This Week’s Purchase: Sakura Wars Pink Dreamcast Controller
So this is what a slow news day looks like at Dracula’s Cave. Usually I’m talking about an entire console or something, but today all I’ve got to show is a single controller. And to make matters worse I didn’t even buy it this week, I bought it two weeks ago but had to wait ages for it to ship from Japan. Still, it’s a pretty awesome controller (it is pink after all) and marks a good opportunity for me to show off a few other items from my collection. Please enjoy this look at some of my rare, collectible, and downright strange controllers.
It cost me £14, it’s new to the collection, and it’s pink. SEGA also made a pink Sakura Wars Dreamcast, although the controller bundled with it had a different logo on it. All these items were only released in Japan, and importing them online is pretty much the only way to find them these days. Almost all variants of the Dreamcast that aren’t just the standard white are now extremely expensive, but for a more reasonable price you can do what I did and kit your console out with a cool looking controller.
Another Japan exclusive, there’s always a few of these kicking about on the internet but their desirable nature means they always fetch a high price, and I was extremely lucky to pick this one up for £25 a few years ago. It’s one of many completely awesome items distributed through the Club Nintendo store, and other variants such as Wario and Luigi colour schemes are also available.
I can’t resist any opportunity to show off the 3D Control Pad. Released alongside NiGHTS Into Dreams, this was one of the first videogame controllers to include an analogue stick, and despite its strange shape it is actually surprisingly comfortable to hold. It’s influence on the Dreamcast controller is clear, and the shoulder buttons are also pretty much identical to those found on the Xbox and Xbox 360. Outside of Japan it was only released in black, and the white variant (along with the white SEGA Saturn) is another Japanese exclusive.
You don’t hear much about this controller any more, and it’s an underrated classic. Of course I secretly wish I had a Hori SNES Style GameBoy Player controller to show you instead, but the RetroCon will have to do. What’s cool about this controller though is that despite it’s retro look it still has all the buttons and analogue sticks needed to play any PS2 game. Also the buttons light up.
At first glance this simply looks like a Super Nintendo controller, and that’s kinda the point. The important bit is the connector at the end of the cable, as rather than plugging into your SNES, this controller (another Club Nintendo exclusive) plugs into a Wiimote. This replaces the generic Classic Controller with an authentic SNES pad, and makes retro gaming on the Nintendo Wii considerably more fun.
Gotta save the best for last right? And what could possibly top a controller shaped like a chainsaw? Although the GameCube version is rarer, the PS2 controller saw a redesign that makes it much easier to use. It’s surprisingly comfortable, and can easily be used with any game that doesn’t rely too heavily on both sets of shoulder buttons. In fact the handles make this an awesome accessory for bike games such as Downhill Domination. Each controller has a unique blood stain pattern and comes in a really cool box. Best £15 I ever spent.