There’s a new Smash Bros out for Wii U. This is a pretty big deal, as developer Sora have proven to be masters at squeezing gaming goodness out of new Nintendo hardware. So naturally, when faced with the Wii U’s fancy touchscreen controller, both they and the fans decided it would be better to just use the old Gamecube controllers instead. Controllers which, may we remind you, debuted 14 years and two console generations ago. Only in the topsy-turvy world of Nintendo does this make sense.
Never one to miss a trick, Nintendo decided to do a cheeky re-issue of the ‘cube controller, this time tarted up with a little Smash logo on its pretty face. It can be yours – bundled with Official Nintendo Wii U Controller Adapter™ of course – for the modest sum of £54.00 and change. Incidentally, that’s more than half of what a brand new Gamecube (with game) would have set you back in 2003. How times change.
It was during the search for an, er, alternative that we noticed a bumper crop of official-looking ‘cube controllers going for a pittance on eBay. It sounded too good to be true. Were they nicked? Shabby knockoffs? We put our money on the latter and ordered one. Sorry Nintendo! We still love you. Don’t set Reggie on us.
In-hand, the controller feels a teensy bit hollow and is notably shorn of any trademarks and logos. We called it the Samuel L. Jackson Edition because like his character in Unbreakable, it’s black and will break into pieces if you drop it down the stairs. The C-stick is ever so slightly transparent, like it died and came back as a ghost. The satisfying pump ‘n click of the shoulder buttons is gone – they’re very spongy, so much so that it was hard to tell if they actually did anything or were just for show. Frankly the whole thing looked less legit than Adam’s ‘Pony Bumology’ degree. [Oi! I studied for years to get that! I was the best in my field* – Adam]
*We choose to take this literally, as the image of our dear editor standing in a field studying pony bottoms is too funny/tragically prescient to ignore.
We plugged it in and surprisingly the Gamecube didn’t explode in a puff of smoke and customisable disc tray lids. It actually worked! Kind of.
You see, every other button press would result in a flurry of “turbo” fire. Read that again. Not every press. Every second press. The thing was flip-flopping between one mode and the other with no way to stop. We tried playing that way for a while. It was stupid, and we flung the controller against the nearest hard thing in protest.
On examining the wreckage, we discovered the culprit: the innards of the beast had components for an unused turbo and slow-motion mode, which was surprising because it’s the first knock-off we’ve seen that’s added something to the original in some way. A prod with a screwdriver was all it took to fix the problem, and the pad returned to normal afterwards. It was also at this point we realised it had a rumble motor (which doesn’t work – sigh) and was rather… economically put together. Why use expensive electrical wire when sandwich ties will do?
So, was it worth it? Well, it’s cheap, and slapped together with anything they had lying around that looked like it might conduct electricity, but we kind of like it. It was well worth the four squid we paid for it anyways.
We say give it to player 2. It’s nature’s way.
“Do a cheeky”