While there are more mature titles like Dead Space Extraction and Metroid: Other M, the Nintendo Wii is still largely viewed as a family-friendly console. As such, many of the most popular titles are supposed to be fun for all ages and that includes the younger set. Unfortunately, the regular Wii Remote might be a little too big for little Jimmy’s hands.
Offering the same functionality in a more compact package is the Power A Pro Pack Mini. It’s pretty much like the Wii Remote, except it’s about 35% smaller than the original. This makes it more suitable for smaller hands (and not only the smaller hands of children).
MiniRemote + MiniChuk = Full-Sized Gaming
Both the “MiniRemote” and the “MiniChuk” are smaller than their official counterparts. It’s more pronounced with the Wii Remote replacement than it is with the Nunchuk, but they are definitely smaller.
In terms of first impressions, the build quality of third-party peripherals has certainly come a long way since the days of crappy knockoff SNES gamepads and faux PlayStation controllers. The Power A Pro Pack Mini feels very solidly built and it even comes with a rubberized finish for extra grip. No need for a silicone sleeve here. The surface has been “contoured” for less slippage too.
Since the MiniRemote is smaller, it makes use of AAA batteries instead of the AA batteries of the regular Wii Remote. This means you can’t use something like the Nyko ChargeBase IC charging dock with it.
Bigger Buttons that Light Up Too
When playing games that require you to hold the Wii Remote horizontally like a NES gamepad, I always found that the “1″ and “2″ buttons were a tad too smaller. Power A changed that by making them bigger. The “A” button is bigger as well.
This makes playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii a more enjoyable experience overall, but the buttons did feel a little stiffer than expected. The soft textured finish made for a comfortable gaming session overall, but the smaller size did lead to a little more cramping.
You’ll also notice that the face buttons light up blue. This isn’t just when you turn it on or even when you press the respective buttons; they stay on all the time. I imagine that hurt the battery life and, while it is a fun gimmick, the controller pack could have ultimately done better without this feature.
Motion Gaming and the MiniChuk
Going through the more “traditional” Wii motion-based games, I almost liked having the smaller Remote and Nunchuk at times. Accuracy was on par with the first-party equivalent and, should you choose, the MiniRemote is compatible with the WiiMotionPlus attachment too.
It would have been nice to have the WiiMotionPlus integrated into the controller, like what you get with the Nyko Wand+, but that likely would have added a few bucks to the retail price. If Power A released two variants, one with integrated WM+ and the other without, that’d work too.
MEGATechie Game On or MEGATechie Size Envy?
The Power A Pro Pack Mini lists at $49.99, which represents a pretty good deal considering that you get the nunchuk attachment to go with it. The larger face buttons are great for classic gaming and the soft-touch finish feels much better than the slippery glossy plastic of the official Nintendo product.
You may or may not like the smaller size, but this makes for a pretty good option for the younger folks in your household. Personally, I’d opt for the purple version over the black one. It adds that extra punch of retro chic. Do you remember the purple GameCube?