Today was payday, and I splurged … just a little. You see, Gamestop was having a B2G1 sale on used games and that’s a deal you can’t pass up. My original, and futile, plan was to pick up Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, and Gears of War. After scouting 5 stores throughout the week I came to realize that my chances of putting that combination together was slim to none.

Gears was easy to come by, every store had numerous copies, but Mass Effect and CoD4 are pretty popular and virtually impossible to come by used. After this realization I decided upon Gears, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and then whatever big name game I could find.

It amazed me that the first store I went today off of Northgate in Natomas happened to have A copy of Mass Effect used so I quickly snapped that up along with LoZ:TP and GoW. Success! Then to add to my amazement was a copy of Capcom vs SNK Card Fighters for DS which is all but impossible to find. I just couldn’t walk away from this oppurtunity, so I decided to pick up another trio of games and picked up Crackdown and Magna Carta.

Not a bad trip to one Gamestop, 6 games for under $140, but I wasn’t done splurging just yet. Yesterday I looked into potential “fixes” for the horrendously awful d-pad for the 360 controller. In my research I discovered a youtube video that demonstrated an inexpensive way to improve the range of motion for the d-pad.

Basically the problem with the d-pad isn’t actually the pad itself, but rather the plastic lip surrounding it. When pushing the pad in one direction the pad hits the lip and doesn’t reach the limit of its range. This causes the d-pad to slip and hit multiple sensors causing errant inputs. If you sand down inside of that lip it allows the d-pad to “breathe” easier and hit the directions accurately.

Bottom controller features the improved breathing room for the D-pad.

This process isn’t hard at all, it just requires a T8H (tamper-resistant) screwdriver to remove the screws from the wireless controller. Of course doing so voids any remaining warranty on the controller, but having a d-pad that is accurate greatly outweighs this “set-back.” Actually it isn’t completely necessary to open the controller to improve the pad’s breathing room, but is advised so that the shavings don’t fall into the inner-workings of the controller.

My newly improved controller now allows me to accurately play the pac-man mini-game in RR6 and to not accidentally activate my special weapon in Castlevania:SotN. I’ll have to give a mini-update on this after testing the pad with VF5. I’m hoping I’ll be able to hit the diagonals accurately and be able to consistantly pull off my Lion combos. *cross fingers*