Picking up a fight pad is a great way to improve your game over the competition in fighters. The WWE All Stars Collector’s Edition Brawl Pad looks hot and stylish, but is it worth its weight in coin? Fighting fans who’ve been thinking about picking this peripheral up should definitely check out this review.
The first thing you’ll notice about the pad is its colorful art. Whether or not you’ll like it depends entirely upon your opinion of WWE superstars Triple H and the Rock. Their super deformed impressions mirror their appearance in the new wrestling title WWE All Stars, but you probably knew that already.
The pad feels similar to both the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers, except for the lack of both analog sticks and additional shoulder button room. Six buttons are laid out on the face of the pad and function as the action buttons. Their layout makes it possible to “piano” the buttons whilst laying the controller on your lap, arcade stick style. The buttons are wide and spacious, making them easy to reach and hit comfortably. They are also quite responsive and the slightest tap will trigger them, which is usually a good thing.
The rubbery grips on the side of the pad do indeed help it stay firmly seated within your palms, even when they are sweating bullets. The shoulder buttons feel a little too…flat. They don’t extend far enough from the controller for me to accurately tell if I’ve completely pushed them, but a nice clicking sound alleviates this as an issue. A switch on the bottom of the pad allows you to switch the functionality of the D-pad from left analog stick or right analog stick, with the D-pad function being the standard setting.
The best part of the pad, I think, is the turbo function which isn’t always seen on pads. You can use turbo to program a button to loop that buttons output in a fast, medium or slow manner. For example, Chun-li is famous for her lightning kicks or the kick button mash. Instead of repeatedly pressing the button over and over, you can set it with turbo and simply hold it to perform the technique, saving time and effort.
The worst part of the pad, and this is by a pretty long shot, is the D-pad. Complicated directional inputs, particularly the “Z” motion (dragon uppercut) and half circle inputs, don’t seem to come out all the time. This is crucial in tight spots. For example, in MVC3, after using a hard knockdown attack in the air with Viper, you must quickly land near your opponent and input HCB+AA to use her super which will carry her opponent off the ground and set them up for further devastation. I regularly use this combo with both a standard 360 controller and a standard PS3 controller. Although I tried many times, I could absolutely never pull it off on the Brawl Pad.
All things considered, the WWE Brawl Pad is priced to sell and it does have a nice list of features . However, the D-pad doesn’t seem to be too effective or responsive and this is a must for fighting games. If you really love the Rock or need an affordable new pad, I’d recommend this. If you’re pretty hardcore and price is less of a factor, then I’d pass. Stay tuned for the review of the much better WWE All Stars CE BrawlStick.
- Title: WWE ALL STARS Collector’s Edition Brawl Pad
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Creator: Mad Catz
- MSRP: $39.99
- Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
- Review Copy Info: Hardware was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the manufacturer for the purpose of this review.