Power Glove – First Impressions
Well, I’ve been playing with my newly received Power Glove for an hour now. So I’ll go and write my first impressions right away!
So, is it fun to use? Does it even work? Is it better than the AVGN is leading us to believe? Read on and see!
Well, first things first, installing the thing. Well, there’s 3 sensors, all linkedÂ togetherÂ with wires. And they suck. They’re not made to stay on the TV properly unless you haveÂ VelcroÂ to hold them down(or on the side). The sensor on the side is the most annoying, because it’s constantly turning to the right, so it stops sensing the glove properly. In the end I took some tape out and taped the sensors to the TV. After a few strips of tape I had the 3 sensors stuck in the right angle. Little did I know that my TV is set up too high, and I’d have to hold my hand up at around my heads height to play properly. See, there’s a “sensing zone” with the sensors where you must try to keep your hand, and it just so happens that said zone is as high as my head. To make things worse, I’m using a 40 inch HDTV with a 16:9 ratio, so I have to be a lot on the right side of the screen, and quite close to it. Not very helpful. I’m sure if I had a smaller TV with a 4:3 aspect ratio, set a bit lower, I’d have a lot less trouble with the power glove.
When you start a game up, you have to input the program code(using this instruction book from Mattel). Press the “Prog” button, then a number (from 1 to 14, depending on the type of game you’re going to play), then the “Enter” button twice. The website IÂ previouslyÂ mentionedÂ has a short list of games, though you’re apparently supposed to figure out what program code to use depending on the type of game. The method to set up control for certain games is different, like pinball games or Joust or BAD STREET BRAWLER (BAD is right, apparently the game sucks ass), though I really don’t understand how that’s supposed to work (it’s not by using a program code, i think…).
So after that I plugged the glove in the junction box of the sensors (which connects to the NES’s controller port) and started playing some Super Glove Ball. I guess I’ll give a short impression on each game I tried. (other note here: after setting the program code, check if the A and B lights are flashing on the sensor…. if they are, press Â 7 and 8 on the power glove, the turbo is on and it can be pretty annoying)
Super Glove Ball
This is the game that came with the Power Glove, and one of the 2 games from the “Power Glove Gaming Series”(the other being BAD STREET BRAWLER). At first I had no idea what I had to do. The glove on the screen was moving all over the place and I could do nothing to stop it. Well later on I realized I wasn’t in the sensing zone, so I tried again after moving my bed around and surprisingly this worked really well. It measured depth and position quite well. Not perfectly, and I had to move slow to get the movement right, but it moved when I did, moved forward when I moved my hand forward, and moved back properly, which was awesome. Really cool. Sometimes it jerked around, but overall it was actually sorta fun to play. And it’s 3D!!!! Kinda . It’s fun to see primitive 3D like this, with no polygons whatsoever, but instead things being drawn with pixels in a perspective to give the illusion of 3D, and it looks pretty good. Not perfect, but then again what is? Overall it worked much better than I expected with the glove, though I did struggle at times and the game itself was pretty weird. I realized I could shoot fireballs, though I never really figured out the purpose for that. It’s not a great game, but it’s fun to see how they experimented with the idea of the power glove.
Of course I had to try Rad Racer. And wow, it was hard to control. I still wasn’t exactly in the sensing zone when I was playing it, though I gradually moved in it and the game was gradually easier to play. Though it was never exactly as good as I was hoping. Maybe Lucas in “The Wizard” was just incredibly badass with the thing. It took me a while to manage to accelerate properly, and the game just randomly brakes on me, I’m really not sure how that works. From what I understand lowering the hand makes you brake, though I was always kinda high so it was hard to tell if I was going too low or something. Overall, when it worked it was awesome, but it was fairly unresponsive. Again, I blame this on my TV being too high.
By now my arm was starting to hurt a bit.
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!
This doesn’t really work. Dodging is incredibly unresponsive, getting up is really tough if you don’t use the buttons, and it’s hard to aim a punch anywhere other than the face. Though it might just be because I wasn’t controlling it properly (the instructions say to open the fist to dodge, which I rarely did), but it was veryÂ inaccurate, no doubt about that. Oh and I lost to Glass Joe. I DID manage to knock him down once, but once I got knocked down I couldn’t get back up, it didn’t work well at all.
This one I could barely control at all. Jumping worked really bad, controlling your direction and you aim was completely non-functional, you either aimed up or down, rarely in front of you, and you changed direction at complete random, mostly when trying to shoot. I had a lot of trouble with this. Couldn’t reach the first mini-boss.
By the time I tried this, my arms was getting really tired and hurting. So I didn’t get far. Like with Contra, jumping was a big problem. Constantly moving, completely unable to stop, made it pretty tough. At least using the whip was pretty easy, but that about all I can say for this. Got to the first bat and having trouble jumping definitely didn’t help in this area full of platforms. Gave up there.
It’s a bit annoying to use. The controls aren’t precise enough, it’s hard to find the center of the sensing zone to control your direction properly, and most of all it’s tiring and it hurts the arm to use. It’s like using a wiimote on a game you where need to hold your hands in the air at all times, except with a more heavy and less comfortable contraption.
If anything, the Power Glove is a precursor to the better Wiimote. It was heavily original, and better execution could have made it the most awesome peripheral to ever exist. And it does work a lot better than I expected, with Super Glove Ball being the most effective game with the device, sensing not only position, but depth. They could’ve done REALLY cool stuff with this.
It’s a great collector’s item and I suggest it to any Nintendo enthusiast. A must-have for anyone who wants to see the evolution of game controls in action. Not the funnest or most convenient way to play a game, but it’s still pretty fun to screw around with.
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