PowerA have taken me by surprise as of late. My knowledge before going into the PS4 Fusion Pro review was very limited, but I came out pleasantly surprised. I expected a decent controller with the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller. I ended up getting nice controls, a great USB, and my new favorite way to play shooters. It looks nice to boot.
I’m going to be honest, shooters just don’t feel that comfortable on the Switch, for me. In fact, this was one of the only issues playing last year’s Sniper Elite 4 port. The joycons just don't feel as snappy as its competitors and the size of the Switch leaves the movement to triggers feeling a little slow. For the few shooters that found their way to the Nintendo Switch, controllers seem to be the best way to play them.
PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch — How does it look?
For this review, I was given the adorable Pokemon 25th anniversary Pikachu edition. It contrasts the yellow of the Pikachu against the black of the controller to great effect—relatively sleek while still drawing the eye. They have a range of styles, but this is my personal favorite, topping off the look with just enough personal touches to feel fun. It has a light 25 at the top to signify both Pikachu’s Pokedex number and the anniversary. At the back, there are two triggers with slightly curved ends, looking like its ears. These little touches may not be noticeable immediately but become very endearing when you see them.
One of the main things to clarify with the controller is that it doesn't feel quite as sturdy as the PlayStation and Xbox counterparts. The plastic of the controller is very light, both working for and against it. I didn't feel like these can be thrown around quite as much but long hours playing with it felt far more natural. This is a controller for when you want to play a game casually, a really nice fit for the Nintendo Switch.
All the buttons are nicely placed and click in a satisfying manner. There’s nothing too groundbreaking about them but they work as nicely as you might expect. It wouldn't be PowerA without a little something extra, and that comes in the form of three mappable buttons on the back. It’s not quite as extravagant as the clippable claws that come with the Pro, but the three buttons add some extra reach to your controls. One is located behind each handle and the third is in the middle of the back. You could set them to one of the front buttons or the D-pad, but I found setting them to the start, home, and screenshot button felt the most natural.
After playing with it for a few weeks, it's clear how solid the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller really is. This is only made even better by the great battery life and a surprisingly great USB. I never found myself without charge in the controller but even if I did, the 3M cable would have me covered. The strength and easiness of this cable has added a lot to the controllers use.
While my time with it was great, it isn't without flaw. No NFC reader means you need to use the Switch to connect any amiibo. This is an odd hindrance that makes the Nintendo Pro Controller better in a central way. Alongside this, there are also no rumble functions in the controller. This wasn’t a huge issue for me but definitely something worth knowing before going in. There are plenty of great things about this controller if your expectations are set appropriately.
To set those expectations right, this is definitely a casual controller. This is something you sit down on the sofa with. This controller doesn't feel like it's trying to maximize the space for the best settings or to get the best accuracy. It’s simply fun and easy to use. Where the PowerA pro range seems to focus a little more on this, the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller seems occupied with simply giving you an easy experience. It succeeds.
PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch — Verdict
PowerA have managed to make a lovely little controller here, with plenty of nice visuals to go alongside it. The comfortable feel, extra remappable buttons and nice cable make it a great addition to my collection, even if the lack of an NFC reader and rumble function dampens the experience somewhat. This doesn't feel like a controller designed for professional play or hardcore enthusiasts. It's a light and comfortable controller that adds to any game, the perfect fit for Nintendo