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Wii U Pro Controller Review

Wii U Pro Controller Review

     Anybody familiar with Nintendo's brand-new video game console, the Nintendo Wii U, is bound to know of the Wii U GamePad, a tablet-like controller that provides diverse experiences in video games, but the Wii U GamePad isn't the only controller Nintendo has available for the Wii U. Alongside the Nintendo Wii U's launch, Nintendo made available the Wii U Pro Controller, a brand-new controller that you can use for games such as Call of Duty Black Ops II and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. This controller weighs in at a rather light 8 ounces while it measures at approximately 6.25 inches wide. It also remains 4.75 inches tall and 1.5 inches in depth. As many people relate, the controller appears to be very similar to the XBOX 360's shape, yet this is one controller that stands out differently in a variety of ways.

     The Wii U Pro Controller features numerous control inputs that we've come to expect on controllers nowadays: 2 analog sticks, a d-pad, the A,B,X,Y face buttons, L and R buttons, and ZL and ZR analog triggers. The controller also features a home button, which allows you to access the home menu directly from the controller, a start (+) and select (-) button, a sync button on the back, and a power button, which allows you to turn the console on and off directly from the controller. You'll also notice 4 LED lights on the buttom which indicate which player number the controller is along with 1 LED light on the top that indicates the controller is charging. In addition, there is a slot on the top that allows you to plug in the charger, and, sadly, the controller lacks a headphone jack, which can be essential when playing certain video games online using the Wii U Pro Controller.

     On the controller, the first and foremost change compared to other controllers is the fact that the second analog stick is above the A,B,X,Y face buttons, which is a huge hurdle many gamers will need to overcome when first getting their hands on the controller. On the majority of controllers, the A,B,X,Y face buttons are placed above the second analog stick, so switching from the second analog stick being below the face buttons to them being above the face buttons is very frustrating and annoying. After using it for longer periods of time and getting used to it, it'll only become more natural, though. The lack of a headphone jack is a major downside to the controller, as it plays a huge role in online multiplayer for games such as Call of Duty Black Ops II. Since the controller doesn't sport one, if you want to use the Pro Controller and a headphone, you'll have to sit next to the Wii U GamePad with the headphone plugged into it, which can be very annoying and akward. For people that don't play online multiplayer with headphones or just don't play online multiplayer in games, it shouldn't end up being an issue, however.

     While it may not have a headphone jack and could be annoying for the second analog stick being above the X,B,X,Y face buttons, most of the buttons on the controller feel very well built, precise, and durable. The d-pad, obviously, is extremely accurate and comfortable to use, which makes sense since Nintendo practically invented the d-pad. The analog sticks feel very precise and feel like they are of high-quality. The A,B,X,Y face buttons feel natural to press during a video game and they work very well. The home button and power button are very convient additions for when you need to access the home menu or simply turn the console on/off from the controller without using the GamePad, and they are nice additions on the controller. The start and select are obvious inclusions and feel great, as they always do.

Image Courtesy of Freemans.com

     Although Nintendo did a great job when it comes to many parts of the controller, they really messed up with two buttons on it and could've done better with two other buttons: the L and R buttons and ZL and ZR analog triggers. The L and R buttons work perfectly fine and don't have very many issues, but it would've been much better if Nintendo made the button click when you press it, kind of like how the Z button on the GameCube controller did. Those two buttons seem like they would be much better and more precise with that, in my opinion. The ZL and ZR buttons are two buttons Nintendo truly messed up with. Those two buttons are typically used for shooters and racing games, so it is only natural if they made them more fleshed out, kind of like with the XBOX 360's analog triggers. These triggers feel too flat and just don't offer the kind of accuracy you'd come to expect from analog triggers, which is very disappointing.

     One of the biggest features the Wii U Pro Controller has to offer that gives it an edge compared to the XBOX 360 and PS3's controllers would have to be its battery life, with the controller boasting over 80 hours of gameplay on a full charge, an impressive amount indeed. The controller, unlike the Wii U GamePad, uses a USB charger that must be plugged into a computer or one of the Wii U's USB ports in order to get the controller to charge. This makes it easy for people to charge the controller while it offers more flexibility for people who travel to different countries by allowing them to simply charge it on their computer rather having to purchase a power converter to charge it. In addition, this could mean that the controller will be able for use on PC games sometime in the future.

     At the moment, there aren't very many games that support the Wii U Pro Controller, but quite a few Wii U games currently do support the controller. I've been able to use the Wii U Pro Controller with New Super Mario Bros. U, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Need for Speed Most Wanted U, and, I have to say, I've really enjoyed using the controller. In my hands, the controller feels very lightweight and comfortable while it is very durable and certainly can take a punch. It also performed very well with those games and was very responsive. The controller especially shined with Need for Speed Most Wanted U due to reasons such as it being more compact and made for using the TV, which has a much higher resoultion than the GamePad in this game specifically. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is yet another game I found this controller to be very useful with, as it is a perfect fit for this game.

     In all, the Wii U Pro Controller is a great controller to use, regardless of its flaws, and feels very comfortable during gameplay. If you're in the market for a brand-new controller with a more classic feel for your Wii U, I'd recommend that you get a Wii U Pro Controller. It currently costs $50 and does a great job for your money. However, you do have the option to buy a third-party version of the Pro Controller, such as the Interworks Pro Controller U, for an even cheaper price, so you might want to keep one of those in mind. Otherwise, this controller is definitely worth your money and works great with games that support it.

Pros:

- Comfortable, Lightweight,  Accurate, & Durable

- 80+ Hours of Gameplay on Full Charge

- Charges via a USB, Creating  Flexibility for Travelers and Possible PC Usage

Cons:

- Akward Button/Stick Placement and Disappointing Analog Triggers

- No Headphone Jack

- Small Number of Supported Software

8.0/10.0

Top Image Courtesy of Techno Buffallo

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