Everyone loves a little retro inspired gear in their gaming collection but does retro always mean it’s good? Interworks Limited has created a retro inspired classic controller Pro for use with Wii and select Wii U titles such as Virtual Console games and Wii U games that support the Classic Controller Pro. It should be mentioned that the Pro Controller U’s title alone and design can create some serious consumer confusion as it not only looks like a Wii U Pro Controller but has as name that appears to suggest it is a controller that can be used with Wii U games. This is a classic example of a controller that has all the right ideas in all the wrong places.
The Pro Controller U features an otherwise sturdy design with some very interesting features not seen in other Wii/Wii U controllers. The bottom face of the controller features the D-pad and classic Famicom inspired buttons and even takes the shape of the Famicom/SNES controller while maintaining the Xbox 360 inspired form factor throughout the rest of its body. What makes this controller unique is it’s ability to act as a Wii remote using the built in IR sensor located on the back of the controller. Players can simply move the Pro Controller U around like a Wii remote to navigate the Wii and Wii U interface. Wii games that do not require a nunchuck can be played using the Pro Controller U. On the back of the controller you will find two toggle options. The first is a normal or custom tilt sensor used to help orientate the pointer hand and the second is a toggle switch to go from the Wii remote to the Classic Controller Pro. During testing the Wii remote feature worked best when the tilt sensor was set to custom however it appears that the toggle between the Classic Controller Pro and Wii remote didn’t matter much as the Wii remote option remained on consistently when switching between the two options.
The top of the controller features two speakers which work with select supported Wii games and your classic +, – and home buttons and a power button just below. Situated at the top are two analog sticks that are responsive and sturdy. As mentioned above this controller does give the impression that it works with Wii U games and non more apparent the the fact that both analog sticks feature the click button when pressing down on them much like the Wii U Pro Controller. It’s an interesting addition considering that the Wii Classic Controller Pro does not have a click button nor do Wii games support this feature. While running through some Super Metroid on the Wii U Virtual Console the D-pad was quite responsive however the X, Y, A, B buttons at times required a bit of forced pressure to create a response during gameplay. The rear R, L, ZR and ZL triggers responded well during play in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. The triggers have a click like feel rather then a cushioned pressure sensitive control found on other controllers.
The battery life on the Pro Controller U lasted a good ten hours during the first play sessions. The controller comes with USB cable which can be plugged in the bottom of the controller and charged via the Wii or Wii U USB ports or if you have USB wall plug adaptor it can be plugged directly in the the wall adaptor and charged through a wall plug. After charging the controller fully and leaving it on standby for just a few days it had a completely drained battery. It’s unclear as to how this happened which poses some concerning questions to overall battery consistency and stability. The Pro Controller U which can be purchased through ThinkGeek for $39.99 is a fair shot at what could have been an otherwise fantastic all in one controller. The simple fact is that its name, look and select features play off as a Wii U Pro controller when it simply is not. If you own a Wii then this is a fantastic option worth considering for your classic games and select Wii games. On the other side of things it’s safe to say those looking for a traditional controller that works with your Wii U/Wii games for just $10 more are better suited buying Nintendo’s first part Wii U Pro Controller.
– Solid form factor
– All in one controller
– Great retro look
– Bottons not always responsive
– Questionable battery life
– Misleading name and functionality