Somewhere in between Contra and Super Mario Brothers 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, my parents bought me a super controller for my birthday: the Nes Advantage. It looked like the panel of an arcade game compared to the little Nes controllers that were about the size of a remote.
Here’s the Advantage:
I liked it, and I liked it even more when I saw what all the features were. Then I liked it even less when I realized that the features weren’t that great. The buttons were huge, which was kind of cool except that it made it easier for crumbs to slip into the housing. Who plays video games without snacking at the same time?
I also really liked the joystick versus the cross controller which was hard on the thumb of the boy who was prone to late-night gaming marathons.
However, the turbo feature wasn’t very helpful, and the slow motion feature was absolutely absurd. But when I heard about it slo-mo in Nintendo Power I thought it would be great. What that video game magazine failed to tell me was that slow motion just meant that the controller would put the start button on turbo, effectively pausing and then unpausing the game to slow things down.
This was okay on something like Metroid where pushing pause just froze the screen. But on any game where pressing the pause button actually took you to another screen, such as a menu, the slow motion was simply a rapid toggling back and forth between the two screens. Boo.
But I was the only kid on our street with the Nes Advantage, and that had to count for something. I had a big head and was rail-thin. I had to take my victories where I could get them!