The lights are on
OMG! Level 15! - Level 15
For all the
MadCatz, Pelican and GENERIC
controllers I've sampled over the years, I have never found one that
made any real steps forward. Nothing worth spending even half the
price of a 1st party controller for.
I'm not sure of the
coverage this device has gotten on Game Informer up to this point, but I
picked up on the Razer
Onza browsing a CES 2010 wrap-up site early last month. Check out
this video from
to see some of the features hands on (2:27-4:26).
Take a look at the
finish on the controller. You know that powder smooth
finish all the Razer mice have? Oh yeah, that's the good stuff right
magical finish is somehow able to decrease sweaty-hand syndrome (and
crude that it inevitably leaves behind), and maintain the perfect level
appear to be elongated, which means more travel
distance, resulting in more deliberate and precise movements. See KontrolFreek.
The D-pad certainly
looks different. It's obvious to see the
independent buttons for each direction. One wonders why this sort of
wasn't done sooner. No more accidental diagonal presses.
Do I see two
sets of bumpers? The Back and Start buttons have
been moved too! More on that later.
Let's get it out of
the way; everyone says the exact same thing, "Wired?
PASS." When I play any game that requires twitch reflexes (pretty
anything outside of navigating menus and turn based games these days), I
sitting forward at the end of my bed, about 5-6 feet from the screen.
controller stays firmly planted, and through-traffic is not an issue.
me personally - a wire is nothing but saved batteries. The only time
be a bad thing is during high attendance LAN parties in a small venue.
Hopefully the people you play with are courteous enough to watch their
not sure the supposed decrease in input lag from a hard-line is worth
mentioning. I've never felt cheated by the wireless controllers of this
generation… but who knows; maybe I’ll be able to make those microsecond
reaction shots some guys manage to make against me.
joystick tension… O-M-G. I have dreamt of this option on
controllers for years, and it's finally come. I'm sure I'm not the only
occasionally get over enthusiastic when making snap aiming adjustments.
surprised by an enemy and try to quickly respond, but end up passing
over your target… In high stakes
multiplayer, that's likely to be a death sentence.
Even outside of
competitive gaming, this level of precision is something we
could all use. Mass Effect 2 - Besides the need to score
about every time you have your action wheel up and make a quick move to
ability but miss it by a hair and activate the wrong one? Not a big deal
still a minor annoyance that this sort of thing could correct. How about
Creed 2? The architecture makes for environments that have more than
a few directions to string your free-runs. I have inadvertently run
of roofs at just the wrong
angle more than a few times. End up missing my mark, resulting in heavy
and usually a very sticky escape situation.
having actual separate buttons
each direction just makes sense. The first 8 way D-Pad I remember was on
Sega Genesis, in the time before analog joysticks became a staple for
console controllers. At
that time it made sense, to give you a better sense of control in "3D"
– to work as a joystick now does. But what is the D pad used for in the
generation? 95% of the time it’s for a single action – squad behavior
inventory selection. Most games only utilize the 4 directions, but for
that also use diagonals – it’s certainly no problem to press two with
thumb. Even beyond that, it just looks beautiful. Very aesthetically
Next, we've got the
multi-function buttons. Most have seen this sort
of thing before, the recent MadCatz
controller being one example. However, unlike those before it, the
Onza actually appears to be
off to a good start! With sensible natural button placement – right
existing bumpers and triggers - for someone like myself who uses a
1-finger trigger control method
(index sits on triggers, and moves up to hit bumpers as needed), this
like just a better utilization of space... and certainly makes more
sense than tapping your ring finger on the back of the controller.
Reload, change stance, weapon swap,
jump - whatever you prefer - without the need to move your right thumb
from aiming to mashing a face button.
difference in the button
placement, overall shape, and finish
all appear to be good in theory as well. It’s tough to comment on these
of things without getting the controller in your hands though, so I’ll
– judging by Razer’s superior engineering on their computer mice, and
I see in the photos, I’m stoked. The illuminated edges are certainly
pretty as well - hopefully they won't be too bright.
what do you think? Do any ideas jump to mind when
you think of the
joystick tension or bumper style MFB?
thinking of MW2 (as if it wasn't obvious) when considering the
for this controller. Mapping B to the
left MFB and X to the right one should help me maintain control of my
going prone, and make for easier/safer looting of care packages. A
higher tension on the left stick for more deliberate creeping movements
good, but an ultra tight right stick sounds even better. The smoother
and seemingly slightly larger size of the controller should make for a
comfortable experience. Heck, maybe I won’t have to hear squeaky
either! (3 out of 4 of my 1st party controllers have this
Blog originally published 02/02/10. Re-released 07/21/10 to coincide
with the mention of this device in the August issue of Game Informer.