Nintendo64EVER - Article Performance SuperPad 64 by Zestorm for Nintendo64EVER
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Performance SuperPad 64

Performance SuperPad 64

Performance SuperPad 64 box

The most common third party licensed controller is the Performance SuperPad 64. Unlike most of the licensed controllers, the SuperPad 64 was released outside of Japan, meaning that you may not need to resort to eBay to purchase one; this in itself will be enough for many people to consider one. The SuperPad 64 is available in a wide range of colors (including a special EA Sports edition) and was also released as the Sharkpad Pro 64 2! You can see some of the many variations by clicking here. Read on to discover if this controller is competent enough to convince an experienced N64 player to hang up their official pad.

Performance SuperPad 64 green

The design perhaps isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing of controllers; the face of the controller is flattened, the rear is a tapered curve and the front a mixture of angled lines and squared off edges. Absent from the design are the prongs of the official controller, and only short stubs remain in their place. These are moulded underneath so that they are comfortable to grip. Anyone looking at a photo of the controller would be forgiven for thinking that this is a painful device to hold but we all know that looks can be deceiving. Could this controller play better than it looks? The answer is… yes!

Performance SuperPad 64 black

The controller sits neatly in your hand but the curve at the rear means that your hand has to assume an awkward shape to reach the L and R buttons. This only becomes an issue after long periods of play but it is still worth noting.

All the buttons are well shaped and have sufficient spacing to ensure combos are easy to pull off. The Performance pad has the traditional N64 button layout and anybody who is familiar with the official controller should have no problem in adjusting to this one. Larger C directional buttons feel like an improvement over the official design; they are more comfortable and less prominent, offering less resistance for quick finger movements. The A and B buttons feel somewhat undersized in comparison but this is a minor quibble and certainly not a hindrance to gameplay.

Performance SuperPad 64 blue

The D-pad is responsive and doesn’t feel cheap like those of many other third party controllers. Whilst the shape might not be quite as comfortable as other examples, I experienced no discomfort during play sessions. The Z-trigger is well placed and has a reassuring click to it. The Superpad lacks any of the turbo features normally associated with third party pads, the buttons you get exactly mirror those of the Nintendo’s own brand controller. If you want to use features such as turbo or autofire then you’ll need to consider alternative controllers.

Analogue control is firm but precise. The control stick offers noticeably more resistance than that of Nintendo’s own controller but it is still precise and (in my opinion) easy to use. However, there are differing views on the analogue stick, as you will find if you read floorcat’s excellent review of this controller on Nintendo 64 Forever. He found the analogue stick tiring to use, whilst I have had no problems in using it for prolonged periods. There is quite a lot of travel in the stick, meaning that you do need to push the stick a greater distance than you would with the official controller, and I can understand how this might get tiring if you have smaller hands.

What we do agree on is the quality of the analogue control. The stick is metal, which bodes well for longevity, and precision movements are easy to achieve. The control stick is responsive and reasonably balanced but more pressure is needed for diagonal directions, and this can be a pain when precision targeting is required.

Overall the Perfomance Superpad is fairly competant and beats a lot of the competition. An added incentive is that the lead is longer than official controller (170cm for the official controller, 240cm for the Performance Superpad). You could do a lot worse than buying this controller, it's just a shame that the slightly wacky design didn't prioritise the comfort of the user.

Performance SuperPad 64 gray

Overall: 6.5 out of 10Slight analogue stick imbalance and a design which could be more comfortable stop this good controller from being great.



Review by Alxbly

Text written by Zestorm, for Nintendo64EVER.

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