February 5, 2012

Lazy Sunday – Dual Analog, On the Go

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:24 am

3DS Circle Pad Pro
Having recently gotten my mitts on Nintendo’s 3DS Circle Pad Pro attachment, I feel obliged to attempt throwing a few words at the device – with only one game that supports the add-on at my disposal, a few might be all I can manage today. The Circle Pad Pro isn’t flashy or visually appealing by any stretch of the imagination. Practicality is the name of the game, housing two rear triggers and one shoulder button along with the add-on circle pad on a very light-weight frame that cradles your 3DS. Open spaces provide access to the 3DS’ volume switch, power cord connection, and headphone jack. There’s also a thin opening for the wrist strap included with the device, which is meant to be attached directly to the 3DS.

An infrared transceiver at the back of the device uses science and magic to silently detect the connection, which the 3DS makes no mention of until Resident Evil: Revelations loads and acknowledges the situation by offering to enable control style-D. As expected, this control option allows players to tackle Revelations as if they were using the dual analog controls offered by the PS3 and/or Xbox 360.

Guiding Jill through the derelict cruise ship with the Circle Pad Pro offered two observations.

The first is that the Circle Pad Pro makes the first-person option of moving with the gun drawn within Revelations more noticeable. While that mode can be used in the standard controls with style-C, it would be easy to miss it entirely if you just started the game without digging into the matter more. With the Circle Pad Pro, pressing the left trigger throws you into FPS mode, making the option much more pronounced. Style-D also places the weapons at the ready, with the right trigger firing guns, and the right shoulder button activating the secondary weapon.

This really can’t be called a better way to play, simply a different way. But while bouncing around more in FPS mode as a result, my second observation was that the added heft of the circle pad offers my hands a better means of grasping the 3DS for long periods without feeling my hands cramp. However, I’m not going to tell you that using the 3DS has been morphing my hands into claws, which I might often say about the PSP. The Circle Pad simply offers a more comfortable means for me to hold the device during lengthier gaming sessions.

Whether or not you need the Circle Pad Pro is one of those personal questions I can’t answer for you – it’s a bit like recommending a pair of pants, one size isn’t going to fit all here. I can only say that handling one made it unlikely that I’d go without one, which I’d also have said about the Classic Controller Pro for the Wii. So if you don’t want to buy one, make sure your hands never come into contact with it.

If you’ve been longing for dual-analog controls, and are aware that only games made to support the device will work with it, the Circle Pad Pro will be exclusively sold through EB Games / GameStop beginning on February 7th for $19.99.

Nintendo’s booklet says the battery you insert into the Circle Pad Pro is good for 480 hours – I’m going to have to take their word on that at the moment.

1 Comment »

  1. I was hoping for a RE+Circle Pad Pro bundle at $50 so that the CCP would be only $10 (sorta like the deal we got for WM+ bundled with Red Steel 2 or the great deal on the Golden Wiimote Plus and Skyward Sword.

    Comment by EdEN — February 5, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

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