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3DS Circle Pad Pro review

Do you need the Circle Pad Pro? Chris delivers his review

Resident Evil Revelations is finally released for 3DS this Friday along with the Circle Pad Pro add-on. While it's perfectly possible to play the game without the attachment - as anyone who's played the recent Resident Evil Revelations demo will already know - the Circle Pad Pro offers players a new control scheme with its second analogue thumbstick. So I decided to try it out to see if it's worth laying down the extra cash for the Circle Pad Pro. Here's my Circle Pad Pro review.

How does the Circle Pad Pro feel?

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The first thing you notice when you get hold of the Circle Pad Pro is how sturdy it feels, and how well the 3DS fits into it. The 3DS squeezes neatly into it, with no need to attach anything or snap anything into place, and it takes a decent pull to remove it so there's no danger of your 3DS slipping out of the attachment mid-game.

One minor thing to bear in mind is that the stylus and cartridge slot are covered up once the 3DS is connected to the Circle Pad Pro, so if you want to change your game or get the stylus ready you might want to do that before you slot the 3DS in.

As well as the obvious second Circle Pad, the Pro also has two new buttons - ZL and ZR - as well as an extra R button. The R button is a duplicate button that's placed under ZR to ensure that it is comfortable to play (the L button is under the ZL anyway).

Speaking of comfort, the whole thing fits very nicely in your hands thanks to the grooves on the back of the unit. With your thumbs resting on both the Circle Pads, it's very comfortable and feels natural, even though the screen isn't bang in the middle any more.

What it like to play with?

Click to view larger image
The Circle Pad Pro won't work until you activate it in the game options. This means if you want to use the R button on the Circle Pad Pro for non-Circle Pad Pro tasks (speeding up your StreetPass encounters, for example) you won't be able to because the button won't do anything. You still have access to the 3DS's normal L and R buttons at all times though, so it's no big deal.

It's somewhat odd that Resident Evil Revelations is the game that's launching alongside the Circle Pad Pro because it's not essential to play it with the new 3DS attachment

Without it, you control your character with the Circle Pad - moving it left and right turns your character and you can strafe left and right by holding the L button.

With the Circle Pad Pro attached, left and right on the Circle Pad become your strafes and the right-hand Circle Pad is used for turning and looking up and down without aiming (the one thing you can't do without the Pro).

Everything else - aiming the gun, moving forward while aiming - can be done with the standard control system, if a little more awkwardly (to move forward while aiming you have to hold both the L and R buttons together while pushing up on the Circle Pad).

So it is a slightly smoother experience with the Circle Pad Pro, and I do like the way the game maps most of the controls to the new ZL and ZR buttons to minimise the amount of time you have to use the B, A, Y and X buttons. You now aim your weapon by holding ZL and fire with ZR, which is also used to open doors, investigate things and the like.

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Comments

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  1. Mr.Kattykat Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 17:49

    Looks very comfortable. One question: Is the surface of the CPP matte? That would be a bad idea against the 3DS' glossy surface.

  2. skyluigi Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 17:50

    Okay, so I don't mind the Circle Pad Pro so far, but I'm wondering what games it'll be used for.
    I'd be shocked if it wasn't used for Luigi's Mansion 2, because in the original, you used two control sticks to vacuum up ghosts.

  3. Mario84 Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 17:53

    Zavvi was offering RE:Revelations AND Circle Pad Pro for Ł29.99 before Xmas.

    Glad I took advantage, as the bundle is even cheaper than Amazon is selling the game solus!

  4. reeesy Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 17:55

    Thanks for this. I was in two minds as to whether to buy it on Friday. Think i'll just pick up Resi on its own for the time being.

  5. paultheotherone Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:09

    I read in another review that the second circle pad is of a slightly sturdier make up (more resistance) compared to the original?

    Any truth in this?

    Zavvi was offering RE:Revelations AND Circle Pad Pro for Ł29.99 before Xmas.

    Glad I took advantage, as the bundle is even cheaper than Amazon is selling the game solus!

    Same here, so essentially we are getting the attachment for free.

  6. mattym727 Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:10

    Will it be bundled with Kid Icarus?I'm a leftie so it will be kinda essentia for the game which I plan on getting 8) no interest in resi though :shock:

  7. Chocolate king Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:15

    IF Monster Hunter 3G gets released over here, then I'll get this. Until then, not a chance.

  8. Alive235 Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:23

    Okay, so I don't mind the Circle Pad Pro so far, but I'm wondering what games it'll be used for.
    I'd be shocked if it wasn't used for Luigi's Mansion 2, because in the original, you used two control sticks to vacuum up ghosts.


    I totally agree, can't wait for Luigi's Mansion 2. LUIGI RULES! :P

  9. LBDNytetrayn Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:29

    One interest of mine was using it to "bulk up" the unit, as it's sometimes a little bit uncomfortably thin to hold for me otherwise. But by the sounds of it, unless the game is designed to work with it, the Circle Pad Pro is not an ideal solution.

  10. ledreppe Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:46

    I'm just hoping I never HAVE to use the circle pad pro, as I have a NERF armour/case fitted to my 3ds.

  11. onmsam Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 18:54

    bought the bundle of zavvi so im fine so why doesnt everyone get it of zavvi because the pro is virtually free so people might aswell get it

  12. Riverlution Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:00

    @onmsam

    Check the price on their site.

  13. Da_Epic_Fail Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:18

    While I think this is a good idea, I won't be getting it for two reasons:

    1) I don't really like Resident Evil, so I won't be picking up the bundle, although they will probably sell it by itself if they aren't already.
    2) I'm sure I suffer from some degree of OCD, and I have a blue 3DS, which means that the black and blue colours would drive me crazy (took me ages to get used to the top screen being black...)

    However, if enough games support this thing (Monster Hunter, Kid Icarus and KIngdom Hearts 3D are the win ones I think) i'm sure i'll be picking one up somewhere down the line, especially if MH gets released here.

  14. Fidu Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:29

    Thank you for making this article. I was wondering whether or not I should get the Circle Pad Pro, as Finnish prices are criminally high.

  15. lrwr14 Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:30

    Probably won't get the game for a while, and I'm not that bothered about the CPP so I'll just wait till another game comes out that uses it...say... Monster Hunter tri G.

  16. CDS Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:43

    Only game I'd ever use this for is KINGDOM HEARTS 3D.
    As for a more comfortable hold? I've already got the 3DS WHEEL so why'd I need this for the same purpose?

  17. PhineasFerbStyx Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:45

    it looks okay but I don't really like it as it seems like nintendo did this to make more money and eventually every game will use it but I neead it as I want Kid Icarus Uprising but one thing worries me as I dislike it enough already, if you attach the exta circle pad do you have to keep it on (is it possible for it to come off) as that might make it harder to fit it in my mum's handbag... plus I find it a really stupid add-on because as steve said it should have been in the original design anyway plus they are only realeasing it in black which I find annoying as I have blue one as well

  18. CDS Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 19:52

    And what with all these other colours it seems like a fashion disaster. But so long as you don't care what it looks like , I'm sure you can live with it.

  19. ploiper Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 20:00

    ive got the bundle coming my way, may end up using this to play resi.

  20. CyberGW Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 20:06

    Yeah, it does look really comfortable!
    Mind I ask what music is in the video? I really want to use it! :lol:

  21. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 20:33

    How much is the Circle Pad Pro?

  22. 08fenna Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 20:46

    Does anyone know yet if my 3DS will fit into the circle pad pro as I have a cover forit and I can't take it off? :?

  23. LBDNytetrayn Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 21:08

    And what with all these other colours it seems like a fashion disaster. But so long as you don't care what it looks like , I'm sure you can live with it.

    I thought black goes with everything?

  24. onmsam Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 21:22

    i got it for Ł30 at the time with pro and resi

  25. Pilotboy Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 21:49

    The whole idea of the Circle Pad Pro really grinds my gears- It looks unattractive and clunky and it highlights the fact that Nintendo may have made a design error by not adding a second circle pad to the 3DS in the first place. It annoys me when I hear Sony and Microsoft gamers slating Nintendo and the 3DS, because Nintendo puts a lot more heart and soul into its products. But I can't help feel Nintendo have brought this upon themselves, with peripherals becomig available for the console so early into its life and this could be detriment Nintendo's performance in the handheld market when Sony release the PS Vita. I'm just a little worried for Nintendo. :(

  26. fisher2007 Tuesday 24th Jan 2012 at 21:53

    think this is a good idea, I won't be getting the 3DS Circle Pad Pro not that bothered about it.

    but i will be buying resident evil Revelations Friday.

  27. taximadish Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 at 05:07

    Circle Pad Pro looks awesome! I may have to get one, if it's used for Kid Icarus or Luigi's Mansion 2.
    But of course, the real question is: Is the ZR button behind or in front of the R button? :wink: :lol:

  28. issun1412 Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 at 07:53

    I've got the red 3ds. Does this come in red? BTW, why couldn't they make kid icarus work with this using the CPP as the aiming contrrols

  29. Pappi Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 at 09:38

    What is with that video? It looks like some cheesy 50s ad... :? and that music

  30. Serebii Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 at 11:15

    The whole idea of the Circle Pad Pro really grinds my gears- It looks unattractive and clunky and it highlights the fact that Nintendo may have made a design error by not adding a second circle pad to the 3DS in the first place. It annoys me when I hear Sony and Microsoft gamers slating Nintendo and the 3DS, because Nintendo puts a lot more heart and soul into its products. But I can't help feel Nintendo have brought this upon themselves, with peripherals becomig available for the console so early into its life and this could be detriment Nintendo's performance in the handheld market when Sony release the PS Vita. I'm just a little worried for Nintendo. :(

    I am of the belief that the Circle Pad Pro was requested by Capcom when Nintendo requested Monster Hunter for the 3DS. It's not Nintendo making a design fault, it's an optional extra requested by a third party and then utilised since it exists. It's no different to the Classic Controller existing for the Wii

  31. Nickario Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 at 14:09

    Playing the RE:Revelations demo I am relieved to say you don't need the CPP to play it. It uses traditional RE controls anyway which I'm used to for the 15 years of the franchise. This add on is just to cater for the FPS gamers which is good but seriously I do not like the look of the CPP.

  32. Baker1000 Thursday 26th Jan 2012 at 20:46

    So it's only available in black? Quite disappointing considering the amount of different colours they've already released. Bit like how they still don't have the Classic Controller Pro in white, so anyone who bought the Wii on launch day can't have a matching one.

  33. ditto9 Friday 27th Jan 2012 at 12:03

    I'm still waiting for mine to arrive! But the reason I bought it was because it was a steal from Zavvi at Ł30 for both Revelations and the CPP. Worried about where to store it though :T

  34. reeesy Friday 27th Jan 2012 at 14:35

    Just picked up a copy of Revelations from GAME and they wanted an EXTRA Ł20 on top of the game for the CPP. What a joke!! Surely it should be bundled free with a game like this? Ok i get it was necessary to make the 3DS more appealing to 3rd party developers, but I don't see why our wallets should take the hit for Nintendo's decision to not to include it in the original design. Just seems a bit cheeky.

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