The NES Max is a video game controller for the NES. It was created by Nintendo and released in 1987 along side the NES Advantage. Instead of a traditional D-pad, the controller uses a sliding plastic disc called a cycloid. Even though the directional pad is still digital, the cycloid allows for smoother changes in direction. The NES Max also adds turbo buttons for the A and B buttons.
I never had an NES Max, but a friend of mine did. We would always fight over who got to use it, especially in games where the turbo helped a lot. However, because the raised surface of the cycloid hurt my thumb, I preferred to use the standard NES Controller for games that didn't benefit from turbo.
- The curved shape makes the controller more comfortable than the default rectangular controller.
- Turbo buttons are always great to have, but the ones on the Max were particularly nice because they fired in harmony making it very easy to press A+B at the same time repeatedly (something that was much harder to do on the NES Advantage. One game this is especially useful for is Double Dragon II: The Revenge because it makes it so easy to perform the Spinning Cyclone and Hyper Uppercut.
- The controller just looks cool.
- I never found the cycloid to be very helpful. Very few games on the NES require smooth directional transitions.
- The sharp edges of the clycloid make your thumb sore after prolonged use, a downside that has caused some people to mod the controller by replacing the cycloid with an analog nub.
- The controller is a little small for adult hands, which is forgivable since it was made for children.