Email: email@example.comASCII Stick Super L5
The ASCII Stick Super L5 is one of the few controllers designed for use with a single hand. The controller is explicitly stated on the box that it is designed for use with RPGs, where there is little need for precision and swift button presses. The controller is clearly designed for children's hands. In an adult hand, it is awkward, and finding a good way to grip it is difficult. However, the button layout is in such a way that it is feasible to use all of the action buttons, with the possible exception of games where the L and R buttons are pressed independently from the D-Pad (think Street Fighter II). The D-pad can be rotated, which may make it more comfortable for some games. The controller has switches to enable turbo on the face and Start buttons, which might be useful in some situations (i.e. fights in RPGs), but does not make up for the lack of grip.
I tested the Super L5 with several games (see video below) with mixed results. For most games, the inherent problem is that it is extremely difficult to press down the face buttons continuously while still maintaining control of the D-pad. There is no easy way to provide pressure on the controller that is independent of pressing down the buttons. As a result, most games are awkward. For F-Zero and Super Mario Kart, I found it very hard to keep control of steering while I was pressing down the button for acceleration. I found much better success with Super Mario Bros, which is largely because you mostly are just walking right and don't have to rapidly switch directions. In Super Mario Bros 2, where you have to press Y for both picking up vegetables and to maintain run speed, it was almost impossible. A Link to the Past was a bit more manageable, because you don't often have to hold down a face button, allowing for more flexibility to hold down the button of the controller while manipulating the D-pad. I also tried Final Fantasy IV, which is definitely playable once you get used to it.
The main design flaw in this is the lack of a handle or something to grip the bottom of the controller with unused fingers. If it had that, it would be a much more practical controller. In the end, I can only really recommend this controller for the genre it was explicitly designed for - RPGs.
Here are some pictures and scans of the controller and packaging. I have uploaded high resolution versions on Archive.org.
|© Evan G. This site made by a Canadian, and fueled by beer. Do not use material on this site without permission.|