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?
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?
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.