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Hori Digital Pad - A Mini-Review


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One thing I realized while playing Metroid: Zero Mission back in February was that it wasn't as much to play games on a GBA SP as it was on my home theater system. The reasons are pretty obvious and I won't bother to get into them in great detail here. Obviously, the bigger picture and better sound play a part in that. So, I decided it was time get me a GameBoy Player for my Cube. However, I wanted one that would match my purple system, and the only place to get one like that is from Japan. Since I was going to be importing anyway, I figured I might as well order one of these Hori Digital Pads I've read about.


For those of you have not heard of them, it's basically a GameCube controller that looks very similar to a Super NES pad. The size and shape are about the same, but the layout of the A, B, X, and Y buttons matches that of the GameCube controller. It has no analog control sticks to speak of, but it does boast a noticeably bigger and better cross pad, making it ideal for playing 2-D games such as those you would find on the GameBoy Advance. In fact, it was developed with the intent of being used almost exclusively for the GameBoy Player.


I've had this now for a couple of weeks, and boy is it nice! I'm typically not a fan of third-party controllers, but Hori really did get this one right. What I really like, aside from the larger cross-pad, is the feel of the buttons. It is obvious Hori went to great lengths to make the face buttons match those of the standard GameCube controller. There are some minor differences of course. The buttons themselves exhibit a little more "click" than the standard Cube controller, and the B button feels like it's just a tad further away from the A button when you put your thumb over both of them, which shouldn't pose any problem for those with normal sized hands.


The cross pad itself is, as far as I can tell, about the same size as the one on the Super NES pad. Hence, if you've held one of those controllers in your hand, you will know what to expect here. If I have one criticism, it's simply that the L and R buttons feel just a little too small. They still work perfectly fine and you shouldn't have any trouble using them. Still, it would have been nice if Hori had made them just a tad bigger and more like the equivalent buttons found on the SNES controller.


In short, this controller is a must-have for anyone with a GameBoy Player or anyone who wishes to play some of the old 2-D games that are available on the system (Metroid and the original The Legend of Zelda definitely spring to mind). Too bad the only way to get it is to buy it from Japan. I'm certain there are a lot of GCN owners who would like to have one of these.


Oh, and yes, I did order the purple pad to match the purple system and purple GameBoy Player. I'm a purple lovin' GCN fool!

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Apr 28 2004, 01:25 PM

That IS a nice looking pad. I just might look into one of these for the Sonic Collection and RE0 (damn it's lack of control-C :green:)

I'll assume you just forgot to include the forthcoming Mega Man collection in that list. ;)


Speaking of which, I probably should pick up that Sonic Collection. Having only played a little bit of the first game, I feel like I've been missing out on some truly classic games. The Hori Pad would be absolutely perfect for that.

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Ah, good point. :D


Not a fan of the z-trigger placement on the pad, but it can't really get much WORSE than where it is now. The z-trig and the shrunken hands sized d-pad are my only complaints about the Cube controller, though I have learned to adjust really well to the z-trigger.


The d-pad, however, is a total write-off. I'm glad somebody thought to come up with such a clever replacement.

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I got myself one of those pads just for Soul Calibur 2. My buddy and I can't stand the game with any other controller.


Then I got a GB Player and it's perfect for that too :)


It rocked with the Viewtiful Joe demo too.


Awesome, awesome controller. I really wouldn't want to play the stuff I mentioned above without it. At least, not nearly as much.


One thing that pic doesn't show is that underneath it fans out a bit towards the sides for a much better grip than the original SNES controllers had.

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Originally posted by Covak+May 4 2004, 02:34 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Covak @ May 4 2004, 02:34 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> One thing that pic doesn't show is that underneath it fans out a bit towards the sides for a much better grip than the original SNES controllers had. [/b]

I was surprised by that too. I had expected it to be completely flat on the back side, just like a Super NES pad. It's a nice touch and I'm glad to see them include it.


By the way, I did pick up the Sonic Mega Collection this weekend and I played through a good portion of the first game with the Hori pad. I must say that it absolutely rocks! I can't imagine trying to play Sonic without it. Now that I'm done with the single-player portion of Crimson Skies, I think I'll get more into it tonight.


This weekend I also picked up a brand-new copy of Ikaruga, which I suspect would work really well the Hori pad. I suspect, however, that it won't make this game any easier! :shock:



It rocked with the Viewtiful Joe demo too.


You know, I thought I'd like it with Viewtiful Joe, but for some reason I didn't. I can't explain why, but I really do like using the regular GameCube controller for that one. Maybe I'm just really used to it now, but Viewtiful Joe just feels "right" with the regular pad.

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