The 3DS Circle Pad Pro is Mostly Great, Actually

It sure has been a week for twin-thumbstick portable gaming. In addition to the PlayStation Vita (which has two thumbsticks built in), I've been playing around with the "Circle Pad Pro" attachment for the Nintendo 3DS.

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The Circle Pad Pro is a chunky plastic contraption that fits around the 3DS, retrofitting it with a right circle-pad (basically, a right thumbstick), as well as a second set of shoulder buttons on the back. I haven't been using it for too long, but I gotta say, despite some annoyances, I like it!

It is still clearly a retro-fit - it blocks access to some of the 3DS' vitals, so you'll have to put it on for some games and take it off for others. That's annoying. But all the same, it's already significantly improved my experience with Resident Evil: Revelations, to the point that I would no longer want to play the game without it.

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Check out the video above, in which I demonstrate how the Circle Pad Pro works.

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DISCUSSION

I have it, but I'm not playing Revelations with it. Don't get me wrong, it works and it totally supports a dual stick shooter. My two big problems with it are the weird decision to use the left bumper from the console but replace the right, which makes the left one feel very weird, and the lack of DualShock-like grabby bits at the bottom, which make holding it for long a bit uncomfortable.

Now, that said, Revelations is a better game without it. It makes you choose between strafing and turning when aiming, which is an interesting approximation to old school "stand still to shoot" mechanics while letting you move around a bit. With the dual sticks it feels like a decent action game, with the single, it feels like old school RE played from RE4's perspective, and that's a really cool game, in my book.

The thing will probably work best with Kid Icarus and Metal Gear, but the nerdrage surrounding it is definitely unwarranted.