It's no secret that we here at The Gamer's Spot, love fighting games. But little known fact, we're also predominantly 360 gamers. These two things do not go hand in hand. Anyone that's ever held a 360 controller has said the same thing, "What the fuck is up with this d-pad?" And it's not brand loyalty keeping us from the glorious PS3 d-pad and controller. It's being too broke to buy a PS3. (Click our ads, and we magically get money! Also, you'll be much more attractive to the opposite sex.) So, I've been on a hunt for a replacement since getting back into fighting games. Here's what I think of the WWE All Stars Brawlpad. And since different games are usually accompanied by different mechanics, I'll be doing it game by game.
Mortal Kombat: 8/10
Now, this is the one that matters most to me, as you can see by my review, I love this game with all my soul. If I wasn't 80% sure it was illegal, I'd marry it. A game like MK relies mostly on special movies. Trying to pull off special moves with regular 360 d-pad is like pulling teeth. And not being a licensed dentist. That is to say, really difficult. I want to do a move that requires me to press back, but my character wants to do 3 backflips instead. It's frustrating.
With the Brawlpad though, I haven't run into that problem, once. The d-pad is a major improvement from the standard 360 "affront to God" d-pad(seriously, I can't stress how terrible it is.). Peppering up combos with special moves flows as you expect it should. It also makes dashing a breeze. Something that's required to close the gap between you and your opponent quickly, and a good combo lengthener. Juggling being a big part of the game and all. Highly recommend this controller to any MK players out there.
Marvel vs Capcom 2: 7/10
I have a very specific problem when it comes to the Marvel vs Capcom games. If a special move requires me to sweep left, I simply can't do it. This may be user error, but I haven't had this problem since picking the Brawlpad up. The bumper buttons are face buttons, and to me, that makes assists a lot easier. It feels like I can get to the buttons faster, thus, assists come faster.
To make it even better, I jump when I want to jump now. My characters don't wildly start hopping around, like they just bought Moon Boots. The analog stick drift on the 360 is atrocious and it's nice to not deal with that anymore. I can actually pull off combos now too. Usually I just did one or two hits, let my meter build, and then unleash a hyper combo. But now I find myself knocking people up and stringing together a few things. It's a wonderful feeling.
Now, these next two games, I don't own. I went to a friend's house and tried them out with the Brawlpad. I got a little bit of time with both. Enough to make an impression.
Marvel vs Capcom 3: 5/10
From what I could tell, this controller was alright for MvC3. Nothing supremely special. The d-pad stepped my game up a little bit. Like with it's predecessor, it was easier to pull of hyper combos, regardless of direction. My problem came with the face buttons. Nothing is wrong with them, physically, the placement just feels wrong to me for this game. If you didn't know, in MvC3, the buttons are laid out like this, X Y and B are light, medium and hard attacks, with A being a dedicated launch/special button. So, the main attack buttons kind of arc over the launch button. A good set up, if you ask me.
Like I said, though, I don't own this game. I didn't have time to play around with settings and different layouts, but I'm going to assume there's a better one. Had it been like MvC2, with the 4 button, light/hard kick light/hard punch, set up, it may have been much better. But since it's a three button system, if you're looking for ONLY an MvC3 controller, keep looking because I don't think this would be for you.
I'd like to start out this portion of the review by saying, fuck Tekken. I've always sucked at Tekken, and this did not help at all. It wasn't that it was bad or anything, it just didn't really change anything. What more can I say? It's not bad, it's not good.
As a fairly inexpensive controller, and about $10 cheaper than the Street Fighter 4 fightpad, while still being the exact same thing, I recommend to any fighting gamer on a budget. Or anyone wanting a huge step up from the 360 d-pad. Also, if you're like me, and you don't like fight sticks. I know it's blasphemy to say, but I can't stand them and I know there are probably other people out there that feel the same way. This is a great alternative. And yeah, I realize I didn't even include the game the Brawlpad was made for(All Stars), but I've never even played it outside the demo. Given the name though, I'm sure it would work fine with it.
- Travis (I STEVE HOLT I)
Marvel vs Capcom 3: 3/10
To say I've played a lot of MvC3 is a bit of an understatement. I love this game so so much, as evident by my review earlier. I played it constantly for about three months after it came out. And I still play arcade alot. So I've got a lot of experience in engine and such of it. And I have to say, a Brawlpad is not meant to be used for MvC3. The d-pad is nice, the arcade style button layout is awesome, but it's just not a fit for MvC3. It's easier to pull off certain combos, and the d-pad is better than the 360 controller, but I'd rather have it than a brawlpad. It's a great controller, but not for MvC3. Certain motions are easier to pull off, but to crank out and X-Factor you have to press all four face buttons at once. and that's just now a simple task. It may have just been the controller layout I was using. The top three buttons are Light, Medium, Hard, and the bottom three are Special, Assist 1, Assist 2. I just couldn't get it down. So chalk this up to my own folley, but I didn't like it. I'd rather have a controller.