MY ARCADE Super Gamepad REVIEW Wireless Controller for SNES Classic Edition
When Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition on November 11, 2016, the little child inside of me celebrated the return of the NES. The excitement was bittersweet when I had to enter into the fray of the hunt. Preorder woes, waiting in early lines, limited supplies and scalper sorrows marred what could have been an incredibly exciting time. Luckily, I was able to snag one for my parents and another for my children, before Nintendo decided to end the production line (Supposedly restarting 2018). Many of my colleagues were unable to find an NES Classic at a reasonable, non-marked up, price and Nintendo left a large amount of their fan base jaded and distraught. The controller was short, the system was missing many of the games that I wanted to play, and there was no native method to add games. Ultimately the system needed accessories. Thanks to the My Arcade NES controller, my kids and I we were able to sit more than 31 inches away from the machine. With the release of the SNES Classic Edition in September 2017, I swore: “Not again Nintendo, I would not play that game, and I would not buy a SNES Classic Edition.” However, a random trip to Walmart found the system in my shopping cart, and my wife shook her head as I reneged on my above statement. As I found with the NES classic edition, My Arcade had my six with their wireless controller for the SNES Classic edition.
The My Arcade Super Gamepad arrived in a 5 1/4 inches wide by 6 1/4 inches tall by 2 1/4 inches thick retail package. The white on purple color scheme was visually appealing, and the use of the clear plastic window provided an “open my wallet” nostalgia. I wanted to look at the packaging, to hold it, and to examine the old-school artwork. The clear plastic display window was my favorite method of advertising, showcasing the product directly. I loved that the clear plastic window extended onto the sides of the packaging and that this was accented with white and purple stripes. I was able to visualize the controller, the D-pad, the select button, start button, the A/X/B/Y buttons directly as well as the grey SNES controller color. The oval shape of the My Arcade device was noticeably different than that of the SNES Classic controller. From the sides, you can see the dual triggers, and the grips of the controller. The open window approach provided a vivid mental picture of how the controller would feel.
Just below the clear window, My ARCADE displayed the Super Gamepad title in a royal purple color. Historically worn by the royal elite, this color still inspires a regal/important feeling. Just below the title, you will see an image of the retro SNES. Like a light bike from Tron speeding around a ninety-degree bend, the sharp angled bends of the black, silver and purple colors shouted retro. Whether they realized it or not, the imaging created a virtual box that contained “for SNES Classic Edition, Wii, Wii U.” Rotating the packaging, My Arcade provided a stark visual contrast between the white of the front and back panels and the left and right black/purple panels. My son Daniel loved the crisp edges and the sharp contrasting color changes. Both of the side panels reminded us of a side view of an arcade cabinet. The back of the packaging detailed two lifelike images of the controller and detailed the features of the controller: home button, programmable turbo feature, 27 hours of gameplay on 2 AAA batteries, 25-foot range. Unfortunately, the controller did not come with batteries.
I do not know which device was more thrilling, the Super NES Classic Edition or the memory of holding the controller. Removing the Gamepad from the case and holding it in my hands sparked numerous memories from my youth. To begin, remove the battery compartment along the back, insert the AAA batteries and then close the compartment. The 1 7/8 inches by 1 7/8 inches D-pad aligned perfectly with my left thumb and the 7/16 inches diameter A/B/X/Y buttons aligned perfectly with my right thumb. If you have recently held a SNES Classic edition controller, you would immediately realize that there were some differences. The My Arcade controller is a half inch shorter in width but is a half an inch taller, thanks to the included grips. The D-pads were the same size, but the select and start buttons were angled opposite of the SNES Classic Edition controller. The most notable differences were found in the ABXY buttons and the triggers. On the SNES Classic edition controller, the A and B buttons were convex and the X and Y buttons were concave. This was reversed on the My Arcade controller with the A and B buttons having a concave shape and the X and Y buttons having a convex curve. The buttons did have the same diameter, but the coloration surrounding the buttons was also different. On the Super NES Classic Edition controller, there was a 2 1/8 inches diameter dark grey circle with light grey (same as the controller) ovals encompassing the X and Y buttons and another for the A and B buttons. The My arcade controller used a darker grey color than the Classic controller and had a turbo button to the top left of the circle. Additionally, the lighter grey ovals connect the XA and the YB buttons. The My Arcade controller has a 3/8 inches wide circle around the inner D-pad structure. The top of the controller has L, and R triggers as well as lower ZR and ZL triggers.
This controller was made for the Super NES Classic as well as the Wii and Wii U. The ZR and ZL buttons will not work on the Super NES Classic edition, which was not noticeable. I did not have a Wii/Wii U to test the extra features. At first, I thought that I would not like the shape of the controller. However, the lower grips rested comfortably in the palms of my hands and proved to be more comfortable than the SNES Classic Edition controller. I liked that I was able to wrap my ring and pinky fingers around the grips, providing a more secure hold on the controller. The wireless dongle easily plugged into the SNES classic controller port, and I was able to enjoy my SNES Classic Edition wirelessly. The conveniently placed home button allowed me to return to the main menu of the SNES classic, without ever having to get off the couch. The buttons were responsive, and I did not experience any noticeable lag. To assign the turbo feature, simply press and hold the button you wish and then the turbo button. Reverse this and you will release the turbo feature. I enjoyed this feature on Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Mega Man X, Contra and Super Ghouls and Ghosts. You will have to play the games to see how much fun this controller will provide. I played every one of the included SNES games for longer than I care to admit. The controller grew on me and became more comfortable with time. I would rate the overall experience at 5/5 stars. My Arcade seems to care as much about the experience as the product. The packaging was exquisite, and memory provoking and the controller was a pleasure to hold/use.
Originally published at macsources.com on April 6, 2018.