RetroSony

3 Awesome Playstation 2 Third-party Controllers

I can be a crazy, kooky nut when it comes to collecting gadget-accessories. When I bought my Nintendo DS-Lite, I may have spent almost as much money on a classy, leather carrying case, rubberized port-plugs, a fancy, light-up charging station and other accessories. I also loved finding different controllers for my Playstation 2. With that in mind, I wanted to go over some PS2 controllers I own and some I wish I had bought – and some I may still get.

Collecting controllers and other gaming accessories can be for function and a quick cool factor, but for many it takes on a whole new level of fandom. I liked collecting controllers like a person who prefers physical CD’s to MP3’s, but there’s still a hidden world of tastes and peculiarities as to why I chose specific controllers. I just don’t see someone that made anything and collect it simply because it exists.

I feel a lot of this style of¬†connoisseur shopping is missing in the Playstation 3 and 4 eras. There’s a few expensive, high-end devices trying to be the one, but not as many niche, unique accessories. It might be due to the newer gen consoles not needing or asking for accessories that add to form and function and the higher costs, but some specialty and special accessories still exist in today’s console market. But lets go back to the early Playstation 2 era and have a look at some controllers.

Angry Kitty (Mad Catz MicroCon)

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Back in the day Mad Catz was seen as an iffy third-party supplier of gaming accessories, but I loved some of their controllers – especially their small-form PS2 controllers. They made a run of “mini” PS2 controllers with clear cases and lights in them. I wasn’t sold on them at first, but the smaller form-factor attracted me. I was so glad I bought one! They are tough and durable and the smaller form factor wasn’t too small, but was really a great size. They also had unbelievably long cords!

The MicroCon was 20% smaller than a regular controller, had rubberized grips, programmable modes and vibration.

Nyko Air Flo Wireless

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DSC_0519This was like a monster truck of game controllers. The Nyko AirFlo was bulky due to an intake fan on the front and a battery compartment on the bottom. But it was built big despite those features, with thick rubberized grips that contained holes where the air flowed through to keep your hands dry. Dials controlled fan speed and receiver frequency. There was also an optional “joystick” that screwed into the center of the D-pad.

As much as I liked the controller, it didn’t keep my hands dry, even when the fan was left on the fastest setting. In fact, the rubberized grips may have done worse by becoming somewhat slippery from sweat.

DSC_0521The fan wasn’t too noisy, but you could definitely hear it was on. I never felt like it interfered with the game, though. Having the “joystick” was another half-gimmick. Really, when it came to a little more precise control, I preferred not using it. It might have been rather nice for fighting games. Unfortunately I was never a fan of fighting games. I was a die-hard RPG player. I did play many different games, but fighting games was and are the genre I play the least. How is Street Fighter so bloody popular and how does it seemingly have a new game come out every year, but there’s still only like 5 of them?

Keyboard Controller

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I’m a bit bummed as I currently can’t locate my keyboard controller. I bought this as an answer to my RPG Maker 2 woes, that required lots of typing. I did buy an actual keyboard for my PS2, but seeing as how I love them gadgets, I had to try a controller with one built into it.

Although I can’t locate my own controller, it wasn’t much different than the Nyko version. As far as using it, it worked fine. it was a tad awkward as I’d have to slip loose my grip in order to stretch my thumb up to the keys. As far as using it to play, it worked. There were no glaring problems with buttons or controls.

Conclusion

These are my 3 favorite PS2 controllers I owned. There were 2 other controllers I had always wanted to get, but never got around to it. I may buy them just to have them, though. The first is one that is advertised different ways, but back in the day I remember it hyped as a one-handed RPG game controller. Laugh all you want, but I used to fantasize about being able to eat a giant sandwich while playing Final Fantasy 9. The other controller I wanted was also a one-handed controller and is also hyped today as a one-handed controller for disabled gamers. I think that’s an amazing use for it, but if I recall correctly it was originally built for a specific Japanese tank game.

I know you had to of had your own favorite controllers and other accessories. Don’t lie.

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Jeremy Stratton

Jeremy Stratton

Jeremy's lived long enough to see his favorite games making a comeback in High Definition and Indie games with old-school ideals. He also loves cooking and photography.