Saturday, 26 September 2015

How to retro: Controlling your Amiga CD32

In this new series of posts, we here at the retro gaming club would like to bring your our best practical tips and tricks when it comes to retro gaming. In the very first post I will tell you about how I do my gaming on my Amiga CD32.

The Amiga CD32 is a wonderful little console, but it has one massive flaw: its godawful controller. The CD32 controller is notoriously known for its lousy D-pad. Even a brand new controller is bad to control anything with, but to make matters worse on most older controllers the D-pad is loose in a way so that the disc spins around while you're trying to use it, making it even worse for controlling the games.

Picture by Evan Amos

Some people swear to the Honey Bee Competition Pro control pad for the CD32, but those are hard to find and therefore quite expensive. Before I begain my CD32 review project I therefore had a look around, to see if I could find a reasonably priced controller for my CD32 that I would enjoy using. I've always liked the PlayStation 2 controller, so when I found a guy on Ebay who had created a PS2-to-db9 adapter I was overjoyed. I immediately bought one and I was not disappointed: it works like a charm!

Not only does it support the Amiga CD32, it also has modes for my C64, Amiga (one or two buttons), and it does mouse emulation. When using it for my CD32 I simply use the CD32 mode, but when using it for my C64 and my Amigas I often use some of the more advanced features. The most powerful feature is the key clone feature. Using it you can re-map the buttons on the controller, and I can't even begin to tell you just how much better a lot of the old C64 and Amiga platformers feel when you re-map "up" to another button, so that you can control using the D-pad, jump using one button, and fire using another button - just like God intended it! I love my C64 and my Amigas but why oh why did they not include more than one button on their controllers! Well, that problem has finally been solved through the wonders of modern technology :-)

If you want to take a closer look at what this adapter can do, you can check out the manual here. If you are interested in buying an adapter you can use this listing for the next couple of weeks, but if you are reading this at a later point in time, you can probably find it under the Ebay user who is selling them.

I would recommend that anyone with a C64, an Amiga, or a CD32 go buy this PS2-to-db9 adapter immediately. It comes highly recommended freom me at least ;-)

That's all for now folks. Until next time... stay retro!

1 comment:

  1. That's fascinating.. I knew the Amiga CD32 could take Mega Drive controllers but not all games work with it.. would be interesting to see if this solves all the compatibility issues.. I am lucky with a Competition Pro which is much better as you say.