Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Not as good as the other reviews suggest.
on December 23, 2011
So let's begin with the pros, and some of these may have been mentioned by others:
Inexpensive, non-shoddy construction. The analog sticks have a great "click" when pressed, and the face buttons have a distinct depressed feel. Also, I am a big fan of the very long cable, too. The analog sticks snap straight back to the center upon release. The resistance of my two sticks are slightly different, but it's near negligible. I haven't installed the proper drivers to ever try out the vibration, so I can't vouch for it here (or knock it).
So all of what I said sounds good thus far, and that's basically everything one really needs in a controller, right? Not so fast. Here are the problems:
1) The shoulder buttons. All of them. These shoulder buttons do function, but boy are they loose, particularly the L2 and R2 ones. You can wobble those things all around while they're depressed, and if you get a bad angle or an infirm grip then you're likely to release the shoulder button without ever actually letting go of it. This might not be so bad if you only ever have to tap those buttons (though you could still miss that input), but holding down the triggers with extra-extra force just to make sure you don't let go is a flaw here.
2) The D-Pad. The D-Pad, fortunately, is comfortable in the sense that it doesn't have unnecessary ridges or anything like that. But this thing's even more imprecise than the shoulder buttons. Again, if you're doing some tapping around through menus or if you're just holding forward to run through a stage in a Mario game it's not gonna be a problem. If you ever try to do something more precise (e.g. fighting games) you will more likely fuddle your inputs than not. The D-Pad can rock back and forth, but not extremely well. The whole thing can slightly depress like an SNES controller, but it just doesn't do it as well an SNES controller.
3) The Analog Sticks. Yeah, I praised them earlier, but they're actually a mixed blessing. The problem with these is that they travel a bit too far in the opposite direction after being released. Again, I never downloaded the official drivers (and never will, so don't bug me about it). Perhaps the sensitivity /can/ be adjusted from those, but if not this criticism is equally valid for that case. This, once again, sort of matters more for the type of game in question. If your game only ever adjusts the camera angle via the sticks, you're not about to notice a problem here. If your game selects items via the stick, however, it's pretty annoying to have this going on.
4) The handles are overly long. I have fairly large hands, so they can reach quite nicely on any controller (even those old xbox ones. Sucked for people with small hands, though. Ha!) The length of the handles wouldn't be a problem for this controller if the shoulder buttons were better, so this issue is only an issue as a result of point 1). Why's this a problem? Because it puts your fingers in a less comfortable position to properly press those shoulder buttons down. Again, it's just more tiring for any segments that require long holding of the shoulder buttons.
I guess that's about it. Some might think I'm nitpicking here, but I'm really not. These aren't wild end cases, but things that affect my standard use on some not so uncommon games. The controller hasn't shown much sign of wear in the past month, and it does function completely correctly in the technical sense. I had no problem just plugging it into several Windows 7 computers, which found and automatically installed generic drivers. And my first paragraph of praises are things I indeed LIKE about this controller. It was a near bullseye, but unfortunately my gamepad solution will lie elsewhere.
UPDATE: It seems like the price of this bad boy is up to $40. I didn't change the star value of my review, but the arguably best selling point, price, is no longer in this particular controller's favor.