What is the best controller to play on TGM?

Thread in 'Hardware' started by nicofromtokyo, 8 Mar 2011.

  1. Hi there,

    My first post on the forum. I've playing Tetris for a while, essentially The Next Tetris on PS and Tetris on PS3, but feeled like I needed more challenge, so I installed Mame on my computer.

    I am currently playing at TGM and TAP with my PS2 controller, and was wondering if this controller was the best to reach high levels. Has controller no matter with skills? I mean, will a good player win anyways, no matter the controller? Or actually the controller may be a big problem and prevent from reaching high levels?

    Is there an "official" controller to play TGM?

    Thanks by advance for your advices :)
  2. Muf


    I'm fairly sure the consensus is either keyboard or arcade stick for TGM play. TGM is originally an arcade game and highly optimised for play with a joystick. Nevertheless, some people prefer playing on keyboard for high speed tapping placements. Controllers considered universally bad for TGM (or in fact any type of Tetris) are gamepads.

    When it comes to choosing the right arcade stick for you, an important consideration is authentic parts. While a joystick with Hori or any other knock-off parts might be cheap, there is often no good way to set the restrictor to 4-way (essential for Tetris) and engage on the directions is usually sloppy. Shelling out a bit more cash for one with a real Sanwa JLF or Seimitsu LS-32 is definitely worth the steeper price, and you can play assured knowing nothing is holding you back except your own progression at the game. An affordable in-between option is to buy a cheap controller and modify it with authentic Sanwa parts-- some DIY skills required.

    Example of a "cheap" controller: Hori Fighting Stick
    Example of a "premium" controller: MadCatz FightStick Tournament Edition

    Hope this helps, and welcome to Tetrisconcept! :)
  3. [<- scrapped a long response]

    What muf said :D .

    Oh and while you'll want your JLF set to a 4-way restrictor, it can be easily* switched back to 8-way. No worries if you enjoy conventionnal arcade games (Mame !) then :) .

    *depend on how easily you can reach your JLF actually. On my Virtual Stick High Grade it's just a couple of screw and that's it.

    As for the why gamepad isn't recommended for TGM: it is both slower (you may need some double or even triple tap from time to time) and less precise (depend on your left thumb actually; I know I can't do anything remotely precise with a gamepad because I keep hitting the diagonal) than a stick (or a keyboard).
    Also both keyboard and stick offer a tactile and auditive feedback when you input a command - something that the gamepad lacks.

    Welcome to TC !
  4. I think it should be possible to excel with whatever input device you find comfortable, but a gamepad has some limitations compared to an arcade stick or keyboard. When it comes to piece movement, an arcade stick eases circular motions used for quick slides, -- "Zangi Moves" -- and a keyboard gives the benefit of having more fingers covering individual directional inputs. Both stick and keyboard have the benefit of one-to-one coverage of fingers to action buttons. Gamepad, on the other hand, leaves your two thumbs to cover most of the inputs on the face of the controller.

    Now, I don't know that these things would necessarily preclude one from mastering the game, but it seems like it would be more difficult. It's not an oft-traveled path, that is for certain. On the other hand, we have seen many excellent performances on keyboards and arcade sticks alike.

    There isn't exactly an "official" controller for TGM, but most arcade cabinets in Japan will have a Sanwa JLF joystick set to use the 4-way "diamond" gate. Other joysticks with a 4-way gate are also suitable for TGM, such as the Seimitsu LS-32 or Happ Super 4.

    I'd suggest giving keyboard a try if you don't have access to an arcade stick, but there are a few tweaks you can make to your config if you wish to continue using the PS2 controller. The rotation buttons are normally laid out in a row as CCW/CW/CCW, but trying to bridge Square to Circle with a thumb to do double or triple rotations is probably a bit tricky. You could either put C on one of the shoulder buttons or use a layout like CCW/CCW/CW to ease these sorts of maneuvers -- flicking thumb->index or using the thumb on two adjacent buttons are both easier than trying to bridge that gap. If you find drop-locking or Zangi Moves tricky, you could also try offloading sonic drop onto a shoulder button rather than make your thumb responsible for all directional input. Making these sorts of modifications might prove to be a bit confusing if you're switching between your custom layout and the ones used in other games, but they may be worth thinking about if you want to make a serious effort on gamepad.
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2011
  5. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    I had a pretty fast DEATH 790 or 799...With a XBOX gamepad.
    So I really think that 20G speed can be played in fine conditions with a gamepad, but for sure you will get some problems of input accuracy if you intend to manlock at super high speed like SHIRASE 600.

    In every case the joystick is superior to the gamepad, infinitely more for low G, and a bit more for high speed in 20G.

    The keyboard remains for me the best solution for highest speed in 20G, but it is very limitated for low G.

    Here are how I see things :

    -------------low G-------20G
  6. doing the up/down motion fastly with a gamepad seems pretty difficult
  7. L1->Down is probably a workable modification.
  8. mat


    if you were really going to get into it, i'm betting L2->L1 would probably be a better system, and, if you're not playing with hold, CW/CCW rotation on R1 and R2, with the extra rotate on X. if you do have hold, i'd put it on R2 and move the rotate to □.

    also: fuck this. play with a stick.
  9. Muf


  10. How about

    L1 : shift left
    R1 : shift right
    d-pad left: CCW rotation
    square: CW rotation
    d-pad down: soft drop
    cross: sonic drop

    also: fuck this. play with a stick (or a keyboard).
  11. For what it's worth, Rowa plays TOJ with a gamepad and does crazy skillstops because of the non-1G DAS. His 40 lines time is like 24 seconds or so?

    However, I would also recommend keyboard or stick. Personally, I'm a keyboard player, but I also have a stick, so I do both.
  12. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    Since the OP is in japan, a Hori Real Arcade Pro of some sort would be good, and probably cheaper than a madcaz stick, which may not work with the pc unless the xbox360 one is bought.

    All of them have the right stick, except for the SE, which has a seimitsu instead.

    All "SA" versions also have sanwa buttons, the SE versions have seimitsu buttons, all other sticks have stock Hori buttons, which will probably be "good enough"

    Some of them have quick disconnects on the buttons, which makes it easy to swap in real sanwas.

    Xbox 360 sticks nearly always work with PC, but need the driver.

    PS3 sticks sometimes work with your PC and sometimes do not, depending on usb chipset.

    PS2 sticks work with converters, but many of them introduce lag, so you need a certified lag free converter. the shoryuen forums have lots of descussion on the subject.:)
  13. K


    Yo, je pense que la plupart des gens t'ont donné les bonnes reponses..
    Ensuite ça depend jusqu'ou tu veux aller. Une histoire de purisme en somme, comme pour un jeu de baston :D
  14. When I'm playing TGM on DS I use the CCW/CCW/CW setup. And I play it a lot; I'd say my Tetris time consists of about 50% joystick and 50% gamepad. I absolutely hate playing on a keyboard and avoid it whenever possible.
  15. I was going to mention it, but I figured that it followed as an alternative given what I had suggested thus far.
  16. Hi guys,

    Thanks a lot for the answers, but let me ask some questions, as I'm afraid I only understood half of what you said :p.

    What is a restrictor to 4-way/8-way, "diamond" gate ?

    I guess it's a specific rotation, could you explain me what it means?

    What is a SA and SE? Differences?

    I'm so happy to hear that. I've been playing with my PS2 gamepad and was pretty sure it was lagging, making harder some moves with the I piece, but I thought I was just not good enough. After few hours of training, I have less problems with that, but still have the feeling I must push several times to rotate some pieces or mistake because of the controller. So the PS3 controller is supposed to bet better? I tried it too, but it wasn't so different.

    Anyway, it seems I have to buy a joystick if I really want to become a GM one day.

    Thanks by advance for your answers!
  17. CW means clockwise, or rotate right.
    CCW means counter-clockwise, or rotate left.
  18. In an arcade stick, there is a plate that restricts the range of movement of the joystick. You could consider the range of movement of the analog sticks on a PS2 gamepad to be circular.

    A Sanwa joystick normally has a gate shaped like a square, and as such can be moved in 8 different directions -- the main four plus diagonals. This 8-way mode is suitable for fighting games, shooting games, and so on. The gate can also be rotated 45 degrees so the range of movement is shaped like a diamond -- the points align with the four main directions, and the joystick will slide past diagonals on the flat edges of the gate. This 4-way mode is suitable for puzzle games, Pac-Man, Bomberman, and other such games. When playing TGM with an incorrectly shaped gate, it's difficult to play quickly without getting sloppy and accidentally hitting diagonals.

    The SA model uses parts manufactured by Sanwa, while the SE model uses parts manufactured by Seimitsu. A Sanwa joystick has a lighter feel, while a Seimitsu joystick is a bit stiffer but has a shorter distance to travel. Similarly, Sanwa buttons are very soft to press and Seimitsu buttons have slightly more resistance. It's a matter of preference, but most players use Sanwa parts for TGM.

    I got TGM2+ Master GM on keyboard before I could get to the M-Roll on joystick, haha. :) Also, I think that TGM1 GM would doable on just about any conventional controller.

    Sure thing, any time. :)
  19. Thank you for the explanations!

    So, I first need a 4-way joystick.

    If I am not wrong, sanwa jlf and Seimitsu LS are onlu parts I will have to build by myself to be able to play with, right? I guess I can afford to spend money on a good joystick, but won't have time to build my own one :/

    So, I have Hori stick, MadCatz FightStick, virtua stick. How much they usually cost?

    My biggest problem is having to play with a 3 kilos 40x30cm stick :/. Not so much space at home. Is there a good stick slightly smaller than that?
  20. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    If space is an issue, hori fighting sticks are a bit smaller and can usually be modded with genuine sanwa joysticks. Sometimes you will have to do a bit of messing abotu with the case, though. There are many modding guides.

    I'd recommend getting the xbox 360 version if you go that route.

    They tend to be fairly cheap (under $40 US) and then you can buy genuine parts from Akihabara Shop.

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