How the Classic Controller broke my heart



Around February 2010 I began playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, and realised just how much I love the game. It doesn't quite how the impressive depth or orgasm-inspiring graphics of its source of inspiration, Symphony of the Night, but the great music, cute graphics and engaging gameplay had me hooked for the few weeks it took to complete. Playing it on an emulator via the Wii's homebrew emulator allowed me to enjoy it on a large television screen, and combined with usage of the Classic Controller, it genuinely felt like I was playing a SNES game. Yes, offbeat screen resolution and iffy sound chip aside, it captured the vibe remarkably well and I had many enjoyable evenings seated on my ass whipping skeletons, skeleton horses and skeleton dragons until they died. Again. I'll try and avoid opening up the "is a skeleton already dead or what the hell" debate because I do not give one ounce of a damn.

I love the Classic Controller. I won't even try to deny that I am totally biased towards the Super Nintendo in so many categories, and its controller is just one of the many reasons I love it to bits. It's a comfortable size, a dinky shape, fits just about all the buttons you'd ever need onto it, and of course, it's the first console I had and thus am mandated by law to have fond memories of it (we did have the Sinclair Spectrum first but I can hardly wax poetic about a keyboard or a giant joystick can I). It's only natural that when my very first SNES controller gave up the ghost over a decade ago, I was quite disheartened. Yes, I had a humongous arcade controller and one that had turbo powers, but there's something magical about the real deal.
So when I first heard about the Classic Controller I couldn't help but OGMBASM. It adds two analogue sticks! It adds two extra shoulder buttons! It fits the Wii Remote inside it They removed that! Let's face it, all it needs is two extra face buttons like on a SEGA Saturn controller and it would be the ultimate controller.

Mind you, I was a little frustrated when I heard that it drew its power from the Wii Remote. I am simply not a big fan of wireless controllers.


It's probably because of unfortunate old experiences where someone walking past would completely interfere with its functionality and ruin your game completely, but that's a thing of the past now - though the fact they're still battery powered isn't. I have an unnecessary fascination with batteries and feel terribly unprepared if I don't have a good supply of AAs accessible, but I also hate using them. Yeah, I don't know, maybe it's like I'm playing Family Pirate Party and my batteries are drained, I think "man, those batteries wasted their lives just so I could play a shitty game." I don't know the reason behind it, but I just loathe actually using them on anything other than handheld consoles.

Also, the fact that the Wii Remote simply has to be dangling from it the whole time is just off-putting. Yes, you can just set it somewhere on the couch, but it feels uncomfortable and unholy, like the Classic Controller has an umbilical cord sticking out of it.
However, that wasn't the only disappointment - the Classic Controller doesn't work with GameCube games! What the hell, guys? I was totally looking forward to playing Sonic Adventure DX with a new controller layout, and I am denied the opportunity. I'm probably alone in this, but I think playing games with a new controller scheme is totally rad. You have not lived until you have attempted to play Metal Slug with a flight stick, my friend.

Mind you, the GameCube did already have a SNES-style controller made for it - the Hori Digital Controller. Primarily designed to work with the Game Boy Player and compilation titles, everyone says they're incredible and are totally worth the 2k monies they retail for, but frankly, I wasn't too impressed with it. The purple colouration was nice, and it did add some grooves to the back that allowed for comfortable handling, and I won't deny that it was quite decent for playing through Mega Man Xtreme 2, but it just didn't seem to be enough.

Yes, it's shaped like a SNES controller and has a Select button and everything (actually just a copy of the Y button but don't tell anyone), but the button layout is still the same as the GameCube, meaning you'll have a humongous A button, miniscule B button and the rest. Why? If I wanted to play these games with a SNES controller, I literally want to play them with a SNES controller, not some bizarre bastardisation of it and its GameCube brethren. Also, if you're going to throw in the GameCube's button layout, why not just go the whole hog and add in the two analogue sticks in positions similar to a DualShock? Don't just go halfway, you guys.
So, yes, a thorough disappointment. But then I saw this!


It's an adaptor that plugs into the controller port on a Wii or GameCube and allows you to use a Classic Controller instead! And since it literally takes the role of a GameCube controller, this means it'll work on those games and not require any batteries! I've restricted myself to one usage of this word per article (just for a larf), but I do believe this is a good time to drop an AWESOOOOOME.
However, I am also a stupendous tightarse. Yes, this looked interesting, but was it worth spending a whole ten British pounds on? After all, what else could I buy with that money?

I could purchase a discounted deluxe-size Transformers figure. Toys R Us are drowning in the things.

GAME offer some absurdly cheap DS titles, some of which are actually legitimate games with budgets behind them, such as Luminous Arc or Mega Man ZX!

If those 5P crisps were still sold I could buy enough of them to choke a horse. Please tell me those things are still being made. They were quite possibly the best food products in existence for children on budgets.

With 10 I would be halfway there to being able to buy a single anime DVD, if I'm lucky. I'm sorry, but Street Fighter Alpha or four episodes of Escaflowne are not worth 15. Thanks a million, British Board of Film Certification.

I was still on the fence, but then I remembered that good chum RQ87 spends money on a whim as much as a cow craps, like when he shelled out 2k monies for a NeoGeo, which in turn would cost him even more to actually get any games to play on it. I thought to myself, "I can spend money frivulously too!" and in a bold move, I spent a whole 9.49 on the Classic Controller converter box. It was a memorable day in the history books of rash behaviour.

And then this turned out to be the very moment I should've stayed on the fence. See, the seller (named "bighappyvalley") claimed they dispatched their items from Hythe, a little old place located in Kent, near the bottom of England. That would suggest that dispatch and delivery would be fairly prompt, about a week at the very most.

I unwisely looked at the feedback after I ordered, where many people stated that their items were actually shipped from Hong Kong, and not even shipped airmail, but by a very slow boat. Most people stated they only received their goods a month after they first ordered, some people nearly two months later. Yiiiiiikes. Regret and uncertainty!

Having to wait such a time for something you bought on a whim is certainly a major bummer, and when I was hoping to get it sometime before I finished Castlevania, that is a definite mood spoiler. I completed that game a few days later, so the driving force behind getting it was now gone, though it certainly wouldn't hurt to just have it.
A month to wait. Two months if I'm unlucky. Well, what can I do in that time?

I can twiddle my thumbs, for starters.

I could measure how long the grass grows each day.

I can attempt to read the first paragraph of War And Peace.

A month passed... and still nothing. Everything I'd ordered from other places days or weeks after I ordered the converter box had arrived, even a bunch of books from China, but there was still no sign of it. I sent the seller a message asking what was up, but received no reply. The seller has received new feedback with people stating their goods had arrived after a month, and they had ordered around the time I had, early February. So why was mine not showing up?

I noticed no one else had actually ordered this Classic Controller converter from him - did everyone else know better? After all, this was a bland no-name product, certainly not to the credibility of something that looks professional such as the Classic Linker Plus. When I first ordered I was worried if the thing would work or not, but at this point I was only concerned if the damn thing would ever arrive.

Come April, I've lost my chance to leave feedback or file a case against the seller, and still no sign of the item. Negative feedback piles up, and the seller apparently jumps ship, removing all their item listings and presumably taking hospice in this new account ("digitalitemm"), where the same kinds of items are sold and the same kinds of complaints are seen (no communication, slow dispatch, items sometimes broken).
I probably should've just bought a DS game.




Lesson learnt: Never buy anything for the rest of my life.


Oh, who am I kidding.