Perpipheral Name: Snakebyte Premium Remote XL+
Publisher: Snakebyte USA
While Nintendo just released a new Wii Remote Plus that includes the Wii Motion Plus built into it, Snakebyte released this little diddy back in April 2010 in Europe, and just a month ago here in the States. Normally I’m not one for third party controllers, but this one intrigued me as it was the first to the market that does something the original didn’t. When I got my hands on it, I liked the design. Most third party designs are pretty ugly, but this one was pretty damn good looking, and it fits in perfectly with my official Nintendo remotes. It also came with a couple of rechargeable batteries, with a mini-USB slot by the controller port at the bottom of the remote for easy charging (it also came with a mini-USB cable!) But how does it play?
Well, I put it to the test. I started up the Wii, sync’d it quite easily, and then my first gripe came up. As I’m wagging it around I can hear the vibrating motor loudly, and the noises from the speaker were kind of low quality. This isn’t a deal breaker, because the cursor is moving to every spot I point the remote to easily and at the same time I’m pointing it, there was no lag to speak of. The time to surf the menu is over, now let’s play some games.
The first game I played with it was Sonic the Hedgehog 4, so I held it sideways and ran through the paces with it. The buttons were responsive, the motion controlled nicely during the special stages, but one thing bothered me: the vibration was pretty loud, more annoying than on the menu. It wasn’t even that the controller shook more than a normal Wii Remote would, the motor was just really loud when shaking in that light plastic. It was distracting while playing solo, but I had my friend use it while we played New Super Mario Bros. Wii and it was even more distracting for me.
As for single player games, I tried it out in a more motion controlled game: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. I started a new game, and after sitting through the thirty minute opening sequence I got into the game and started swinging up and down, and I gotta say in a more active game where you get lost in both the action and the story the vibrating becomes less distracting, and the controller works wonderfully. I was able to run around and slash enemies and totally immerse myself in the game without even thinking about the controller.
Now I needed to try it with a more multiplayer motion controlled game, so out came Wii Sports. Me and a few friends played, and I had one of them use the Snakebyte so I could see if it would be distracting like it was in Mario. It wasn’t as big of a distraction, but it was very noticeable, and somewhat annoying. It’s not as big a deal in a game where you’re taking turns as it is when you’re playing at the same time, so Wii Sports is a good type of game to play multiplayer with this remote. Of course, I took the remote and it was very responsive as we played Wii Sports. In terms of responsiveness, it’s up there with the actual Wii Remote itself.
In short, at the end of the day the Snakebyte Premium Remote XL+ is a great alternative to the Wii Remote Plus from Nintendo. It does exactly what it’s supposed to, and while it may feel a little light, and the vibration motor may be a little loud, it’s definitely a good controller. I highly recommend this for anyone who can use an extra Wii Remote in their household and doesn’t want to shell out the big bucks for the official Nintendo model. It’s a very welcome member of my Wii family!