With the announcement of Nintendo’s forthcoming range of cardboard Switch accessories, Labo, our thoughts turned to some of the wild peripherals we’ve encountered in the past.
Some of them were kind of useful, some were just cool in a crazy way and other were utter junk. But they all have one thing in common, and that’s their availability on various Nintendo systems since the NES. We also had or have an alarming amount of them in our collection.
Just plop Konami’s LaserScope on your bonce and any zapper gun game for the NES became cooler! Well, that was the theory behind this head-mounted light gun from back in 1990. Unfortunately, the voice-activated firing would also trigger from most any noise big or small, making precision just another ‘p’ word.
Resident Evil 4 chainsaw controller
Capcom’s exceedingly gory GameCube game could only be better with this alarmingly grotesque, blood-spattered controller thing, right? Well, if they had actually put all the buttons where they could easily and intuitively be reached it might have. Still, it is an ace conversation piece.
Rabbids plunger gun
Nothing says, “Bwah, you’re dead!” like one of the Rabbids’ plunger guns. A faithful reproduction of the in-game weapon from after the cretinous bunny-things kicked Rayman to the gutter and took over the Wii, you jammed a Wiimote into it and pretended to be stupid.
What list such as this would overlook this remarkable piece of gaming history? Marketed by Nintendo itself, this controller alternative had a troubled development and aimed way too high for 1980s tech – a nice way of saying that it was anything but precise. It also only had two dedicated games. Ah, but is there any gamer who wouldn’t want one on their shelf?
You can’t have the Power Glove without 1985’s R.O.B. – your Robotic Operating Buddy! Well, actually you can as they have nothing to do with each other beyond being released by Nintendo, and both being way ahead of their time. This too only had two games, of which Stack Up‘s bunch of extra plastic pieces is pictured. We keep watering our wee amiibo version in hopes that it’ll grow into a full size one. Sadly – but not surprisingly – we’ve had no success so far.*
Cooking Mama plastic bits
Just one example of the flood of plastic crap that hit the shops after the Wii took off, why cook for real when you can do it virtually? No offence to C.M., of course, and these did show a little more imagination than all of the tennis racquets, fishing rods, guns and such that we doubt anybody used more than once.
Balance Board steps
Nintendo’s Balance Board in itself was a great peripheral for the week or so that most people used it with Wii Fit, before it got tucked under the couch and forgotten. But these steps? It was bad enough trying to balance when the thing was flat on the ground, so raise it up several inches and… Not in front of our TV.
If those Balance Board steps had TVs cowering in fear, this wondrously ridiculous thing to jam your Wiimote into for Wii Sports‘ bowling had them contacting authorities to take out retraining orders. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong here?
Another of Nintendo’s forward-thinking devices, this was touted as THE machine to help gamers chill out by then Nintendo president Satoru Iwata (R.I.P.) at E3 2009. However, when testing revealed that it didn’t work with around 20% of people, it was binned and didn’t see the light of day. A shame, as there would have been a big aftermarket for stick-on eyes and teeth.
When you need to get your inner Matthew McConaughey on, what better way than a spot of GameCube Donkey Konga with the DK Bongos? Chumbawamba’s ‘Tubthumping’ took on a whole new synergy, while the title of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’ became even more redundant. We still love ours, and all three games released (outside of Japan) for them.
Continuing a musical theme, these bright plastic Wiimote receptacles were pretty much specifically meant for SEGA’s cool rhythm game Samba de Amigo. If you had nothing better to do with your time though you could use them on other games, but – and it probably doesn’t require saying – with varying degrees of success.
Now we love the Rabbids more than many people out there, but these things – which are designed, should you so choose, to have a Wiimote shoved inside – look like a one-way ticket to the land of hand cramps. Mind you, if any of the wonderful folk at Mad Catz wishes to send us some they’d look lovely on the shelf next to our Plunger Gun…
Yes, it’s a real exercise bike with built-in Wii controls. Have you ever been put off by normal exercise bikes as you never seem to get anywhere? The CyberBike allowed you to play a game where you cycle through a park and get fit while doing it. Woo! Needless to say, a real exercise bike – or a real bike, for that matter – was cheaper.
Inflatable Mario Kart
Advertised as “essential for Mario Kart for Wii” we wouldn’t be taking the Mickey out of this if we could actually fit in one – come on, how awesome is this thing?! Kids are spoiled nowadays.
Possibly the coolest AND craziest Nintendo game accessory ever, all thanks to the lovely Cooking Mama. See that doll? You jam a Wiimote up its jacksie, and play the accompanying game of looking after bub – nappy changes and all. Thankfully it didn’t actually wee – well, unless you had leaky Wiimote batteries. We named ours Baby Jake, and he’s apparently currently residing in the roof of a friend whom we entrusted him to. If we don’t get him back from them soon then we have incriminating photos of Wii accessory abuse that we’re totally prepared to leak online.