Shadow The Hedgehog Controller – PS2 – Review

worthwhile purchase for any Sonic or Shadow the Hedgehog fan

A weird
thing keeps happening with licenses in the game industry. Movie licenses have
led to the creation of many bad games. The opposite, game licenses bought by
Hollywood, has yet to have better luck. I can’t wait to see how the Silent
Hill movie turns out, but I know I’m not the only one who’s skeptical.

this licensing curse has not carried over to video game controllers. Over the
past decade, several peripheral manufacturers have taken note of our
excitement for games like Tekken and Gran Turismo and designed excellent
controllers, joysticks and steering wheels for those specific titles. Mortal
Kombat recently got a line of special controllers, as did Street Fighter, and
even the NFL. These controllers aren’t always as good as the first-party brand
(has any third-party controller ever been that good?), but they are
often some of the best third-party controllers available.

Last year
Sega released another offshoot of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Shadow the
Hedgehog, and now they’ve teamed up with NubyTech for the first Shadow-themed


This unusual
combination might come as a surprise to those expecting to see Sonic or Dr.
Eggman (formerly Dr. Robtnik) adorned on a game pad. Nonetheless, Shadow makes
for a cool character that lends itself well to good controller design. The use
of dark color lines (red and black) and the artwork of Shadow standing out in
the center is definitely something that would catch your eye as you’re walking
down the game aisle at Best Buy.

But it
won’t. The Shadow the Hedgehog comes packaged in a unique, semi-transparent
dome case that’ll get your attention long before the contents do. Typically
game controller packaging offers no protection. When I get a new controller I
throw out the cheap plastic casing, and if it came in a cardboard box I store
it until I realize that storing it is a waste. Shadow’s package, on the other
hand, looks great, is a unique design, and is a great way to keep dust from
filling out the crevices. It also makes it more of a collector’s item (and
will be hung in my personal Museum of Historical Video Game Memorabilia).


Judge a Book By…

We’ve all
heard that old saying. It’s true: a controller is only as good as how
functional it is when playing games. Real games, not just the one it was
specifically designed for. The Shadow the Hedgehog controller works great with
pretty much any game in any genre. One of the first things I look at when
testing a new controller is how it feels in your hands in all gameplay
experiences. This controller is relatively small, but it doesn’t feel like
it’s slipping around. The plastic is very smooth and comfortable. Both the
sleek top finish and the slightly rougher underbody are well designed and make
the controller easy to hold.

I was
initially turned off by the placement of the R1 and L1 buttons – if you’re
playing a game with pressure-sensitive functions (a feature few titles
utilize), you’re not going to have fun deeply pressing those buttons for long
periods of time. Everyone’s hands are different, but for me the buttons just
aren’t in the right place and are too flat to feel good when being depressed.

The R2 and
L2 buttons, however, are further below the other shoulder buttons and have
been raised to match the trigger style Xbox 360 uses. This is a great
improvement for third-party PS2 controllers. Controlling characters and racing
vehicles in pressure-sensitive games is much easier with the extended buttons.
You have more room to push and thus more room to judge how sensitively the
button needs to be pressed.

Gamers will
also be satisfied with the analog sticks, which are made of smooth-but-sturdy
plastic and are equally resistant to each action. No sticks, no odd clicks, no
slip-ups, absolutely none of the flaws that are common with third-party
controllers. The plastic underneath the stick doesn’t flake as much as the
Dual Shock 2, which should appeal to flake-conscious gamers. Seriously, I love
Sony’s controllers, but the flakey plastic seems cheap in comparison to the
rest of the Dual Shock 2’s design, which is top-notch.

It’s a small
element, but I also liked the placement of the Start and Select buttons
(they’re right underneath the face buttons and D-pad). They’re as flat as the
controller’s body so you can’t accidentally bump them. I’ve never had that
problem with first-party goods, but that is an issue I’ve ran into over the
years with various third-party products.

I don’t
really care for the look of the face buttons. They have weird, Shadow-inspired
symbols that are supposed to represent the X, triangle, square and circle
buttons. I’ve been playing games on the PlayStation console long enough to
know where everything is without looking. However, for games where you must
press a specific button at the exact point it appears on screen, this could be
slightly confusing. It could also confuse newcomers who have not mastered the
PlayStation brand alignment.

On the
bright side the face buttons function as well as everything else and the
result is a good controller that’s reliable, collectible, and just plain cool.

Review Scoring Details for Shadow The Hedgehog


  • Great
    analog sticks


  • Reliable


  • Comfortable design


  • Shadow the
    Hedgehog theme


  • The D-pad
    is one big block; it’s not individually defined with four buttons

  • Face
    buttons work well but have semi-confusing symbols


A worthwhile purchase for
any Sonic or Shadow the Hedgehog fan.

You’ll love its design, its style, its reliability – this is definitely one of
the best third-party controllers to come around. I don’t even have the Shadow
the Hedgehog game and haven’t played it for more than a couple of minutes, but
I still could appreciate everything this controller had to offer.