Platform: SNES
Release Date: December 06, 2017

Nintendo has spent the last several years stoking the fires of nostalgia behind its brand. From the introduction of the original virtual console on the Wii to the lightning sales of the NES and SNES Classic consoles, the publisher has certainly gone all in on classic gaming.

It makes sense that others would want a seat on such a successful nostalgia train, and peripheral makers have certainly signed up to ride. The Edge Super Joystick from EMiO, made for Nintendo’s SNES Classic console, is an attractive standout among retro-inspired peripherals that are certain to give classic game players a great way to enjoy their favorites.

Quality

It’s pretty clear from first impressions that the Edge Super is well built and fairly sturdy. While it lacks some of the finer points of pricier joysticks popular among fighting game enthusiasts, EMiO certainly made a point to ensure the stick could handle sustained use.

The buttons are responsive and clicky thanks to the microswitch action, though arcade veterans who prefer smoother buttons may find these a little stiff for their liking. The joystick itself features the kind of tactile microswitch response you’d expect, which again may feel relatively stiff compared to more expensive controllers.

That said, the stiff action is quite likely to give SNES Classic fans the feel of a good, solid controller that won’t fall apart in their hands, and that counts for quite a lot. While I wouldn’t recommend it for a high-stakes Street Fighter II tournament, its perfectly suited to everyday runs in Mega Man X or F-Zero.

The turbo switches perform well, and the option to toggle turbo for each button individually is a welcome feature. There’s not much to say about the quality of the switches overall, other than the general feeling that they’re unlikely to break or stop responding with normal use.

The stick case itself is well constructed and pleasantly comfortable. It’s somewhat atypical compared to modern, arcade-inspired “fightsticks” that dominate the market, but the difference doesn’t hold the Edge Super back. It feels comfortable to hold either on a tabletop or in my lap, and the metal base plate adds some welcome weight to the stick. Other sticks in this price range tend to feel a bit light for their size, while the Edge Super feels solid and secure by comparison.

Taking a peek behind the baseplate at the wiring, the Edge Super continues to inspire confidence. The solder points on our review unit look great, not under- or over-soldered and likely to come undone. The buttons are wired to the primary control board (or PCB) with crimped connectors rather than direct solder, which I actually prefer as it’s easier to repair or modify if needed.

Overall, the Edge Super is well-crafted and solid and definitely inspires confidence that players can rely on it for a long time to come. The $40 to $75 price range can produce some really hit-or-miss joystick controllers, so it’s really nice to see that EMiO put in the time to provide a quality peripheral for what could be considered a “niche” nostalgia market.

Performance

There’s not much to say about the Edge Super’s performance on its home console, the SNES Classic, other than to say it works wonderfully. Plug the joystick in and you’re instantly treated to a great experience with several classic games that really lend themselves to the arcade joystick layout.

From Super Metroid to Castlevania IV, there are few games in the SNES Classic’s library that don’t feel great controlled by a stick. Veteran fighters used to today’s high-end fightsticks may find this one a bit sub-optimal for Street Fighter II, but the Edge Super is still responsive and comfortable for virtually any title on the console.

The Edge Super also doubles as a PC-compatible joystick, if you want to take your arcade experience beyond the SNES Classic. The joystick supports both X-Input and Direct Input, a crucial factor depending on what kind of control layout a game requires.

The hardware performs equally well on PC, in general, with no discernable lag or input issues from the included PC adapter cable. That being said, its worth mentioning that even with both of these common input types supported, I found that not every PC game I tried responded well to the stick.

After looking into it, it seems the issue lies less with the Edge Super itself, but with the way, many modern controller-supporting indie games map their inputs. The Edge Super uses the D-pad inputs for the control stick itself, as it makes sense to do, but some games map controls to the x- and y-axis of modern controller sticks…sticks that don’t exist in the input map of the Edge.

Essentially, players may find it a bit frustrating to pair this controller with current indies in their Steam library. That being said, the Edge Super is still a great option for players running classic arcade or console emulators on their home PC, and with a little experimentation, the PC compatibility is a really nice extra feature for a joystick in this range.

Features

As I mentioned, the Edge Super does include an adapter cable that converts the proprietary SNES controller port to a USB plug, for PC use. It’s really great to see everything you need to add extra functionality to the stick already included out of the box. Still, this is only one of several extras EMiO has packed with the Edge Super joystick.

Players around the world over vary in their preference for the “ball” and “bat” style of joystick toppers and customizable joysticks of today certainly have both options available. Luckily, the Edge Super saves players the worry of getting one or the other and includes both.

While I’m partial to the ball-top style (thanks to the arcade cabinets of my childhood,) the included bat-top is a welcome addition to the Edge Super package. Both tops are easy to install without a fuss and are fairly well made, so you can switch to your heart’s content if you just can’t decide on a favorite.

Perhaps the most intriguing extra packed with the Edge Super is a book of cheat codes for many of the games in the SNES Classic library. It’s also perhaps the clearest bid for the nostalgia dollar here, but I really enjoy the extra mile EMiO went to take players back to a different time in video games. The book itself is a decent quality glossy paperback and printed to mimic the retro art style of the SNES Classic’s branding.

All of these extras really tie together a package that feels determined not only to create value from the quality of the stick itself but by capturing a classic-game experience. From the moment you open the Edge Super’s box, everything about the controller feels true to its time. I have to give EMiO full marks for doing their homework here; the Edge Super joystick knows its audience.

As a side note, I will point out that the buttons on the Edge Super are standard 24mm pushbuttons and the control stick is standard size, which means that making modifications to the stick is certainly a possibility. That being said, given the position of the PCB and the overall layout of the controller, “modstick” enthusiasts may want to look elsewhere for a budget case to strip and upgrade unless you’re really into touting the retro look at your next tournament.

Conclusion

While the PC compatibility is a little hit-or-miss, EMiO has crafted an attractive joystick controller with the Edge Super. Solid buttons, turbo functions and plenty of extras make this stick a great choice for SNES classic owners looking to step up their retro game collection.

Responsive stick and button actions and a comfortable overall design are certainly the main attraction with this stick, but the swappable ball-and bat-top grips, USB interface for PC play, and a book full of cheat codes for classic SNES games round out the package nicely.

For $39.99 USD, the Edge Super Joystick is a solid value. It’s a tough sell for PC-focused fans hoping to play all of their favorite indies and fighters, or for enthusiasts looking for an eye-catching mod stick. Still, fans of the retro, arcade-inspired vibe of “back in my day” Nintendo games should find plenty of love.

The EMiO Edge Super Joystick is available for purchase now at Walmart and other online retailers. Get yours today!

Review Product Provided by EMiO

Wow!

Good

  • Sleek, retro-inspired look and feel
  • Impressive quality for the price
  • Tons of extras

Bad

  • PC Compatibility is limited
  • Awkward button layout

About Robert Smith
Editor

A career writer and fan of every Nintendo console since...well, every Nintendo console. Jack of all genres, master of none. Still trying to beat Stage 2 in that one fan-made Mega Man title; please send help.

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