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Author Topic: Best way to learn console shooter controls?  (Read 4043 times)
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Kemper Boyd
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« on: January 16, 2009, 05:02:59 AM »

Okay, maybe I am just being a wimp, but I am having a hell of a time learning how to play a shooter on a gamepad.

Is there some sort of "shooter lite" style game that will allow me to get used to using the right thumbstick to aim without getting my ass handed to me all the time? I'm thinking that Halo might do the trick but I am curious what people think might be the best way to catch me up on ~8 years of training that I missed by not having a console since the Genesis.
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 05:06:42 AM »

Truly, I think Halo 1 on the 360 is a good place to start.   You can play on whatever difficulty level you want and the game is pretty much optimized for dual analog sticks.
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 05:07:45 AM »

Halo is a game where you run and gun a lot, so if you have trouble aiming with the right-stick, you'll have more trouble aiming while moving at the same time.  However, Halo does have some of the best aim assist features in an FPS game.

I'd suggest starting out with something like Gears of War 1/2 or Uncharted.  It doesn't require you to move while shooting, instead you park yourself in cover and focus on aiming.  After you get the basics of aiming with the stick, then jump to Halo or other run gun games where you learn to move and shoot accurately at the same time.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 05:20:43 AM »

I learned on Rainbow Six Vegas.  Had a hell of a time trying on Halo 2 and couldn't kill shit.  Got Rainbow Six and ended up being one of the better ones in my group.  Since you often don't move while shooting in the game it helped out greatly.
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Sparhawk
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM »

Invert your Y axis.
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 05:26:44 AM »

Honestly, it all comes down to practice.  I started my first shooter in 11/11/08 when CoD:W@W was released.  As Hark and company can attest, I was horrible (still am some days).  But I have gradually moved up in skill to where I can rarely top the leaderboard and usually not be dead last on my team.  My K/D is still pitiful at .58, but that's fighting uphill against the horrible start that I had. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 12:32:26 PM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM

Invert your Y axis.

ah, I forget that some people don't.  I always play with inverted Y axis.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 12:52:17 PM »

Speaking as someone who really did have to go through the grinder to learn the gamepad after a decade with the keyboard plus mouse, I'd also recommend COD:WaW, or COD4. Do MP, since the SP game at times is rather hectic. Also, and this might be more of a personal preference, do Hardcore Mode. There's fewer people running around like maniacs so you spend more time learning without some hyper 12 year old racing up to you and gutting you with a knife.

In MP, on each map, find a good place to camp and start taking out the enemy that way. Don't worry about low scores or if people start whining about your camping. Focus on learning to track people as they move.

It's going to take time, no way around that.
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 02:09:59 PM »

Invert Y-axis.  Learn to do small movements, rarely move the right stick to its extremes (You're probably trained to do all or nothing analog stick motions from the NES/Genesis era.)  Finding the right sensitivity setting helps, too.  I have an easier time aiming when the sensitivity is up from the default.
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2009, 02:16:45 PM »

If you're playing a game with a single player and multiplayer component, it's often a good idea to play through a large portion of the SP to get the mechanics down and get used to the controls.

Also, most games let you 'customize' the controls by choosing a control profile (rather than customize each button).  For the COD series, for example, I don't use the standard button set, but change to the one called 'tactical'.  So play around with those options too.
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2009, 02:29:22 PM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM

Invert your Y axis.

Never thought of doing this. Will this help beginning console shooters? Why is it helpful?
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2009, 02:44:40 PM »

Quote from: Roscoe on January 16, 2009, 12:52:17 PM

I'd also recommend COD:WaW, or COD4. Do MP, since the SP game at times is rather hectic. Also, and this might be more of a personal preference, do Hardcore Mode. There's fewer people running around like maniacs so you spend more time learning without some hyper 12 year old racing up to you and gutting you with a knife.

Ehh, I actually disagree, I think SP would be a better place to start.  #1, you can crank the difficulty way down, and even though the action may be more hectic, it's far more forgiving.  #2, there's no way I'd start on hardcore mode.  Success in hardcore depends on being able to accurately target your enemy quickly, which is what he's trying to learn how to do.  Yeah it's less frantic than regular MP, but when you run across an enemy you better be able to kill them within a split second or you're toast.
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2009, 02:50:52 PM »

Quote from: Jag on January 16, 2009, 02:29:22 PM

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM

Invert your Y axis.

Never thought of doing this. Will this help beginning console shooters? Why is it helpful?

Only if you like to pretend you are flying a plane.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 02:56:30 PM »

Quote from: WalkingFumble on January 16, 2009, 02:50:52 PM

Quote from: Jag on January 16, 2009, 02:29:22 PM

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM

Invert your Y axis.

Never thought of doing this. Will this help beginning console shooters? Why is it helpful?

Only if you like to pretend you are flying a plane.

I can see doing this if you do it on your pc games, but if you don't do it on your pc games, then it will just confuse you. I use the regular y-axis. Of course, that right there may be a reason to invert.
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 02:59:24 PM »

Quote from: Jag on January 16, 2009, 02:29:22 PM

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 16, 2009, 05:21:23 AM

Invert your Y axis.

Never thought of doing this. Will this help beginning console shooters? Why is it helpful?

It's helpful if it's more intuitive.  Give it a try and see if it feels more natural.  Just depends if your brain likes to think of a down movement as directing your reticule down or tilting the close end of an axis pivot down.

In third-person shooters I also prefer inverting the x-axis.
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skystride
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 04:49:46 PM »

I don't get the inverting-Y in a FPS, do you also invert your mouse?  I only invert in flight-sims.  I doubt there is any advantage to either method unless you are used to one way.
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 04:52:02 PM »

Quote from: skystride on January 16, 2009, 04:49:46 PM

I don't get the inverting-Y in a FPS, do you also invert your mouse? 
For shooters, yes.  Just a holdover from my early flight simming days.  After all these years non-inverted just feels wrong.
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 05:05:11 PM »

I'm an in(tro)verted guy as well.  Pushing up to look up in a first person prespective is counter-intuitive to me now.
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 05:12:58 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 16, 2009, 05:05:11 PM

Pushing up to look up in a first person prespective is counter-intuitive to me now.

Consider this, are you really pushing up, I guess it depends on how you hold your controller, but I'm pushing forward. What happens when you push your head forward? Basically the stick and my virtual neck are doing the same thing. Makes sense to me.
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 05:19:28 PM »

Quote from: skystride on January 16, 2009, 04:49:46 PM

I don't get the inverting-Y in a FPS, do you also invert your mouse?  I only invert in flight-sims.  I doubt there is any advantage to either method unless you are used to one way.

I don't invert a mouse for shooters.  With a mouse the intuitive feeling is that I'm moving a pointer around or that I'm moving around a window of my view, thus the up is up alignment.  With an analog stick it feels like I'm moving an axis--or as coop says, my virtual neck--, thus the inverted alignment.

I used to get really screwed up on console shooters where you bring up a sniper scope.  Scope down I prefer inverted, but when it's just a circle and crosshairs my instinct is that I'm moving around a pointer and non-inverted feels more natural.  Some shooters let you set the axes for those two views separately, but on the shooters without that option I'd always get a little befuddled when looking through a scope.
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 05:30:35 PM »

Quote from: Boudreaux on January 16, 2009, 02:44:40 PM

Quote from: Roscoe on January 16, 2009, 12:52:17 PM

I'd also recommend COD:WaW, or COD4. Do MP, since the SP game at times is rather hectic. Also, and this might be more of a personal preference, do Hardcore Mode. There's fewer people running around like maniacs so you spend more time learning without some hyper 12 year old racing up to you and gutting you with a knife.

Ehh, I actually disagree, I think SP would be a better place to start.  #1, you can crank the difficulty way down, and even though the action may be more hectic, it's far more forgiving.  #2, there's no way I'd start on hardcore mode.  Success in hardcore depends on being able to accurately target your enemy quickly, which is what he's trying to learn how to do.  Yeah it's less frantic than regular MP, but when you run across an enemy you better be able to kill them within a split second or you're toast.

I see your point about cranking the difficulty down being a help, that's good, I hadn't considered that. I mention hardcore because in my playing of COD4 and CODWAW I found that things kept moving too fast in regular play, and also often it took several hits to kill. If you are having trouble aiming (as I *still* do) it's more helpful that if you get that first round on target it's a kill. Also, and again it might just be me, but I found the frustration factor a lot less in hardcore than in regular play for my aging, slow reactions.
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 06:10:19 PM »

I'd vote for Halo 1- its controls managed to convert a legion of console gamers to FPS. 
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2009, 06:21:49 PM »

Quote from: Roscoe on January 16, 2009, 05:30:35 PM

If you are having trouble aiming (as I *still* do) it's more helpful that if you get that first round on target it's a kill. Also, and again it might just be me, but I found the frustration factor a lot less in hardcore than in regular play for my aging, slow reactions.

I prefer hardcore MUCH more than normal, for a lot of the same reasons.  I tried a couple of normal matches last night and got so tired of everyone playing with juggernaut, so that you needed an entire clip to kill anyone.

However, if there's anything that frustrates me about hardcore it's the fact that so many people camp corners and open spots, such that if you expose yourself at all, you're immediately dead.  If you happen to run across an enemy, you have to aim and fire NOW or they'll get the drop on you.  Once you have at least some skill at aiming, Hardcore is way more fun.  But when you're still learning to aim and get the hang of the controls, I would think it would be really, really hard to get even one kill, unless you're just lucky.  When you're learning to aim you need time to get the crosshairs on target, and in Hardcore that is the one thing you don't have.
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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2009, 07:21:23 PM »

how about a nice fps shooter like fallout or bioshock?  both are pretty slow compared to anything like halo or cod.  while they are diversions, they are good for getting your instincts down. 

for a true shooter, i second hark's recommendation of rainbow six.  one of those games which work so much better with the controller than a keyboard.  r6v is where i got familiarized with the console control scheme. 
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« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2009, 08:09:51 PM »

I'll third Vegas.  It was the game that made me less of a PC snob.  When I first started playing with GT folks, I was embarrassed to be a liability to the team.  But then I got a lot better with the joystick and could be consistently good.  When we played private matches, I couldn't be on the same team as Hark or it got ugly smile
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« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2009, 08:25:23 PM »

Quote from: skystride on January 16, 2009, 08:09:51 PM

When we played private matches, I couldn't be on the same team as Hark or it got ugly smile

You guys still let Hark be on a team? I think everyone vs Hark is really the only way to get it close to fair and it would still be in Hark's favor. I heard that Hark took Chuck Norris out in MP once.

Console shooters are impossible. People who are good at them are freaks of nature.

Hmm, maybe I should open that copy of R6V on my shelf, the one between the unopened copies of R6V2 and Gears of War.
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« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2009, 01:12:55 AM »

Quote from: Boudreaux on January 16, 2009, 02:44:40 PM

Quote from: Roscoe on January 16, 2009, 12:52:17 PM

I'd also recommend COD:WaW, or COD4. Do MP, since the SP game at times is rather hectic. Also, and this might be more of a personal preference, do Hardcore Mode. There's fewer people running around like maniacs so you spend more time learning without some hyper 12 year old racing up to you and gutting you with a knife.

Ehh, I actually disagree, I think SP would be a better place to start.  #1, you can crank the difficulty way down, and even though the action may be more hectic, it's far more forgiving.  #2, there's no way I'd start on hardcore mode.  Success in hardcore depends on being able to accurately target your enemy quickly, which is what he's trying to learn how to do.  Yeah it's less frantic than regular MP, but when you run across an enemy you better be able to kill them within a split second or you're toast.

Actually hardcore is more forgiving in some ways.  In normal you have to keep the crosshairs on the target for longer which is what is usually harder for new players.  In hardcore if you sweep past them with the crosshairs you're still liable to get a kill.

I would start in private matches solo and learn the maps while learning controls and not having any opponents.  Then try to shoot certain things.  For example pick a target, go behind a corner and then try to quickly go around the corner and practice hitting that target.  Single player is often different from mp, sometimes the mechanics themselves differ and this can be even more disconcerting when learning from scratch.
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« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2009, 01:14:40 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on January 16, 2009, 05:12:58 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 16, 2009, 05:05:11 PM

Pushing up to look up in a first person prespective is counter-intuitive to me now.

Consider this, are you really pushing up, I guess it depends on how you hold your controller, but I'm pushing forward. What happens when you push your head forward? Basically the stick and my virtual neck are doing the same thing. Makes sense to me.
this is why I do it

I always learning that holding the mouse was like holding the back/top of the character's head.  You shove it forward and make him look down, pull it back and he looks up.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2009, 01:18:10 AM »

Quote from: Boudreaux on January 16, 2009, 06:21:49 PM

Quote from: Roscoe on January 16, 2009, 05:30:35 PM

If you are having trouble aiming (as I *still* do) it's more helpful that if you get that first round on target it's a kill. Also, and again it might just be me, but I found the frustration factor a lot less in hardcore than in regular play for my aging, slow reactions.

I prefer hardcore MUCH more than normal, for a lot of the same reasons.  I tried a couple of normal matches last night and got so tired of everyone playing with juggernaut, so that you needed an entire clip to kill anyone.

However, if there's anything that frustrates me about hardcore it's the fact that so many people camp corners and open spots, such that if you expose yourself at all, you're immediately dead.  If you happen to run across an enemy, you have to aim and fire NOW or they'll get the drop on you.  Once you have at least some skill at aiming, Hardcore is way more fun.  But when you're still learning to aim and get the hang of the controls, I would think it would be really, really hard to get even one kill, unless you're just lucky.  When you're learning to aim you need time to get the crosshairs on target, and in Hardcore that is the one thing you don't have.

The key here isn't so much aiming skill as it is moving knowledge and tactics.  If you don't go in the open much and when you do you stick to cover you won't happen across as many enemies and need to aim as fast.

I would definitely suggest the preferred noob mp experience is to play hardcore and just pretty much stick near where you spawn.  Starting off you will probably die pretty much every time you try to move and then you'll learn how to move with cover.
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2009, 05:53:02 AM »

For FPS games on the PC I do not invert my Y axis at all. But for consoles, and using an analog control stick it is more natural for me. Think of it this way, you tilt your head back and roll your eyes back to look up and tilt your head forward and roll your eyes forward to look down.
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« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2009, 07:20:20 PM »

I would recommend Fallout 3. You can either fight real-time or using the VATS system, which stops time while you aim. I completely suck at FPS controls on consoles and long ago resigned to the fact that I'll never be able to play FPS's on consoles. Fallout 3 has given me hope though.
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2009, 06:41:08 PM »

Unreal tournament 3 is a good way to learn too. It's cheap and has bots you can practice against until you get better. It's got aiming assist too.
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2009, 05:46:08 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on January 16, 2009, 06:10:19 PM

I'd vote for Halo 1- its controls managed to convert a legion of console gamers to FPS. 

 thumbsup

Me, included.  First FPS ever, in ummm... 11 or 12 years of gaming.

Really, just start a new game in Halo 1, single player, on Easy - and follow the NPC's instructions.  Try to forget everyone's advice about what to choose for your camera views.  Halo takes you through a small tutorial sort of thing at the very start which will show you what you prefer.  That is how I became an "inverted" player - I didn't know it at the time, but when Halo gave me the choice, that is what I naturally chose.  Then just keep playing, remembering that there is a right stick will follow.  nod
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2009, 05:58:18 PM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 17, 2009, 05:53:02 AM

For FPS games on the PC I do not invert my Y axis at all. But for consoles, and using an analog control stick it is more natural for me. Think of it this way, you tilt your head back and roll your eyes back to look up and tilt your head forward and roll your eyes forward to look down.

I'm exactly the opposite.  I can only play with an inverted Y axis on the PC.   For console games I can only play with inversion off.
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« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2009, 06:18:44 PM »

Perfect timing for this thread for me. I tried Bad Company: Battlefield MP last night. God, I got pwned. I got one kill in four matches. I must have gotten killed 20+ times.

I couldn't aim worth a damn. I've got no sense of feel for the sensitivity of the right stick.

But the thing that confused me was several times I had someone dead to rights and unloaded a clip on them yet didn't kill them. They would then turn around and kill me with one or two shots. I thought that maybe they were getting head shots on me, but I don't think the players were that good, and it seemed to happen every damn time. Maybe I have to unlock better weapons in the SP game?

Also—and this might just be the game—the width of my field of vision seemed very narrow. I felt like I had tunnel vision. Made it tough to see.

It didn't help that one guy on our team spent all four matches killing his own teammates.

Still, fun.
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« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2009, 06:32:38 PM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on January 17, 2009, 05:53:02 AM

For FPS games on the PC I do not invert my Y axis at all. But for consoles, and using an analog control stick it is more natural for me. Think of it this way, you tilt your head back and roll your eyes back to look up and tilt your head forward and roll your eyes forward to look down.

I used to think the same way until my nephew convinced me to try Time Splitters 2 some years ago without inversion and I've never gone back. Due to many hours I put into flightsims it felt natural to use inversion at first, but I definitely improved without it on. I also keep it off now for PC shooters. There's no way I'd play a PC flightsim without inversion on though, mostly because it wouldn't be a realistic experience. I also keep it on for arcadish flighsims like Crimson Sky and Blazing Angels.
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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2009, 07:52:32 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 20, 2009, 06:32:38 PM

I used to think the same way until my nephew convinced me to try Time Splitters 2 some years ago without inversion and I've never gone back. Due to many hours I put into flightsims it felt natural to use inversion at first, but I definitely improved without it on.

So there is some hope for you invert freaks.  You don't have to be stigmatized forever.  Coming out of the closet was a big step; now you have to start playing like normal people.
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« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2009, 02:40:53 PM »

Quote from: skystride on January 20, 2009, 07:52:32 PM

Quote from: kronovan on January 20, 2009, 06:32:38 PM

I used to think the same way until my nephew convinced me to try Time Splitters 2 some years ago without inversion and I've never gone back. Due to many hours I put into flightsims it felt natural to use inversion at first, but I definitely improved without it on.

So there is some hope for you invert freaks.  You don't have to be stigmatized forever.  Coming out of the closet was a big step; now you have to start playing like normal people.

Not for some of us freaks!  I have my 360 set to invert any games that don't have the choice.  That only leaves the PS2 to worry about, and I play very few PS2 games.  There is no issue with Nintendo, Dreamcast, or handhelds, so I'm set pretty well.  Also, given the number of great games out, and how long it takes me to play each one I like, I doubt I'll run out of "invertables" for quite a while. 

Btw, I was used to "pushing up means looking up" for ages, due to being a Nintendo-only player for years.  When I got an XBox, even then I didn't know there was such a think as inverting a camera... until Halo.  I just chose what felt natural during the "prep the Master Chief" scene, and that was that, I was inverted!   icon_razz
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2009, 11:53:28 PM »

After further review playing CoD earlier this week, it turns out that I don't invert on that game.  Maybe it's been that long since I've played a shooter that I "reset" during the interim.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2009, 03:59:36 AM »

Most of the time I can't remember which axis I invert and which I don't (and it hurts my head to think on it too hard).  I just instantly know if it it doesn't feel right and go to the options menu. 
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