The pangs of nostalgia seem to be hitting harder than ever, especially with old franchises getting excellent new additions to their catalogs. While Tears of the Kingdom is an astonishing feat for gaming, sometimes I long for the days of simpler exploration in games like The Wind Waker. What better way to bring that classic feeling into the new era than with a new controller inspired by one of the greatest of all time? Does the NYXI Wizard nail those early 2000s vibes, or is this something that should have stayed in the past?
Anyone that has spent even the smallest amount of time with fighting games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate knows just how pivotal a good controller can be. Trying to be competitive with your friends and other players just isn’t possible with your standard JoyCon, and the Wizard helps remove that gap. No matter if you’re playing with the controllers slapped on the sides of your console, or if you’re using the included grips to turn it into a more modern version of the controller we all grew to love, the Wizard feels great in your hands.
While it does look sharp, it’s incredibly light compared to even the classic GameCube controller which does bring a bit of worry for those that may get a little too heated during Smash Bros. or Mario Kart. While many third-party controllers skimp on features such as vibration or gyro, the Wizard delivers on all fronts but still weighs less than most others on the market. Is it just thinner plastic, or what could be the case here?
After applying both light and heavy pressure on the controller, however, there was no creaking plastic or any issues beyond the light weight. This may lead to the controller being stronger than initially appears, but I still wouldn’t recommend spiking it into the ground after getting 3-stocked by Sora.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room first; the NYXI Wizard is a big controller. It’s wider and more stout than a standard GameCube controller, so it may not be the first choice for gamers with smaller hands. However, if you’ve got the claws to command this controller, it’s worth your time and effort.
While it may not be the perfect one-to-one replica like the Power A Branded GameCube controllers are, the NYXI Wizard is no slouch when it comes to style and profile. NYXI has gone away with the nub-style C Stick and decided to replace it with a full-sized joystick. For those hoping to plow their way through Metroid Prime Remastered with the new modern control scheme, this is the best way to experience it. You can still use the muscle memory that you’ve grown up with to navigate the face buttons while having a full-sized thumbstick to blast your way through a variety of enemies.
Making the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller look small in comparison, I would be lying if the Wizard wasn’t extremely comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. As mentioned above, the light weight of the controller helps avoid fatigue during longer playtimes, and the revamped controller layout makes it feel modern without losing the charm of the inspiration.
Features & Customization
What helps set the Wizard apart from other GameCube-style controllers on the market is the sheer amount of customization you can apply to it. Straight out of the box, the Wizard comes equipped with the standard Octagonal gates that we grew up with, but those that prefer a smoother surface don’t need to worry. In the box, you’ll get an extra set of smooth gates that you can swap with just a simple twist and pull, so you can make this controller feel just as great as it looks.
Alongside these customizable gates, you’re treated to Hall-Effect joysticks. For those unfamiliar, Hall-Effect joysticks use a complex magnet system to help prevent things like stick drift from occurring, a problem all too familiar for fans of Nintendo’s hybrid console. These look to future-proof your console, and we can only hope the next generation Switch uses the same type of Rail System, so you can continue to connect these to your next console.
If you’re someone who prefers to play their games on the go, or you just don’t feel like using the TV, the Wizard can perform the ultimate magic trick; splitting in half so you can attach these controllers directly to your console. Sure, it makes the console massive, but they feel great in the hands and provide an excellent amount of grip. As someone who has purchased far too many grips to use with my JoyCon, I’m glad to see this problem alleviated, even if it makes travel nigh impossible due to the size. Maybe NYXI can create a case that houses the Switch with these attached?
For those looking to relive the days of the Turbo and Macro button, the Wizard also has you covered. Alongside the standard + and – buttons that we’ve grown accustomed to, there are programmable back buttons and Turbo buttons that you can customize on the fly with a long press of an additional button on the front of the controller. For games that require quick and intense button presses, these can be a saving grace for those hoping to keep the skin of their fingers intact. Just don’t use them to cheat in Mario Party.
Alongside these turbo buttons, we see the familiar layout of the standard GameCube controller with our typical A B X Y buttons, adorned with a new party trick. While some may not like the new choice of font, they’ll likely enjoy the fact that these face buttons glow with vibrant white light. It’s not blinding by any means and helps the controller retain that retro feel with some modern flair.
If you’re looking to use this controller for precise Trigger actions, as you could with the Analog Triggers on the original GameCube controller, this may not be for you. While I personally love how snappy and responsive the triggers are, they are an all-or-nothing ordeal here. This makes the Wizard less than ideal for racing titles that require precise gas or brakes, but the satisfying clickiness feels great for games like Mario Kart 8.
Finally, the D-Pad is the weakest part of this whole controller. While it features the same satisfying clickiness as the Shoulder Buttons, it feels imprecise and easy to manipulate. If you’re trying to navigate your way through a pixel-perfect platformer like Super Meat Boy or Celeste, you’re going to find that this is not the best controller for the job. The D-Pad does not recess at all, so buttons can easily be triggered by the slightest push in the wrong direction, sending you spiraling to your death.
Who Is It For?
This is the kind of controller for someone craving nostalgia or gamers looking for a replacement for their Pro Controller. The GameCube was known to have the perfect layout for games like Smash Bros., and this delivers in spades. It’s also incredibly comfortable to use with platformers, even if the D-Pad is a little too sensitive for my liking.
The amount of customization available with this particular controller makes it a great contender for 3D Platformers and other action games, as well. With the addition of new features to a classic design, this is a great way to relive the glory days of your favorite HD remakes or jump into a new adventure. While my muscle memory wants to go back to the old-school Zelda controls, they were excellent to use in Tears of the Kingdom after I broke out of that stretch.
The NYXI Wizard delivers on the promise of old-school cool with new-age flair. While the size of the controller may be bothersome to gamers with smaller hands, those hoping to get their hands on a reimagined classic shouldn’t think twice before picking this one up.
I was continuously surprised while using the NYXI Wizard, and it is slowly becoming one of my favorite controllers to use on the Switch, and I’ve used plenty. While the button layout may not be perfect for some games, it exceeded my expectations in almost every way possible. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Smash Bros. to get back into.
If you’re interested in giving the NYXI Wizard a go, pick up your controller from the official NYXI Webpage.
I was continuously surprised while using the NYXI Wizard, and it is slowly becoming one of my favorite controllers to use on the Switch, and I've used plenty. While the button layout may not be perfect for some games, it exceeded my expectations in almost every way possible.
- Great Ergonomics
- Packed With Features & Goodies
- Extremely Customizable
- Overly sensitive D-Pad
- Button Layout isn't perfect for some Games
- Large Size could be offputting to some
A unit was provided by NYXI for review.