The PowerA Running Mario Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch arrived with us a week ago. We were keen to put these to the test and see if a third-party accessory could be as good as the premium, branded ones – and overall, there’s been little disappointment.
We decided on the Running Mario design, and it’s cool. I couldn’t find a hint of the finish wearing. Which so often happens with patterns on handheld devices. Also, the texture is a smooth-matte that gives you a good, grippy feel. All this without being uncomfortable, which works well with the lightweight design. There’s no rumble, which can be a little off-putting at first. But the comfort of hours of play due to the light-as-air feel is worth it.
For me, there wasn’t much to complain about with the PowerA controllers. They are responsive, the button placement is comfortable and you’re not paying Nintendo Pro Controller levels of money. The fact they run off 2 AA batteries – giving about 30 hours of playtime before needing a change. Isn’t ideal, and it would’ve been nice to see a rechargeable battery. But it’s nothing that can’t be worked around.
The controller does work with motion control, which is a huge bonus if that’s the way you like to play, and that’s a point in its favour over other third-party controller options. Best of all, though, are the programmable buttons on the reverse, which for me sit very comfortably under my ring fingers and respond perfectly. It’s easy to get them set up and the controller will remember what you’ve set them for between uses.
The looks are good, the functionality is good – and the comfort is good. I’m not going to praise this as the best controller I’ve ever used. The D-Pad feels a little plasticky, and there is virtually no weight to the PowerA controllers, which is pretty great for long hours of play but not so good in games that give lots of feedback through the rumble – playing Mario Kart 8 seems harder versus the Nintendo branded controllers.
The buttons are in pretty comfortable positions, and the controller sits naturally in the hand with fingers resting as you’d expect for playing your Switch games.
Overall, the PowerA Running Mario Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch might well be what you’re looking for if you’re after a programmable, light-weight and good-looking Switch controller – especially at a price point that beats the Nintendo Pro Controller hands-down.