If you’re like me, you have been putting far too many hours into Pokemon Scarlet & Violet since launch, and even though I play on my Nintendo Switch a fair bit, I still use the standard joy-cons… i know don’t judge me.
I often get the chance to review controllers, but it’s not something I think fits the site (yet) because it’s not really retro gaming related, but one controller that got dropped off at the office recently was this, the RetroFlag Gamecube Nintendo Switch Controller.
RetroFlag’s new Nintendo Switch controller that I just have to share with you, because not only is it one of the best Nintendo Switch Controllers out there, it’s also retro gaming themed!
RetroFlag are well known for creating Raspberry Pi related handhelds, with their recent GPi Case 2W being officially launched, but they must have seen the impressive custom Gamecube joy-cons by Shanks go viral on YouTube a couple of years ago and decided to develop something for the masses.
And thankfully it’s now a reality, although I should mention at the time of making this video, it’s only available in the US and Canada, which is a bit of a shame!
Straight out of the box it’s a very light controller coming in at around 270g. Instead of it being two separate controllers, it uses a slide in panel to help dock your Nintendo Switch into.
Because it fits both the Original Switch and the OLED version I did find it a little awkward to line up, and at one time, i actually mis-aligned the Switch over the plastic bits on the sides and heard a crack… which isn’t good.
It’s likely just me being an idiot, but there is a lot of wiggle room for my Switch so I do advise installing it carefully, especially when lining up the USB-C slot at the bottom too.
Once it’s slotted in you can get a real sense of how it looks, and I must say, it’s stunning.
The transparent shell, along with the Gamecube button layout just screams nostalgia, and I don’t think I can ever go back to the normal joy-cons, this is now my new Switch setup.
Although on RetroFlag’s website and marketing material they can’t use the word “Gamecube” it’s obvious this is trying to be as close to it as possible, and I honestly think they’ve done a great job.
Now we just need a more of the best Gamecube games ported over!
It’s incredibly comfortable in the hand, and after a long gaming session I had no aches or pains, it just feels so natural to hold.
The D-PAD used is thick, has a little bit of movement and offers a nice soft clicky feedback making it great for those of you that like to play the best fighting games.
Above that is the signature thumb stick with the memorable circles and because these analogue sticks are hall joysticks they use magnets instead of physical buttons making it far more reliable, and you’ll be glad to know they don’t drift!
I know, you should be putting this in your basket already!
On the right side you’ll bit hit with even more Gamecube nostalgia, as they have decided to keep the colour combo, alongside a smaller C analogue stick, that again uses hall joystick technology and can be pressed down for L3 functionality.
Some of you maybe disappointed that it doesn’t feature octagon shape, and so are we but it’s likely this would have caused legal issues and t’s probably a disadvantage when playing games, so RetroFlag decided not to use it.
Above that you have some nice clicky buttons that again uses the signature colour combo. They have a nice amount of travel with them, don’t stick and are much bigger than a traditional joy-con making it that little bit more comfortable to play on.
Then on top you have your grey stacked shoulder buttons that are again, great to play on. The ZL and ZR buttons are slightly flared adding to the impressive comfortability of this controller.
RetroFlag added travel to them in an attempt to make it feel like the original Gamecube controller, it’s not identical but it’s good enough in my eyes.
On the back you get a sense of how the grips look and feel, they are incredibly thick, well rounded and allow for great control of the device when travelling. I’ll say it again, i can’t get over how comfortable this thing is to hold.
Then below the USB-C dock you have a USB-C port that has PD Fast Charger Compatibility, another great feature that RetroFlag have added.
To set it u all you have to do is slot in your switch, head to controller settings and turn on “Pro Controller Wired Communication”, this will then pair the controller and you can begin playing.
You’ll notice a vibration from the controller, as it has vibration and motion controls built in, meaning you’re not missing out on any of the original joy-con controllers featuers, it’s a much needed upgrade for your Switch.
The build quality is gret too, everything from the buttons to the small plastic USB-C slot feels durable, however, I do think if a child stood on it, or it was awkward hit in a backpack, it could potentially snap it down the middle, only because the plastic back panel is very thin, so thin in fact that i could quite easily snap it little force without the switch installed.
Just take that into consideration if you plan on buying this for a child, or someone who likes to rage quit.
That’s all I have to say about this controller really, RetroFlag have created an awesome product to pays respects to one of the best console controllers of all time, and they have built it with nostalgia and quality at its forefront.
I will be using this controller for many months and I just hope they can get this to their overseas customers over the coming months, because keeping it at a US and Canadian exclusive is a low blow.
But that said, this is now my new favourite Nintendo Switch controller. I love it.
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A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.