eXtremeRate Shell Kits

Thanks to eXtremeRate for providing the materials for this article.

eXtremeRate was kind enough to provide two items for this review:

  • Complete SNES Joycon and Console Shell Kit
  • Complete SNES Pro Controller Kit

    As you’ll see below, the results were fantastic for retro-gaming fans such as me.

Initial impressions

Although I forgot to photograph the packaging for these, rest assured that they come well boxed. Each kit came with the appropriate screwdrivers, screws, and components to give these much-used devices a fresh face. It was clear from the outset that these were to be faithful reproductions of the SNES.

Although I always use the original screws, it was comforting to know that if I did manage to strip or lose one I would already have a replacement on hand. The deep thought put into packaging was clear. When I opened the box, there were no screws or pieces which fell out.

The Pro Controller Kit

I had the controller apart and re-shelled in just 10 minutes here. If that doesn’t speak for the ease of install, very little will. The soft-touch finish was a welcome addition, providing the slightest of increased bulk, while dramatically improving comfort over the original black plastics.

The buttons were subtly engraved and vibrantly coloured, as well as a genuine colour match for the original console.

Everything fits together properly here with only one exception. The two sheaths (as I call them) needed trimming to allow them to slide into place. This was probably a result of moulding and caused only a minor inconvenience.

The screw holes being bare both pleases and concerns me. On the positive, all of the screws fell into place and bit well, holding the controller together securely. However, it was abundantly clear that a crossed-thread could well tear the screw posts from the part, be careful!

The Joycon and Shell Kits

Joycon customization can definitely be daunting because of the fragile ribbon connectors and components. When switching shells, keep a solid guide to hand regardless of experience.

eXtremeRate are obviously fans of the design themselves. The craftsmanship is evident throughout this kit as well. There’s not much I can say here, without repeating my sentiments from the Pro Controller segment above.

I had already purchased the D-pad kit, and I honestly can’t rate it highly enough. Colourful D-Pad buttons are nice to look at, but adding a fully functional D-Pad fixed a major oversight by Nintendo in the first place.

The rear shell kit was intuitive to install as well and really brought the whole kit together. The backs of the joycons almost created an optical illusion that the original console was in front of me.

Quality

These were fantastically designed kits, but not without their issues. On the pro controller, I had to trim material and on the backplate there’s a bare patch of paint. As this fault was internal, it had no real consequences. The screw posts were strong throughout, but I did worry about tearing one off with an errant screw. Overall these have a distinctly premium feel, which cannot be said for cheaper Chinese imports.

0
Summary
Both kits were incredibly well designed, with fantastic attention to detail in recreating the aesthetic of the SNES. There were a couple of minor flaws which stricter quality control would catch, but even Nintendo hit a foul ball occasionally. Both kits were incredibly simple to install when following the correct processes, and this is testament to both eXtremeRate and Nintendo's original design. Overall, at just over $20 per kit, these are a fantastic buy, and when combined with other items they offer, eXtremeRate have really done the modification market justice here.
Good
  • Perfect (to me) colour matching
  • Soft touch coating
  • Easy installation
  • Great price point
Bad
  • Minor quality issues
  • Joycon Kit does not alter the SL and SR button colour
9.1
Amazing
Physical Design - 9
Ease of Installation - 10
Quality Control - 8
Overall Value - 9.5
Written by
Hello Spoony Bards! I’m Chris, a father of three from Sussex in the UK. I’ve been gaming ever since I was able to hold a controller, be it portable or handheld! From blockbuster AAA experiences, to Indie one-person efforts, if it has an element I like, I’ll give it a go. My specialisms lie in RPGs, Survival Horror, and Puzzle games; with Silent Hill, Resident Evil, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania and Final Fantasy being amongst my favourites! Happy trails!

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