Peripheral Vision: Quick Shot XII QS-112 and RadioShack Archer Joysticks for the NES
Remember being a kid and wanting something so badly but you only ever got the chance to own it as an adult? I do! And for me that was a Quick Shot joystick for the NES. I was actually quite fond of Top Gun, but highly frustrated by the convoluted landing scheme to finish the level. In my dumb childhood brain I thought if I owned a Quick Shot joystick I could land on the carrier every single time. Fast forward to finding one at a thrift store as an adult and the nostalgia of wanting one as a kid came rushing back. All my childhood dreams were about to come true, or so I initially hoped.
The Quick Shot XII had the look of a lean, mean Top Gun flying machine, all crammed into a beige and grey joystick. When I finally got the chance to sit down and play Top Gun with the QS-112 the first thing I noticed was just how loose the joystick is. I’m just assuming that’s from use throughout its lifetime but I can wiggle the base of the joystick and move the plane in the game. After figuring out that the trigger is B and the top button is A I was ready to set off on a grand adventure of blowing up enemy planes and saving the day. However, in reality the QS-112 didn’t make playing the game any easier. Even with the rapid fire option turned on, I was still so out of practice with the game that I just couldn’t do very well.
Despite my abysmal playing the joystick actually has a very ergonomic grip and everything fits really well in the hand. The suction cups are almost useless these days, but if you can manage to get a few to stick it feels nice to get it stuck down to a base, or holding it in your other hand. In fact you can use it with either hand equally, which I always find to be a nice feature. Although I guess with the simplicity of joysticks they should be able to be played left or right handed.
If I had one problem with the QS-112, and its RadioShack branded twin, it would be that the cable is awfully short. This is a complaint I’ve had with many, nay, nearly all of my third-party controllers. I’m not sure why Nintendo had these long cables on the OEM controllers, but every single one of my third-party controllers’ cables are just short of being comfortably away from the console. The QS-112 works well with any game, if you’re willing to try it out. While testing with Super Mario Bros. I actually had quite a fun time. Was the Quick Shot XII everything I thought it was as a kid? No, but I don’t think it’s completely useless either.
About the author
Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari 2600...in the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.
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