Reviewed: July 20, 2002
Every since the day I unpackaged my Nintendo GameCube I have been unhappy with the controller that came with it. The gamepad just seemed “too small”; something I was unaccustomed to after complaining just a few days prior (after the Xbox launch) that the Xbox controller was “too large”. My poor relationship with the standard gamepad spilled over into the enjoyment of all of the games that I played on the system and probably tainted my overall opinion of the GameCube itself.
The Firestorm Powershock is ThrustMaster’s first controller for the GameCube, and while it certainly doesn’t break any new ground in shape, size, or design, it is a sturdy and durable alternative to Nintendo’s standard controller and costs $15 less making it a great replacement or add-on purchase to fill in those extra game ports.
Here are the Powershock Features:
The pair of analog sticks are coated with a rubber texture that feels great and offers precise no-slip thumb control. The D-pad is also very nice and despite the 4-way cross design, it is very easy to get it to click in all eight directions. The analog triggers are extra deep giving you a greater range of precision control and there is a final digital action button integrated into the triggers.
I put this controller through the paces with WaveRace Blue Storm and Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II and it performed flawlessly. The rubber-coated sticks felt great, even after several hours of shooting down Tie Fighters and bouncing across the waves. The extra travel distance of the triggers offered much more precise control.
The vibration effects are stronger on the Powershock (as the name might indicate) than the typical controller, giving you enhanced feedback when playing your favorite games. The Powershock cord is about a foot longer than the standard controller cable, so you can reach your favorite chair or the sofa without dragging your GameCube across the carpet.
Personally, I still find the overall shape of the FireStorm Powershock a bit uncomfortable, but given the choice between this or the standard GameCube controller there is more than enough subtle improvements to make this the controller of choice for your Nintendo gaming system.