Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller Review (Xbox 360)

Built for a pro, but also priced for one.

Mad Catz knows how to make some pretty good third-party accessories for the market.  We’re big fans of their FightPads, which make the likes of Mortal Kombat and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition quite accessible.  Those fighting sticks are pretty slick too.  But what about the games that require the pure touch of a pro?  Well, it seems Mad Catz has that department covered too, with its recently released MLG Pro Circuit Controller.  It’s definitely built with the pro in mind – however, that’s not only in skill set, but in pricing, which may be the one aspect that turns off prospective purchasers.

When you first open up the MLG Pro Circuit Controller box, you may be overwhelmed by what you find.  In the first part, you’ll find the pre-built controller with the gloss sheen and the two analog sticks, along with a screw-in cable with a USB port on the other side, and a deluxe carrying case.  On the other, you’ll find a number of parts that are separated, including weights, four analog stick modules (convex and concave), digital pad modules (for PlayStation and Xbox style of play) and faceplates, including the gloss one and an additional one with a matte finish.  These guys wanted to make sure you could customize your style of play any way you wanted.

And you can, really.  The cool part about the MLG Controller is that you can easily remove and add parts, without having to worry about breaking your controller.  They easily screw and unscrew off, and attach with relative ease, without the need to break out your screwdriver or worry about voiding the warranty.  What’s more, some are actually improvements to the controller’s performance.  You may think that weights don’t make much of a difference, but try playing through a session without either one put in, and then add them both.  It’s actually a little bit jarring how much of a difference they make.

But what about performance?  Well, at first, the wired set up is a little annoying, and it took a couple of tries for the Xbox 360 to read the controller successfully.  However, once it got up and running, we found it to be up to standard.  In fact, in some cases, beyond it.  The controls respond accurately for the most part, especially the analog sticks, which have a reading of about 1:1 in terms of responsiveness.  The controller also feels comfortable to grip, though the matte finish is probably better since you don’t have to worry about getting fingerprints or sweat marks on your controller.  If anything, the odd placement of the select and start buttons, near the top of the controller rather than the middle, can be annoying.  The D-pad also doesn’t feel quite right, though, honestly, a third party company has yet to nail down its design, outside of those FightPads.  Lastly, the triggers are “clicky”, just like the Razer Onza pads.