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Old 10-23-2013, 04:06 AM
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TheGeekRedneck TheGeekRedneck is offline
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Default The Geek Redneck reviews the MayFlash 3-in-1 Magic Joy Box!

I've been looking forward to this one for a LONG time!

So as some of you may know I'm REALLY into game console emulation - be it on the PC, a console emulating ANOTHER console, console emulators on Android / iOS, whatever. Being able to relive those classic console gaming memories without having to drag out a bunch of cords and deal with connections and whatnot? It's the bees knees! Often times you can even get BETTER or enhanced graphics out of the deal as well. But with emulation on the PC you often run into a big problem: Sometimes you just need the feel of the classic game controller in your hand, no substitute will do! That brings us to the product I just finished reviewing.

Mayflash may actually be a name familiar to those of you in the console gaming scene. While not as prolific as companies like Madcatz or Nyko, Mayflash has quite a history of providing third party hardware options for the various video gaming console platforms. Not only that, but they have a wide variety of PC dongles designed to allow you to connect the controllers from your classic console collection directly to your PC via USB. It's just such a device that I'm taking a quick look at here today.

The '3-in-1 Magic Joy Box' really is a mouthful to say, and when doing the video review I had to do a few takes because I kept cracking myself up. Honestly the name sounds like you just bought yourself a sex toy. But alas no, you won't need to lube anything up for this bad boy. What the Magic Joy Box DOES do is allow you to connect Gamecube, Playstation 1 or 2, or Xbox (old skool big black and green one) controllers to your PC and use them as you would any PC game controller. Sounds pretty sweet, no?

The 3-in-1 Magic Joy Box comes in your average hang-card blister pack. No scissors needed to open this thing either, which is a bonus. Inside the package you'll find the device itself with it's attached USB cord (about 2 feet long) and a driver mini-cd. Build quality is fair, it does feel a bit plasticy and light but it seems put together well. I also dig the translucent blue/purple case.

The literature on the back of the packaging warns you to connect your game controllers to the Magic Joy Box BEFORE you connect it to a USB port on your PC, and that's exactly what I did. Windows 7 instantly picked it up and I was able to use the Gamecube controller I had connected with no problems in a few Windows games I tried (Ducktales Remastered, Sonic All Stars Racing, Batman: Arkham City). I got this to use with emulators though, and so that's where I went next.

I fired up Dolphin, went into the gamepad configuration screen, and had no problem setting up input binds for each Gamecube button. In about two minutes I had the connected Gamecube controller setup exactly like a real Gamecube would be. I spent the next hour trying various Gamecube titles like Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Metroid Prime, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mario Kart, and more... and they ALL worked flawlessly with one exception - no rumble effects. Turns out you actually have to install the driver from Mayflash (included on the CD) to get rumble to work - whooops, my bad! A couple more minutes installing the driver and setting up rumble in the Dolphin control panel and I was in heaven!

Since I did the video review I've also tried the Magic Joy Box with a PS1 Dual Shock controller and an original Xbox controller and both worked flawlessly. You can also connect all three controllers (GC, PS, Xbox) and use them at the same time for multiplayer action or just switching between emulators or PC games. I was and am impressed by how easy this was to get working!

So if you've got an extra $15 or so in your pocket and you love your classic game controllers like I do, you really ought to give the Mayflash 3-in-1 Magic Joy Box a try - I don't think you'll be disappointed! Make sure you check out my video review below too!

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