This is nothing new, especially for PC gamers out there. I’ve been revisiting some of my old games while waiting for the holiday crunch (and the bouts of laziness) to finally pass. While a lot of PC games out there are really built for PCs (strategies and simulations) where you get to use the combination of a mouse and the keyboard, some genres are just built for joysticks. If you’re too cheap to buy a decent Logitech gamepad or if you’re not really used to using gamepads (like me!) then you might still opt for the keyboard when playing them. Sports games and some action games really heavily on gamepads.
While they often remap their keys for the keyboard, there are certain commands (like those for the analog gamepads) that aren’t carried over to the keyboard commands. I remember playing the PC version of NBA Live 06 and 07 with the freestyle superstar moves exclusively accesible to analog gamepads. I was so frustrated until I stumbled upon PPJoy – a simple utility that lets you create a virtual parallel port joystick or gamepad that can simulate analog joysticks.
You can create your own virtual gamepad (complete with the number of buttons and analog joysticks) and control it via keyboard commands that you make on your own. How’s that for total control? It works great too, if you’re some solder junkie who’s into modding gamepads and joysticks.
Too bad this only works for Windows 2000 to XP with limited support for 98 and I haven’t dared try it in Vista (Sorry folks, some things I just don’t risk trying ).