It may not look like much, but the Joy-Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch that’s proven itself to be suitable for all sorts of games on the market. Now ‘suitable’ doesn’t necessarily translate to ‘comfortable’, as there are fans out there who would pooh-pooh the idea of having to hold such a device for intense, competitive gameplay. PowerA is but one third-party company that specializes in all sorts of Switch accessories, one of them being the FUSION Wired FightPad. While it may cost a pretty penny, it’s actually a damn good pick for fighting games and more.
The design has an uncanny resemblance to an old school controller. Its lightweight fame, weighing in at less than a quarter of a kilogram, and its smooth shape means it’s comfortable to use, even during extended playtimes. The buttons are big and sturdy – which, admittedly, can make pressing two buttons at once a bit tricky – while the D-Pad, trigger and bumper buttons feel a lot more comfortable than the Joy-Con’s own. There are two additional buttons for the right bumper and trigger, which are well-suited for fighting games but nothing much else.
There’s no second D-Pad or analogue stick, so the controller is next to useless for shooters, top-down games and the like. However, the Switch’s NES and SNES Online games are unsurprisingly better suited for this sort of controller. In any case, it includes a D-Pad toggle button, which will also allow it to emulate either the left or right thumbstick. All in all, the controls are responsive and functional, making it a suitable pick for fighters like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Street Fighter II, and so on.
The controller comes with a 3 meter long wire to plug into your Switch, which is more than enough length to play on your couch without accidentally jerking the controller towards you. Alongside that, there’s a red and white magnetic faceplate you can easily swap between, which help protect the front of the controller from smudging and damage. Two plates (the store page showed three) aren’t much , obviously, but it’s no deal-breaker. Regardless, not only is it compatible with your PC, being a USB controller, but it also has a headphone jack. The audio quality is good, though not great; you’ll hear a faint hissing noise alongside some ‘tinny’ SFX through your earphones.
If you’re a brawler or a retro game enthusiast, the FUSION Wired FightPad is a worthy pick. It’s comfortable to use and very reliable for a multitude of game genres, but not all of them. With exceptions to the headphone jack audio quality and hefty buttons, the biggest critique I’d have to give this product is the price. At around $55 USD (a bit over £40 for all my fellow Brits out there), it’s a bit of a wallet-drainer, but providing you’ve got the pennies, it’s still a recommended pick for any Switch owners hungering for a more appropriate controller for their virtual combat and smashin’ needs.
Product donated for review by PowerA. It can be viewed and purchased from their site.