The dreaded drift
While Joe might like drifting, I’m not a big fan, especially when it comes to my controllers. While playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I noticed that the slight analogue stick drifting that I’d noted a few months ago had become more of an issue. Knowing that after FE was finished and reviewed, I’d have nearly a month before Zelda: Link’s Awakening, I decided to send off my trusted Leftie and wait patiently for good old Nintendo to fix my problem.
Two and a half weeks later and I’m checking my emails hourly and refreshing the repair status page, but there were no updates. We’d also been sent a copy of AI: The Somnium Files (reviewed this month!) and I was finding it hard to find time to play it in docked mode using my pro controller.
You see, I mostly play games while commuting or while the TV is getting used for other purposes, like a Peppa Pig marathon or Ali living her best Grand Designs life in Dragon Quest Builders 2. So, I needed a solution, and thankfully, I found a reasonably affordable one that I would definitely recommend.
This is an officially licensed left Joycon that lacks a few of the features of the Nintendo version but it makes up for it by having a very nice d-pad, some cool wee Zelda features and, importantly, it’s about half the price. Let’s get a few of the (Joy)cons out of the way: there’s no vibration, motion sensors, NFC (so no amiibo support) or the IR sensor. Other differences include the minus button and the screenshot button being made of soft rubber and the detach button on the back sticks out further than on an official pad, but it still fits perfectly fine in my Switch case.
The biggest issue may be that it only works when attached to the Switch, so it’s handheld only. Personally, as I mainly play on the go, that’s not a problem, but keep that in mind if you’re looking for a replacement. Also, while the Zelda artwork on the Joycon makes it stand out, it doesn’t match any of the official ones available.
On the plus side though, it’s very solidly built, the D-pad is ideal for those newly released SNES games and transparent third-party controllers remind me of my distant youth. Also, it’s only £22 including delivery and there’s a fun red Mario design and a pretty smart yellow and black Pikachu version as well if you fancy something a little more colourful.
If your left Joycon is gubbed and you need a replacement for when you’re out and about, this is honestly ideal. However, remember that Nintendo are currently fixing Joycons and, although there’s been nothing officially said in the UK, it appears that they’re fixing the drifting issue for free. You can find out more by heading to their support pages here.