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We've started playing Madagascar and Lego Star Wars on our Windows media center PC connected to the TV. Using the wireless keyboard works but isn't ideal. What kind of gaming controller would you recommend for games like these? Gamepad, joystick, or what else?

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Related question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/12682/… –  Mad Scientist Jan 17 '11 at 16:53

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would buy an Xbox 360 gamepad as many games already have configurations setup for them. Also those games were intended for console.

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I can see it has several knobs - do they allow you to "move" and "rotate" at the same time and how is that done? (sorry for the noob question) –  mikewse Jan 17 '11 at 20:26
    
@mikewse It all depends a lot on the game being played, but typically the controls for a 360 controller map to the left analog stick controlling movement and the right stick sometimes controls the camera or in the case of a FPS turning left or right and looking up and down. It's been awhile since I played one of the Lego games, I can't remember if the right analog stick is even mapped to anything in their case. –  Doozer Blake Jan 17 '11 at 21:18
    
Sounds promising - I'll go ahead and get the wireless model! I notice that only some webshops mention PC compat, but that only means they didn't write about it, not that there are console-only models of the controller, right? –  mikewse Jan 18 '11 at 8:12
    
For reasons to get the 360 controller (not just any controller) see this question. –  MGOwen May 21 '12 at 4:34

I recently started playing Lego Batman, which has the same controls as Lego Star Wars. I found that the keyboard made the game practically unplayable. I dug out a generic USB gamepad that someone gave me long ago. It was the first time I've ever found a use for the gamepad, and I was amazed at how easy the setup was. Windows recognized it immediately, and the game recognized and set up nice default controls for the gamepad. I'm not at home, so I can't confirm it's the same model, but this looks very similar to what I have.

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Interesting; I'll still get the xbox controller but this is useful to know if I come across an old controller! –  mikewse Jan 18 '11 at 8:14
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@mike I would too. It'll be definitely be worth it, but I wanted to provide a cheaper model in case you weren't willing to pay that much for a gamepad. Have fun playing the LEGO games, they're a blast. –  Dave McClelland Jan 18 '11 at 13:49

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