It may look like a children's toy, but it has some interesting tech under the hood.
Generally speaking, I don't tend to review many controllers. For the simple reason that the majority of new devices seem to just be marginally upgraded previous iterations, or perhaps simply the same device except with a different visual appearance or graphic pattern. But this isn't one of those occasions, because Brook has come out with a new controller that is designed for Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices, and I've been putting it through the ringer the past few weeks as I explore the Paldea region in Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, dominate in League of Legends: Wild Rift, and run rampart in Al Mazrah in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0.
Before I get to the technical side of things and make comments on how the Brook Vivid actually feels in practice, let's talk about its appearance. The first thing that came to my mind when I unboxed the Vivid was that it looked like a Fisher-Price toddler's toy. It's small, light, and has a design and shape that makes it resemble those fake controllers you give to young kids to make them feel as though they're actually doing something meaningful when in reality they are not. But just because it has a design, which is probably tailored to the wrong demographic, it shouldn't draw your attention away from the fact that the shape works pretty well, and feels comfortable in your hands. The analog sticks are asymmetrically placed and easy to reach, and the buttons are all closely situated, but never to the point that you'll end up clicking the wrong input. And the triggers and bumpers feel responsive, even if they do protrude a little too much for my liking.
It should also be said that the Brook Vivid is somewhere between a regular controller and a 'pro' controller, as it has two rear buttons and a slider that can be used for remapping, and also customising the analog stick sensitivity. Essentially, move the slider to Macro and then you can use the rear AL/AR to rebind buttons to better suit your gameplay needs, or switch to Shoot to raise or lower sensitivity, which should make it easier to best shooters and games that demand better precision. Plus, the middle collection of inputs accommodate for the wide array of alternative options, be it a home button, a settings button to further customise vibration and more, and even a Turbo button, which is designed to make the controller more responsive in games where you are tapping a lot of buttons - for example fighting games. It would have been helpful to have a dedicated software to make these changes, but I can also appreciate the concept of keeping everything within the device as well.
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The Vivid has a decent battery life that will keep going for more than enough time when playing without a wire, but can also be used as a wired system as well, via the USB 3.0 port on its top. This is also the easiest way to connect to various devices, as you can easily play on PC and Nintendo Switch without needing to fiddle with Bluetooth this way. If you do want to go wireless however, a quick tap of a small button near the USB port will allow you to make the controller discoverable and open for connections. It's truly very simple and user friendly.
If you do want to use the Vivid for mobile gaming, the controller even comes with a mobile gaming clip, which is a nice addition. All you have to do is snap it onto the controller's body, and then you can use an adjustable sliding grip to slot a phone of various sizes in, and voila! It is worth noting that I have found that the part of the clip that connects to the phone tends to wobble a little bit, which can be irritating and occasionally give you a heart attack when your expensive smartphone jiggles around too much.
But all in all, the Brook Vivid is an interesting take on a controller. It has a polarising design and shape that will likely either be its main attraction or its biggest reason to avoid, depending on the consumer, but aside from this appearance and aesthetic, the controller amply does what any good controller should do, and provides plenty of options all while being accurate, responsive, and reliable. And it offers all of this while being cheaper than a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Xbox controller, and a PlayStation 5 DualSense.