Nintendo64EVER - Article Competition Pro NS 64 by Zestorm for Nintendo64EVER
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Competition Pro NS 64

Competition Pro NS 64

Competition Pro NS 64 boxed

The Competition Pro NS 64 is part of an exclusive club. Not because of it’s rarity (it’s not even remotely rare) or because of it’s innovative design (it’s not that innovative). It’s because the Competion Pro is a third party controller with a good control stick.

Both the controller and the control stick are very similar in style to Nintendo’s official design. The controller shell has the same basic three pronged design, but many of the features present in the Nintendo pad have been rethought for the Competition Pro. The standard layout is complimented with seven turbo/autofire functions. These are three point switches located directly above the control stick. The top setting is off, the middle is for turbo (rapid fire when the corresponding button is pressed) and the bottom setting is for the automatic rapid fire (you needn't press the corresponding button at all). The NS 64 really excels in this area, I don't know of another N64 controller that has so many turbo and auto fire options. These settings are available for A, B, Z, and the four C-buttons, with additional functions available for Start, L and R.

In order to fit all these additional buttons, the start button has been moved to between the D-pad and control stick. I thought this looked ugly at first, but functionally it's a much better position for the start button. It seems much easier and quicker to slide your thumb to the left of the control stick rather than having to move your thumb over the stick (as you would with the official design). This actually feels like an improvement over the official controller.

The left and right prongs now stick out slightly and have grooves in the underside to make gripping them more comfortable. Also on the underside of the controller is the Slow button, which is just a start button autofire.

There are two shoulder buttons per side: L, R, TL and TR (T stands for turbo). Holding TL or TR gives rapid fire for the corresponding button. The turbo shoulder buttons are near the middle of the controller, and at first I found myself pressing TL/TR instead of L/R, probably because I have big hands. Adjusting to the "outside" L and R buttons is really simple and soon becomes second nature.

On my first play I was unsure about the face buttons on the controller: the A, B and C buttons didn't feel quite right. I soon realised that it wasn't that the buttons were stiff (as I'd first though), it was that they don't have the 'click' feel that other pads have. None of which affect gameplay at all, and you get used to it very quickly.

Analogue control is excellent. The only difference in feel between the Competition Pro and official Nintendo controller is that the Competition Pro has a slightly less smooth motion. The control stick uses almost exactly the same design that Nintendo use, and this is clearly visible when you open up the controller. The stick's housing is also very similar, as are the internal parts, so lubricating the right bits of the control stick isn't a problem. There's even the same number of wires leading from the analogue housing, so I think it may be possible to transplant this into the official controller. You would need a soldering iron to do so (there isn't a wire connection 'plug' on the NS 64's circuit board), and as it's not a metal stick there very little reason to actually want to do it. One thing I'm unable to ascertain is whether this controller is affected by control stick wear in the same way that an official pad is. Due to the similarities in design, this seems likely. I'll post again when/if I notice any difference in the quality of analogue control.

The d-pad is one of the few niggles I have about this controller. It's not that it's unresponsive, it's just that the shape isn't all that comfortable if you play for extended sessions. The directional markers are uncomfortably prominent, and can begin to irritate your finger. You'd need to be playing for a long time for this to be a real problem, it just seems a shame that an otherwise well thought out controller has this minor niggle.

The controller pak slot can be a bit tight for controller/rumble paks but, again, this is a very minor inconvenience. The only real problem the controller has is the controller plug which connects to your N64 is tight and needs to be pulled quite hard to remove it. This may be a problem that only affects my particular controller but, as I've never played with another Competition Pro pad, I have no way of knowing.

This is one of the best third party controllers I've used, and I'd thoroughly recommend it as an alternative to Nintendo's official pad.

Competition Pro NS 64 green

Overall: 7.4 out of 10 - Excellent quality analogue control and turbo functionality but a controller plug that is just too tight.


Source : Review by Alxbly

Text written by Zestorm, for Nintendo64EVER.

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