Super Advantage

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The Super Advantage joystick.

The Super Advantage is an officially licensed joystick for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System created by Asciiware and first sold around 1992 for around $50. Rather than use a hand-held gamepad, the Super Advantage is a weighted panel with an arcade-style joystick instead of a D-pad. It has all of the same buttons as the original SNES Controller, except the left and right shoulder buttons are on the front of the panel. It also features adjustable speed turbo and auto-fire switches for Y, X, B, A, L, and R, and an adjustable slow switch, which is effectively an auto-fire for the start button. The buttons use the colors of the Super Famicom gamepad rather than the US controller.

In the mid-1990s, a friend of mine had this controller for his SNES. He assumed the joystick would make it easier for him to use Sabin's blitzes in Final Fantasy VI, but it did not. My family had the NES Advantage years ago for the NES, and I wasn't a big fan of it, so I had not intention of ever getting the Super Advantage myself, but I occasionally used it when it was available at a friend's house. In general, I usually preferred the default SNES gamepad.

Review

Good

  • This was pretty useful for fighting games like Street Fighter II: The World Warrior because it made it easier to have access to the left and right buttons.
  • The adjustable speed turbo and auto-fire switches are useful in a lot of action games.
  • Though a lot of games don't support it, the pause feature can be helpful.
  • Asciiware actually went through the hassle of getting licensed through Nintendo.

Bad

  • It takes awhile to get used to the joystick control, and I always preferred a D-pad.
  • The structure of the controller takes awhile to get used to.
  • The altered layout of the left and right buttons makes certain games much harder.

Ugly

  • When pushed down hard at the edges, the buttons occasionally get stuck under the plastic frame. This was really annoying and should have been fixed in testing.

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