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?