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Nintendo's Switch NES gamepads are an unnecessary blow from the past



The Switch NES controllers look just like the original, with the same blocky corners, the sturdy plastic construction, and the concave buttons that hold your fingers exactly. Of course, there are some key differences: they are wireless and have L and R keys embedded in a switch rail connection at the top and bottom. You load them by sliding them on the switch while docked. Unlike the joy conss of the console, you should not hold the switch while the NES pads are connected. They are intended for single-line wireless gaming only.

After I pushed the controllers and did a system update, I was ready for a retro action. That's where I met my first issue: In normal switch games, they can not get to the splash screen. My console automatically resumed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and I was upset that I had no way to stop playing with the NES controller. For that I had to turn on a Joy-Con. After returning to the home screen, I had no problems navigating and launching the NES game collection on the retro gamepad.

My main criteria for testing NES emulators and equipment is simple: how well do they play Super Mario Bros. 3? It's an 8-bit platform that is developing best, making it an excellent test of controller accuracy and reliability. When I learned to fly with Racoon Mario and crossed the first world of the game, I was surprised that I really enjoyed using the NES gamepad. It was like flashing back to my nursery where I would spend hours with my younger brother in Mario 3.

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<p>  Of course, the control feels a lot smaller now in my adult hand, and it's far from being ergonomic. But it is well suited for a game like Mario 3 where you have to hold the e B key to run while occasionally moving your thumb on the A key to jump. I've done that for years as a child, and it feels more natural when the buttons are horizontal, rather than the angular positioning of modern controllers. It may just be muscle memory, but I felt much more comfortable playing Mario 3 on the NES pad than the Joy-Cons or the expensive Switch Pro Controller. A leap into River City Ransom and Ninja Gaiden was a similar blow from the past – beating street thugs and Ninja leaping over obstacles felt just as good as before. </p><div><script async src=

But does anyone really need the NES gamepads? That's the more difficult question. At $ 60 for the pair, it seems insanely expensive for controllers designed for emulated NES titles only. And do not forget that you also have to subscribe to the Switch Online service ($ 20 a year for individuals, $ 35 a year for families) to play these games. It's better to pay only $ 70 for the Switch Pro Controller, which is a huge improvement over the standard Joy Cons for most modern titles. The NES gamepads could be easier to sell if they were closer to $ 40, at least it would not feel like you were choosing a full-price game.


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