The Wii U GamePad Review


Active Member
Nov 13, 2013
Wii U
The Wii U gamepad was one of the main things that drew me to the console so quickly. Being a Nintendo fan, I was always going to get it, and more than likely on day one, but the gamepad played a huge part in me being so comfortable to throw the money down so quickly. It's comfortable, surprisingly light, and the screen adds a new dimension - not to mention off-screen play, which is incredibly useful when I'm staying with parents (over the summers, I have nowhere else to stay, at least while I'm still at university).

I do like the Pro Controller though, and the console could have still worked with that as the primary means of control. I just think that the gamepad offers far more than a 'traditional' controller does.

Would you have preferred the Pro Controller as the main controller? Do you like the Gamepad? Or would you rather see something completely different?
Honestly, I love the Gamepad. I play solely on the Gamepad. I don't use the Pro Controller. However, that said, I love the Nintendo Pro Controller far better than the Xbox or Playstation controller. Finally, somebody made the controller right. The Playstation controller was nice, when it first came out. But then they tacked on the dual analog sticks, and it feels a little awkward, as they were too close together. The controller wasn't designed with dual analog sticks in mind. Tho, they have widened their placement over time, which is good. But, when holding a controller comfortably, my thumbs naturally move freely upwards and outwards, now downwards and inwards. That said, the Xbox controller I've always hated. First and foremost, the d-pad sucks on the xbox controller. It sticks out too high, and is too "loose" for comfort or reliability. It's terrible. Also, the placement of the analog sticks was terrible too. One up and one down. Terrible. So unnatural. It feels like it was made for physically disabled people, in that terms. I kept saying, for years, why don't they move the right analog stick up, like the first one. That would feel so much more natural and comfortable. Dpad and buttons would be in the perfect place, parallel to each other, meanwhile, the analog sticks would also be up, feeling more natural, and also parallel to each other, making it more comfortable when playing games that required 2 analog sticks. For years I complained about the xbox controller. But they stuck with it. Then, finally, Nintendo came along and perfected the controller design, by making the Pro Controller. It's perfect, and exactly what I wanted in a controller.. that is.. until the Gamepad..

The Gamepad is amazing. I play solely on the Gamepad. I bought 2 Pro Controllers, thinking that I would use those. However, I have never played with them. I always play with the Gamepad. It has the same great Pro Controller layout, that I love, however, it also has a touchscreen that doubles as a 'portable viewing device'. Which is fantastic. The Gamepad is the most comfortable, fluent, smooth, and convenient controller I have ever used. And now, I feel like I want to play everything on the Gamepad. Now that the Pro Controller and Wii U Gamepad controllers are out, none of the other controllers feel good enough or worth using or playing on. But the Gamepad definitely takes the top spot for me. Easily. But the Pro Controller easily trumps all of the other controllers out there, for all other systems. It's that great. But yeah, Gamepad is my number 1 favorite controller of all time.
Yeah, I agree with you on the Xbox controller D-pad. When it was necessary to use it, things almost always went wrong.

What's interesting is that I was initially concerned about the placement of the analog sticks. I was concerned at first that being above the 'face' buttons (A, B, X and Y) would be unnatural, but it works really well. I do find it amusing that going back to DualShock or Xbox controllers feels unnatural now.
I don't like it at all. It is poorly designed and I wish it would of been avoided. It actually turned me off so much that it kept me from buying it. Maybe you can change my mind a little, what are some good things about it? All I saw was how ugly and bulky it was. When I used to I was just confused.
You'd be surprised at how comfortable and light it is. I'm not exaggerating whatsoever when I say that it's practically the same weight as an Xbox 360 controller (perhaps slightly heavier) and I personally feel that it's more ergonomic, in that it fits to my hands more comfortably.

I adapted to the 'unconventional' stick placement pretty quickly, though the first couple of hours were a little clumsy. It feels as natural as a 360/DualShock controller now though. And as for touchscreen gaming, there aren't really many games that have unnatural touchscreen controls. You don't often find yourself torn between buttons and touch controls, since they're usually pretty well-implemented.

As for the screen itself, games look great on it! Off-TV play is fantastic, and if you have to share a TV (living with parents/roommates/significant other) it'll be far more useful than you can imagine. A couple of games don't play as well on it, particularly if the touchscreen is used for something semi-important. Take Batman: Arkham City. The screen is only really used to display a map of the city, nothing more. However, not having that map to hand means that you have to pause the game every 5-10 seconds, whereas you can just glance down at the gamepad when playing on the TV. Incidentally, I don't know how people can play the 360/PS3 versions of it; having to pause all the time really breaks the immersion and slows the game down.

Honestly though, your best bet is to try it out yourself. Find a friend that has the console, or see if any local shops have a demo unit set up. I can only tell you so much, whereas trying it for yourself will give you a much better idea. Personally, I think it's great, but obviously not everybody will agree.
mevsthor said:
I don't like it at all. It is poorly designed and I wish it would of been avoided. It actually turned me off so much that it kept me from buying it. Maybe you can change my mind a little, what are some good things about it? All I saw was how ugly and bulky it was. When I used to I was just confused.
I disagree too. After playing on it on a regular basis, I have come to find it as the best designed controller, so far. It's far better than the Xbox's or Playstation's controller, in that it's far more comfortable with it's overall design and button layout and placement. Also, the native second screen is sublime. Especially when properly utilized. It's much lighter than it appears to be. It's the most convenient controller I've ever used. And, after playing on it, and then going back to the Xbox and Playstation controllers, I can't stand using those now. They feel so unnatural and awkward in comparison. The Wii U Pro Controller is better than those controllers, and more like a traditional controller. And lots of games use that controller too. So that's always an option for you, if you want a more 'traditional' style controller. But for me, I am blown away with how much I love the Wii U Gamepad. Easily, hands down, the best controller I have ever played any videogame on. I couldn't be more pleased with it, and I highly look forward to when they finally start selling them separately, for the games that'll require 2 Gamepads, so I can pick up those too.

But yeah, for me, the Gamepad is now the only way to go, in terms of what controller to use for videogames.
I was actually shocked at how comfortable it was. Nintendo, IMO, has always been great at creating the next evolution in controllers. I don't think this is the next evolution, but it's an awesome and comfortable controller. When I saw it first unveiled, I honestly thought it would be terrible to hold and too heavy, clunky, to do anything, but they nailed the experience. I still think their N64 controller was extremely comfortable and same with the GCN one. Wii controller was also very smart and good for the purpose it was made to do, although I prefered the 'hardcore' style controller most of the time.

I'd love to see what sort of awesome multiplayer experiences they give us with the gamepad. Some of my favorite gaming moments were with the GCN and GBA connectivity (Pac man and FF Crystal Chronicles). I'm hoping we'll get plenty more games like that, now that the gamepad is a part of the console.
Yeah, the N64 and Gamecube controllers looked odd at first. I was on the fence at first, when I first saw them. But, after using them, they felt perfect for the games that I played on them. Nintendo has always been good at creating controllers that are perfect for their games. Both controllers won me over, and I enjoyed playing on those a lot.

As for Wii U multiplayer games with the Gamepad, Zombie U has a great multiplayer. One player used the Pro Controller to play the game in first person, on the tv, while the other player uses that Gamepad, that has a top down view of the map, as well as options to place zombie hordes and weapons and what not for the player. So player one can only see in first person, and try to survive, just like in the full game... while the second player tries to kill the first player, by strategically placing zombies anywhere they want (while being able to see the entire playing field), all while giving the player a sporting chance by giving them items to try and survive. It's fun, and a great Gamepad experience in terms of multiplayer. It's different, but fun.

The Gamepad has so much potential for all kinds of new gameplay ideas. I just hope developers are able to get creative and make all new fun experiences. Looking forward to what's fully possible on the Gamepad. It's amazing already, and will only get better with time.
i wasn't that pumped until the Wind Waker. the gamepad made my fav all time game even more fun and accessible. it's like the game was made around the gamepad. i do prefer the pro controller for VC games i must admit though
Going to play devils ad here

I like the gamepad but I really wish they stuck to the classic look controller and released the WiiU Pro controller as a normal controller and ditched the gamepad just on a note where they would invest that money into the acctuel system and possibly integrated more options within the menu and other online features

I jut always perfered the classic feel and look for video games and another thing is that if it breaks you cant buy one you got to ship it out..but... on the hand of the game pad being here , I agree with some who said its comfy and I grew to like it

Nintendo is known for trying new options but I must admit I was not a fan of the Wii mote and nunchcuk.... I loved playing TP but I really would have enjoyed it more if it was on a regular controller TBH
I really like the new gamepad. When I first saw it I thought it might be weird but when I finally held one in my hands it completely changed my mind, its comfortable, buttons are well placed and I definitely like it more then the Wiimote + Nunchuk combo of the past.
I'm scared to play with it TBH it seems so fragile lol I only played with it 5 or 6 times other then that I use the WiiU pro controller but yes , its comfortable as hell!
I'm a fan of it, personally. It's very comfortable and light, and while the analog sticks are positioned kind of strangely, it's pretty fast to adjust to. My one complaint with the GamePad is its width. I like the idea of a two screen home console, but I just REEEEEALLY don't think 6 inches of that was necessary. I would love to see a resized version released down the line, if only a couple inches smaller.
Love the gamepad. Wish the official extended battery was more widely available instead of having to get it from Japan. In addition to what other's have said I really like the Virtual Console use of the Gamepad. My nephew is a Super Metroid freak. Next time he visits he can take over the gamepad and I can still use the TV.
I like the new gamepad. It stops feeling so comfortable in your hands after a few hours of gaming.
It's all right. I don't mind playing with it, but I don't mind playing without it either. The most important thing to me is the game that I'm playing, and I don't think that the controller so far is being utilized in a way that makes it indispensible.
another awesome example: Arkham City. it's not a perfectly controlled game, but it sure feels natural to fight, and going through the utility belt menu is very quick.
Pikmin 3 is also easy to play on the gamepad

but, i was told by a very trusted Gamestop employee that the gamepad is the reason I'm not getting WWE 15 or Madden. the companies don't want to spend the extra time and or money to incorporate the gamepad. Sucks horribly, but i still refuse to buy a console for one or two games.
It took me sometime to get accustomed to playing with it but honestly after I got the hang of it I must say that it has been one of the most fun times that I have had playing video games. Some people will think that it is poorly designed just because it is different but if you ask me I think that it is good and unique.
I feel like it's a big gimmick. Nintendo has been running out of ideas, even in their own games, and it seems like people just think it's new and innovative if Nintendo says so. I don't really like it, and it feels clunky and useless sometimes. After a while you get used to it, but to me a mouse and keyboard or even a regular controller feels better than a tablet when it comes to controlling games.
The game pad is honestly a really cool thing in my opinion. I love it. It's easier to use than the wii remote. Though I prefer the Pro controller, I'm perfectly fine with using the game pad It was kinda new to me when I first got the console because I was used to using the wii remote, but eventually I adjusted and it's been pretty fun to use!

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