The humble controller has changed massively over the years. From the simplicity of the NES offering, through the Mega Drive and early PlayStation years, it’s a device that has slowly been honed.
It was with the arrival of the OG Xbox when things really took off, and even though many baulked at the sheer size of The Duke, it set things in motion for years to come.
Recent times have seen slight amends to the now standard Xbox controller, enhanced in a few ways with each console iteration. It could be said that the current Xbox Series X|S controller, Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 and – whisper it – the fanciness of the PS5 DualSense controller could hardly be bettered.
That’s not stopping multiple third-party manufacturers from providing gamers with options, with PowerA right at the fore of that but push. We’ve been extremely taken by their Spectra Infinity and the FUSION Pro 2. And now similar thoughts surround the rather delightful PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox – Cuphead: Ms. Chalice Edition.
Sent out to the gaming masses in collaboration with Studio MDHR and their – eventual – release of Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course, the Ms. Chalice controller will most definitely appeal to a few groups of gamers: the many fans of Cuphead as a game, and those who just have to have the latest collectible edition controllers.
Neither group – or anyone else for that matter – will be left wanting with what PowerA have created. Granted, it may have a few shortcomings and many may prefer to see this lit up as a rarely used collectible, but it’s a nice little controller in its own right.
What we’ve got here is a PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller with a Cuphead Ms. Chalice visual design splattered over the top. And there’s no doubt about it – this is a stunner to look at.
The front plate is a yellow-gold colour with white and mint green detailing around the important parts; the thumbsticks, D-Pad, bumpers, triggers and face buttons. The usual menu, view and share buttons also blend in well. That front also has Ms. Chalice herself, front and centre, urging you through your gaming sessions. White cartoon explosions further adorn the front and in all the colour scheme doesn’t just look good, but it screams Cuphead.
Around the back that mint green is dominant, covering the entire underside of the controller and ensuring that two Advanced Gaming Buttons and a Program Button blend in nicely. There’s a nice bit of texture in place too and whilst this is subtle, it’s certainly appreciated.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the PowerA Ms. Chalice Edition controller is anything but a delight, and the opportunity to easily assign those Advanced Gaming Buttons on a whim is a neat touch. It’s simple to action, with a slight hold of the Program Button followed by a press of the button you wish to assign, followed immediately by a tap of the relevant Advanced Gaming Button. We’ve found that implementation of these extra buttons works every single time.
It’s also nice that the fast-becoming-PowerA-standard Headset Dial and mic mute is also in place. We’re big fans of this addition to PowerA’s controllers, ensuring that turning up and down the volume that comes through your wired headset is done with ease. Placed front and centre, muting the mic is equally as simple; a press of the Headset Dial sees it light up bright red so you know you’ll be muted to the online world.
It’s possibly a shame that this feature only works with wired headsets but seeing as the EPOS H6PRO is one of our go-to options, it’s never been an issue.
What some gamers may find to be an issue though is the fact that this is a wired controller. Again, on the face of it there’s nothing particularly wrong there and that may be of preference to many, but it does mean you are tied down. It’s also a shame that PowerA insist on using old tech; a Micro-USB power cable is present with the other USB-A end going into your console. We’re not in 2015 anymore PowerA – please do the right thing and amend your products so that USB-C is the standard going forward.
On the plus side, the cable included is of a decent length (some ten foot) and continues the Cuphead mint green theme. It certainly fits in well with the rest of the controller and due to the lack of rechargeable battery inside, this is a seriously lightweight piece of kit even with the dual rumble motors inside. It weighs in at a mere 185 grams, compared to 274 grams for a standard Xbox Series X|S controller and 345 grams for the Elite Series 2. You’ll have no issue using this for multiple hours of gaming.
Aside from the visual design and the addition of the usual PowerA controller amends of programmable back buttons and volume rocker, there’s little else to get excited by with the Cuphead Ms. Chalice controller.
That’s not to say it isn’t worthy of a place in your collection though – this would fit in brilliantly alongside other collectible controllers, especially as it comes in a rather neat box. As a playable unit though, there’s nothing much here to really warrant a controller upgrade – not unless you are the biggest of all Cuphead fans.
Huge thanks go out to PowerA for providing us with the delightful looking Enhanced Wired Controller Cuphead Ms. Chalice Edition. You can grab one for yourself by visiting PowerA direct. You’ll also find the controller on Amazon.