In the previous post I wrote about third-party games on the Apple TV, I talked of how brilliant it was that Just Dance can be played without having to dash about the shops in a fruitless search for the correct controller for the job. That’s not the full story though. Whilst the Apple TV remote can be used for all the games that are available, it’s not always the ideal tool for the task at hand. The swiping motion is a step up from most remotes, although it takes some getting used to. However, for more involved games, the ubiquitous Playstation-style controller is ideal.
I’ve developed a growing obsession with Asphalt 8, the driving game that takes all the best bits of other games and seamlessly blends them into its own brand of racing. The focus isn’t on intricate acceleration and braking patterns, but instead it’s about using drifts, catching the various nitros bonuses scattered around the circuit, and beating your opponents using whatever methods necessary (eg. crashing into them at every opportunity).
What I love most about it is the variety of locations you can race around - London, Area 51, some kind of space shuttle launch, and a take on Venice that can’t actually be Venice because Venice surely doesn’t have roads? They’re beautiful locations and solid graphics, particularly considering the Apple TV doesn’t have the same specs as something like the Playstation.
But, yes. It’s all very well and good playing the games, but I’d heartily recommend avoiding using the remote to play. That involves plenty of twisting this way and that, and trying to navigate your way round physically. Instead, we’ve been using the Steelseries game controller, which has been a revelation. As they say, it’s a “full-sized, premium wireless controller for the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac that delivers the style and function of a console controller.”
Essentially, though, it just turns the Apple TV into a Playstation equivalent, and whilst there’s a clear distinction between the two in terms of power and graphics, it really could make the small little black box a significant console competitor.