NeoGeo Pad USB review

I ordered a couple of the NeoGeo Pads expecting them to be exact replicas of the NeoGeo 2 Pad for PS2. I received the controllers today and found this assumption to be false.

The box is a mat black coated cardboard and is branded with the NeoGeo 20th Anniversary logo, clearly tying in with the NeoGeo Station being released next week on the PlayStation Network. The back of the box indicates that the button configuration can be changed to the classic, straight button layout instead of the standard PlayStation layout.

The stick is tighter and requires a slightly heavier touch to activate the directional switch. This gives the stick a more solid feel but I found it made hopping and hyper hopping harder to perform. The upside is that this likely means the stick will wear better in the long run. The stick feels as precise as any of the NeoGeo CD pads I’ve used and that’s a good thing.

The controller body has a slightly satin finish and is textured allowing a good grip on the controller. The buttons also have a slight texture to them which is an improvement over the slicker feeling finish on the PS2 pads. The buttons require less pressure to activate than the PS2 version. I find that to feel much better for faster moving games in the NeoGeo library. The cord is much thicker than the USB cord on the NeoGeo 2 USB stick (Version 1). The select and start buttons are identical to those on the PS2 pad. The home button is countersunk with the top of the controller and is rather hard to press. This is very convenient for tournament play but is not so good for casual play at home. I had to use the edge of my fingernail to activate the home button. As expected, this pad does not work with PS2 games on backwards compatible PS3 systems. The pad works perfectly with Windows.

If you prefer pad or are nostalgic for the NeoGeo CD controller, this pad is a great option. It’s precise, solid and works very well for fighters.


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