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Thread: Sega Sports Pad..... The games are bad

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    Default Sega Sports Pad..... The games are bad

    Over the last few months I have been picking up Master System/Mark III peripherals (sports pad, paddle controller, light gun, 3D glasses and FM mini) so I can have access to the full library. I have now got them all and finally wanted to get into the games.

    First up the Sports Pad / Trackball after a bit of the clean and WD40 the pad works great, but wow are the 3 games absolutely terrible !

    I didnít have much hope for Sports Pad Football or Great Ice Hockey as I donít enjoy American sports games at all, mainly due to unfamiliarity and understanding of the subject matter. But I thought I would get some enjoyment out of Sports Pad Soccer, but itís beyond terrible. The CPU shoots it will score because my goalie never seems to be anywhere near it, conversely I canít seem to score as the CPU goalie always positions himself well. Any attempt at possession football is a waste of time. I canít see how the Trackball is helping at all as the movement is slow and I constantly seemed to get outpaced. Just appalling !

    My only consolation is that the trackball seems to play nicely with Marble Madness even though itís not a sports pad game.

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    Yeah Iím bumping my own thread, but I am hoping this peripheral has more potential.

    Ok the 3 compatible sports games are generally poor, but Marble Madness is fun with the sports pad - anyone have any suggestions of other Master System (or Mega Drive ?) games that would be fun using this controller ?

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Prince Talmit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sut View Post
    anyone have any suggestions of other Master System (or Mega Drive ?) games that would be fun using this controller ?
    I enjoyed playing Sonic the Hedgehog on Master System with the sports pad. I never thought to try it with the Mega Drive versions - it would probably work there too. You have to sort of tap-tap-tap the trakball in the dirrection you want to go, since it's basically a left or right directional game it isn't hard to get the hang of. Most people would probably think it's a goofy way to play but I thought it was a fun challenge.

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    Playing something like Sonic never crossed my mind, might give it a whirl !
    Tried Lemmings, it seemed to ok more like using a mouse, but not sure if it will provide the speed and dexterity for later levels.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    Yeah, the games that were supposedly specifically designed for the Sports Pad are actually not very good experiences. The best way to use the Sports Pad is to switch it to "Control" mode and use it for regular games. Used in that way, it's actually quite a cool and precise controller. I tested it with several games. In particular, I remember feeling like I had pixel-perfect control in Power Strike and it was very easy to collect almost all power ups. And in Time Soldiers I was able to angle my movements in ways that would not be possible using a standard control pad or joystick. Global Defense is another great experience. It has a documented two controller mode, so you can have a control setup very similar to the arcade version (SDI), using a control pad or joystick to move your ship and using the Sports Pad to move the targeting cursor.
    Last edited by Centrale; 07-07-2021 at 10:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centrale View Post
    Global Defense is another great experience. It has a documented two controller mode, so you can have a control setup very similar to the arcade version (SDI), using a control pad or joystick to move your ship and using the Sports Pad to move the targeting cursor.
    Ahh now that you mention this, I can vaguely remember someone, somewhere also talking about this. I have a joystick that is multi-system and believe it has a 'Sega' option will have to dig it out of storage and have go this weekend.

    Actually pretty excited about this recommendation ! Not convinced about trying to play a shooter with it though, but I will give it a shot.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    I tried playing Fantasy Zone with the Sports Pad the other day and I feel like it also makes it a lot easier (especially if you're using rapid fire). But the main thing is just the precision of my movement, for example when I'm navigating through the flurries of shots that the bosses fire, it's just much easier for me to move to exactly where I want to than it is with a control pad or joystick. Similarly with Power Strike, it's possible to catch almost all the falling power up capsules whereas I struggle with that a bit more with other controllers.

    I think the thing is, the Sports Pad sends a directional signal each frame, so if you're rolling the track ball to the right and slightly up, the console will receive a series of inputs something like R-R-R-R-U-R-R-R-R-U etc. resulting in a movement at a shallow angle which may be technically possible with any controller but in practice isn't really humanly possible for most people when using a d-pad or stick. It also makes it easier to move just a single pixel and then stop. Similarly you can approximate curving movements much more easily, whereas with a d-pad or stick your movements are going to be much more within the standard 8 directions and will be more segmented or jerky. Sometimes that's preferable, though. Another factor to how good it feels is how fast your character can move. Like I mentioned before, Time Soldiers works pretty well, but the slower movement in Rambo makes it feel like I'm working too hard rolling the ball and not getting enough response from the game.

    I also tried playing Out Run and did feel like I had a bit more precise control in steering, although you have to keep rolling the ball continuously when you're in long curves while at the same time keeping in mind to roll slightly downward so as not to shift into Low gear, so it's not exactly an ideal method of control.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    I've just got my Sports pad out. Very shocked at how much better some games play with it I never bothered to try that with the pad back in the day and only now trying thanks to this thread, very sad now looking back

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Have any of you tried it with the Atari 2600? I'd be curious if it's compatible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I've just got my Sports pad out. Very shocked at how much better some games play with it I never bothered to try that with the pad back in the day and only now trying thanks to this thread, very sad now looking back
    You see I have tried it with other games (still need to do the Joystick, sports pad combo with SDI though) and although it's interesting and a novelty to begin with, I soon find it wears off quickly and I am reaching for the joypad.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sut View Post
    You see I have tried it with other games (still need to do the Joystick, sports pad combo with SDI though) and although it's interesting and a novelty to begin with, I soon find it wears off quickly and I am reaching for the joypad.
    I never ever thought about trying it with other games back in the day, only when I saw this thread did I try. I think it's like using the Fishing controller on the DC with other games It's fun and a novelty, but wear's thin pretty fast.
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Global Defense is definitely the most fun Iíve had the sports pad, using a traditional joystick for the ship and the trackball for the aim is a good time. Takes a few goes to get your co-ordination down but plays well once youíve got your head around it.

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