Monday, February 3, 2014

Nyko Wand: Skewed Review

Let me start this review off by stating clearly: I purchased my Nyko Wand USED so this in no way means that all Nyko Wands are this way, perhaps so, perhaps no. This is my blog and these are my opinions, you don't have to agree, but don't be a nuisance if mine differ greatly from your own.

If you've read any of my Project Outlet Wii entries you'll know that the only remote I had for my Wii was a purple Nyko Wand, that I acquired from the outlet store as well. Throughout the whole time I've had my Wii, the Nyko Wand didn't respond the same way I remember the official Wii remotes did. The Nyko Wand chewed through batteries at a fierce pace, it would unsync/desync often in the middle of Animal Crossing and was just generally a poor excuse for a controller.

As I stated above I did purchase it used, discarded if you will, at the Goodwill Outlet store, which leads me to assume it was already in bad shape as someone else had tossed it away with their Goodwill donateables. Or maybe this is a case of a rare factory defect, and the previous owner had already purchased a replacement before donating it. I can only run on assumption, as almost everything else I've found there has been in used shape, but still functioned as if brand new.

Excited for the coming holiday in Animal Crossing: City Folk, I woke up every day to do my 15 minutes of play, just to get things going before heading over to Netflix and watching something to pass the day. December 17th came and all of a sudden my Nyko Wand went crazy. The lights at the bottom started flashing off and on as if it were trying sync but never stopped. I pulled out the batteries and upon placing a new set in, the controller still flashed as if it assumed the new career of being a tiny, purple Christmas tree.

I waited a few minutes and it never stopped, so I did what I normally do... I took it apart to see what may be wrong with it. I checked all the solder joints and made sure everything looked as good as they could be. Knowing absolutely fuck all about a Wii remote I have to say it did no good what so ever. I figured it was just having an issue syncing to the Wii, so I pressed the buttons and waited. Nothing...

After replacing the batteries a handful of times with various other batteries the controller just stopped working completely. Being the only Wii mote I had and it being dead... no more Wii.

For what it did, the Nyko Wand was, at best, OK! Sure all Wii remotes chew through batteries, but the Nyko Wand seemed to have an even greater thirst than I remember the OEM remotes having. The unsyncing issue was a huge mess and interrupted gameplay more times than I care to recount, simply because it could!

It was used, possibly abused by the previous owner, but it gave me well more than the 25 cents I paid for it at the outlet store (I have no clue what that thing weighed, but it couldn't have cost me much more than a quarter). It hated Netflix, it hated my Wii, the thing was just trouble from the start. I wouldn't buy another Nyko Wand unless it was at Goodwill or the outlet store, based on the experience I've had with the purple one, even though this may have been a rare defective unit.

I've since bought an OEM Nintendo Wii mote and the only thing I truly miss about the Nyko Wand is the option to shut the remote off, which is a massive oversight by Nintendo in not giving them that feature. The OEM remote doesn't chug down batteries, it doesn't have to resync every 10 minutes and it generally doesn't throw a fit, like the Nyko Wand did. The only true annoyance is that I have to manually shut it off while watching Netflix or when the remote isn't in use by pulling out a battery.

Throughout the whole time I've collected video games, 3rd party brands are either hit or miss and we base our buying choices upon that. I purchased Pelican brand Xbox controllers years ago that lasted 7 months and since then Pelican has never been a choice in my mind, even if it were in the outlet store. If my OEM Wii remote would shut off when I pressed the power button shortly, I wouldn't miss the Nyko Wand at all.

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