Taito DS Paddle Controller Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by Urza, Mar 3, 2008.

Mar 3, 2008

Taito DS Paddle Controller Review by Urza at 7:01 AM (17,264 Views / 0 Likes) 0 replies

  1. Urza
    OP

    Member Urza hi

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,493
    Country:
    United States
    GBAtemp.net review of the...

    Taito DS Paddle Controller [​IMG]

    Manufactured by: TAITO

    By Urza - 2th March 2008

    Review Contents & Index:
    • Introduction
      - Official feature list
    • Packaging and Contents
      - Box Contents
    • Device Design
    • Setting Up & Using
      - Arkanoid DS
      - Space Invaders Extreme
    • Paddle.xml - Mario Kart DS
    • Battery Life
    • Conclusion
    Introduction

    A reminisce of the glory days of Atari gaming, paddle controllers were key when it came to playing games like Pong, Breakout, and Space Invaders. The Taito Corp. offers a glimpse back into that decade with their newly released (well, a couple months old) Taito DS Paddle Controller. Currently supporting two games with a third-party hack for use with Mario Kart, and available in 4 colors, the Paddle fits into slot-2 and is compatible with both the original and Lite DS. Looks promising. Lets see how it is.


    Packaging and Contents



    Standard Japanese electronics packaging, but I guess I'll describe in more depth. The left half of the paddle image (the black portion) is actually a hole cut-out with thin plastic glued on the inside to show which color it is. The round sticker on the top-left serves the same purpose. The left side of the box names off all the available colors (white, black, silver, pink), and has a URL which is supposed to take you to the web page for the product. I have found that the address written on the box, "http://www.taito.co.jp/csm/paddle_ds", is incorrect, the correct address being "http://www.taito.co.jp/csm/title/2007/paddle_ds/".




    On the back you've got a diagram showing that the paddle should work with both DS Lite and DS Phat units. More moonrunes.

    Box Contents
    • 1x Paddle Controller
    • Instructional Leaflet
    Inside the box the paddle is held firm by a cardboard folding. Underneath you'll find the standard safety/usage guidelines leaflet which is nothing special.


    Device Design



    There are four colors currently available (white, black, silver, pink). The unit I will be reviewing is the "black" model.

    Build quality is extraordinary. Undoubtedly as good, if not better, than anything coming out of Nintendo's factories. No part of the unit would bend or creak at all, no matter how much pressure applied. The spinner itself is attached well to the main body, and doesn't come out any amount when pulled on. The paddle weighs 41.9 grams, about the same as two standard GBA carts.



    The underside of the unit has label that reads:

    Code:
    ------------------------------
    PADDLE CONTROLLER DS
    TCPP-20019
    ------------------------------
    TAITO CORPORATION
    ------------------------------
    MADE IN CHINA


    The texture of the body is quite similar to the matte finish of the black DS Lite's interior. A little smoother, a little darker, but more or less the same. The spinner shares the same texture on the top, with straight ridges running down the sides. The entire surface of the main body shares the same finish.



    Since it was designed to work with both the DS Lite and Phat, it of course doesn't fit flush with the former. However it wasn't really noticeable during use.

    The shell is divided into two halves which are held together by four screws. Inside, you can see the two movement readers (which read the divots in the main wheel as it spins), and a second wheel which provides resistance.




    Setting Up & Using



    I'd like to take this time to say that the paddle truly is fun to use. The whole device just feels solid, and the second wheel provides just the right amount of resistance. This allows precise movement while twisting slowly, and fast movement with a quick spin. The ridges along the side of the spinner allow you to maneuver with one finger running around the edge. Theres a mechanical-esque sound produced, but you can only really hear it when making longer spins (check the Space Invaders Extreme video). Response time is perfect.

    Setup is as simple as plugging it into the slot-2 of your DS; the game will automatically recognize it and remap the controls. Currently the only two games that officially support it are Taito's own Arkanoid DS and Space Invaders Extreme.


    Arkanoid DS


    Video contributed by DjoeNtje


    Space Invaders Extreme




    Paddle.xml - Mario Kart DS

    Most of you probably know this by now, but developer Yasu has released a cheat string that allows you to use the paddle controller with a Japanese copy of Mario Kart DS. It functions as a standard AR cheat, can be used with any flashcart that supports those. Once you've enabled the cheat in your flashcart's menu, pressing Start + Select ingame will remap the left-right on the d-pad to the paddle.


    Video contributed by AhTin


    Whats the verdict? Very, very hard to control. It will often get stuck going one direction if you spin it too fast, leaving making very slow turns and running into walls alot. Playable? Hardly. However, if development on this continues it could eventually become something worthwhile.


    Battery Life

    Essentially just take your current DS' battery life and divide it in half. I don't have proper benchmarks, but the controller takes quite a bit of extra power.


    Conclusion

    The Taito DS Paddle Controller is quite the dealio. Incredible build quality with a well designed spinner and perfect response time make this one of the best input devices available, and its just fun to spin (I find myself doing it while its sitting on my desk). Works great in the two games it was designed for, but unfortunately those are the only two games that can use it at all (well, and Mario Kart). If you're a big fan of Space Invaders Extreme I could see this being a worthwhile purchase, but otherwise it might be hard to warrant the 25USD+ to import it.

    Pros
    + Phenominal build quality
    + Perfect response time
    + Works with slot-1 flashcarts
    + Great resistance
    + Very fun to use
    + Available in 4 colors

    Cons
    - Halves your battery life
    - Mario Kart hack is unplayable
    - Only two games officially support it
    - Somewhat expensive

    [​IMG]
    External Links:
    - Taito Corp's Paddle Controller Page

    Where to buy?:
    - Play-Asia
    - YesAsia
    - eBay

    This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and all included photos are property of GBAtemp.net
    If you see this review on any other site please let the admin know via e-mail - shaunj66 [@at@] GBAtemp [.dot.] net
     

Share This Page