For a system that is now not in lively manufacturing, the Nintendo 64 has certain seen quite a lot of new controllers just lately. We reviewed the Tribute64 pad not so way back, and now it is the flip of the Retro Fighters Brawler64 – a pad that was crowdfunded on Kickstarter as a “subsequent technology” providing for Nintendo’s much-loved 64-bit system.
We’re really coming to the Brawler64 a bit late, because the pad has already been an enormous success at retail to the purpose the place its creator, Retro Fighters, has produced a revised variant which fixes a reasonably main drawback (extra on that in a second) in addition to variations which have completely different colored plastic casing.
Essentially the most notable factor concerning the Brawler64 is that, just like the Hori Mini Pad and Tribute64 controller, it drops the long-lasting three-prong design seen on the unique N64 pad and as an alternative opts for a extra conventional two-prong strategy, including a second Z set off to make sure all the pieces works as deliberate. The analogue stick and D-Pad additionally swap positions, however in any other case, it is enterprise as regular.
The analogue stick is value mulling over a bit extra, as a result of it concurrently fixes one of many massive failings of the unique pad whereas introducing a brand new flaw. On the plus aspect, this can be a modern-style stick which boasts a textured prime for elevated grip however retains the hexagonal ‘gate’ design of the unique N64 pad. Meaning its simpler to ‘find’ instructions when in comparison with, say, the stick on the Change Pleasure-Con.
It actually makes you recognize how correct the analogue wand on the unique N64 controller is
There’s much more journey on this stick than on the unique N64 pad’s ‘wand’, and that may be each a blessing and a curse. Since you’ve obtained extra room to throw the stick round it feels nice throughout video games the place precision is not actually a consideration; nevertheless, the second it’s good to make finely-tuned changes, it feels awkward. Aiming a weapon, for instance, might be fairly a irritating affair because the stick is not as exact because it must be. It actually makes you recognize how correct the analogue wand on the unique N64 controller is, regardless of its flawed and easily-broken design.
The D-Pad is one other story completely and is little question why the pad has the phrase ‘Brawler’ in its title. It is positioned decrease down on the controller and is simple to make use of; whereas we would not say it was essentially higher than the one on the unique N64 controller, it is actually a wonderful pad and makes enjoying sure video games an actual pleasure. Whereas the N64 is mild on combating video games, people who do exist play like a dream with this pad. In truth, any recreation that favours digital enter over analogue feels nice.
Retro Fighters has made a giant deal out of the truth that the Brawler64’s C-Buttons are bigger than these on the unique pad, and whereas we’re undecided this can be a game-changing design distinction, the buttons do really feel simpler to find and press. In truth, the entire buttons on the controller really feel good and responsive with out feeling too mushy or spongy – except the 2 Z triggers, which really feel like analogue inputs despite the fact that they don’t seem to be. There’s quite a lot of journey on each and which means your ‘press’ would not get registered by the pad till the set off is about midway down, which might result in an annoying delay between your enter and the following on-screen response. Why Retro Fighters determined to make use of this faux-analogue design is a thriller, as the unique N64 pad’s Z set off wasn’t analogue.
The entire buttons on the controller really feel good and responsive with out feeling too mushy or spongy
What else? Effectively, there is a ‘Turbo’ button which – as you may count on – means that you can add rapid-fire performance to any of the controller’s buttons. All you want do to allow that is maintain down stated button, faucet the face button you wish to add turbo to and launch. There is a ‘Clear’ button on the controller to take away the operate while you’re executed. It is not one thing we are able to say we have ever actually wanted on a pad – despite the fact that ‘Fast Hearth Items’ have been all the fashion again within the ’80s and ’90s – however hey, it is there.
It is also value mentioning how mild the Brawler64 feels; it is virtually so mild that it offers off the impression of being cheaply made, however construct high quality may be very respectable. On the again, you will discover the all-important growth slot, into which you’ll be able to insert reminiscence gadgets and Rumble Paks. Nonetheless, the pad would not assist the N64 Switch Pak, so in the event you’re a eager fan of Pokémon Stadium, this is not the controller for you.
Wrapping up, it is good to see that Retro Fighters has included a super-long cable on this pad – that is one thing we actually preferred concerning the Tribute64 controller, too. Oh, and we talked about a design revision initially of the overview which pertains to the primary batch of those pads. Apparently (and we have not examined this ourselves) urgent down the L button would affect the analogue stick’s motion – fairly a critical flaw, as you possibly can recognize. To its credit score, Retro Fighters mailed out substitute inner components to treatment this drawback to those that had backed the mission on Kickstarter, but it surely’s value mentioning as second-hand Brawler64 pads may probably undergo from this drawback, so attempt to purchase model new, simply to be on the secure aspect.
It is good to see that Retro Fighters has included a super-long cable on this pad
Whereas it is billed as a next-generation substitute to your humble (and most definitely failing) N64 controller, the Brawler64 would not fairly take the crown as the final word interface for Nintendo’s 64-bit console. The analogue stick feels nice in follow and will definitely last more than the wand seen on the unique pad, but it surely’s not exact sufficient for our liking; the one on the Tribute64 controller is arguably higher. Moreover, the Z triggers use a pointless analogue-style enter and you may’t connect the N64 Switch Pak, which implies this is not a ‘full’ pad that can completely substitute your unique controller.
Regardless of these faults, the Brawler64 is comfy to make use of, whereas the longer cable and larger C-buttons are welcome, too. It is nice for video games which rely closely on the D-Pad for enter, as nicely – despite the fact that they’re few and much between. Finally, Retro Fighters’ controller is undone by the truth that the Tribute64 has additionally launched just lately, and whereas that is not excellent both, it nearly overshadows the Brawler64 – and it is cheaper as well.
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Because of Video games Connection for supplying the Brawler64 used on this overview.