm is trying to say also.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:33 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
The explanation is pretty simple. You are just used to pads. It's jus a bad habit, and, like all habits, it takes time to overcome it.

If you switch to a stick you will of course suck. But if you keep at it for long enough you will improve, and eventually you will become as comfortable with sticks as you are with pads.

And then one day, weeks or even months after you've made the switch, you will wake up and realize that you are actually BETTER with a stick than you ever were with a pad!

And then you might even stand a chance to 1CC a modern bullet-hell shooter.

This is EXACTLY what happened to me. I grew up playing on pads for about 15 or 16 years, and decided to try stick once. I was god-awful and gave up almost immediately before trying it again in a year. This time I kept at it and after about 3 months, I was better than I ever was using a pad.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:47 pm 



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After reading this thread, I'm now wondering if I should even bother tracking down a PS2 Saturn controller and look for a Hori stick of some sort.

But the fiance will NOT like me getting another bulky joystick. I've already got the official DC stick, DC Virtual On sticks, and the '360 DOA4 stick taking up space in our extra closet.

I've read up on the Hori RAP2 sticks all over this forum. But are the other Hori sticks (street fighter, tekken, special releases) decent? Or should I just try to obtain the Hori RAP2. Thanks guys. This forum is awesome. I shuld have started coming here years ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:49 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
Ghegs wrote:
A-HA! Finally! That's the keyword. They prefer sticks, they're more used to them, and that's why they play on them. This is my point exactly. This doesn't mean that sticks are, by definition, better or worse than pads.


They prefer sticks for a reason, man. Just as FPS players prefer keyboard+mouse and flight simulator players prefer the appropriate flight sticks, etc. etc.

All controllers are NOT created equal. Some are better suited to certain types of games -- indeed, some were created for certain types of games. That's why in every genre the vast majority of hardcore gamers all use the same kind of controller.


icycalm wrote:
Nope. I (and others, I've noticed) get the needed one-pixels movements far more easier using a pad.


Who are these others? I've never seen anyone 1CC a Cave shooter with a pad. And if you manage to find one or two examples you'll only be proving the rule. And then again, even your examples will probably be older, easier titles. I repeat, Mushihime-sama Ultra mode is IMPOSSIBLE to 1CC with a pad.


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I can get to Ultra's Stage 2 using a pad. I can't even reach the first boss using a stick. Do explain this in accordance with your "all manic shooters are better played with sticks"-theory.


The explanation is pretty simple. You are just used to pads. It's jus a bad habit, and, like all habits, it takes time to overcome it.

If you switch to a stick you will of course suck. But if you keep at it for long enough you will improve, and eventually you will become as comfortable with sticks as you are with pads.

And then one day, weeks or even months after you've made the switch, you will wake up and realize that you are actually BETTER with a stick than you ever were with a pad!

And then you might even stand a chance to 1CC a modern bullet-hell shooter.

Are you saying that if I had been using a stick all along I might have already cleared DOOM in Ketsui?!? I mean, what have I been thinking, using pads all these years? I always thought it was because I didn't have a very well planned route for the 2nd loop and was just sort of winging it each time! No wonder I can't beat any Cave games??

Oh wait, I can beat Cave games using a pad, so somehow that proves the rule that sticks will make you a better player? Holy hell, this is retarded. I've even cleared the first loop of DoDonPachi using a keyboard.

Mushihime on ultra is impossible for everyone because that last boss is fucking stupid.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:23 pm 


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icycalm wrote:
They prefer sticks for a reason, man. Just as FPS players prefer keyboard+mouse and flight simulator players prefer the appropriate flight sticks, etc. etc.


The reason being - that's what the standard is in arcades. They've been trained on them since they started playing, of course they're going to keep playing like that. And surprise surprise, there are people who prefer playing FPS' with console pads and doing quite well. But let's not get into that, this is spriralling out of control as it is.

icycalm wrote:
Who are these others? I've never seen anyone 1CC a Cave shooter with a pad. And if you manage to find one or two examples you'll only be proving the rule. And then again, even your examples will probably be older, easier titles. I repeat, Mushihime-sama Ultra mode is IMPOSSIBLE to 1CC with a pad.


Gawd. Just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean it's impossible. And as I understand it, you live in an environment where playing in arcades is not only possible but the scene is active, so of course you only see stick-players.

As for the others...there's few in this thread already. As for the rest, go read the other five times this question has come up (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5). People are using both controller methods and getting results with both as well.

icycalm wrote:
And then you might even stand a chance to 1CC a modern bullet-hell shooter.


I already have cleared modern bullet-hell shooters with a pad. OH NOES! What could it possibly mean?

MrMonkeyMan wrote:
Oh wait, I can beat Cave games using a pad, so somehow that proves the rule that sticks will make you a better player? Holy hell, this is retarded. I've even cleared the first loop of DoDonPachi using a keyboard.


Thank you. I'm not even sure the whole "playing games successfully at a high level using a pad only proves that sticks are superior"-mantra is even supposed to make sense.

EDIT: Replied to few more points
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MrMonkeyMan please reserve the mock-ironic tone for playground conversations and try to read my posts a bit more carefully before replying, thank you.

icycalm wrote:
I've never seen anyone 1CC a Cave shooter with a pad. And if you manage to find one or two examples you'll only be proving the rule.
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icycalm wrote:
MrMonkeyMan please reserve the mock-ironic tone for playground conversations and try to read my posts a bit more carefully before replying, thank you.

icycalm wrote:
I've never seen anyone 1CC a Cave shooter with a pad. And if you manage to find one or two examples you'll only be proving the rule.


icycalm,
I 100% agree with you on the sticks thing, but that quote right there makes no sense. Exceptions to a rule don't prove the rule, they show that it is not absolute :)

I think sticks are generally better, but I also think that if somebody prefers a pad - then go for it. You'll learn to get good with a pad, just like I got good at skating by pushing off with my front foot (if anybody read my post above), and three-legged dogs have learned how to run. :lol:
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:40 pm 


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Seimitsu-modded HRAP1: it's the only way to reach Super Saiyan level 2, Gohan. :lol:

My performance in PS2 shmups is definitely better with the HRAP than it is with a dual shock 2 or SFII anniversary pad, but the main reason I bought it is because arcade sticks are more fun. When you consider that import shmup ports cost £30-40 each, squeezing out all the fun potential is important.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:42 pm 


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Location: Hellas/Nippon
ktownhero wrote:
icycalm, I 100% agree with you on the sticks thing, but that quote right there makes no sense. Exceptions to a rule don't prove the rule, they show that it is not absolute :)


Strictly speaking, yes, the quote makes no sense. Of course an exception doesn't prove a rule -- only a proof can prove a rule.

But there is a very good reason for the existence of this popular saying. What it means is that if you have to rack your brains to find one or two exceptions, then that is a good indication that the rule is correct. For every MrMonkeyMan who prefers a pad there are 100 other STG players who use sticks, and they all live in Japan. Which is where the vast majority of great players are from -- not coincidentally.
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