Most helpful critical review
96 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Very slight improvement, but still not good
on November 17, 2010
OK, when I first heard about this controller the first thing I said was about time!!! I am one of the very few people that prefer the PS3 controller, mainly due to the D-Pad. But for shooters the 360 controller cant be beat. But since day one the 360 has had that horrible D-Pad. So obviously when I heard about the new transforming D-Pad I had high hopes.
The main reason (if not the only reason) I bought this was for Fallout New Vegas. If you are familiar with it or Fallout 3 you know that you can "hot key" your weapons, etc to the D-Pad. Well because of how bad the original D-Pad was I would only use up, down, left, and right. If you tried to use ANY of the diagonal keys you would end up in BAD situations pulling the wrong weapon as a Deathclaw is storming at you and you really need your missile launcher, and you accidentally pull out a pistol.
In New Vegas up is already designated as your "change ammo type", so that leaves only 3 other reliable slots. So when I heard about this new controller and its "improved" D-Pad I thought awesome finally I can hot key more weapons, and not always have to open my pip boy to get to the right weapon. Well, I ordered it, and paid for one day shipping which was only 9.98, and the controller itself was only 51.99, even thought it retails everywhere else for 64.99.
So it came yesterday (ironically while I was playing New Vegas), so I decided to test it out. I hot keyed 7 weapons, and tried to use the D-Pad to pull out the right weapon. I tried it with just the plus (+), and then with the whole disc, and strangely it worked better for the diagonal presses when it was in the plus (+) formation then it did as the disc. And the results are overall just barely better. It still would pull out the wrong weapon about 1 out of every 3 times, when it use to be like 2 out of 3.
Another great test is to open up a message on your 360, and try to navigate the qwerty keyboard with the D-Pad only. You'll see how bad the D-Pad is, and that it is CONSTANTLY moving up when you press left, down when you press right, etc. Now if it were up to me, and I was a controller designer the perfect D-Pad would be a cross between the 360, and PS3 D-Pads. It would have separated up, down, left, and right like the PS3, but instead of a disc shape for the diagonal, it would have independent sections for diagonal. So that you would be able to properly press the direction you are intending. Ill try to insert a drawing of what I mean if I can.
But anyway to sum up the review I would say, unless you really need the plus shaped D-Pad for a game, then its not worth it. The new color scheme is kinda cool, but if you rely on the button colors for a game like Fable 3, then this ones not for you. The buttons are white, black, and grey now. I watched an interview with the main designer of XBOX equipment about this controller, and he mentioned several times that the improvements would help with fighting games, and maybe they have. I cant comment on that since I dont play fighting games. But for me, it wasn't worth it.
Ok, after using this for a couple weeks I felt I should update the review. I guess by using it for awhile it loosened up a little. Because now it works perfect. I can use all 8 directions in both modes. (plus and circle). And it works right now. I can pick the correct weapons that Im trying to. But when I try to use it for messaging its still constantly going diagonal when I need down, etc. So depending on what your using it for give it a chance. And just know that after a few days/ weeks (depending on how much you use it) it will get better with time. MUCH better that the original.