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Brook Vivid Wireless Controller review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PC, Android, iOS
Brand: Brook Gaming
Medium: Hardware

Brook Gaming for me has always been a support accessory maker. “Support” in this case being that their products facilitate other accessories to be used on platforms they were not intended for, usually in the form of USB adapters. Easy to use and ample support for a variety of controllers, these adapters made decluttering your home slightly easier as you no longer have to hang onto classic controllers to play those classic consoles (anyone need some Duke Controllers for the original Xbox? No…ok.). However Brook seems to have decided that being the supporting player is nice, but why not be the main character? With that the company that has been primarily known for adapters has released two controllers into the market, The Mars controller with it’s PC/PlayStation platform support and the Vivid Wireless controller which supports PC/Switch/iOS/Android. We were fortunate enough to get ahold of the Vivid Wireless controller and definitely put it through its paces. Will the controller prove that Brook Gaming’s future in controllers is bright or should they stick to the adapters that they’re used to.

I’m gonna start off with a negative that is very subjective. The Vivid Wireless controller is available with 2 color schemes, Aqua Blue and Sunshine Yellow. These names are a slight misnomer as the controllers are actually two toned, Aqua and off white for the former and tan and a golden brown for the latter. These aren’t exactly conventional colors for game controllers and they almost invoke a “Fisher Price-ish” feel. These would be perfect for the Switch Lites that come in turquoise and yellow, but for more superficial folks these color options could be a turn off.

That said, anyone who judges a book by its cover should miss out on what is a very solid controller. The Vivid Wireless Controller’s profile is comparable to Nintendo Pro Controller for the Switch, it’s so close I was tempted to see if it was usable on Fixture’s S1/S2 mounts. However that wasn’t necessary as packed in the box is a detachable phone mount. Yes, it only works with phones and not the switch tablet, but it is quite the value add. The face buttons press like they’re utilizing industry standard silicone pads, the triggers give a little too much resistance after being depressed, but otherwise I have little complaints.

The main event of any controller review for me at least, is a look at the d-pad. If a controller can’t be used to play fighting games…then you might as well just return it (The only exception being the Xbox 360 controller, so versatile…but atrocious d-pad). Giving it the “Shoto” test, which involves me trying to consistently execute Hadoukens and Shoryukens (without the other move coming out of course) and I’m glad to say the Vivid passes with flying colors!

So the controller got the basics right, does it have any other features? It actually does, several actually. It features Turbo buttons (w/ frequency scaling), you can swap the face buttons, manage the strength of the rumble, change the lights which the controller emits, record and replay movements/actions up to 30 seconds via its “Action mode” and enable some sort of precision mode on the analog sticks with the “Shoot mode”. All these modes and the syncing are done directly on the controller with no external interface. While I laud the controller for its multitude of functions, keeping track of how to activate it, is sort of a monumental task. It also doesn’t help that the pack in manual is more of a quickstart guide focused on the operation on the Switch and nothing more. So to fully take advantage of the controller you might want to keep the pdf of the user guide nearby, preferably on your phone.

The Brook Vivid Wireless Controller’s MSRP at $40 USD, while the MSRP of the Switch Pro Controller is nearly double it at $80 USD. The Vivid Wireless controller not only provides value but more functions than the 1st party controller. While its color options are a tad limited (Give us the “gamer” default black controller guys…I’m begging you!). I have no qualms in recommending the Brook Vivid Wireless Controller for the Switch over Nintendo’s Pro offerings. Looks like the folks at Brook have broken their personal glass ceiling and the sky is limitless for them now!

Brook Gaming provided us with a Vivid Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch for review purposes.