May 10th, 2008
I was fortunate enough to have two of my posts featured on RacketBoy’s Retro Roundup and as a result I have had a couple of great suggestions put forward to me by some of his readers checking out the site. They are both in relation to the Nintendo Wii Classic Controller Alternatives article. These contributions round off the complete list of Classic Controller alternatives.
The first contribution is from a RB reader named Wylkus whom posted in the article:
These should be mentioned as a virtual console controller alternative.
I got the SNES cords and they work great. Some of my friends complain about having a wired controller now that they’re used to wireless but I don’t really find it a problem.
He is refering to the RetroZone NES and SNES controller ports. These cords have a Gamecube port on one end and a NES/SNES port on the other allowing you to use the original pads. I didn’t mention this in the article for two reasons; firstly because they are original controllers and I was only really after alternatives. Secondly because I could not find the link to this site, it sounds stupid because these cords are actually hugely popular. A worthwhile investment I’d say.
The second contribution that I want to mention is one by Alex whom shared his experiences with a few of the Classic controller alternatives that I wrote about. Here is what he said:
I’d mostly recommend the GCN Controller (Wavebird if you can live without rumble; I can’t), the Classic Controller, and the Thrustmaster, as those are the ones I own. None of the options are perfect:
The buttons on the Thrustmaster are a little too small and kinda mushy (especially the L and R buttons), the dongle is stupidly designed (it hangs halfway down the Wii and blinks endlessly), and its shape is slightly weird (would be perfect except for some inexplicable indents on the handles); also it only works when plugged into a Wii, it won’t work on Gamecube. Additionally, those with large hands may find it too small. Plus, it has to be said: it’s sorta ugly.
The Classic Controller is poorly shaped and the sticks aren’t great, and the lack of rumble is annoying. As senseibaka mentioned, it’s too light.
The GCN controller has a lousy button layout and a tiny D-pad, plus weak rumble.
On the plus side:
The Thrustmaster is the best option for games that don’t work well with either the classic controller or the GCN controller’s button layouts; being able to remap the controls is wonderful. It has better rumble than the GCN controller too. It’s the only option with thingies around the sticks instead of Nintendo’s stupid decagons. The turbo is occasionally useful on VC. And it’s the best controller for playing Genesis games thanks to its D-pad. Plus, it works on Wii, VC, and GCN games. Also, the only wireless option with rumble.
The Classic Controller’s buttons and D-pad feel fantastic, the buttons are easily the best of the lot. I couldn’t beat Sin and Punishment until I got this (the GCN controller’s L and R buttons took too long to press); although I bet the Thrustmaster would have helped almost as much despite the slightly mushy feel. Wireless is a plus.
The GCN controller has the best sticks by far; I wouldn’t play most GCN or N64 games with anything else. The analog on the L and R works better than on the Thrustmaster, but I think that’s only an issue on a couple GCN games. It’s also the most comfortable to hold. The Wavebird’s dongle is much better than the Thrustmaster’s, it plugs right in instead of dangling off the side of the machine.
A few other notes: first, Pelican makes a ripoff of Hori’s pad, you can find it on buy.com. I’ve heard it’s worse in every way, but I suppose it’s worth mentioning. Second, if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks, those NES-style Gamecatz PS2 controllers are great. Don’t know if they’d work with the adapters though, as I don’t have an adapter.
Overall, if you only buy one of these options (you should have at least four though, nobody wants to play Brawl with the wiimote!), I’d recommend the Thrustmaster. It’s the only one that will work well for everything you can play on your Wii, barring wiimote-only games of course. Still, each has its advantages, and I use them all. I still want to pick up a Hori GBP pad, a Hori Stick, and a Neo Geo stick though. I’m such a controller whore.
And in a follow up comment.
Uh, by “thingies around the stick etc.” I meant that the holes in the plastic where the stick pokes out of the controller are round, as opposed to Nintendo’s decagon-style holes, which are good for fighters and annoying as hell for anything else. Of course, no fighting game fan should try to play on anything other than the arcade sticks.
I thought that both contributions do a good job at rounding out the list of available alternatives. So thanks to Wylkus, Alex and all of you who have posted comments on the site for sharing your ideas.