Review: New gaming controller brings back classic look

The gaming market is popping with retro game releases, developers jumping at a chance to cash in on nostalgia.
But it’s not just games – the hardware is also proven desirable.
Taking inspiration from the classics, 8BitDo’s newest game controller doesn’t just look the part – it plays like a pro.
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The gaming market is popping with retro game releases, developers jumping at a chance to cash in on nostalgia. But it’s not just games – the hardware is also proven desirable. (Supplied)
With the classic look of a Nintendo controller, the colour scheme of the original GameBoy and a similar feel to a PlayStation controller, the SN30 Pro 2 is ticking all the boxes.
Although it may look PlayStation and Xbox friendly, it’s unfortunately not. It’s currently only compatible with Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, PC, Mac and Android devices.
I took the 8BitDo SN30 Pro 2 for a test drive by playing Dead Cells on PC and on Nintendo Switch I booted up the more recent Super Mario 3D World.
For a 2D platformer like Dead Cells, the controller works a treat.
It’s very responsive and the textured handles help in those stressful, sweaty situations.
Given I was playing a controller inspired by Nintendo, it was only fair to test it by playing a game featuring Nintendo’s frontman.
Like riding a bike, the SN30 Pro 2 plays really well and motion controls are exceptional.
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The SN30 Pro 2 is fully customisable using the 8BitDo Ultimate app.
The SN30 Pro 2 is fully customisable using the 8BitDo Ultimate app. (Supplied)
The controller vibrations are fantastic. Sometimes they were too good – I found myself having to load up the Ultimate App on my phone and turn down the vibration as it was a bit too intense.
The A, B, Y and X buttons feel good to touch and the triggers bounce back nicely.
The D-pad, start and select buttons are seemingly modelled directly off the GameBoy.
There’s two programmable buttons on the back that can be set using the 8BitDo app.
At first play I thought they may get in the way or I’d accidentally press them – but this wasn’t the case.
The Select and Start buttons on the controller act as the PLUS and MINUS buttons on the Switch.
I didn’t realise this at first and suffered through the same cutscene of Bowser turning into a giant cat a few times before figuring it out.
A small switch on the back of the controller allows you to switch between gaming profiles.
S for Switch (of course), D for Android, X for Windows and A for Mac.
To map the controller for your Mac you’ll need to download the “Ultimate” software on your computer or on an android device. I found I couldn’t configure the controller for a Mac device, even on my iPhone.
You can access the app to adjust the controller at any time, even in the middle of a game.
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I was adjusting settings while Mario was on pause, then simply syncing the controller through my phone and unpausing the game to test any changes.
Profiles are a big bonus, if you’re the type of gamer who likes to change their controller sensitivity or invert the camera depending on the game, then you’ll be pleased to have the option of setting three different profiles that can be changed with the press of a button.
When you first boot up the controller through the 8BitDo app it’ll require an update.
The update claims to fix a stick-drift issue on the controller – and it must’ve worked as I found no drifting issues.
With the classic look of a Nintendo controller, the colour scheme of the original GameBoy and a similar feel to a PlayStation controller, the SN30 Pro 2 is ticking all the boxes.
With the classic look of a Nintendo controller, the colour scheme of the original GameBoy and a similar feel to a PlayStation controller, the SN30 Pro 2 is ticking all the boxes. (Supplied)
The SN30 Pro comes with a USB to USB-C cable, which you can use to charge and connect the controller to various devices.
Unlike the Nintendo Enhanced controller, the SN30 Pro has a rechargeable 1000mAh battery.
The battery is expected to last about 20 hours, it’s easily rechargeable with the supplied USB-C cable and will take about an hour to fully charge.
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The controller is available in a classic retro look, but also comes in black and grey – meaning it won’t look out of place sitting in between your PS5 DualSense or Xbox Elite controllers.
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Retailing for $89.95, it’s about the same price as the official Nintendo Pro and other similar controllers.
The 8BidDo SN30 Pro is available in store and online from May 6.
9News.com.au was supplied an 8BitDo SN30 Pro 2 for the purpose of this review.

Source: 9NEWS

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