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Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller

Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller

full view mortal kombat fatality controller ps2Platform: PlayStation 2

Category: Controller

Developer: Nubytech

Release Date: November 2004





The DualShock 2 is an excellent controller. I’ve probably spent more time in my life with one in my grasp than I have without one. Maybe your hands haven’t been developmentally shaped by the DualShock 2, and perhaps your fingers aren’t permanently poised to rest on shoulder buttons (not bumpers, buttons, you damn Xbots) and parallel analogs like myself, but I think it’s safe to assume you believe the default PlayStation 2 controller to be at least a competent controller. But it’s not… showy. It’s comfortable and responsive, but where’s the pizzazz? Well if it’s something gaudy and eye-catching you’re looking for, look no further than Nubytech’s Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller series. If Nubytech sounds familiar, it’s likely because they’re well known for bringing us interesting themed controllers like the Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller. We’ll be looking at the Sub Zero controller because it’s the only one I’ve managed to acquire, and also because Sub Zero is the best. Lin Kuei for life.

Released in the Fall of 2004, around the same time as Mortal Kombat: Deception, the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller series is a set of 6 Mortal Kombat themed controllers (three for PlayStation 2, three for Xbox). Each of these has a gorgeous paint job inspired by either Sub Zero, Scorpion, or Baraka, along with artwork in the center of the controller depicting the featured character doing something rather nasty to one of their opponents. The pictured fatalities are nothing stomach turning (especially compared to the visuals of an in-game fatality in one of the newer MK titles), but since the art does feature either impalement, decapitation, or dismemberment, the packaging of the collector’s box the controller comes in actually censors the controller’s center as to protect the eyes of retail shoppers.

mortal kombat fatality controller censor box

The black splatter on the plastic here keeps the gore hidden away until the controller is removed. For collectors looking to display the controller in the box with full art, there’s a tiny tab at the top of the censor sticker to peel it off.

mortal kombat fatality controller art sub zeroWhen the controller is removed from its plastic housing the fatality and awesome paint job are fully revealed. Sub Zero is pictured apparently bitchslapping Scorpion’s head off, with chunks of ice and frozen flesh being scattered across the gamepad. This is a very Sub Zero thing to do, so I think it captures his character flawlessly. A Midway (RIP) logo is found above the d-pad and an icy Mortal Kombat symbol resides up and to the right of the start button. The controller’s body and buttons are a cold blue hue, colored with metallic paint that sparkles as light touches it. The button that activates the analog also serves as the lighted indicator for its activation. This illuminated red button is located in the middle of Scorpion’s blood, so it actually fits into the art. This Sub Zero themed controller is beautiful, and it is a great display piece for any Mortal Kombat fan in its awesome collector’s box that features a clear plastic front to show off the device. The Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller is wonderful to look at, but is it wonderful to play with? Will I be decapitating Scorpion with ease as well, or will this pretty piece of plastic hinder my murdering?

Now if you’re like me, and you know the dimensions of the DualShock 2 by heart (6.18 in × 3.74 in × 2.16 in), you’ve probably noticed that the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller is a bit larger. The angle of the arms and the curves on the back of the controller do mirror the DS2, though. The controller is wider, longer from top to bottom, and sits higher when lying on its back than the default PS2 controller. Though the Mortal Kombat controller’s form deviates from the size of the controller God intended us to play the PS2 with, this isn’t actually a negative feature. The biggest complaint from most people who aren’t fans of the first three DualShock controllers is how small the controller feels in their hands, and that it makes the button layout feel cramped. The form of the DualShock 4 was inspired by this complaint, and the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller already accidentally addressed it 9 years in advance just by making room to display Sub Zero ending Scorpion’s life with a karate chop of death. Intentionally designed for comfort or not, the increased size allows players to hold the controller with a more open grip than when holding a DualShock 2, which likely makes for comfier extended play sessions. It’s also not noticeably heavier despite being bigger.

mortal kombat fatality controller top

What is noticeable is the feel of the buttons. Everything feels stiff. Don’t get me wrong; we’re not talking third-party N64 or GameCube imitation controllers that you find on eBay shipped from China stiff or anything.  The buttons on the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller are very responsive, they don’t stick, and it does not feel cheap. They just have a bit more resistance and more of a “click” when pressed than a DualShock. This is not pronounced enough to be detrimental to the controller, it just provides a different feel than a standard controller. These buttons are particularly fitting for the inputs required to perform combos in Mortal Kombat: Deception, referred to as “dial-a-combos” by fighting game players, where buttons must be pressed in a sequence at a consistent pace to perform a combination attack, as opposed to the lightning fast linking of normal and special attacks in most traditional fighters. The clicky button presses of the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller ensure players know with confidence that their input is registered and it’s time for the next command in the sequence. Another interesting fact about the face buttons (triangle, circle, x, square) is that they are equidistant. Triangle and X are closer than square and circle on a DualShock 2. This is another change that the DualShock 4 would implement in 2013, beaten to the punch by the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller.

mortal kombat fatality controller box back

The back of the box features a profile for Sub Zero and lists the features of the controller. Listed is a “glow function” that I believed would mean there were LEDs or the art was glow in the dark, but they’re just referring to the single lit button on the controller: the analog activator. I guess that means DualShock 2 controllers “glow” too.

The d-pad here is not divided by the frame of the controller like a DualShock, but still features inputs precise enough for 2D fighters. The triangular start and rectangular select that PS2 owners are used to are replaced here with two small ovals. These buttons are clicky plastic like the rest of the controller, unlike the DualShock 2’s start and select made of softer material. You get more of a definitive press with the ovals here, so these are a plus. The analog sticks, usually a problem area for third party controllers, are near identical to a first party controller’s. Even the outer material they’re covered in seems to be the same. I did find them to be rather flat, though. It didn’t give me any problems playing around with a few games from various genres, but I’m not sure I’d be able to play something like Katamari Damacy without my thumbs sliding off a few times. The cord’s connection to the controller is protected by one of those nice, sturdy funnel things (is there even a technical term for these?) and is an adequate length, so no complaints there.

mortal kombat fatality controller sub zero back

8417 out of 40,000 here!

Overall, the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controller is not only something cool to display on your shelf, but a well-made and comfortable substitute for the controller packed in with the PlayStation 2. You can choose to display it with the slick sleeve cover featuring Sub Zero in his Shredder costume he wore in Mortal Kombat: Deception on it (with or without the censor sticker) and have the cold blue controller resting in its housing, or you can proudly play your violent video games with the official controller of MK’s famous ice ninja. It feels very fitting to pop in one of the PS2 Mortal Kombat games and have Sub Zero remove Scorpion’s head with a controller that displays Sub Zero removing Scorpion’s head.  There were 40,000 of each of the six controllers produced, so while not super-limited, these are a cool Mortal Kombat collectible and they feature the number out of the total made that your controller is on the back of the frame. Despite how flashy it may be, there is style and substance with this controller; this isn’t a cheap third-party replacement, but a sturdy, premium device. If you’re looking for another PlayStation 2 controller, I’d definitely recommend any of the Mortal Kombat Fatality Controllers.

mortal kombat fatality controller closeup art


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Written by ChronoSloth


Video game reviewer with a specific love for the fourth and fifth generation of consoles. In an exclusive polygamist relationship with Nintendo and PlayStation. Fluent in Al Bhed and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 combo notation. Follow him on Instagram to see lots of pictures of video games.


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