It drives me nuts that the standard Joy-Con on the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a d-pad on it. Desperate for answers, I turned to the Hori Left Joy-Con with D-Pad. Does it solve all of your d-pad needs? Watch the review to find out!
NOTE: Need to mention a bit that got left on the cutting room floor. At launch, there was a bug that this controller would drain your battery even in sleep mode. That has since been fixed. More info here.
Buy The Hori D-Pad Controller (L) (Zelda) Now From Amazon.com
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As soon as the Nintendo Switch was revealed, the lack of a d-pad on the left Joy-Con struck me as an immediate issue. While I understand the appeal of having buttons in that space instead so that it could act as a quasi-second controller, the lack of a d-pad has greatly impacted the games I play portably. From fighting games, to puzzle games, to the myriad of indie games that the Switch has been blessed with, a sizable portion of my library were played with less-than-ideal controls.
Many DIY mods exist to solve this problem, but Hori and Nintendo have an official solution as well. The D-Pad Controller (L) replaces the four face buttons with a proper d-pad and is sold at a fairly reasonable price. The two different versions of this controller in North America include one that’s The Legend of Zelda themed, and another that’s Super Mario themed. But does it lose more than it gains in the process?
As much as I love my Switch, my biggest gripe with it to-date is the lack of a d-pad on the left-hand side. It’s the reason why I can’t play Ultra Street Fighter II on the go and why I haven’t bought the otherwise excellent Puyo Puyo Tetris. Thankfully, it seems like Nintendo and Hori have heard our prayers, as a left Joy-Con with d-pad is headed to Japan in July, retailing for about $25 US.
Nintendo has been riding high off of the success of the Switch in recent months. While the system isn’t perfect, it certainly proved to be a step in the right direction in most regards. However, the console’s online infrastructure has been largely nonexistent, as Nintendo has said it will roll out in full alongside of a phone app. Well, if Hori’s headset and adapter combo is any indication, online communication is still going to suck on a Nintendo platform.
My history with Hori fightsticks has been spotty at best. I’ve owned four of their entry-level level controllers; two of which broke within a matter of hours, and a third where the joystick wore down with no easy way of fixing it. That being said, durability is not a strong suit of any cheap fightstick from any manufacturer.
Though I have noodled with one of their higher-end fightsticks in the past, the Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is my first extensive experience with a high-end Hori product. Does this have what it takes to wash away my negative perceptions of the brand? Better yet, can this stick hold its own against the TE line of Mad Catz products?
With Street Fighter V now out in the wild, you might be in the market for a fightstick. The decision on which one to invest in is usually a tough one to make, as they’re usually expensive and hard to find. On top of all that, if you’ve never used a fightstick before, there’s a real concern that you might hate it, regardless of how good the fightstick is. Hopefully, I can make your decision a bit easier with a few tips on what to look for, what to avoid, and make some recommendations on what you could buy and be happy with today.
Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about arcade fightsticks. Most notably, the difference between an entry-level fightstick and a premium one. Having two fightsticks wear out in a matter of months and one break within an hour has made me weary of ever buying an entry-level fightstick again.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve found that playing fighting games on a premium fightstick is a beautiful thing. I love my first-generation TE for the weight, sturdiness and responsive input mechanisms. I’ve used my TE for well over 100 hours and it still feels as good as new.
When my PS3 Hori fightstick died and the Round 2 fightsticks went on sale, I did not hesitate to pick one up.
The Mad Catz fightstick situation in Canada is horrible nowadays. Unlike in the United States, where many different local and online retailers carry the whole line, Mad Catz products are technically only available at EBGames/Gamestop here. When they were available, each store would have maybe one TE and one SE. However, Gamestop has not replenished their supply in months, and I don’t think intend on doing so anytime soon.
As if it did not suck enough that my Hori PS3 Tekken 6 stick broke, my brother and I’s Hori XBOX 360 Tekken 6 stick began failing almost 24 hours later.
When I bought this stick almost two months ago, I figured that it would work out just fine as a casual stick to play Street Fighter with. I initially planned to use it only for when I play my coworkers on PSN, which I figured wouldn’t be much at the time.
Well, it ended up being a lot. As in, over 100 hours a lot. Has it withstood the crazy amount of stress I’ve put it through during these last two months?