N64 controller alternatives

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    • So got the fist view bits I ordered and spend some hours with it;

      - Tribute64 controller
      - Retro-bit extension leads

      Still waiting on this;
      - Brawler64 controller
      - Replacement stick "SHARPSHOOTER"
      - Super-lube, intend to lube the sharpshooter and also an OEM stick I have with minimal wear.

      So will do some quick impressions of the Tribute now and do a more extensive shoot-out when I have all other parts to compare.
      First up are the extension leads, well not much to say about them, they work and do what they have to do.
      One small note though, if I plug in a controller to the lead (OEM or Tribute), the connection doesn't feel as tight as when plugging it directly in the N64 itself.

      Then to the first impressions Tribute64:
      - Feels like a quality product when you unpack it, especially considering the price!
      - First time you properly hold it, it does feel small though and the placement of the shoulder-buttons feels off, and I don't even have ridiculous huge hands!
      - Also when I hold it in a way my fingers feel in a natural position, my right thumb rests on the C-buttons and to use the A/B buttons I have to move my thumb downwards.

      After that I fired up my N64 and intended to play several games like Super Mario 64, Mariokart 64 and Goldeneye, but once I fired up Mariokart 64 I played for a few hours and went for the gold in all cups ;)
      So impressions of other games are to come on the next test....

      - Cable length is very good compared to OEM controllers and I can kinda play from my main seating position without an extension
      - Controller feels well and solid despite the smallish size
      - Stick feels direct, responsive, no play, and Toad drives in the direction where I want him to
      - Pressing the Z trigger feels awkward some times due to placement of my finger and most of the times I had my fingertip resting on the shell of the controller and pressed the trigger with the inside of my finger's joint, which in turn can be a bit difficult from time to time.

      All in all I did like the controller minus the placement of the triggers and due to the smallish size of the controller and the 'forced' replacement of my thumb to reach the A/B buttons instead of the C button started to cause some cramps after about 2 hours.

      So for the price point of this controller and if you are looking for a decent replacement for a worn out OEM controller for <2 hours play sessions I can recommend it IF your hands are not extremely huge

      The post was edited 4 times, last by PascalP ().

    • Also I checked the Tribute with the 'controller test rom' on my Everdrive, and the movement was similar to the OEM (but more range).
      Will post some pics of this test later when I compare it 1:1 with all other alternatives I have coming :)

      Pic is of a new OEM stick and how it should be

      The post was edited 1 time, last by PascalP ().

    • New

      So today is was controller cleaning day :P
      Also got in the Sharpshooter sticks so installed that in one controller as well + I took apart the Sharpshooter and lubed the shit out of it :evil:
      The bowl is lubed from factory, but the gears are dry.

      Some pics of the Sharpshooter stick, also disassembled and for reference disassembled an OEM stick as well to compare.
      Internals looks pretty much the same, just the bowl is black vs white and you can see it is lubed a bit.
      After adding some SuperLube to the gears and all other moving parts it felt so buttery smooth it was amazing :love:

      So let the controllers soak for a few hours, cleaned them, dried them and assembled them, see next post for results...
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    • New

      So after getting the controller back together I had 3 sticks to test:
      - OEM controller with Sharpshooter stick (extra lubed)
      - OEM controller with OEM stick without play and still smooth
      - Tribute64 controller
      - Still waiting on delivery of the Brawler64... :(

      First go to test game is MarioKart 64 and all controllers did pretty well and also the Tribute64 I used before with MarioKart.
      There is one exception though with the Tribute64 and that is that one slippery track (Banshee Boardwalk) where you start to feel the sensitivity of the Tribute64, so one to the ultimate test; GoldenEye
      Obviously the Tribute64 was highly sensitive compared to the other stick, aiming are turning with precision is just difficult!
      Also I still can't get over the awkward shoulder button placement and the OEM controller just feels more natural to me.

      To confirm my suspicions I fired up the controller test rom and there it was very easy to spot the sensitivity of the X and Y axis movement between the Tribute64 and OEM or Sharpshooter.
      I think the Sharpshooter is quite on par with the OEM and I could hardly feel any in-game difference, and doubt I would notice something different with a blind test.

      So before testing the Brawler I would say the Tribute is the obvious loser up to this point compared to the OEM controller
      - Small controller and therefor awkward position of your hands
      - Weird shoulder button placement
      - Overly sensitive stick

      But of course the OEM controller is not perfect either and you have to cope with the awkward trident shape, but at least your fingers rest on the buttons where they should (triggers and A/B)
    • New

      Thanks for the info @PascalP I could definitley do with a replacement stick for at least one of my controllers.

      I recently got one of these as I wanted to play Bangai-O with dual sticks! 8)

      Not had a chance to give it too much play time yet, but first impressions are good, and the button re-mapping option could come in handy for other games.
    • New

      ow and one thing that I forgot to mention and just came to mind;

      With the Tribute64 the 'notches' on the left side of the stick (left-up, left, left-down) are very noticeable when moving the stick around, but on the right side of the stick you DO NOT FEEL the notches at all and it feels just like a round gate...
      Very strange and definitely a thumbs down!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by PascalP ().

    • New

      PascalP wrote:

      So what is up with the GC controller with dual sticks? Where is the C-stick? ?(
      ;) Got myself a 'replacement' grey stick off ebay (although I actually transplanted an original from another controller to use as my main pad pictured above) as I thought it'd be nicer to use than the yellow C nubbin. It's a nice easy swap a I think it feels a bit nicer

      PascalP wrote:

      Tried playing Goldeneye yesterday on the OEM controller and it felt awkward to use the C buttons for strafing instead of a second stick like we have gotten so used to over the years!
      Yep, going from sticks back to buttons for movement takes a bit of getting used to. It took me a while to get the hang of the two controller / two sticks setup for Goldeneye, but it was so much more accurate/fun to play once I did 8)
    • New

      Zepherino wrote:

      Thanks for showing that test on the Tribute 64. I was really hoping that it would be a decent Hori Mini substitute but It looks like it sadly isn't. It actually makes me wonder how well the actual Hori Mini sticks work vs originals.
      Yeah if anyone with a Hori pad can do the controller test as well that would be great!