Tag Archives: Peripherals

PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch Review

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The Third-Party Controller. It’s been a mainstay since the days of the Atari 2600. For over a generation, one of gaming’s running jokes has been this familiar scene. You’ve invited someone over for a night of video games. You want them to play with you, but you don’t have the cash for a second controller. They’re expensive. You need an alternative that isn’t as costly. So you pick up a compatible controller for a third of the price and force the guest to use it. Why is this a joke? Because for over 40 years, there have been countless controllers made by companies other than the platform holders. Controllers that have often been shoddy, made from cheap, brittle plastics. Controllers that often wear out fast, or simply aren’t as responsive as the stock controller that came with the console.

In short: Third-Party controllers have often been largely inferior to their First-Party counterparts. But, over the years there have been exceptions. The long-defunct Suncom often made controllers on par with the likes of Atari, and Coleco. ASCII made a couple of terrific pads for the NES, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo. But, by and large, these were never the rule.

PROS: Feature rich. Build quality. Affordable.

CONS: No NFC chipset for Amiibo figures. No Lithium-Ion battery.

NOW: You’re playing with PowerA.

In recent years a newer name has come into view. PowerA. This company has controllers you’ll see sprinkled along with First-Party controllers on pegs in Walmart, Target, and Gamestop stores all across the USA. They started out making some inexpensive wired controllers, and have slowly introduced some wireless alternatives. This is especially true in the Nintendo Switch sections. Near the end of 2018, their wireless offering began showing up, and initially, it might seem easy to write it off like another bad knockoff. But quite honestly, you might just want to consider this one.

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With Nintendo’s own Pro Switch Controllers costing nearly $80, you may not be prepared to get one on a whim. A set of Joy Cons and another grip is also not an inexpensive endeavor. PowerA’s offering is almost less than half the price of Nintendo’s and is as responsive in its reaction time. I’m serious. You can approach any game you own on the console with it, and it performs wonderfully. The thumbsticks have a very nice grip along their circular rims and feel great. It also has a sturdy, yet light feel. Enough heft without weighing down your wrists during long play sessions.

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There’s also a nice bonus in that there are two programmable buttons they’ve added to the underside. If there’s a game that has a sequence you want to assign to either of them, you can press the center button on the other side, and then program the sequence to either side button. This can be handy in some games where you don’t want to deal with a combination of simultaneous movement. Maybe you have a game that requires you to press Y, and X at the same time for certain tasks. And for whatever reason, you can’t get a handle on it. Now you can make that a single button press. Or maybe there’s a game that makes pressing a weird, unintuitive combination mandatory. Now, you can skip that.

PowerA also made a controller that pairs with the Switch fairly easily. All you have to do is go under the grip order menu and press the sync button along the top. It may take a moment longer on an initial synchronization but after that, it’s pretty quick. The controller also features some really well-made face buttons. the A, B, X, Y buttons have a nice feel, and the D-pad feels terrific. The shoulder buttons and triggers also have a great feel to them. The +, -, Camera, and Home buttons feel a little bit brittle and cheap. But they’re also not the most essential ones either. Unless you just have to take 30-second clips of everything, it probably won’t matter much to you.

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The controller also includes a gyroscopic movement! Until recently, most Third-Party offerings omitted this to get to a lower price. The thing is, there are a handful of games that really do play better with motion controls enabled. Super Mario Sunshine’s Cappy trick jumping, and Splatoon 2’s smooth, quick aiming go much, much better with motion controls. In the case of the latter, the difference between using the right thumbstick, and tilting the controller is night and day. So having that feature in a controller is a must for some players. Some who enjoy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe might enjoy motion steering.

But, there are a few concessions here to be aware of. First, the battery. The PowerA solution does not have a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery like the Pro Controller does. Instead, the company went with traditional AA batteries. There is a plus, and a minus to this. On the minus side, you’ll have the expense of buying AA batteries in bulk or rechargeable AA batteries, and a AA battery wall charger. You won’t have the same battery life Nintendo’s solution gives you either. But on the plus side, if you’re still playing games on the Switch in 15 years, you’ll still be able to find batteries. And you won’t have to take the controller apart to replace them.

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Sadly, this controller also eschews the NFC chipset the Pro Controller has. So you can’t use Amiibo figures or cards with this. You’ll still need to use your Joy-Con controller to scan in the collectibles if you want to use their features. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it is inconvenient if you want to play Smash Bros with this controller while also training Figure Players.

Considering the cost of the controller (at the time of this writing) though, these omissions may or may not bother you too much. It manages to come through on all of the most important fronts. It also performs as well as the Nintendo options in your games save for the cut feature or two. If you’re in the market for a second controller for your Nintendo Switch, this is definitely one worth considering. Just keep in mind you’ll need a stash of batteries, and Amiibo Figures aren’t compatible with it. You can also find it in a variety of different colors or screen prints. Sadly none of these feature the Squid Sisters or Inklings. Despite there being a non-motion controlled wired Splatoon themed controller by PowerA. Hopefully, future revisions will include other Nintendo themed screen prints.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

 

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Elgato HD60 PRO PCI Express Capture Card Review

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Maybe you’ve decided you want to migrate old home video footage to your computer through a daisy chain of adapters. Or maybe you’ve decided you want to dip your toes in the waters of video production. Or perhaps, (more likely) you’ve decided you want to capture video game footage for your fledgling YouTube channel. Or maybe you’ve decided you want to try your hand at streaming video games on Twitch. Whatever the reason, you’re going to need to find a way to get that content to the intended audience through the use of your computer.

PROS: Excellent build quality. Small enough to fit any case type. Intuitive software.

CONS: Drivers are tied to software utilities.

LTTP: Retro Speed Run streamers will need to find a good scaler to use with it.

Enter the Elgato HD60 PRO. You can find this in either a PCI Express card for your desktop computer, or you can find an external version that connects to your machine with a USB 3.0 cable. We’ll be taking a look at the internal card version here, as that’s the version I bought after getting a better than expected tax return this year.

The Elgato HD60 PRO comes in an attractive package. There’s a sleek slip cover over a gate fold box. Upon opening that box, you’ll be greeted with the card itself, a booklet, a HDMI cable, and a handy low profile bracket for those with a flex case. You’ll know if you have a flex case, they tend to be used on computer models that go for the small, sleek, and rectangular look. Often times these cases do not have the height needed for expansion cards. Yet, they’re often built using motherboards that do allow for some expansion. Unfortunately, this usually means hunting for specialty “Half-Height” or “Low Profile” cards. So it is nice that this card comes with that low profile bracket. If you have such a computer, and want to stream your PlayStation 4 games through it, this card makes that possible.

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Once you have the card installed, you may or may not be surprised to find no CD or Flash Drive in the box. Elgato doesn’t include drivers in the box. Instead, you have to go directly to their site to get them. And they don’t simply give you the drivers, they include them in their software utilities. This is the first of the two grievances I have with the product. In the grand scheme of things both are fairly small. But they do make things needlessly complicated. The software itself is actually quite intuitive. But it is broken up across a few different utilities depending on what you want to do with it. There is an audio utility for those who only want to capture sound. The Game Capture HD utility which records video, as well as streams video. The Control Center for managing accessories. Finally, there’s the Stream Deck which is for the optional Stream Deck device. You don’t have to download the latter two, but you may just want to get them, and install them anyway in case the need should arise.

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The main one you’ll really need is the Game Capture HD utility. As I mentioned before, this is a great piece of software. But even if you’ve decided to use something else, you’ll need to install it because it contains the drivers for Windows 10. Without those, your computer won’t know what you’ve installed into the motherboard. If you do decide to use the Game Capture HD though, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to navigate.

There’s a clearly marked button for the capture settings you want to use. You can go with standard resolutions like 480, 720p, or 1080p, and you can set the frame rate to record at 30 or 60 Frames per second (FPS). If your computer is newer, you shouldn’t have any problem running things on higher settings with newer consoles. If your system is older though, you can tinker with the settings until your happier with the performance. Do make sure your system is above the minimum requirements before you buy this or any expansion for your computer though. If you don’t have compatible hardware, you’re not going to have a great experience. Still, my machine is getting long in the tooth, (i7 4770k, 16GB RAM, a 250GB SSD, 1TB SSD, and an Nvidia GTX760) yet had zero issues using this card.

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The software also has an easy to spot recording button, and streaming button. Once you tie the software to your appropriate account (Twitch, YouTube, etc.) it easily syncs up with your settings there, and just seems to work. At least it did for me. There are also a host of preset overlays you can choose to use, all of which can also be customized. You can import your own art, websites, banners, and more. You can put in a webcam PIP. You can run a green screen. The software is an amazing little utility. Especially if you’re not familiar with video production, or you’re new to streaming. When you are streaming you can easily move back and forth between full screen gameplay or windowed with your various settings around it.

Other easy to tweak settings are sounds like your microphone, and game audio levels. You can have the software lower game audio while you’re talking for example. You can also tinker with your bit rate settings so you can try to find a balance between performance, and clarity for your stream as well. It doesn’t however have a lot of options for specific plug-ins. You can work around this by adding website links to things that will behave like a plug-in. Like a chat box for example. But there aren’t a slew of dedicated Elgato software plug-ins.

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That said, other utilities like OBS, and XSplit give you a lot more freedom if you’re willing to take the time to learn how to use their features properly, and experiment. If you want to really do more unique things with your channel, and you’re looking to be a more professional looking personality on a streaming or video site you’ll want to either master using one of those, or buy a more feature-rich suite that the card is compatible with.

I’ve really liked using this card thus far. It has an excellent build quality, and it outputs as well as inputs. That means you can take the feed from your Nintendo Switch dock for example, and bring it into the card to be processed. But you can also run a second HDMI cable out to a TV or Monitor. This makes it especially nice if you’re looking to multitask on a computer screen, while you’re playing a game on the second one. Those who want to have Twitch opened in one window, their utility of choice (Elgato, OBS, XSplit, etc) in another don’t have to worry about having to play the game windowed, or continually have to Alt+Tab between things constantly.

Of course, it isn’t going to be perfect for everyone. The other minor issue for me is this card doesn’t have legacy inputs on it like Composite, or S-Video. So if you want to use it to stream things like NES games you’ll need to get an adapter or scaler to convert the signal. For merely capturing footage this is fine, but for streaming speed runs, keep in mind this will induce a little bit of input lag. A really high-end scaler like the hallowed Framemeister will be a safe bet for reducing it to a minimum, but if you don’t have that kind of money there are a wide variety of options. But you’ll have to do a fair amount of research to see what device in your budget will give you the best results.

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The other thing to consider are the number of other cards that do include legacy support. If you’re planning on mostly recording from legacy consoles, or want to digitize old analog VHS or Beta tapes from elder family members, you may not need to get a separate scaler with one of those other cards. However, not all of those other products are built as nicely, and few have a utility as seamless, and easy to figure out as Elgato’s downloadable one. Really you’ll have to decide on your own which route is the way to go.

That being said, I’m actually quite pleased with this card. The performance has been excellent, it has a great build quality, as well as fit, and finish. The software utility while, broken up across two programs, and two optional ones, is intuitive. It’s very easy to use, especially for someone like myself who isn’t as familiar with customizing things in OBS as many streamers, and YouTube personalities are. If you’re just starting out, and want something you can get into using right away, this is an excellent card. It might cost more, but the convenience, and quality are worth it. Just remember if you’re looking to broadcast speed runs of games on consoles of old with it you’ll want to find a scaler that can mitigate some of the inevitable input lag to go along with it. For anything current though, the Elgato HD60 PRO is a winner.

(Minimum Requirements: OS: Windows 10 64-Bit. CPU: Intel Core i5 series 4 or newer. Graphics: Intel HD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 series or better. Expansion slot: A free PCIe x1/x4/x6/x16 slot on your motherboard.)

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Bella 73 Quart Container Review

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No, your eyes do not deceive you. I’m going to talk about a plastic tub. But this is one of the best plastic tubs you can find. A plastic tub that can, and should be used for storing something it was probably never intended to store: Video game collections. Yes really. Read on, and see if it isn’t something you’ll want to look into.

PROS: Stores, many, many games whether on cartridge or optical media.

CONS: Plastic can be cracked if you don’t take proper care of it.

PERFECT: Dimensions for those of us low on space.

Let’s face it. Many of us who collect old games can build quite the collection. What starts out as the 15 NES Game Paks from your childhood, can easily balloon to 200-300 over the course of a few years. There are tag sales, flea markets, pawn shops, retro video game stores, thrift stores, internet dealers, and even conventions to attend. Before long, you have a huge stack of video games on the floor waiting to be catalogued, and placed somewhere ideal.

But for those of us with a small room to devote to our collection, or for those of us who live in a small dorm or apartment we have to be a bit more selective about what we pick up. More importantly, we have to get a bit creative about just how to store our games. Enter the Bella container.  This plastic tub was probably never intended for gaming, but it’s something you’ll probably want to pick up for yourself. Especially if you’re in a situation where space is an issue.

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The container is the perfect width, depth, and height for most cartridges, and it even works nicely for DVD cases, and jewel cases. It can also easily slide underneath a bed thanks to the wheels embedded in each corner. Or you can stack a few of them if you have a storage closet available to place them in. Over the last several months I’ve found they’ve been great for storing my NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, and loose 2600 games.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had to spend a big chunk of my time cleaning, and downsizing where possible. These have made that process a lot easier. My aforementioned libraries all exceed 100 games, and being able to fit them conveniently, and neatly is an impressive feat. These may also be something worth looking into if you’re a used games vendor who often sells product at conventions. The blend of low footprint, and large capacity might work wonders for your table.

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The only real issue with this tub is that they’re made of the same acrylic plastics most other storage containers are. This makes them lightweight, but it also means they can’t be slammed around. You’re not going to want to drop the thing carelessly when you’re reorganizing your room, as there’s a good chance you’ll crack the plastic. If you’re fairly gentle with your stuff you should be fine. But it is something to be aware of.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with them though. They can be found fairly affordably at Bed Bath & Beyond, although other retailers, and internet sites likely sell them as well. If you’ve got quite the Nintendo 64 collection, or you’ve come into a massive lot of Colecovision games. But now you have no idea how you’re going to store them, these plastic container bins may be the solution for you.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Power A Joy-Con Power Grip Review

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With any new console, there are always a host of third-party companies that bring out accessories. Even going back to the earliest popular home consoles of the 70’s, and 80’s you could guarantee there were joysticks, and game pads that claimed to do the job better than Atari, Commodore, Coleco, Sega, and Nintendo could. Even today, there are still a large variety of aftermarket controllers for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

PROS: Rubberized contours. Fancy artwork.

CONS: May work a little too well.

OCTO: May look like something you’ll want to use for that upcoming expansion pack.

With a Splatfest in Splatoon 2 just having ended as I write this, I can say this third-party grip has a lot going for it. First of all, it has a really slick piece of Splatoon 2 art on the front of it. Which is really nice for those of you with the Pink, and Green joycons. Power A doesn’t only make this with art from Nintendo’s squid themed shooter though. You can find this with art based on The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario Odyssey.

The grip has a nice amount of heft to it too. The texture on the grips is nice, keeping it from just sliding out of your hands. They have a comfortable indent where your middle fingers can rest easy. So the whole thing feels great in your hands. If you’ve used the grip that came with your Switch for a long period of time, the slight difference may feel weird at first, but over time it may be something you actually prefer.

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The main plate in the center is nice. It feels a bit more solid than the one in the stock grip, and even sports the same player-number lights that the first-party one does. There’s just one problem, and it’s something you’ll need to pay close attention to. The brackets that hold the joy-cons in place work a little bit too well. If you’ve only got one set of them, and you frequently take them in, and out of the grip be careful. Because Power A’s version of this device holds the joy-cons in place very snug. So snug, that taking them out can be a bit trickier than taking them out of Nintendo’s grip. In either case you’ll need to hold the release button on each joy-con before, and during, the process of sliding them out. Nintendo’s solution allows these to very easily slide back out. Power A’s does not. It’s almost as if you have to break theirs in like a pair of shoes. If you only ever take your joy-cons out to charge on the Switch when you’re out of juice, this won’t come up as often. If you’re the type to go between TV, and portable modes multiple times per day, you really need to be aware of this.

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No doubt the joy-cons will probably survive, it’s rare most of us break a Nintendo controller. Nintendo’s own controllers, and peripherals are usually of a high quality. However, if you get frustrated, and yank too hard, the rails on the grip could bend, or snap, rendering the whole thing useless. You may find you’ll have to gently wiggle your joy-cons until they’re willing to move. It’s a shame that my complaint has to be that they do their job too well, because it’s a lot better than what many might expect. Slipshod efforts from controller manufacturers have given many decent to great peripherals a bad reputation. Whether you started gaming with the 2600, NES, Genesis, or something else entirely, chances are you had at least one cheap controller. That one joystick or game pad that was shoddy, but your folks bought it because it was only ten dollars. That still holds true today. There are many aftermarket controllers that are made with the cheapest parts possible. This grip is not one of them. I put it through many hours of Splatoon 2 over the last several nights, and it worked great. It’s comfortable, light, yet sturdy, and you’ll never have to worry about your joy-cons falling out of it.

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Just keep in mind you’ll need to be gentle, and patient when it’s time to take the Switch on the road. Power A’s grip is made fairly well, but it isn’t built like a tank either. It isn’t going to win any fights with the wall. But then not many controllers will. If you’re careful with your stuff this thing will be a fine peripheral, and you can find one based on one of your most-liked Switch games. If you’re hard on your controllers, you may want to invest in something heavy-duty like a Pro Controller, or even an arcade stick. But don’t throw any of these at your wall. They probably won’t win, and you’re not going to get the security deposit back for the holes in the drywall. Impatience, and frustration aside, I recommend this for those who need a replacement grip, and want something a little bit more personal.

FINAL SCORE: 8 out of 10

Horipad Wired Controller Review

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The Nintendo Switch is a great console, that plays a lot of great games. The controllers it comes with, while innovative, aren’t always the best option in every scenario. On the go, they’re great. They’re small, compact, and you can divide them to make two controllers. But at home, those two joycons are likely going in the comfort grip. So when a friend comes over, or your significant other, spouse, siblings or roommate want to play with you, what to do?

PROS: Quality build. Versatile. Inexpensive.

CONS: Doesn’t have the gyroscopic functions.

WEIRD: The D-pad design.

There are a surprisingly high number of controller options emerging for Nintendo’s gaming tablet. Obviously Nintendo’s own solutions are pretty great. You can roll with another set of joycons, which will double as two controllers, and that gets you set for four player games. But you have that small size issue which in a home setting, and on certain games may feel cumbersome for larger hands. You can also go for Nintendo’s Pro Controller. It’s nice, does everything the joycons can, and it’s got a hefty, yet comfortable design. But it also costs more than a lot of games do the day they come out.

For a lot of us, buying a Pro Controller for ourselves, or to have on hand for a second player, may be cost prohibitive. There are a wealth of third-party solutions coming out now to address this. But many of them have lackluster build quality, using cheap plastics or sub par wiring. Enter the Horipad. Hori isn’t generally known for what most might call general purpose controllers. They’re known for expensive, professional grade arcade fighting sticks. Go to any local Street Fighter or Tekken tournament, and you’ll find a lot of arcade joysticks made by Hori.

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Anyway, the Horipad is a pretty good solution for anyone looking for a controller for a second player, or to leave connected so they don’t have to take the joycons off at home. It has a solid build quality. It doesn’t have the heft of Nintendo’s own controller, however it doesn’t feel brittle, and thin either. It feels about as solid as Microsoft’s own Xbox 360 controllers did.  The thumb sticks feel really comfortable, and all of the buttons, and triggers are very responsive.

Beyond that, the controller also has the +, and – buttons to pull up menus. It has the home button, and even included the screen capture button. Hori even put a turbo button into the controller, and it works wonderfully. Simply hold a button down, press turbo, and it will just rapid fire along when you hold it from that point on. Let go of everything, press the turbo button again, and everything goes back to normal.

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Frankly, this would be an utterly flawless solution if not for a couple of things. The worst is the lack of gyroscopic functions. This means that for a handful of games, you really won’t be able to use it properly. Super Mario Galaxy, for instance, requires gestures for some of the moves. Using the joycons, or pro controller won’t be a problem, as you can swing or shake them when needed. You can’t do them with the Horipad. The pad does work in Splatoon 2, but you won’t be able to use mouse-look like you can with the joycons or pro controller. There aren’t gobs, and gobs of games that require the gyroscopic tech. But if you buy one, do know you’ll have to use the joycons. I do applaud Hori for mentioning this on the back of the box though. It’s nice to know this going in.

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The other thing some won’t like is the D-pad. Rather than get rid of the C-buttons, and put a traditional D-pad in their place, they kept the C-buttons. The solution they came up with was to put a peg hole in between the buttons, and make a D-pad that plugs into it. It does work fairly well. In most games that benefit from a D-pad this works fine. Press “Up”, and get the desired result. However it ends up feeling like the D-pad on the original Xbox 360 controller.  So it isn’t quite as good as a dedicated D-pad but it’s still an improvement over the C-buttons on the  left joycon.

 

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But there is one really, cool thing about this controller, and that’s its versatility. You can also use this on any Windows 10 computer. Plug it in, and it is seen no problem. However the buttons are still mapped as if you were playing on the Switch. So in games where you’re used to using Microsoft’s layout, you’ll have to go into the menu, and re-bind keys. The overwhelming majority of PC games let you do this. But the bottom line is that, you can repurpose this as a game pad for your PC. Which means although you’re getting a second controller for your Switch, you don’t need to buy an Xbox or Steam controller for your computer. Assuming you haven’t already.

 

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All in all, this is a great all around controller for the overwhelming majority of games on the Switch. Especially if you want something a cut above most other third-party controllers in terms of quality while still coming in at a budget price. Those who require a traditional D-pad might want to look at other solutions. But again, this is still a cut above the build of a lot of third-party solutions. The fact that it can also be used as a PC game pad is also a really great feature. It’s also a really comfortable fit for about anybody’s hands. About the only major drawback is the exclusion of the gyroscopic features seen in Nintendo’s own Pro Controller. Be that as it may, you can get two of these pads for the cost of Nintendo’s wireless one. For someone who needs a solid controller at an affordable price, the Horipad is a contender.

Final Score: 8 out of 10.

The Edge Joystick Review

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With the recent news that the NES Classic Edition is going back into production next year,  you might be looking forward to the re-release. Especially if you missed out the first time around. Of course, with any new console (yes even the all-in-ones) come a host of third-party accessories, and peripherals. The Edge is one of them.

PROS: Arcade grade buttons. Also compatible with the Wii U, and Wii!

CONS: Mediocre base.

ADVANTAGE: The controller pays homage to Nintendo’s NES Arcade Stick.

The Edge is modeled after Nintendo’s own NES Advantage. A legendary controller that any NES collector should own. It was designed with arcade games, and ports in mind. Donkey Kong, Galaga, Pac-Man, Mario Bros, and Double Dragon were just some of the classics that were even more enjoyable with a proper arcade stick.

Well, several of these games’ ROMs came on the NES Classic Edition. With no official NES Classic Edition version of the NES Advantage (Nintendo only made the Control Pads) EMiO enters the fray. EMiO is known mostly for common accessories like cases, and wall chargers for portable devices. They’re also the company behind the Mega Man headphones.

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With the NES Classic Edition launch, the company capitalized on the lack of an arcade stick with their own Advantage clone. They also made knock off Control Pads to capitalize on the shortage of first-party branded ones. I can’t comment on these as I don’t have them to test out. But I did happen upon The Edge, and this is what I found.

The Edge Joystick gets a number of things right, and has a few nice features under the hood. It’s stylish, and really does capture the look of an actual NES Advantage. It has turbo switches, and dials like the original. It also has a slow motion button, and adds an A+B button which performs actions in games that require pressing both, A, and B simultaneously.

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One really cool thing about this one is the inclusion of arcade joystick grade buttons. They’re nice, comfortable, and give you the familiar clicking you’d expect. The stick also has a nice arcade spring, and feels nice when moving it around. They also included interchangeable joystick knobs. There’s the ball style that the NES Advantage had, and then there’s a more traditional wedge style you can use instead. These easily twist on or off, so you can use whichever style you like with ease.

One other thing to keep in mind is the NES Classic Edition uses the same ports for controllers as the Wii mote controllers have for attachments. That makes the controllers for the NES Classic Edition compatible with the Wii, and Wii U. The Edge Joystick can be used with old games purchased on the Wii Shop Channel, and Nintendo E-Shop. I tested it with several games, and the results were mixed.

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On the Wii U, I tried the stick with Mighty Final Fight. In this case things were pretty good. The controller was pretty responsive, and I was able to play the game fairly well. Nothing to complain about. I also fired up Wii Mode, and proceeded to go into my roster of classics. I started up Donkey Kong, which is also on the NES Classic Edition. This was the first game I had a big problem with. For whatever reason going from walking right or left to climbing up a ladder would never go seamlessly. I had to stop walking, then push up on the joystick to climb. Donkey Kong pretty much requires spot on movement, and this put a big damper on the game.

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I then tried a few non-NES games just to see how well it worked with some of the other emulated systems. Boulder Dash for the Commodore 64 in Wii mode worked okay. Not great. Not bad. Just okay. Holding the stick in any direction often overshot where I wanted to be by one tile. But tapping the stick allowed me to move one tile at a time well enough. It was playable, but Boulder Dash is another platform, puzzle game that requires spot on movement. In later levels where speed is as important as planning, you may just want to use the Wii Remote for this one.

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I also used the stick with Cho Aniki for the TG-16 in Wii mode. This controlled just fine with the stick, and I didn’t have much to complain about. I was able to move in all directions smoothly, and firing was just as responsive. Another one that played well with The Edge was Contra Rebirth. Running, jumping, and firing in all directions were smooth during my play time with it. I closed out the tests with Ninja Combat for the Neo Geo on the Wii. If not for the fact the game requires a four button controller, this would have been the best test game. Moving, shooting, and jumping worked perfectly. Unfortunately, only having two buttons meant I couldn’t perform every function required to play properly. Still, it was a nice surprise.

One nice touch is the Nintendo Power pastiche included in the box. It’s a small booklet with some strategies, and cheat codes for the 30 games included in the NES Classic Edition. So if you’re picking this up with the console, it’s a fun little bit of bonus material for you.

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Aside from some iffy performance on some titles, the big problem with this controller is the inconsistency with the build. The nice, arcade buttons for the A, and B buttons are great, and the stick component is pretty good. Regrettably though, I have to point out the very light, and cheap feeling plastics for the controller body. If you come into this looking for the same hefty, build quality of the original NES Advantage you’re not going to find it.

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The Edge is a mixed bag. For some games you’ll like it fine enough, while on others you’ll just want to roll with the standard pad or Wii mote.  The real disappointment is the flimsy feel of the plastics aside from the rather nice buttons. There are worse controllers for the Classic, Wii, and Wii U. But this isn’t going to be the most well-rounded option either. Unless you’re dead set on using a joystick, and don’t have the hundreds to drop on a high-end arcade stick, I would stick with the standard first-party control pads. Or a Wii Classic Controller Pro for playing on the NES Classic or the original Wii. Wii U owners can also use the Wii U pro controller for games on the eshop.

Final Score: 6 out of 10

SD2EIC Drive Review

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It’s no secret I’m a huge Commodore fan. As a child in the 80’s, I started gaming on the seminal Atari 2600. It’s a timeless system for many reasons, and I still fire it up a lot today. But when my father came home with a Commodore 64 bread bin it quickly became the de facto platform in our household. When the company redesigned the computer, and sold a cheaper junior model, my father bought one, and donated the old one to relatives. But from the moment I saw Forbidden Forest running off a cassette tape the first time, I was hooked.

Through the years I played tons of awesome games on it. It wasn’t until I was a Junior in High School that we would move to a modern MS-DOS X86 PC. Because that is how versatile the King of 8-bit computers was. The C64 launched in 1983, and wasn’t discontinued until 1994 when the company went out of business. It’s fondly remembered as a games machine, because it’s where many companies went during the console market crash, and where many indies that became today’s majors got their start.

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It was a big deal here in North America, but it was even bigger in Europe. There are countless games that never officially made it Stateside.  So the platform is also an importer’s dream. Provided of course you’re willing to wade through the landmine of PAL Vs. NTSC concerns.

But whether you’re a North American or European Commodore 64 owner, there’s no denying that over time some of our floppies, and cassettes are slowly wearing out. A lot of our disk drives, and datasette drives are going kaput. With only so many in the wild, it’s going to get harder, and harder to rebuild our beloved collections. But fear not! Thanks to The Future Was 8-bit there is a way to keep the memory alive, on the original hardware.

PROS: An SD Card reader that emulates Floppy, and Cassette drives exceptionally well!

CONS: Not quite everything is compatible.

BUT: Far more than enough is compatible.

At first glance, the SD2EIC just looks like an SD card reader in a cute 1541 floppy drive shaped casing. But it’s no ordinary SD card reader!  This device emulates an actual 1541, and datasette environment. It plugs into either the tape drive slot or the floppy drive slot (depending on the version you order), and the serial DB port.  From here you can put in an SD card with your Commodore 64 program files , and run them natively on the computer!

This can be done a few ways, you can download images (assuming you own the programs in question), or if you have the means, you can back up your files to a computer, and then transfer them to a card.  You can also migrate disk images from the 1541 floppy drive to the SD2EIC. This is a little bit more involved, since you’ll need a couple of extra cables, and you’ll need to find a Compression software that works with the platform. Once you’re set up though, you will be so glad you have one of these.

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The device utilizes a file browser software file you can download which lets you go through a DOS like directory system. This makes it easy for you to organize files, and set them up in an order you feel most comfortable with. The documentation included with the SD2EIC gives you a pretty detailed set of instructions on using it. For basic file browsing though, it is pretty straight forward. You can navigate using either the CRSR Up/Down key, or a joystick in port two. If you don’t feel comfortable configuring the software, you can order a preconfigured card with it. The card has the file browser, and a bunch of programs on it.

If that weren’t enough, the device also has three buttons on it which are used when using programs that require multiple disks. This is handy when running a game or other program, that would normally involve flipping a diskette over, or putting in the next diskette when prompted. Here you have forward, backward, and reset buttons which you can press in these situations. Two of the buttons also act as the power, and load/save LEDs on the 1541 floppy drive. It’s really cool, and a nice touch to an already great experience.

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The SD2EIC can read all kinds of C64 file images. It can run D64, T64 files as well as PRG files. Again, it can also run them sequentially. But the device can also save files. This makes the unit very attractive to budding BASIC programmers. If you know your way around code, you can use this in lieu of a floppy diskette drive. This is a great way to save your projects without fear of a 1541 drive dying, or your diskette wearing out, and your data going with it. Plus even a relatively small SD card can house thousands of programs, and files due to the small file sizes on a typical 5.25″ Floppy Diskette. It’s compatible with both NTSC, and PAL machines too, though if you put PAL files on your card, and run it on an NTSC machine you’ll likely experience the same random glitches, video issues, or occasional crashes you would if you were to run an imported game on floppy.

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One of the things that really impressed me was the build quality. Most commercial SD card readers, even ones made by big industry names can be flimsy. The SD2EIC I received is superb. It’s built with plastic made by recycling broken Commodore 64, and 128 computer cases. It’s sturdy, and even the cabling feels secure. It isn’t something you can be careless with, but it can withstand shuffling around your set up.

There are a handful of minor issues with the drive. The first is that you do not want to accidentally grab the wrong controller if you have two of them plugged in. Doing so will exit you out of the program, and drop you back to the BASIC prompt. The second is that the SD2EIC doesn’t emulate a 1541 drive at 100%. That’s because the 1541 floppy drive is powered by another MOS 6502 CPU just like the stock Commodore 64 computer. So there are a handful of programs that won’t work due to being written in a way that utilizes the 1541 floppy drive in a specific way.

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Nevertheless, I can still tell you that the SD2EIC is a must own peripheral for any Commodore 64 collector. The wealth of pros outweigh the cons of a few incompatible programs out there. Especially when you consider just how versatile it is. The ability to run backup images alone, is something that should put this on your radar. With 5.25″ diskettes drying up, breaking down, and working 1541 drives dying from old age, this is a very welcome peripheral for preservation. Plus, budding indie developers have a means for their BASIC, and Assembly language projects to be stored on a modern format.

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It’s amazing how many wonderful homebrew products keep coming out for this legendary machine. Over the last three decades there have been Ethernet cards, a web browser, and even a new motherboard! But this drive is going to be more, and more sought after as time goes on. And, as these are made from recycled Commodore computers, you may want to get one before they dry up. It is truly a must own peripheral for anyone interested in Commodore.

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Now it should be noted there are other ways to get the SD2EIC. You can buy the circuit board, and daughter board from NKC Electronics. It’s nice if you’re good at assembling your own casings, and doing your own electronics assembly, or repair. But going with this specific one makes things very convenient. Plus the use of recycled computers to make the attractive casing is a nice touch that keeps them out of the landfill. I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s true. TheFutureWas8Bit has really outdone themselves with this one. Whether you’re a long time fan, or new to Commodore. Get yourself an SD2EIC from them. You won’t be sorry. Even the care put into the shipping packaging will astound you.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Sega Control Stick Review

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So you’ve got your Sega Master System, or Power Base Converter for your Genesis. You’re all set to play some Alien Syndrome or Penguin Land using your Genesis game pad. Because that mushy directional square on the Master System controller just doesn’t work as nicely. But wait! For some weird mapping reason, these games just don’t respond to your Genesis pad. You look online to see that you can clip one wire inside to make it work, but this will relegate your Genesis pad to Master System status forever! Fear not! There are other ways!

PROS: Pretty sturdy construction. More responsive in many games.

CONS: Left handed layout may take getting used to. Not as responsive in some games.

ADVANTAGE: Hard to say. But not going to look as nice as the NES Advantage.

If you’re upset with the performance level of the stock Master System controller you’re not alone. It’s serviceable, but in some games, the mushy pad makes you go down when you meant to go right. Or on a northern arc, when you thought you were pressing left. Sometimes a direct line of movement simply doesn’t happen when it should. Many collectors use a Sega Genesis pad. This works in most games, but there are a handful that don’t work with a never modified Genesis controller. Modifying one also kills the compatibility with the Genesis in the process. To avoid that, some have even gone as far as paying for custom controllers. While this is a wonderful option one can take advantage of, it’s usually pretty expensive. Not everyone collecting 8-bit Sega stuff can invest in one.

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Enter Sega’s Control Stick! It’s an arcade style joystick for the Master System, originally released in 1987. Right away, you’ll notice it has a sturdy build. It doesn’t feel flimsy in any regard at all. The base is nice, and hefty. The 1, and 2 buttons feel pretty good, and responsive.  The stick itself is also pretty solid. Everything goes the way it is supposed to, and it has a knob molded  like the shift stick on the Outrun arcade cabinet.

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In terms of build, this is pretty good, and may be something you’ll want to track down. I put it through the paces with a bunch of games. Alien Syndrome benefited greatly from the Control Stick. It was much easier to get going on direct paths, with far less accidental diagonal runs into enemies. The Control Stick also worked very well with Space Harrier, and After Burner. Moving around was very simple, and shooting things down went very well. It doesn’t replicate the arcade experience, but it is a bit better than playing with the stock pad. I also had a pretty good experience playing R-Type with it.

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Unfortunately not every game is well suited to the Control Stick. Double Dragon was still much easier to play with the Control Pad, as getting the two buttons down to jump kick was more accessible. Shinobi wasn’t any worse, but it also wasn’t what I would call better. Golden Axe was better in some regards, like pulling off the shoulder block. But in others it was worse, like trying to control the beast mounts. So really you don’t need to go beyond the Control Pad for either of those games. Platformers like Alex Kidd in Miracle World, and Psycho Fox also felt easier to play on the Control Pad, rather than the Control Stick.

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One point of contention some may have with the Control Stick is that it’s set in a left-handed orientation. I personally didn’t have any trouble adjusting to it, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t. That being said, I don’t think it will be a major issue for most players. The Control Stick is also shaped in a way that you really can’t sit on the floor with one. You’ll either have to lie on the floor, or sit at the coffee table to use it. As solid as the base is, it can be easy to knock over due to the small size. It is also no frills, offering no extras, like turbo buttons, or other functions.

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Despite its faults I’d still recommend getting a Control Stick. Especially if you’re someone who loves playing Sega’s arcade shooter ports, or any of the Master System’s shmups. You can play other games with it for the most part, but it’ll be a mixed bag. Some games fare better, a few worse, and many not all that different. It’s also worth picking up for the handful of cartridges that won’t work with an unmodified Sega Genesis controller. This way you don’t have to break compatibility with your Genesis by modifying the controller. It’s also a curious piece to add to your SMS collection.

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The fact it also uses a stock DB9 connector means that it is also a great joystick for the Atari 2600, or Commodore 64. If you’re a retro games collector, you may have either of these in your collection. The Sega Control Stick has some versatility for you in this situation. It may not be the absolute best controller around, but it is a very good one worth owning. Particularly if you love Sega Master System shooters, or own multiple platforms from gaming’s early days.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Steam Controller Review

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A few years ago now, Valve unveiled its plan to get PC’s in the living room. This wasn’t an entirely new idea. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) PC Builders have tried this for years with a handful of minor successes. The late, Gateway had its Destination series. Hewlett-Packard built a line of computers with cards that could output to TVs. Dell attempted it, even boutique companies have tried this before partnering with Valve.

But Valve wanted theirs to be a little bit closer to a mass market attempt, rather than an entirely niche one. It was, and is an attempt to get more console owners to try gaming on a computer. After a number of delays, their Steam machine partners have put out these Home Theatre PCs. One of the key differences is past attempts from other companies were Windows based, where Valve’s partners are using Valve’s Linux based Steam OS. The other part of Valve’s plan however doesn’t involve a Steam OS based computer. It’s centered around a versatile new controller.

PROS: Versatile. Comfortable. Compatible with most anything on Steam.

CONS: Not quite as simplified for games not on Steam.

ELABORATE: The packaging is very ritzy.

The beautiful thing about the Steam controller is that you don’t have to have a Steam machine to use it. It will work with pretty much any computer made in the last 15 years. Provided of course you are on at least Windows 7, Mac OS 10.10 or Steam OS, and have a Steam account. Outside of Steam, the pad is seen as a keyboard, and a mouse. Although it has no keys, so you can’t type with it. But you can navigate your Operating System’s GUI using the trackpad, and cursors as a mouse. Once you fire up Steam though, it gets really interesting, really quickly.

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The first thing that will happen upon firing up Steam, is a prompt to go into Steam’s Big Picture Mode. Once you do it will want to link the controller to your account. You can skip the process, but doing so won’t let you get all of the functionality. Once it is linked to your account it will give you the ability to customize boot settings, and save key binds to it. The controller includes USB dongles so that you can use it wirelessly, or as a wired controller. It includes 2 AA Duracell alkaline batteries. But you can use also use rechargeable AA batteries instead.

Once you’ve done all of that, Steam will prompt you to download the latest firmware updates. Once that is finished, it takes a brief moment to install, and you’re almost set. You can then calibrate the gamepad. A handy screen comes up with a blueprint. Once you press all of the buttons, and test the trackpads you’re set.

Every game in the Steam store works with the controller on some level. The controller has preset profiles in it that will fit the bill in many cases. There’s a set up to mimic a console gamepad, keyboard, and mouse, along with a few others. Most of the time, you’ll fire up a game with it, and play without a hitch. For those times where things don’t feel quite comfortable or convenient enough for you, you can press the Steam button to pull up a controller menu. You can tinker with the settings yourself, rebind buttons, and even upload your layout to the Steam community. Likewise you can search for a layout for the game you’re playing, and download the one you like best.

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These profiles can also be stored on the controller. So if you take the pad to a friend or relative’s for couch gaming, you won’t have to reconfigure your controller settings. You can also toggle an onscreen controller HUD, showing you where you’re pressing as you play. You may find this handy as you’re experimenting, trying to get things the way you want them.

When playing games that require you to type, or if you’re just surfing with the Steam browser, a handy onscreen keyboard comes up. Unlike the old days of slowly moving a cursor with a D pad or thumb stick letter by letter, you can quickly use your thumbs. The trackpads simulate the feel of texting on a smartphone. It won’t be quite as nice as an actual keyboard. But if you are using your TV as a monitor, with your computer in the entertainment center, it is quite convenient.

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Which is really what the controller sets out to do. Make PC gaming, and other tasks viable from your couch. It’s very successful in that regard. The interface feels quick, and comfortable. Navigating Steam with it is intuitive most of the time. With Valve adding more functionality to Big Picture Mode, even playing your albums, or browsing sites online becomes fairly easy from the couch.

I put mine through the paces, and found I was pleasantly surprised with it. Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams was very easy to play with it, though using the left trackpad as a D pad took a little getting used to. The face X,Y,A,B buttons, are laid out exactly the same way as on the Xbox 360, and Xbox One controllers, so it wasn’t long before I was jumping, and twirling to victory.

Broforce also played very well with the pad. I had no issues running, dashing, jumping, and shooting. I was able to do everything about as easily as I could using a 360 controller. In some rounds it was easier, as the 360 pad is notorious for registering angled commands when you’re certain you’ve pressed directly horizontal, or vertical commands.

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Speaking of which, I also used the controller with Ultra Street Fighter IV. This also worked favorably. Once I downloaded a 360 pad profile to the controller anyway. The only other issue I had with the game is that while the left track worked wonderfully as a D pad for vertical, and horizontal movement, it wasn’t ideal for the quarter circle, or charging moves. I found myself using the thumb stick instead. Beyond that, I was able to control the game nicely.

FPS are another genre the pad works with very well. I fired up Rainbow Six Siege, and had no issues with it. The right trackpad is much closer to the responsiveness of a mouse than a thumb stick ever could be. It felt about as responsive as Nintendo’s Wii Remote Motion Plus. Having that precision on a traditionally shaped controller could be a Godsend to anyone who prefers playing shooters with a game pad. It still isn’t as precise as a good mouse, but for the comfort of gaming from your couch it is a viable alternative.

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Strategy games also benefit, as the right trackpad, again makes mouse movement palatable for fans of game pads. When it comes to any current games, this controller is actually a really good solution. But that’s not all. You can also get many old games, and games you don’t have in your library to work with it. Adding shortcuts in Steam using the Add non-Steam game to my library option means you’ll be able to use the controller with those as well. This is nice because you can fire up your Origin or Uplay account through the Steam client to play your EA, and Ubisoft games. Or your retail disc games.

That being said, in some of these cases you might have to go through many hoops to get things working properly. Either through painstakingly making your key bind list, or having to do file edits or tweaks. In these instances you may just prefer to use a cordless keyboard or mouse since it is a lot less you’ll have to deal with.

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But overall I’d say the Steam controller does succeed in making HTPC’s a viable option. It’s cool to be able to fire up your computer into Big Picture Mode, and control almost everything with the controller. Some people will notice that almost anything on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 is also on the Steam store. Then they may realize that these titles can be played on their big screen HDTV as well. This may make some of them pause, and wonder why they don’t use a computer in their living rooms instead.

But it still doesn’t have the mass market appeal needed to ignite that grand exodus. The simplicity of a game system isn’t quite there. Though this controller, in conjunction with Big Picture does display the massive gains made on the way to satisfying that goal. If you’re serious about building or buying a Home Theatre PC for living room gaming, the Steam controller is an excellent choice. Just know there will still be a few situations where you may still need a traditional keyboard, and mouse.

If you’re PC gaming at a desk, and need a controller for genres where a game pad is preferable, then there are a couple of contenders. The Steam controller again, is an excellent choice. When compared to the bulk of PC gamepads, there’s really no comparison. But Microsoft’s Xbox One pad is going to be a little bit more convenient. Any multiplatform game is going to recognize it in Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 since the OS has drivers for it. But it isn’t an open, and shut case since you’ll need something like Xpadder to map buttons for old PC games, and titles with no modern controller support anyway. Moreover, the Steam controller’s trackpads are again, much more responsive than the thumb sticks on the console controllers.

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As far as the overall feel, and build of the device, it stacks up positively against the competition. It’s around the same size as Microsoft’s controller, with the lighter feel of Nintendo’s Wii U Pro controller. It’s easy to get to the buttons on the face, and top. There are also two buttons under the battery cover. One on each side. The battery cover is designed to be pressed to click either of these. Being able to use it wired or wirelessly is also a nice touch.

Ultimately, the controller is geared more toward those interested in gaming on an HTPC. But it’s still a very nice option for gaming at the desk. While it isn’t quite as plug, and play as an Xbox One pad, it still has some big advantages. Being able to save custom key settings is a great feature. The trackpads are much more accurate than a thumb stick, making RTS, FPS, and other genres easier to play. Most other genres play just as easily with the right settings. It’s not going to be perfect for everyone, but that doesn’t make the controller any less versatile. Valve’s controller is a highly recommended peripheral.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

TTX Tech Classic Controller for Wii & Wii U Review

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