Hori released the Battle Pad controller when Super Smash Bros. for Wii U came out late last year. The gamepad was one of many options that can be used to play the brawling game. So is the Hori Battle Pad worth buying (you can find its price with this page on Amazon) or are you better off looking for another controller? Let’s examine some of the factors before you can come away with a conclusion.
Although it is a third-party product, the Battle Pad is officially licensed by Nintendo. As a result, you can rest assure that the controller will work with the Wii U (unless it is defective) and that you won’t be breaking any warranties if you ever needed to send your system in for repair.
Similarities to Gamecube Controller
Nintendo fans will quickly recognize that the Hori Battle Pad looks almost exactly the same as the official GameCube controller. The button sizes and layouts are roughly similar as well with some notable exceptions. If you hold a GameCube controller before, you should feel right at home with Hori’s latest product.
Of course, the Battle Pad also has some notable differences. The directional pad is slightly larger while an extra shoulder button has been added, bringing the total to four (L,R, ZL and ZR). Moreover, the triggers uses short strokes instead of analog input, which may or may not be beneficial depending on what type of game you are playing. With a reflex game like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, for instance, being able to press the ZL and ZR buttons faster should provide better response time.
Hori Battle Pad is also connected differently as you need a Wii Remote as opposed to the Gamecube Adapter. This can be good or bad news depending on your situation. On one hand, you do not need to track down a Gamecube Adapter, which is hard to find if you aren’t willing to pay a high markup. Not to mention that you can also use the Battle Pad in other games (namely software that supports the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro). As of right now, you can only use the Gamecube controller to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on Nintendo current-gen console.
With that said, the Wii Remote (and the upgraded Wii Remote Plus) connectivity may cause some issues. Being battery-powered, you will need to replace batteries of the Wii Remote to stay connected. Not to mention that you can only connect one Hori Battle Pad to one Remote; so you will need to buy more of the two if you need more controllers.
Perhaps the biggest advantage the Hori Battle Pad has over the Gamecube controller is the turbo functionality. If you decided to use to use it, the Battle Pad will help you press a button in intervals of 5, 10 or 20 times per second. While this may not be useful in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (as you need to do more than simply mash buttons if you want to be successful), the turbo function could be beneficial in games that require you to simply smash your buttons quickly.
No Force Feedback Rumble
One important factor you may also want to consider is that the Hori Battle Pad does not have force feedback. So the third-party pad won’t rumble like the official Gamecube controller when you attack or get hit in Super Smash Bros.
If you can overlooked some of the flaws of the Hori Battle Pad (namely the lack of rumble and needing one remote per controller), the third-party gamepad is a great alternative to the Gamecube controller, especially if you want to use it for more than just Super Smash Bros. There are currently three designs of the pad based on the following characters: Luigi, Mario and Pikachu. You can purchase the Hori Battle Pad for Wii U with this link.