Peripheral Vision: Beeshu Zinger NES Joystick

When it comes to playing the old NES I prefer the old tried and true method of a controller. On very rare occurrences would I ever want to use a joystick, but if I do I tend to use an Advantage. But it seems that the market was flooded with third-party joysticks for the NES. Were any of them good? Well today we’re going to be giving the Beeshu Zinger a try.

Much like its sibling, the Beeshu Zipper, the Zinger was available in many wild and zany color combinations. The Zinger was also an officially licensed product by Nintendo, but I don’t think the Zinger feels as nice as some of its competitors.

The base of the Zinger has four suction cups to secure the joystick to any flat surface. The base is also where you’ll find both A buttons, independent turbo switched for A and B, as well as the Select and Start buttons, around back of the joystick. Protruding from the center is, obviously, the joystick with both B buttons. Now you’ll noticed I said A was on the base and B was on the stick. This leads me to believe the Zinger was meant to be ambidextrous, allowing the player to use it either left or right handed freely, while also giving them two options for the B button.

While testing the Zinger I tried games like Galaxian and actually enjoyed myself. I’ve never been a fan of arcade style shooters, and perhaps that’s why I’ve never enjoyed joysticks, but using the Zinger with Galaxian kind of made me feel like I was at an arcade.

I also tried Super Mario Bros. with far less enthusiasm as I found while testing it with a good old space shooter. For platformers the Zinger isn’t horrible, it just might require more practice than I’m willing to give it. Being so familiar with the simplicity of a controller and switching to the more demanding joystick wasn’t much fun, but again it did the job, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the previous game.

The Zinger is actually surprisingly comfortable to hold in your hand and use. Also, as previously stated, there are four suction cups to plant it onto a flat surface, if you so choose. How you use the Beeshu Zinger is entirely up to you, but it’s nice to see that they included that option.

Even though the Beeshu Zinger is an officially licensed product I’m not really happy with the overall quality. The plastic kind of feels cheap, even for its day, and my yellow and black joystick reminds me of an N64 analog stick; kind of loose and sometimes it doesn’t function quite right. Perhaps I should give it a break for being over twenty years old, but either way I’m still not fully converted to using it over the NES controller or Advantage joystick. Regardless, they do look really nice displayed on a shelf.

Posted September 24th, 2018