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Review: Retro-Bit Licensed Sega Genesis/Sega Saturn Controllers

March 05, 2019 1 min read

You never forget your first favorite controller.

Mine was a Sega Genesis controller I got from the video store my mom worked at. It was no different than any other three-button gamepad except that it had red lettering. I was attached to it for whatever reason, and the Genesis controller has always been my favorite since. I love the rocker d-pad, the big, clicky, comfortable buttons. Sure, the layout is definitely not ideal for some games, and the six-button controller would come later for fighting games and improve immensely on the old design, but whatever the case, between Nintendo and Sega, I will always like Sega's controllers best.

So when Retro-Bit announced a partnership with Sega to make licensed Genesis and Saturn controllers, touting "Original Grade" quality, I was skeptical, to say the least. While it has upped its game over the years, Retro-Bit had some dismal early offerings for third-party controllers, and the ones since - while much, much better - still don't match the quality of the originals, even if they are a decent alternative.

When I got a box full of these at my doorstep, I said one thing: I wouldn't go easy on them. It's one thing to say you have a new controller, and something completely different to call it "Original Grade." If Retro-Bit had the confidence to claim that, then it should be judged accordingly, and with extreme prejudice.

Review: Retro-Bit Licensed Sega Genesis/Sega Saturn Controllers screenshot