[Hardware Review] Wireless Gamecube controller – PowerA

Written by Nintendad
  • The preferred gamepad for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Wireless freedom using Bluetooth 5.0
  • Classic GameCube design plus larger D-pad and added left shoulder button
  • Motion controls and system buttons added for compatibility across all Nintendo Switch games
  • Player indicator and low battery warning LED
  • Includes two AA batteries for up to 30 hours of gameplay
  • Official licensed product with two-year limited warranty – register at PowerA.com

Game3-ed

The GameCube controller remains a firm favourite in the Smash Bros community. It’s ergonomic design; offering supreme comfort, paired with its prominent A button makes it perfect for prolonged sessions, culminating in a vivacious final Smash. 

PowerA are well known for their application of stunning designs on Nintendo accessories and the Wireless GameCube controller is no different. Originally launched back in 2018 with traditional purple and black models, a gold limited edition soon followed. Now, with a new Pokemon game on the horizon, they’ve jumped on board the hype train to release 3 new beautiful pieces. Based on Espeon, Umbreon and everybody’s favourite electric mouse, Pikachu, these new models offer even more colour and variety to the staggering array of officially licensed controller options available for Nintendo Switch.

How do these wireless options compare to the traditional GameCube models? Well, first up, the shoulder buttons are just that, buttons, not analog triggers as they were back on the good old cube. Secondly, unlike the Pro Controller, they don’t offer a built in NFC reader or HD rumble for that matter. They also don’t contain a rechargeable battery but instead require a couple of AA’s to be popped in prior to playing, which come included in the box.

More Power Eh?

Now that we’ve discussed everything lacking from them, let’s discuss what makes these controllers so good. What’s immediately apparent is that these replicate the feel of the GC controller to perfection. The comfort offered truly is, even to this day, unrivaled. 

Now, let’s get something clear – the GameCube controller is made for Smash, it just works. Unfortunately, other games suffer from the button layout which isn’t akin to anything found today. When playing Breath of The Wild with it, I had to Switch back to my regular controller within about five minutes as it just wasn’t clicking for me. 

The D-Pad on the controller is a huge upgrade to the one found on the Pro Controller so simpler games, 2D platformer especially, were a joy to play with the Wireless controller from PowerA. With A being the primary button for jumping in Mario Maker for example, everything came together nicely.

Pretty as Gardevoir!! What?

Visually, the new designs are striking, elegant and stylish. The model I reviewed was the Espeon design and the pink hue really popped and stood out. The Pikachu model, unsurprisingly, is Yellow and just as Vivacious and the Umbreon unit is Black but with flickers of yellow, that really make it stand out.

All the face buttons are responsive and the wireless Bluetooth frequency employed by PowerA ensures that there is no noticeable lag, a must for games such as Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Even though the shoulder buttons aren’t triggers, they still perform as intended and there is obviously a fourth button, as the GameCube controller only had on Z bumper back in the day.

Conclusion

The Wireless GameCube Controller from PowerA is the truest replication of the original model, but with the added functionality of being wireless. The designs are bold and vibrant, offering choice to proceedings and giving the controller that extra little bit of character at the same time, especially the Pokemon models.

The weight discrepancy that I’ve found with previous PowerA wireless controllers is less apparent with this model and the entire unit feels more rounded, the result of superior craftsmanship.

Pros

  • Gorgeous
  • True to the original GameCube controller in nearly every way
  • Prominent A button
  • Superior D-Pad

Cons

  • Anolog triggers replaced with buttons
  • No NFC or HD Rumble
  • No rechargeable battery

Verdict

The Wireless GameCube Controller from PowerA is probably the best control option for authentic rounds of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

4/5

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