Thanks to Keith Wong for the following review of the FPS master controller! We at Llamma look forward to seeing his coming tutorial of the mods he's done. Take a controller of average quality and make it just as excellent as the idea of your thumbs never leaving the thumbsticks to click a button!
RADICA/GAMESTER FPS MASTER CONTROLLER
REVIEW and MODIFICATION TUTORIAL:
By: Keith Wong (creator of the modified FPS; v2.1)
THE MOD: WILL SHOW HOW TO FIX ALL *IMPORTANT FLAWS, AND MAKE THIS THE BEST CONTROLLER FOR FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS, EVER.
We will begin with the REVIEW
IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR DO NOT TRUST THE REVIEWS YOU HAVE READ, HERE IS AN HONEST ONE. I also strongly suggest you check the reviews on the EBGames website where other people who have bought and used this controller have left reviews. This will give you a background history of actual people and their problems, and you can understand why and what problems I am addressing in this two part Review and Modification Tutorial.
WHEN JUDGING THE AUTHENTICITY OF A REVIEW POSTED BY SOMEONE::
a) Listen to the people who have BOUGHT IT and PLAYED with it, NOT the people with just and opinion and have NOT even tried the actual thing.
b) A lot of the problems mentioned in EBGames customer reviews, and website reviews are for the most part TRUE. But the benefits are also TRUE.
I bought this controller basically for Halo, and the First Person Shooter style games. My friends are incredibly good, and usually score better than I do in multiplayer. In terms of capturing the flag and amount of flag grabs, I usually lead, but my amount of kills/frags is almost always the lowest. Looking to get an advantage on my pitfall, I looked around for available controllers. My friends prefer the air fan controllers, and I was going to get one and then I saw this controller. I did my homework, searched for product reviews, but so many were just commercial advertisement like reviews with not a lot of information about the negatives. Why is why I suggest reading those customer reviews. I read all the positive and negative reviews of this. Still I decided this controller was worth checking out. So I went to EB to check it out, the clerks didn't say too much about it, other than some people didn't like it. A next gamer, maybe 10yrs older than me saw me asking about the controller and asked about a PlayStation version. The clerk didnít know and I directed the gamer to the shelf where there was a blue one. He picked it up, liked the button placement, but decided the price was too high, to try something like this which may be a fad or gimmick. The price tag was high, for the XBOX version but having some cash burning a hole in my pocket, dying to be spent right then and there, I still bought it. If I had listened to the negative reviewers and their comments on the quality, I have to AGREE. This controller is definitely NOT WORTH THE PRICE for the quality and I did feel kind of ripped off. Especially after noticing a difference with the aiming, which I will explain later.
Another point to mention about those reviewers who say they have held it in store, you CANíT get a FEEL for the thumbsticks without BUYING one and TAKING it OUT of the plastic packaging. Solely because of this, I disregard any reviews of someone who has just gone to the store and held it and imagined what it would be like and has not purchased it to actually try it.
Other reviews also contain good opinions and information on this controller that I have opted not to take the time to repeat. This review is based on the understanding that you already have read some reviews and have a general knowledge about this product.
NEGATIVE CONCERNS TO ADDRESS:
- The D button is in a horrible place as some reviewers note. (As I play Halo, it hasnít bothered me too much yet, as I use the thumbsticks, but it could and might be a problem on some other games. This issue is not too important to me and I do not fix it in my modification tutorial.
- Another thing about everyone saying that this feels cheap in your hand, it is true, it feels like a cheap 3rd party controller. The molded plastic seems like a weaker/cheaper quality, and not of the high density, high strength abs type plastic that the MicroSoft Brand controllers have. The controller flexes when you exert pressure on it to try and bend or break it. But in defense, almost every third party controller you can buy has a cheaper feel than the MicroSoft brand. Maybe itís the grained texture, vs the smooth 3rd party plastic, who knows. This issue is not fixed or addressed in my modification as I do not have the resources to design/remake a frame/body. I am using the cheap plastic body supplied, and although the body will have to be altered in order to fit the new parts, I do not replace the whole thing. I wish I could though, (so any gaming hardware companies, feel free to get a hold of me if you need help designing what the real players want).
- Some people say the feel of this controller is uncomfortable or strange to hold. After playing with any controller for a long period of time, any other shape will feel weird though. It takes time to adjust to a new controller after using only one shape for so long. You must adapt, although there will be exceptions and some people will dislike the way you have to hold this or the size enough to stick to another controller. I do not modify the outer shape or feel of the controller in my modification, so if you have held this controller and absolutely cannot stand it, stop wasting your time and read no further. This is not the controller for you.
- The bottom buttons AXBY people say stick or do not react correctly. Because of the nature of the button (and I can explain this since I have taken my controller apart) there are two contact points for each button. Since there are four buttons, that makes eight electrical contacts which activate when the button is depressed. Since you can press either front or the back contact on any button depending on whether you have a tight grip or a loose one, you donít have to press both. Some people just think you do, and the see-saw action of the button may seem loose or sticky to some people who donít understand the mechanics of the switch.
An issue that I did not find in any review, but found an issue on ANY aftermarket controller was that the rubber on the thumbsticks can wear easily and even split/crack. The FPS controller is also susceptible to this. I havenít heard of any long term reviews posted anywhere, so this is a review of a controller used over a four month time period to date. For the record and to my anger and irritation, the controllers thumbstick rubber surface broke in 89 days. This controller does not seem designed to last long, although the concept and idea are great.
The quality of the thumbstick switches is also very poor and an obvious lesser quality than the Xbox brand controller. I'm not sure how it compares to ALL 3rd party controllers, but it definitely ranks near the low end or the worse. What I mean by this is the scroll speed movement, dead zones, and looseness in the thumbsticks. This can be described as sensitivity, but it is better explained in my tutorial. For shooting, this means it is harder to keep your sight on the target, and you WILL have LOWER accuracy because of this. It is not just a question of sensitivity speed in the difference of controllers, thee is an actual difference in the distance of which you move the thumbstick and the reaction that happens.
On a normal Xbox controller, the sensitivity is quite equal through the whole range of movement of the thumbstick. Only when you go right to the edges, does it begin to scroll or move a little faster. The negative of the FPS controller thumbstick is that there is a ľ of the range of movement from dead center which is dead space. That means when you mean to make slight adjustments, nothing happens in the first ľ range of movement. There is no sensitivity, this area is DEAD. Then when you go a little past ľ ways, the movement is slow and steady like the every other thumbstick, but then there is a VERY sharp curve to where it speeds up VERY fast and jogs quicker. The area on the FPS thumbstick of where there is steady movement is very small. It is trapped by a big ring of movement that is very speedy and zippy, which is horrible for aiming, and then also surrounds a dead centre where nothing happens in this range of movement. As well, it does seem to jog faster, the farther you are from the center. So slightly out of center, it will move slow, but if you jerk your thumbstick quickly, in reaction to an enemy or other players movement, it will jog super fast, causing a MAJOR loss in accuracy.
To bring this to a concluding sentence, this controller probably has the worst accuracy and aiming than any other on the market. I cannot recommend this stock controller to anyone who values their number of kills or shooting accuracy. You will be annoyed.
Now the big kicker:
Why would I want to modify a piece of junk, worst quality body/frame materials, and even worse quality thumbstick hardware that is expensive and overpriced, and even I admit that I was wrong to pay this much for?
This controller is the BEST for button placement, there is no contest here.. For games where you use one stick for movement, and one to move around, and those combined give you a 360 degree multi directional sight and movement, it is required to use both thumbsticks to walk and aim correctly. EVERY other controllers most NEGATIVE issue is that you have to remove your right thumb from the Ďlookingí thumbstick in order to access your action buttons ( A , B , X , Y )
For the fact I can always be aiming and looking where I am going without taking my hands off for the A X B Y buttons is a great feeling to not have to fumble for buttons as well, the other fingers you use to operate the A X B Y buttons quickly become accustomed to being used and become fast and reflex like in tight situations.
Another issue to bring up is, most gamers are hybrid gamers crossing from pcs to platforms. Many of these gamers prefer programmable buttons on their keyboard and mouse set up. Many people even think a mouse and keyboard would be best for these types of games, because of the control you can have with aiming with a mouse. But think about it. They donít take their hand off their sighting tool (mouse), their other hand toggles keys on the keyboard. The FPS master is a platform gamers dream of having a ďmouse and keyboardĒ. You do not have to take your hand off your sighting tool (thumbstick) and your other fingers toggle your other actions.
Even to compare a keyboard to the FPS controller, the keyboard hand usually has to jump around to access the different keys assigned to different actions. This movement slows reaction time. On the FPS controller, your hands are resting naturally on ALL the action buttons, except for the white and black buttons which are not used as much, but are still close by. As well, each button on the FPS is programmable to be assigned any action you want, making this a very versatile controller for picky people.
THE DEBATE FOR YOU WHETHER pushing your AXBY buttons almost instantly like a reflex is a benefit enough to you to sacrifice your accuracy in aiming and life/quality of the controller. For some people it is, for some it isnít.
My review ends like this, this controller isnít worth the money for the quality of the plastic body which holds the guts together, and also the quality of the guts arenít good as well. There are physical and technical problems to address and many of them. To let you know, this is a two part series of how I modified this controller to be the best controller ever, but
IF YOU PLAN TO KEEP THIS CONTROLLER STOCK OUT OF THE BOX, OR IF YOU ARENíT INTO TAKING THINGS APART AND BREAKING THEM (I MEAN FIXING), THEN I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS CONTROLLER TO THE HARDCORE GAMER.
This is a crappy controller for quality to begin with. This controller will be HORRIBLE left in STOCK condition. I put a hell of a lot of time and effort to get this working right, and it included a lot of irritation, frustration, anger, time consumption, swearing and throwing things.
But if you are are familiar with electronics, circuit boards, using power tools, shaping plastic, soldering, are have tinkering abilities, this MIGHT be the controller for you. This is not a beginner, novice or intermediate modification like just adding resistors and LEDs. This is a very time consuming and labor intensive modification for the advanced or experts.
I CAN ONLY RECOMMEND THIS CONTROLLER IF YOU ARE GOING TO MODIFY IT LIKE I DID
(On a Scale Rating from 1 to 10)
Performance: 6 (AXBY placement is an added benefit, but the cheaper quality internal parts and hardware ruin perfect 10 down to a 6)
Accuracy: 2 ( I fix this problem in my mod )
Quality: 3 (poor body construction, poor inner electronics/mechanical hardware)
Feel: 5 (at first), 8.5 (after 3 months of use)
Features: 10 (Program your own buttons, invert games that donít allow that option)
Product Durability: 3 (Thumbstick rubber pad wearing before 90 days of use)
End result: 5.4 / 10
PART 2 Ė The Modification Tutorial will explain how to make this a 10/10. (COMING SOON!)