Nintendo64EVER - Article Hudson Joycard 64 by Zestorm for Nintendo64EVER
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Hudson Joycard 64

The Hudson Joycard 64 is an unofficiel Nintendo 64 controller manufactured by Hudson, only in Japan.

Joycard 64 packaging

The first thing you will notice about the Joycard is that the left and right ‘prongs’ of the controller have been shortened, and are now quite stumpy. I’m not sure of the reason behind shortening, and I find that the controller isn’t as comfortable as it would be with normal sized ‘prongs’. One disadvantage I found with the shortened side prongs is that my little finger has nothing to grasp, but this might only affect people with larger hands.

There's a lot about the Joycard that feels familiar; the primary buttons, d-pad and layout of the controller are the same as the official Nintendo 64 controller. Turbo buttons have been placed on the top of the controller face, directly above the start button. These can be used for A, B, Z and Start, and each has three settings. Just above them the Hudson logo is sculpted into the controller.

On the underside of the controller things are also very similar. The z button hasn't moved but there is now a well defined ‘ledge' underneath it to rest your forefinger on. This feels slightly strange at first, but is actually very comfortable.

The stumps mean the disappearance of two of the screws that hold official controllers together, however, the two small screws within the housing for controller/rumble paks are now three pointed security screws. This unfortunately means that I'm unable to open the controller until I can find the right kind of screwdriver.

Probably the most interesting feature of the controller is the adjustable analogue control stick, which can be tightened or loosened. This is most useful in first person shooters where you are unable to alter the stick sensitivity in the options, as now you can alter the sensitivity on the controller itself! The effect is very noticeable, especially when aiming. This is a nifty feature to have and makes up for the slightly uncomfortable stumps.

I'm unable to draw any conclusions as to whether tightening the stick will have an impact upon how quickly it wears out but it does seem like a real possibility. Adjusting the stick is slightly fiddly; you need to pull up on the tip of the stick (which raises the entire housing) and then line up the marker to your preferred setting. This is easy enough to do, but grasping and pulling on the analogue stick seems a strange way of adjusting a precision instrument. Again, it's too soon for me to draw any conclusions on whether this might affect the sticks performance.

Overall quality isn't an issue and the Joycard feels as sturdy as the official controller, and uses a lot of the same parts (although I can't confirm exactly how many until I open it up). Certainly the buttons, d-pad and the stick all look and feel exactly the same as the official ones.

Joycard 64 pad

Overall: 8 out of 10the adjustable control stick nearly makes up for the less comfortable left and right prongs.


Review by Alxbly

Text written by Zestorm, for Nintendo64EVER.

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