Circle Pad Pro for 3DS Review
Hey guys, this is Austin and today I’m here with a review of the Circle Pad Pro for the Nintendo 3DS. This is an add on that adds a second circle pad to your 3DS along with another pair of shoulder buttons. As the PSP showed so well, having only one control pad can really hurt a lot of games but is the Circle Pad Pro really the answer? The box looks just like any other accessory and has inside it the Circle Pad itself, a AAA battery for powering it, a strap in case you randomly decide to throw your 3DS across the room and some instructions on the Circle Pad Pro. All you need to do is get a coin or screwdriver to unscrew the door, toss the AAA battery inside and you’re good to go.
According to Nintendo a single battery should last you around 480 hours which stacks up rather nicely with the 3DS’s roughly 30 seconds of battery life. The hardware itself is plain but very sturdy. To hook it up all you need to do is firmly press your 3DS into it and the rubber pads will keep it secure. Over on the right side is the Circle Pad which looks and feels identical to the one on the 3DS and on top you’ll see the new ZL and ZR shoulder buttons which are a welcome addition. Because of how the grip extends farther on the right side than the left the R button on your 3DS is duplicated on the Circle Pad Pro.
The back has a nicely ergonomic design which almost feels like a console controller and the entire unit is made of a soft black plastic. As you would expect, gameplay is helped quite a bit by the addition of a second control pad. Even though the 3DS gains quite a bit of bulk in the hand I actually think it feels better than the 3DS by itself. The second Circle Pad is directly across from the one on the 3DS and together they do a respectable job with a third person shooter like Resident Evil Revelations.
Oh and on a quick side note, I would definitely recommend that Konami hires a better proofreader. You know, someone who can spell the name of their game right? Anyway, while definitely not as good as what you’ll find on an Xbox or PS3 two Circle Pads are vastly better than one. Same thing goes for the added shoulder buttons, I found that they made the game quite a bit better for aiming and shooting with the R button relegated to melee attacks.
The distance between the right Circle Pad and the function buttons is a bit long and can trip you up occasionally but overall the Circle Pad Pro is a very positive thing for the ergonomics and control of the 3DS. It’s not all good news though. I already consider the 3DS borderline pocketable and with the Circle Pad attached you’re pretty much going to need to carry it around in a bag or case. On top of that it’s just flat out ugly, especially if your 3DS is any other color than black. It also covers up a lot of the 3DS ports. If you want to change SD cards, swap games or get the stylus out you’ll need to remove your 3DS which while not a dealbreaker can definitely be a bit annoying. The Circle Pad communicates with the 3DS via IR and in general it works fine however it can sometimes get a bit screwy when you remove the 3DS and put it back in.
And of course the biggest downside is the simple fact that not all games will work with the Circle Pad. Several new games like Metal Gear Solid and Kid Icarus will but if you’re looking to use this with Ocarina of Time you’re out of luck. Same goes for using it inside the 3DS menus, the only time it’s recognized is when playing a compatible game. While far from perfect, I do have to admit that the Circle Pad really does make gaming better on the 3DS. There are definitely some downsides but for $20 if you’re interested in playing any games that are compatible with the grip I recommend taking a look at the Circle Pad Pro. If you enjoyed and want to be awesome definitely be sure to leave this video a thumbs up and if you want to be notified whenever I post a new video be sure to hit up the subscribe button!
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