I recently picked up the HORI Battle Pad for Wii U controller, which is a 3rd party controller mimicking the design of the venerable Gamecube controller. With the recent release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U there has been a lot of interest in Gamecube controllers (not to mention the insanely hard to find Gamecube USB adapter). If you weren't lucky enough to snag an adapter but still want that Gamecube controller experience on the Wii U, HORI has just the thing for you. I took it out of the box and compared it to the official new Smash Gamecube controller, and here are my observations:
- The L analog stick tension is looser
- The D-Pad is larger, and also looser (ever so slightly)
- The C-stick feels identical
- The buttons are a little more 'clacky' but are not bad
- The shoulder buttons are regular buttons, not gamecube style triggers
- The Z shoulder buttons articulate from the top, with a hinged design, so they are more like triggers in that they have to be pushed from the bottom of the button
- The controller is lighter
- The cable is much shorter, obviously, as it's meant to be plugged into a Wiimote. The cable length is on par with the Classic Controller Pro cable
- The form factor of the HORI controller as a whole is identical to the Gamecube controller
In general, it compares favourably with the Gamecube controller. If you're looking for something to play smash with and don't have the adapter, this is probably a good second choice. If you love the Gamecube controller and wish you could play other games with it, then this would be perfect.
Another alternative is the PDP Wii Fight Pad. By comparison, with the PDP controller (which I don't have): the color choices are more varied (Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Peach, Samus, etc.), the c-stick is a full analog stick, the buttons are clear glossy, and the Z shoulder buttons are more like the contoured gamecube controller triggers, but no turbo. The form factor is also not identical to the gamecube controller, but similar enough.