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'Nyko Cord-Free' Review (Wii)

Submitted by thankeeka on May 21, 2008 - 5:37am. Exclusive Reviews

When you look at a lot of third-party peripherals that flood the market, they typically fall into one of two categories: 1) they are superfluous and really not needed, or 2) they are pretty shoddy and poorly made. When it comes to Nyko, however, I often find myself loving their products, and even adopting them over the original…especially when it comes to their Wii line of products. Right now, for instance, I find their wireless sensor bar and Perfect Shot infinitely better than Nintendo's own offerings. Nyko's latest product is the Cord-Free, an adaptor to help take your existing nunchuk and suddenly make it wireless. It feels good to not be tied and bound to wires anymore.

I never knew how frustrating and limiting wires were until this generation of videogame systems. I love being able to move without limits, sit back, and just relax while I play games. The only next-gen system not fully wireless at all times, however, is the Wii. Perhaps it's just me, but I find it extremely annoying when I have to use the nunchuk, watching as that cord instinctively winds around itself whenever I bring the nunchuk and Wii remote too close together, bunching them together so you have to pull to get them to separate.

The Cord-Free is actually a shell that you place your existing Nintendo nunchuk inside. The shell is smooth and sturdily built, fitting the nunchuk like a glove. The nunchuk firmly snaps into the shell, allowing access to the thumbstick on the front and the C and Z-buttons on the back. A shell isn't that great unless it offers something different in terms of functionality, and it is here where the Cord-Free really shines – the ability for wireless play. The nunchuk cord is usually about three feet long when fully stretched out, but with the Cord-Free you're able to pretty much hide it completely underneath the base of the shell, wrapping it around and around the spool bottom and ultimately hiding the cord behind the gray rubber drapes. The cord didn't want to remain completely hidden, but the bare amount that shown wasn't a problem for me at all.

Once you've wrapped the cord around the base as tightly as you can, you'll then slip the connector that usually attaches to your Wii remote through the gray slip, plugging the connector into the bottom of the base. The connector, much like the nunchuk itself, fits easily and snuggly into place. At the very bottom of the Cord-Free is where you place the two AAA batteries you need to run the system, which I found had a pretty good battery life. After everything is plugged in and in position, the Cord-Free actually has the ability to stand up straight, perfectly balanced and standing like a lovely statuette, not easily knocked over.

The second part of the Cord-Free system is an infrared base that you plug into the bottom of your Wii remote, attaching it through the base where the connector usually goes. The infrared base can be removed quickly as needed depending on whether or not the game you are playing needs the nunchuk or not. The infrared base was also designed with the wrist strap in mind, as the base fits right around it so your strap can hang like normal. Once everything is in place all you have to do is click the power button on the base of the Cord-Free and away you go gaming. You'll know if everything is working right based on the flashing lights coming from both the Cord-Free and the infrared base at the bottom of your Wii remote.

The Cord-Free was tested on several different videogames - ranging from games like Deca Sports to Super Mario Galaxy - to test latency issues as a wireless situation isn't worth squat if it's affecting your gameplay. Luckily I didn't run into any problems while using the Cord-Free, as it responded on cue each time and never caused me to issue any unwarranted moves.

The Cord-Free is a great innovation, but one not without a few annoyances. First up, the shell is a little slicker than the usual nunchuk by itself, meaning there is a tendency for your grip to want to slip if your palms get too sweaty. I also wish there had been some way to implement a wrist strap for the Cord-Free itself, as the slickness can at times make it feel like the system wants to slide from your hands. The only other problem I have with the system is the constantly flashing signal light on both the Cord-Free and the infrared base; the bright flashes of blue light can capture your attention every so often and bring your eyes away from the television.

Despite a few gripes keeping it from getting a perfect score, I still highly recommend you purchase Nyko's Cord-Free system. Much like the sensor bar and Perfect Shot I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the Cord-Free is yet another addition from Nyko that has instantly taken a place beside my Wii, as it's hard to imagine going back to having that long wire wrap around itself over and over again.

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