PDP Marvel controller review

PDP Versus fighting pad for Xbox 360 and the NeoGeo pad for PS3

PDP Versus fighting pad for Xbox 360 and the NeoGeo pad for PS3

PDP, formerly Pelican, has released a Marvel themed “Versus fighting game controller.” Since the pad seems to take a lot of inspiration from the NeoGeo pads and, unlike the NeoGeo pad, is available for the Xbox 360 I thought I should review it.

Let’s get this out of the way: This pad feels pretty much on par with the NeoGeo pad. If you play on 360 and want this sort of pad, go forth and spend the $40.

The stick itself feels very similar to the NeoGeo pad but is a tiny bit more sensitive. There’s a nice click whenever the stick is moved in one of the eight directions. The clicks easily mark each directional position to the player. It only took me a few seconds to be able to cancel Kyo’s Fireball into his super with the PDP pad in 2002UM. The best part about the stick is the covering. Whereas the NeoGeo pad has a 2 part stick cover which will eventually lead to ground plastic in the stick innards, the PDP pad has a single cover which should provide excellent protection against dust and other abrasive elements.

The buttons on the PDP pad are hard to figure out. They are as sensitive as Sanwas and have a nice click when activated. These buttons feel much more crisp and precise than the spongy buttons on the NeoGeo pad. That said, the row of buttons on the PDP pad are in a straight diagonal row as opposed to the soft arc of the NeoGeo pad buttons. The PDP buttons are also much closer together than the buttons on the NeoGeo pad. I love the feel of the PDP buttons but wish they were as ergonomic as the NeoGeo pad buttons.

The NeoGeo pad is slightly heavier than the PDP pad but both feel equally solid. The slightly textured backing on the PDP pad feels really good, maybe even a bit better than the NeoGeo pad ABS plastic finish. The cord on the PDP pad is about 6 inches longer than the NeoGeo pad. The Start and Select buttons on the PDP pad are out of the way and are somewhat hard to activate so there are no worries about accidentally pressing those during a match. I’ve never really had a problem with those buttons on the NeoGeo pad but I know most players are quite concerned with the placement of these potential round enders.

In the end, the PDP pad is quite equivalent to the NeoGeo pad. I prefer the NeoGeo pad’s button layout, finish and weight. The PDP pad has nicer buttons and a stick that seems less vulnerable to problems resulting from dust. It’s about time someone has taken the NeoGeo CD/Pocket stick and attempted to improve upon the design and market it to fighting game players. The question will be the durability of the controller in the long run. Will the PDP pad end up being another flimsy piece of tech or has PDP, aka Pelican, pulled a Mad Catz and turned themselves around. Only time will tell.


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  • Great review! Short and sweet! Thanks nilcam!

  • Where I could buy those?

    Are only froom marvel webpage?

  • The article was a nice read, I am thinking about investing in a couple of these.

  • Ah cool, they selling them at gamespots? I’m all over it. 6 button pads for lyfe!!

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  • Nice review. How is the controller in comparison with the Mad Catz controller released for Street Fighter IV?

    • It’s infinitely better than the Mad Catz fightpad. The dpad on the MC pad is incredibly stiff whereas the stick on the PDP Vs. pad is very sensitive.

  • man i hope well be seeing them for the ps3.

  • Yeah, they come for PS3. I may have to pick one up for my PC soon, and I’d hate to waste money on two of them.

  • Would rather have a d pad then the micro switch/stick thing. I’ve had it for 3 days and it’s still hard to get the more complex motions during combos out 100% of the time. Maybe i have to spend some weeks on it (i am hoping so). I feel i have to do motions harder than usual to make it work. Especially for some reason down left. It’s like i have to hold the pad a little more inward than usual. And it may be because of the size of the left part of the pad. Again i can get used to all this stuff i am thinking. Also, 3 days and the letters on my buttons are starting to wear off. X Y and A are completely gone, the rest are on their way. Not that big of a deal but for button reconfigs in the future may be a bit more time consuming than usual. But on the plus side the buttons are really good quality, really responsive. I like the size of it, and it feels good in your hands, light in weight but sturdy in material. This is a very good alternative for xbox owners who are tired of their Madcatz fightpads breaking. Man why can’t companies just remake the japanese sega saturn pads ‘ _’;

    • Nikolai are you freaking kidding me? The buttons are wearing off ALREADY? I just ordered this from the Uk and it is costing me £55!!!! I heard glowing reviews of it and now you have just totally made me feel like shit. :(

      • Yes, X Y, LB and A are completely gone now. Which is funny because those are my L M H attacks and S. B and RB are still there which are my assists. Probably says a lot about my gameplay. Trying to get them gone too :P Lol, still a good pad though. I still don’t like down left though, and i contribute it to how the shape of the pad is designed bigger on that side. Everything else cool as can be and worth the money over madcatz fightpads.

  • Ok, I can happily confirm that this pad is DEFINITELY worth the money. Nikolai, I have been using this controller literally non stop for a week and I have NO wearing out on the button symbols.

    Aside from that, it feels fantastic, if not a little too sensitive. The stick seems to have about 2mm leverage before it clicks and causes an input which gives the impression that it is super sensitive. Really, you just need to play with it for a few hours and you will get used to it. Its absolutely freaking fantastic for MvC and Street fighter. Also, a very useful side effect I have found is that I can now use my arcade sticks with so much more ease than before. This pad is very useful for someone who wishes to be “weaned” onto using arcade sticks.

    Personally, I still prefer pads so this is a dream come true for me, as far as pads go. 10/10 review

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