A Classic Controller styled like the original GameCube controller, with a variety of themed colour schemes.
The original GameCube controller was a thing of beauty to many gamers. Personally, I always found it a bit on the ugly side. I had a purple and a silver GameCube controller in my time with the Nintendo GameCube, and the strange lumpiness of the shape and the lack of symmetry with the buttons always kind of annoyed me. But there was never any doubt that the GameCube controller performed well.
For players of certain games (I am looking at you Smash Bros.), the GameCube controller lived on beyond the actual GameCube. So, following the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, many GameCube controllers would have been taken out of their protective wrapping, dusted off and put to work by the more serious Smash Bros. players. Of course, for the Wii U, that will also have meant picking up an adapter and reconciling the fact that the GameCube controller can only be used with the new Smash Bros. game.
Performance Designed Products (PDP) would like to suggest an alternative in the form of their range of Wired Fight Pads for Wii U. Taking the form of a GameCube controller, along with a selection of stylings that represent different Nintendo characters, and being officially licensed by Nintendo, the PDP Wired Fight Pad is a third party controller that once again proves the days of palming a dodgy controller off to someone else are long behind us.
Let’s start by addressing some confusion. The Wired Fight Pad from PDP does have a wire, but it doesn’t plug into the Wii U (or Wii as the controller works with both) itself. In fact, the relatively short wire actually plugs into a WiiMote in a similar manner to the Nunchuk. For those who don’t like the idea of wires running across the room, this does mean that the Fight Pad is essentially wireless. The downside is that it also means the Fight Pad requires a powered WiiMote to operate, meaning the wired pad still relies on batteries.
Personally, I love this idea. I always have a charged WiiMote ready for action, so simply plugging in the Fight Pad and playing required almost no effort. There was a moment of confusion as I stared at the array of different buttons on my lap when trying to work out which to press to get started, but logic kicked in an away I went.
The Wired Fight Pad is a Classic Controller Pro in all but shape, and thus is compatible with any game that supports that controller. Of course, the main marketing suggests the Fight Pad for Super Smash Bros., but the reality is that the controller works great with loads of games, and I have actually discarded all other controllers in favour of the Fight Pad when possible. With absolutely zero lag, something which may be a worry, the controller works great whether crushing opponents in Smash Bros. or zipping around tracks in Mario Kart.
While the Wired Fight Pad performs brilliantly, for the less pro gamers it will be more about how the controller looks. As previously mentioned, the controller is designed to mimic the original GameCube controller, but with a few differences. Purists will quickly discover that the Wired Fight Pad is slightly larger and slightly lighter than the original. They will also easily spot that the c-stick has been replaced with a second thumb stick, and that there are two shoulder buttons. Buttons for Home, + and – sit in the centre of the pad, and the triggers are slightly more recessed.
The build quality is excellent. The entire controller feels solid and seems to be built to last, not at all cheap like the third party controllers of old. The sticks have a rubberized feel to them, and a comfortable spring back to centre, while the face buttons have a solid click. I would say that the trigger buttons feel a little too springy for my liking, and the shoulder buttons are too clicky with very little give, but these are only personal preference and other users may find these buttons to be perfectly set for their playing style.
I love being able to personalize my gaming experience, and the Wired Fight Pad makes this very easy by being available in eight different colour schemes, each representing a Nintendo character. Originally launched with Mario, Peach, Luigi and Yoshi options, the range is being expanded to include Samus, Wario, Link and Donkey Kong. The colours are all bright and vibrant, with a glossy finish for the top case and a matte finish underneath, differently coloured sticks and buttons, and a character styled graphic openly on display at the top. The controllers really do look great and the variety of choice means that there is one for everyone.
The Wired Fight Pad will not be for everyone. Some will lament the fact that batteries are still required, preferring the reliability of a wire. Others will not appreciate the changes over the original GameCube controller, not willing to learn something new. Yet more gamers will find that the bright colours make the controller look a little too childish. But there are plenty of people out there who will really not care about any of this, and for those the Wired Fight Pad from PDP is simply one of the best controllers for the Wii U, or Wii.
For the professional Smash Bros. players, there really is no other option than the original GameCube controller. However, for those who are not so serious about their Smash Bros. gaming, or for those who want a controller to use with multiple games, as long as they have a WiiMote, the Wired Fight Pad from PDP is an incredibly competent, and reasonably cheap, alternative that looks great and comes in a variety of different, themed designs.