Mini Stick: The Joystick for Gamers Review

Mini Stick - Image

If you are an avid PC gamer you might already be comfortable using the W-A-S-D or the arrow keys for control and moment in games, but for newer PC gamers and retro gaming enthusiasts this little invention could be right up your alley. The Mini Stick is a small joystick that you can attach to your arrow control keys using Velcro pads and because of its design you have the same range of movement you would have with a normal sized joystick like the classic Atari controller.

Mini Stick - Image

Now I personally used to use a funky control setup for playing PC games just due to not liking to use the W-A-S-D keys or the arrow keys. Over time I got used to the traditional set keys so switching to using the Mini Stick took time to get used too. Also, for typing and depending on how you move your hands around your keyboard you might find yourself bumping into it. However, this is easily solved by removing the joystick since it is connected using Velcro pads. By the way I did see if having the little Velcro pads left behind on the keyboard was bothersome and it was not.

Mini Stick - Image

Setting up is simple. You have the Velcro pads already attached to the Mini Stick and then three Velcro stickers to attach to your Up, Left and Right keys. Just make sure you secure the stickers well and press down when attaching the Mini Stick. With it installed I played some emulators first and the Mini Stick worked great in games like Mappy, Pac-Man, Alien Syndrome and 1942. I then tried out Guild Wars 2 and while using the mouse or a gamepad still proved overall better, the Mini Stick performed well and I found myself using it more and more.

Mini Stick - Image

Now keep in mind that you cannot be rough on the Mini Stick like you would an arcade joystick that is not the idea here. I did try the joystick between the ring and middle fingers move and it worked for a bit, but if you pull to hard it can come unattached. Where it worked wonders was with my sister who is not a big PC gamer, but is good at console games. She loved the Mini Stick and said it made playing PC games easier and more fun.

Mini Stick - Image

Overall for keyboard and arrow key games the Mini Stick gets an A+ and makes our Totally Not Obsolete category. At only 10 dollars, the Mini Stick is a great bargain and would make a great stocking stuffer with the holidays coming up. You can check out more on the Mini Stick on the official website.

Mini Stick - Image

Sensible Soccer: 2006

Sensible Soccer 2006
At last, a chance to toss those silly looking joypads aside and grab what real men were always supposed to grab. Joysticks! Yes, joysticks, even better digital joysticks, for this is a review of Sensible Soccer‘s latest spawn, and Sensible Soccer was meant to be played only in the traditional way. The joystick way. Oh, in case you didn’t know, it also happened to be the best footie ever, on any platform and of every possible universe. Of course not everybody believed this. The unenlightened ones grumbled about the lack of impressive eye-candy, the incompetent ones about the lightning fast gameplay speed, the stuck-in-the-past ones about Sensi not being Kick Off 3 and the really hopeless ones about the lack of realism.
Well, my friends, if you want realism, go out, play football and feel the pain. If, on the other hand, you want the best feel of the beautiful game, the perfect footbaling pace, the anti-goalie aftertouch, and all this without risking a heart attack, then play Sensible Soccer, preferably on the Amiga and if possible with a digital joystick.

What do you mean you don’t have an Amiga? Who says that’s ancient history? Just kill the FIFA fanboy in you, gag your inner PES groupie, and stay with me, as I tell you an almost perfect fairy tale, lovingly named Sensible Soccer 2006, The Rebirth of a Legend, dealing with the second attempt to bring Sensible Soccer in the 3d era and the first one that actually manages it. A story of great successes and minor failures, a story of football wet dreams and ball porn. A story about the best, but unfortunately not without its flaws, contemporary footie on the PC. A story about a game that doesn’t cost a fortune. This is the story of

Sensible Soccer 2006.

Actually, it’s no story. It’s a review. Sorry about that.
Sensible Soccer 2006

Sensi 2006 is played in the traditional 16bit bird’s eye view, just like its revered daddy, only slightly zoomed in, a bit angled and with a quite more dynamic camera. In case you were wondering, that’s totally unlike the FIFA/PES viewpoints and definitely a good thing, as the player can see a much greater part of the field, thus having a chance to get imaginative with his passing, pull through smart long balls, deep crosses, or even score a 40 metre goal. All this was admittedly already there in the original Sensi. What the 2006 version added to the experience are some very stylish 3d cell shaded graphics and excellent replays, a greater variety of stadiums, weather conditions and outfits and quite a few new game mechanic changes.
Every player now has a certain amount of stamina, that has to last him for the whole match. Then -and that’s quite an important bit- 2 more buttons have been added to Sensi‘s original one-button gameplay, the first being for short passes and the second for sprinting. Finally, the (much improved) keeper can instantly be controlled with the press of a button. Oh, and there is a small arrow showing the direction the ball will follow if kicked. Aftertouch has by large remained the same (just flick the joystick right after the ball leaves the player’s foot to the desirable direction), as has the two players mode. Make that the glorious two players mode, that shames the multiplayer capabilities of any MMORPG or FPS. Well, at least in the fun-factor it does…

Sensible Soccer 2006

Unfortunately, though, Sensible Soccer 2006 isn’t perfect. It doesn’t even give you the chance to lead the Dead Rockstars team to victory. There are also slight problems, a mediocre tactics screen, un-funny spin-off names for real players (there’s an editor though), and at times a lack of polish. Nothing that couldn’t get fixed with a patch mind you, but irritating nonetheless. The controls are at (rare) times unexpectedly unresponsive, some offsides spotted by the ref just don’t exist, and graphic glitches haven’t been 100% avoided. Add to this that the original Sensible Soccer was apparently much faster. And better (at least on the Amiga).

Still though. An amazingly fun football game. Codemasters just did it!

That’s an (eight and a half) out of (ten).

Famiclone: Power Joy 3

Famiclone Power Joy Controler

So which Famiclone have you used the most? For me, the Power Joy 3 is the only Famiclone I’ve used but lately it has been giving me problems. For example, this Famiclone is only made up of a N64 style controller with the cartridge slot in the back of it. The problem with that is that I can easily move the cart out of place and therefore mess up the whole game and then I’ll have to start over.

Another problem with this Famiclone is the cartridge slot itself. It seems it was only made for pirate carts because most of my licensed carts can’t seem to fit in any possible way. It’s very annoying since the Famiclone is supposed to make it real handy to just plug and play but it becomes annoying in the end. I have to end up playing my Famicom carts in my NES or Famicom.

Well I wouldn’t recommend this Famiclone unless you are a pirate freak and hate license games. There are also built in games that make it real handy when you just don’t want to take your carts out. Of course, you get the usual games like Super Mario Bros and Contra but to this day, those games are awesome! Enjoy and hope this little blog helps you decide on future Famiclone purchases.

One last thing, I give this Famiclone a rating as well! This Famiclone gets a three out of five. I’ll have to work on some number graphics for this heheheh.