In the future, wars will not be fought with guns and bullets… but with robots. Robots that are controlled and maintained by humans. For a human to properly control these robots, they need a solid controller.
… Okay, that’s just a wild assumption.
eSports (or Competitive Gaming for you picky types) has seen a huge boom lately with the advent of Major League Gaming and its expansion towards console games. Mad Catz teams up with the MLG to develop a controller that is worthy for all the warriors in this sport. Out comes the Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller. By combining the options in the R.A.T. series of PC mice and the conventions seen in the official Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers, the Pro Circuit Controller gives console players a very solid controller at a very hefty price.
The main attraction of this MLG controller is the ability to swap out the analog sticks and the d-pad. Included with the controller are two pairs of analog sticks and 2 d-pads, one set resembling the Xbox 360 offerings with concave sticks with a cross pad and a PlayStation 3 set with convex analog sticks with PlayStation style pad. Not only can you switch these out on the fly, you can rearrange the d-pad and the left analog stick.
The main body of the controller is modeled after the Xbox 360 official controller. The build quality is a lot sturdier, with the backing having a rubberish grip. The front has interchangeable faceplates, with the starting package featuring glossy plates and matte plates. You can definitely feel how well-built the controller is, it doesn’t feel like it’s an odd contraption of parts being slammed together.
With the amazing power of magnets, the faceplates are held on tightly. This is great design, considering that constant snapping of plastic would eventually cause aesthetic damage and wear the hinges off until it breaks.
The braid cord is an MLG standard, apparently. No bother, braided cords are great for avoiding tangles. It’s about 3 meters or 10 feet in length. If your dog ends up chewing the cord, you will be able to buy a replacement without having to buy a brand new controller as the cord is detachable from the controller base. The controller is not wireless for a good reason. I don’t think I can count the number of times I’ve slammed my head against the wall because someone using a wireless controller ends up pausing a tournament game inadvertently because they did not resync the controller.
Adding on to what is offered, there is a weight compartment in the back if you like a little weight on your controller. To some, this might not matter too much. To the people who like the ability to give your controller some weight, it’s very nice to be able to adjust the weights if needed.
There are plenty of great things to talk about with the quality. The tension feels right on the triggers, the bumper buttons are light years ahead of the Xbox 360 bumpers, the analog sticks feel fantastic and smooth. You’re able to purchase analog stick extenders to give yourself more leverage if so desired.
The d-pads are a little questionable. Using fighting games, platformers, and throwing on a few retro games for good measure, I found that accidental diagonal inputs are a lot more prone to happen than your average Official controller. After further testing, it does feel that the d-pads are more sensitive to slight nudges. Accidental jumps, crouches, and losing momentum in platforming games do make it a bit frustrating, especially when retro games do rely on perfect play at times.
While I only have access to the Xbox 360 version of the controller, the PlayStation 3 controller does lack vibration and six-axis control. However, the L and R buttons/triggers can be inverted for some games like Call of Duty which uses the L1 and R1 to aim and fire.
However, this controller was made for the shooter enthusiast in mind. There is a separate module that can be purchased that emulates the Mad Catz Fightpad controller that they have released awhile back. That will most likely fare better for those looking to use this controller for games that rely on the d-pad. Otherwise, it’s a perfect controller for analog use, and an investment that will certainly last for quite awhile.
Each purchase of the Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller does come with a two year warranty. If something were to break, most likely it can be replaced. It’s a high price to pay at $99.99 dollars, however if you’re a gamer who spends a lot of time (and I mean a lot) of time gaming and have gone through controllers left and right, this is a pretty safe investment. If you do take part in tournaments frequently and you’re very accustomed to an Xbox 360 controller, you might as well throw the money down for this.
It also works for PC (unofficially). Just sayin’
The Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller was provided by Mad Catz for review. The review process involved playing many games of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Mega Man 9, Super Mario Bros. on an NES emulator, and yes, even Super Mario 64 on a N64 emulator.