The Afterglow Pro Controller for Wii U is PDP’s wireless gamepad controller solution for Wii U owners. (I say gamepad controller as Wii U has by far the largest array of different controller types). The Afterglow Pro, like the standard Nintendo Pro controller, is a more standard controller with the same amount of buttons as as PS4 of an Xbox One controller; you have your game pad controllers, two bumpers, 2 triggers, two control sticks on both sides that also serve as buttons when pressed, a “+” and “-” as the “Start” and “Select” buttons, then of course the system and power buttons. The additional button on the Afterglow Pro is to control the light of the controller; pressing it will change the lighting mode from, on, off, and pulse.
The controller design seems to almost repliclate that of an Xbox 360 controller, at least in terms of the shape. The only noticeable difference being that the right thumb stick and typical 4 pad buttons have swapped places. As long as I’ve had a 360, I found the shape and design to be extremely comfortable and natural. It also features two rumble motors located at the at both gripping points that are intriguing to watch as the operate, and really makes use of their transparent casing. The lighting of the controller is a nice spectacle, however I did not really see the point of the pulsating mode and would have preferred a dimmer control or a color change. Having each player’s controller be a different color would look cool and also be a great way to distinguish who’s controller is whose after say a quick pizza or rest room break.
I used the controller to play Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, and it ran flawlessly. Tests I like to run on controllers are the button mash and button hold, a third test I like to run are the stick spins, but as Mario Party is determined to only use the Wii Mote I can’t think of a game where that would really apply. After running the controller through my rigorous and self declared expert gaming, my fingers did not get injured or feel worn out. The buttons are the perfect width that they are big enough to hit, and not so small that they feel like pins pressing against your fingers. The spring pressure is perfect and does not require you to exert a lot of strength to hold down the button as you beat you friend in every cup, including the DLC, of Mario Kart 8. Triggers are perfectly angled, sticks perfectly calibrated, and there is no lag when using these controllers.
The Afterglow Pro Controller for Wii U is just as good as Nintendo’s standard pro controller and has a unique aesthetic that likely appeals to more than my generation who went bonkers of the translucent Gameboy Pocket. It is comfortable, responsive, and an overall better value (in my opinion) at retail price of $24.99 versus Nintendo’s $49.99. The one downside I found with controller is that it does not fit my Wii U charging station, as the top portion of the Afterglow Pro is thicker than Nintendo’s Pro. But for half the price, plugging the controller into a USB rather than dropping it in the dock is a minimal inconvenience. Half the price, and the same amount of quality is a no brainer in my book.