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September 2016 Retro Gaming Article


September 29, 2016 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Retro Fighters Next Gen NES controller blends retro & modern into a game-changing device

Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller
Whether you play NES games on an original console or via ROMs on a Mac or PC, this controller brings amazing new play options!
Retro Fighters is a new video game company dedicated to manufacturing products exclusively for the retro gaming community. Bookmark their website... If their NES Jab Gamepad is any indication of their future, we'll be hearing a lot from these guys!

Their new controller brings modern options to a beloved retro platform. Equipped with analog sticks and shoulder buttons, this controller will change the way you play on your NES and brings the same revolution to your computer. A Y-cable offers both the NES connector as well as USB for use on Mac and PC.

Retro Fighters logo I grew up with an Atari 2600 and was content with a single fire button on their joystick. As other consoles came to market - intending to dethrone Atari - their controllers spanned a wide variety of form factors and button layouts.

Every gaming company thought they had created the ultimate controller. From Intellivision's disc pad to Coleco's mini joystick/disc and the sea of buttons on controllers, everyone was desperate to create the definitive standard. When the NES came to market, they brought the D-pad, a convention that became widely adopted on future controllers.

Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller I felt that the D-pad was the beginning of separating control schemes found in arcades to those coming to home game consoles. NES games brought a new level of game duration to the home market. Their sophistication gave many more play options and that small rectangular controller spent a lot of time clenched in the grasp of excited gamers.

Many of us, found this controller poorly shaped for long durations. The corners were too angular for comfort. The dog-bone design that came with the top-loader NES was an improvement and many 3rd party manufacturers came up with new designs. But nothing really came close to what has become today's standard...

Bringing the Future to Retro Gaming

From the original PlayStation to Gen 8's PS4, Sony hasn't changed the ergonomic form of their controller all that much. Microsoft has followed suit and gamers seem happy with these modern layouts. That's great for the latest consoles, but what about retro gamers? Wouldn't it be great to have a modern controller design applied to our favorite consoles from yesteryear?

Retro Fighters NES Controller Jab Gamepad is just such a controller! With modern stylings and an array of play options, it brings new life and strategy to the NES game library.

Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller I find this controller's comfort to be a major breakthrough in NES controller design. Next, are the many options it affords - with trigger & shoulder buttons, buttons beneath the analog sticks, and the turbo feature, YOU choose the best setup for your style of play.
Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller Armed with analog sticks and shoulder/trigger buttons, this NES controller works with your NES, 3rd party clones, and computers. The Y-cable gives it maximum flexibility.

Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller

The Retro Fighters Next Gen NES Controller Is About Options

While you might wonder how effective dual analog sticks are on a retro controller for the NES. It's a logical inquiry and I'm stoked to tell you it's one of the best facets of this controller! You'll want to use the d-pad for rigid precision, but many games (think, flying and driving games) like Jackal and Rad Racer take on a new life with the analog sticks.

Retro Fighters NES Jab Gamepad controller With a wide mix of button options, you'll want to experiment to find out which controls works best for each game. I"ve found driving games where you must hold a button to maintain acceleration is easiest with the trigger while steering with the analog stick. When accuracy is needed for precise jumping in a platformer, the d-pad is fantastic.

You can visually split the controller down the middle and the controls on the left are the "B" button and the right side activates the "A" button. You can switch off between the shoulder, trigger, and analog stick buttons to find the best way to maximize any game. All these options may seem redundant, but once you use this controller, you'll see the genius in this flexibility.

If you choose to use the traditional A & B buttons, you'll find the non-aligned layout very comfortable and natural. While these button have usually been horizontally laid out, their positioning matches the ergonomics of the controller very well.

The controller is ergonomically designed and feels great in your hands, especially after long gaming sessions. It has a very solid feeling. You may have tried some 3rd party controllers that felt brittle or flimsy - NOT the case with the Jab Gamepad. The concave on the d-pad is much more comfortable than the original Nintendo controllers. As for the buttons, they all have a solid feel. The primary A and B buttons have a rugged feel and the trigger buttons travel smoothly. The chunky feel of many controller's buttons is thankfully absent.

Retro Fighters Jab Gamepad - Final Verdict

Retro Fighters fist logo The original NES controllers that came with my first NES (purchased in early '86) still function quite well. The test of time, is the ultimate gauge of a game controller. While no one expects a controller to last for decades, everything points to this being a very robust device that will hold up.

As for functionality, this is a great controller for your NES and/or computer, but it's real value comes from the options it offers for gameplay. This controller has changed the way I play NES games and opened up new possibilities. I love this controller and I believe you will too!

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