Controller Review: Memorex Wii MotionPlus Controller

Memorex Wii MotionPlus Controller
MSRP: $29.99
Buy it at Amazon.com
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Ask any person who has been playing video games for a long time about their experience with third party controllers, and you will likely hear an angry rant against them. Whether it is from memory cards, controllers, or other peripherals (with the exception of arcade sticks), every gamer I know has some tale of regret. Personally I’ve gone through several disappointing third party devices. This is because I get blinded by the cheaper prices which is apparently enough to override any lessons I might have learned.

Memorex has decided to jump into gaming by releasing their own controllers, and I was able to try their Memorex Wii MotionPlus Controller. While I always try to keep an open mind with new products, it’s hard to erase the apprehension caused by all the bad experiences I’ve had in the past. Thankfully I can say that the Memorex Wii MotionPlus Controller is probably the best third party controller I’ve ever used.

The controller is the same size as an average Wii remote. I asked for the black version, and strangely the black controller is only black on the top and white on the bottom, like a half eaten Oreo. Not sure why this is, as pictures I’ve seen of it were black all around, but it didn’t make a difference. The controller easily synced to the system once I put batteries in, and there are blue LEDs that surround the directional pad, blue circle of lights for the speaker and so on that were to me asthetically pleasing. I like shiny objects.

There are some slight differences on how the controller is laid out. The D-pad is actually a soft rubber circle instead of the four directional plastic cross on the Nintendo controller. The A button is slightly larger and convex. The 1 and 2 buttons are much larger on the Memorex controller than on the Nintendo controller. Since I just bought a Wii for my grandparents, I can see them enjoying the larger buttons. I do not know the specs on the speaker, but it sounded slightly better than the Nintendo remote.

I tried a few games out with the controller. Since it has built in MotionPlus, I tried the game with Wii Sports Resort. The controller worked perfectly, and it might have been my imagination but it seemed to calibrate faster than the Nintendo controller. There are times the game asks you to set the controller face down on a flat surface and it recalibrated right away. I tried some of the sword games and the response time was exactly the same as the Nintendo Wii remote.

I also tested the controller on Kirby’s Epic Yarn. I like playing side-scrolling games and many of those titles being released on the Wii lately require holding the controller sideways. I was concerned about the accuracy of the 360 directional pad versus the 4 way cross, but the D-pad on the Memorex controller was great. Not only did it work well, it felt a lot better on my thumb than the Nintendo remote. Same with the 1 and 2 buttons. Their larger size made it more comfortable to use the controller sideways.

The only thing that disappointed me with the controller is that I use third party (non-Memorex) rechargable battery packs with my Nintendo remotes, and these did not appear to work with the Memorex controller. In all the important aspects the controller worked perfectly, felt durable, and was much more comfortable to use than the official Nintendo controller. The MSRP of the controller appears to be about $5 cheaper than the official controller, but even if they were the same price I’d prefer to use the Game Controller Plus over the official Wii MotionPlus controller.

Pros:
+ MotionPlus built in
+ Comfortable
+ Larger buttons might be preferable for older gamers
+ Works as well and in some ways slightly better than the official controller

Cons:
– Can’t use other third party battery packs.

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