Brook Wingman XB review

Platform: Hardware
Publisher: Brook Gaming

Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! stealthily released on the Xbox One in late January of this year. In an act that?s tantamount to serving spaghetti without silverware, Bandai Namco opted to NOT release a taiko drum controller for the platform. Thus leaving gamers with no means of enjoying the title as it was intended (ok, maybe the adaptive controller would come closest?but who has that?). Thankfully the folks at Brook Gaming updated their Wingman XB adapter to support PS4 and Switch Taiko drums?so have they helped keep my hands clean or am having an extremely uncomfortable meal of pasta (yes..I?m really hung up on this analogy).

Upon receiving the product, I noticed how spartan it was. Roughly the size of a deck of cards, the box?s contents contained a cardboard sleeve with QR codes for the manual and firmware links, a sticker sheet (time to bomb the bathroom of my local drinking hole to rep this brand!) and the adapter itself. I oddly appreciate this approach as it means my home isn?t cluttered with another short usb cable that I won?t be able to do much with (I?m looking at you 8bitdo!). The adapter itself is comparable to a pack of chewing gum and will jut out obtrusively of whatever you plug it into. I did my due diligence and tried to buy a drum locally, at which I was rebuffed by the fact that the Hori Switch drum was reviewed poorly due to how its circuit board was situated and the PS4 drum wasn?t available locally and was out of the price range I was comfortable paying for. So while I didn?t want to go with an unknown manufacturer, I opted to order this drum on Amazon.

Before the drum arrived, I tried the Wingman XB on my PC. Setup was seamless and pairing a DualShock 4 was as simple as plugging the controller into the adapter and turning it on. I fired up Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and ran through the entire tutorial with ease. While this seems like a no brainer for anyone with a working pair of hands, there was one lesson I couldn?t pass previously while using the Xbox 360 controller. No matter how many attempts, QcB+C, Double QcF+D was something I could not perform on the ?defacto? PC controller. Whereas with the DualShock 4/Wingman XB combo it took one attempt to get the lesson cleared. I also played and completed the platformer, Flynn: Son of Crimson with no issues on its platforming and boss encounters.

The PC tests had given me confidence that I?ll be drumming all night long on the Xbox One. so it came as a shock when I plugged in the drum into the Xbox, all I heard was the repeating sound of the down button being pressed. Apparently the drum was triggering some sort of autofiring of the down button. Doing due diligence, I did something I should?ve done first, I read the manual. After it was apparent that the adapter?s firmware needed to be upgraded. I did that and like everything with the adapter so far it was a simple affair. The adapter?s resource page also provided an instructional video on how to properly set up a drum controller. Alas still no change?at that point I decided to change tactics, maybe the drum was defective. I booted up Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! on the Nintendo Switch in hopes of confirming my hypothesis. Negative, the drum detected and played fine (although I can?t say my performance was stellar, but I never was a great player even though I liked the series for nearly two decades). I had to give up the ghost and concluded that perhaps this non-Namco/Hori drum was not tested and confirmed as compatible by the Brook team. Just to make sure that the adapter worked, I used the DualShock 4 and like the PC tests, it worked like a charm.

I reported my findings to the PR rep that I was working with and even included details on the drum I used for my review. They mentioned that they will pass this information to the team and perhaps the drum might be compatible in a future firmware. However, as an adapter for standard controllers, I would absolutely recommend the Wingman XB as I didn?t have to re-pair the DualShock when I switched usage between the PC and the Xbox One. I would caution that before you buy, please visit the brook website and read through the compatibility list to ensure the controller you plan on using will work. If it?s on the list you should be set! The Wingman XB is available on Amazon and wherever Brook products are sold.

Brook Gaming provided us with a Wingman XB for review purposes.