With the fourth Super Smash Bros. having been out on the Wii U for a few months now, many are starting to look at controller options. Of course when you want to invite company over for those 8 player match ups you’ll need to have enough controllers to go around. Obviously the most popular set up among the most devoted fans involves two of Nintendo’s Gamecube controller hubs, and eight Gamecube controllers. But considering the rarity of the hubs, that can get pretty difficult to pull off. If you’re frugal you may want to repurpose your original Wii accessories instead.
But what if you don’t have quite enough game pads for your Wii motes, and want some new alternatives? Ever since Atari was king of the console hill there have been third-party controllers. In almost every case they’ve been barely passable options when compared with the first-party originals. But they usually seem to do just well enough to continue seeing releases. Yet every so often one comes along that is pretty close to the performance of an original controller. Today’s contender is the TTX Tech Classic Controller.
PROS: Similar form factor to the Nintendo Classic Controller with some innovations.
CONS: The altered textures on the thumb sticks take some getting used to.
LIES: Contrary to what the box tells you, it does not plug directly into the console.
The TTX Tech Classic Controller is one of the better non Nintendo branded controllers you can pick up. For the most part it works on par with the Nintendo Classic Controller. It has the same layout as that controller, so all of the buttons will be as easy to get to as the first party option. There are also a few minor improvements to boot. The Z buttons on the top of the controller between the L, and R buttons have a nicer click to them. They feel more mechanical. It becomes clearer that you’ve fully pressed them down, than on Nintendo’s own controller. The L, and R buttons also have a very minor change in sculpt that some might find a little more comfortable.
Comfort is king, and that’s where this peripheral tries to make an improvement. By adding rubberized grips. To be honest, this doesn’t really do much to improve grip or comfort to the experience. It doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, but it doesn’t really feel necessary. Nintendo’s controller is already pretty comfortable, so it feels like a case of trying to solve a problem that isn’t there. Nevertheless, there are probably some who might prefer the rubberized grips during long marathon sessions.
The controller is also surprisingly durable. So often peripheral makers will cut corners by using brittle plastics that easily crack on impact. If a sore loser shows up at your gaming shindig, they may end up in pieces after a string of losses. That isn’t to say that TTX Tech’s offering will survive that kind of onslaught. But if you drop the controller, or really clamp down on one of the buttons during game play, it probably won’t break. The quality of the plastics aren’t going to be quite as good as what Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony demand the contracted factories produce for themselves. But it also isn’t flimsy stuff. There’s still a nice heft to the controller, while being light enough to retain a comfortable feel. It also has some added flex to the wiring going into the controller to prevent kinks or breaks inside the cable. Overall the construction here is pretty nice compared with other controllers.
On the face of the controller are the X, B, Y, A buttons, +, -, Home buttons along with the D pad, and two thumb sticks. All of them work as you’d expect them to, performing the way they’re supposed to. The one change that sticks out here is the difference in the texture on the thumb sticks. The rubber is a heavier, thicker style. They also have a much different feel than Nintendo’s offering. The end result is that while the response time is almost identical, it might take you some getting used to. Especially if you’re already used to using the Nintendo Classic Controller.
I put the controller through the paces in Super Smash Bros Wii U. I was able to play the game with this pad just as well as I could while using Nintendo’s own pad. Even advanced techniques like combos, and pivoting were achievable using it. The different feel of the thumb sticks, again, did take some getting used to. But for anyone other than the absolutely most unwavering enthusiast, it is a pretty good option for Smash.
Other games ran perfectly fine with it as well. I had no problems playing Punch-Out!!, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, or Metal Gear Slug Collection in Wii Mode at all. Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Mario Kart 8, and Super Mario 3D World seemed perfectly playable with it too. Even classic ROMs from the Nintendo Eshop ran fine. Mega Man, Donkey Kong, and Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts gave me no trouble. The controller had no serious signs of input lag. Nothing seemed odd or unresponsive. Certainly not enough to affect my experience playing games with it.
To sum everything up, the TTX Tech version of the Classic Controller is a pretty competitive facsimile. It’s on par with Nintendo’s product in almost every way imaginable. If I had any complaints with it, it would have to be the different feel of the thumb sticks, and the needless addition of rubberized grips. There aren’t any functional problems with the controller. If you’re looking for an alternative to Nintendo’s first party offerings that isn’t going to give a detrimental experience, give this one a spin. Ultimately, Nintendo’s controllers are still going to be the preferred options. But if you need to save money, or simply want to try something else, the TTX Tech Classic Controller might be what you’re looking for.
Final Score: 8 out of 10