Peripheral Vision: Wico Command Control for the NES

I own a couple of the Wico Command Controls for the Atari 2600 and think they’re an ok alternative to the original controller. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they produced one for the NES. Why would someone want a joystick for NES games instead of the D-Pad that Nintendo gave to the world that has become an industry standard? Ok, there are a handful of arcade ports on the NES as well as some flying games that perhaps I could see someone wanting a joystick for, but does the Wico Command Control even work as well as an NES controller?

Short answer: kind of. Long answer: it’s functional with every game I tested it with and does an adequate job, but it’s still not as good as the grey rectangle with two red buttons. To test the Wico Command Control I started where I felt the controller would shine best, Galaxian. No surprise here, but it did fine. It didn’t add anything to the experience, but it did maybe make things feel a slight bit more like an arcade. Next I decided to test how accurate it could be with Super Mario Bros. and actually to my surprise it worked pretty well. Super Mario Bros. is a game I use to test controllers because the inputs are immediate and there is an action for every button. The Wico Command Control actually did pretty well, not great but it did well.

I own quite a few joysticks for the NES from various brands and I have to say the Wico Command Control is the most bare-bones joystick I own. The other joysticks offer a turbo feature, but not with the Wico Command Control. The cable is extremely short, but that seems universal across all of my third-party NES controllers. It does offer ambidexterity, which is a nice little feature. It’s also shaped slightly like an NES controller, far more so than the version for Atari 2600 and 8-bit computers.

The Wico Command Control did a good job through all that I asked it to do, but still I don’t see myself purposely reaching for it over any of my other third-party NES controllers. I’m going to go ahead and say this controller obviously wasn’t marketed at me, but maybe someone coming out of the 8-bit computer era who was more accustom to using a joystick and wanted to ease themselves into using the NES controller. For that purpose I can see this controller being a good choice, but for me personally I’ll stick to the rectangle, or the dog bone, thank you very much.

Posted April 20th, 2020

About the author

Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.


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