Current Retail Price: $17.99
As the cycle of game console succession continues through the years both systems and controllers/peripherals are usually replaced by demonstrably better iterations making the previous versions nostalgically obsolete. The transition from the GameCube to the Wii, though, with its sharp move from traditional controls to motion-based gaming left significantly more room for the continued use of the previous generation’s controllers/peripherals; to the point even of the inclusion of GameCube controller ports on the original version of the Wii. With the still new-ish Wii U continuing Nintendo’s tradition of backwards compatibility, it came as a disappointment to many that Nintendo didn’t offer any first-party solutions for using GameCube controllers (or the new Wii U Pro Controllers), particularly for games like Smash Bros. Brawl that still benefit greatly from their use. Mayflash has come to the more traditionalist Wii U gamers’ rescue with their “GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U” that claims to allow you to use your trusty old GameCube controllers by fooling the Wiimote into thinking that it’s a Wii Classic Controller. Is the GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U the adapter we’ve been waiting for since the Wii U’s release or does it leave you feeling a little detached? Read on to find out if our experience with it was plugged or bugged.
The packaging that the GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U comes in, while honestly not that important, is certainly not in the running for any design prizes. It provides you with the basic instructions necessary to understand the adapter’s functionality and that’s it. Packaging aside, the build quality of the adapter itself is at least solid. It feels more or less like any other controller cable or adapter you’re likely to have and has none of the cheap knock-off feeling that one might expect.
In addition to the GameCube controller port and Wii remote plug the adapter has one other physical feature of note and that’s its Turbo button. To use it you have to hold it, press the button you want to enable Turbo (super-fast button presses when it’s pushed) for, and then release them at the same time. An LED on the adapter lights up to indicate when Turbo is activated, you can repeat the holding process to activate Auto Fire (simulated constant pressing) on the button instead, and a third time will cancel the extra functions out. You can also double-tap the Turbo button to cancel it at any time.
Aside from the Turbo features, I’m happy to say that the experience of using a GameCube controller with the GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U is the same, if not better than plugging it directly into the Wii ever was. The only functional difference that takes a small amount of getting used to is that for some inexplicable reason the Start button on the GameCube controller is mapped to the nearly useless Minus (-) Classic Controller button instead of the intrinsically obvious (and much more useful) Plus (+) button. Holding the Start button is like pushing the Home button, which is just fine, but you have to double-tap the Start button to register its logical equivalent (the Plus button). This wouldn’t even be that bad if it didn’t interfere with general game functionality, but a case in point comes from Smash Bros. Brawl whereby you can’t cancel out of a match because it requires you to hold several buttons at once including the Plus button which can only be activated through a double-tap.
Using the adapter may even be a bit better overall experience than using a GameCube controller on an original Wii, though, because seeing as how it thinks you’re using a Classic Controller it lets you control the Wii menu pointer with it. This is a function that people have always wanted on the Wii and it feels great to finally be able to navigate the system exclusively using a GameCube controller. As far as responsiveness is concerned, though, I experienced absolutely no lag or latency issues during my play sessions with the GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U, it was always just as fast as if it were plugged directly into the system.
A few online reviews for the GC Controller Adapter for Wii/Wii U claim that it can work with WaveBird controllers, but none of the WaveBird receivers we could get a hold of would even power on when attached to the adapter. If it did work it would likely drain the Wii remote’s battery more quickly, but it would be a nice option to have none-the-less. As it stands I’m going to have to get at least one more wired GameCube controller, and a couple more of these adapters if I want to have a proper Smash Bros. Brawl tournament any time in the near future because most of my GCN controllers are WaveBirds.