No Joy in Mac Land

I’m in the process of reviewing Wolverine’s Revenge for the Mac — so far it’s playing like a fighting game crossbreed with a traditional third-person adventure game. Unfortunately, because of its console background (it was released for PS2 and Xbox before coming to the PC and now finally the Mac) the keyboard-and-mouse combination that’s served me so well for every other game I’ve ever played failed me.

After a few nights of frustration as I tried to customize the keyboard to approximate something like a working layout, I finally gave up. I headed to the Apple Store at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey for a gamepad — I was planning on picking up Logitech’s Dual Action gamepad, which is very similar to the controller on my PS2, and which Inside Mac Games gave an 8 out of 10 rating.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the store (basking in the glory that is Mac as I did so … and restraining the desire to shout out “I’ll take one of everything!) and the salesman said the store didn’t carry controls.

Games? Yes. Stereo equipment? Sure. A bunch of different mice? Yepper. Still and video digital cameras? You betcha. Game controllers? “Sorry sir, you’ll have to go to CompUSA for that,” the nice man told me. I was a little shocked. I mean, this was the Apple Store. They were supposed to have everything for Macs, and in the past, they’d never let me down. Never even come close. Until now.

I walked out and then decided to head over to GameStop (formerly Babbage’s) to see if they had what they needed. They did. The bastion of PC and console gaming had what I needed for my Mac. The Apple Store didn’t. Not good Steve, not good at all.

I got it home, and while the controller’s PC-only software wouldn’t run on my PowerMac, the controller itself did fine. Because Wolverine’s Revenge didn’t see the joystick (big surprise there) I ended up having to download USB Overdrive, an excellent little OS X-based utility that lets you take total control of your USB-based mice and game controllers (and I do mean total — there’s very little this program won’t let you do).

So I suppose in the end there was joy in Mac Land … there just wasn’t any at the actual Apple Store.