Wednesday, October 8, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan

I was going to write about how un-phased I am about Nintendo confirming not making the Gamecube controller compatible with other Wii U games. But as I took out my dusty, crusty colorful game pad that I have fond memories of since middle school, I just realized… I really love the Gamecube controller. Sure the C-Stick is garbage, the controller itself requires a wire, and it has fewer inputs than modern day pads, but I still love the Gamecube controller.

Even as I’ve aged, the Gamecube controller fits my hands swimmingly compared to most game pads, especially when comparing it to Wii U’s other pro’ish alternative. The Wii U’s pro controller is much wider, and its analog stick placement feels incredibly awkward sitting on top of the face buttons on the right side instead of under them like nearly every other controller ever designed.

Like the rational for the nub’s lack of movement on the New 3DS, I have no issue using a controller that’s not properly formatted for shooters, which in this case, would be the Gamecube controller. The Z button is the only shoulder button, the analog sticks have octagonal movement as opposed to perfectly circular, they don’t click, and the triggers are borderline useless. But shooters are less likely to show up on Nintendo’s handheld (though I would love to see the return of Renegade Kid’s Moon), and with the hopeful exception of Splatoon, shooters are becoming less and less popular on the Wii U with major franchises like Call of Duty looking to bow out, at least for the time being.

That said, I think that the Gamecube controller is a superior controller to the Wii U Pro for almost every other genre. The key here is the placement and arrangement of the A, B, X & Y buttons. Jockish critics ridicule the Gamecube controller for its asymmetrical design. Little do they realize that it’s purposeful and brilliant. Every game has a main action button, which is what the large A button represented. The locations of X and Y border the northeastern quarters of the controller to allow your thumb to roll of A, allowing you to hit three buttons without having to lift your finger off of the controller (at least that’s true for folks with hands similar to mine). Try doing that with today’s diamond pattern. It’s not as easy. That only leaves B which is a simple sliding thumb away. Think of action/adventure games that use a main attack button, fighting games that require button combinations, and platformers where all you do is jump.

It’s a real bummer that the Gamecube controller is, indeed, not compatible with other Wii U titles. Thankfully, its sole existence on Wii U – at least for the time being – is used to make old Smash players feel at home. 

Image courtesy of Wired

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