Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Tech Review: Xbox 360 Controller


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 MrNinjaSquirrel

MrNinjaSquirrel

    Emo Blogger

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:19 PM

Check out the original here!And sorry if this is the wrong spot for this, I didn't see anything about posting game hardware reviews.

It started as a dial. It evolved into a joystick. Buttons were added, analog sticks were invented, and the Home button found a place in the center. Video game controllers are one of the single most important aspects to a console. Without one, we couldn't save the princess, kill the aliens, win the tournament; decide our destiny. They allow us to interact in a way no other medium can offer, and give us the control and precision to conquer any task. But not all controllers are created equal. The world is littered with the remains of failed ideas concepts. But there are some that shine through, that become the template others are based on, and that live on for years to come. I'll be taking a look at as many controllers as I can get my hands on, to find the ones that succeed, and those that fail. First on trial: Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller, the current favorite of the generation.

Ergonomics
The 360 controller is very comfortable to hold. It has good weight to it, and is feels high quality all over. The buttons and sticks are easy to get to, and the triggers conform nicely to your fingers. The only problem I can see people having with the way the controller feels is that it is rather large. Though not nearly as big as the original Xbox controller, it definitely is a bit of a struggle for those with smaller hands. For me personally, it fits just right, but it is something to consider for those looking to pick there controller of choice.


Ascetics
This is one nice looking controller! The contrast between the colored buttons and the white or black plastic is a thing of beauty. I definitely prefer the black one over the older white model though. The white model had a tendency to collect stains, and the gray sticks don't look nearly as appealing as the all black model. The black model on the other hand is immediately iconic, and really makes you want to pick it up and play with it. The menu button in the middle is reflective and really captures the image of the 360.

Control
The controller features a traditional 2-stick and D-pad approach Like the original Xbox, the sticks are offset each other, and this works well for most games. The sticks have an extremely small deadzone, making them very precise. The resistance is a bit more than other controllers, but I personally find it allows for more accurate refinements to things such as driving or lining up a headshot. The D-pad though is absolutely horrid. It's all one giant disc, and makes intricate movements near impossible. Hitting left or right will often cause you to go up or down as well, and this can really be a problem in games like Pac-Man, Super Meat Boy, other arcade games. This is easily the biggest downfall of the controller, and one that Microsoft has still failed to completely fix.

Buttons and Triggers
The face buttons are really nice. Immediately distinguishable due to their bright color, they have a nice click to them, but without feeling to hard. One feature they do lack though is being analog. This allows the controller to change behavior based on a hard or light press, used extensively in games like Metal Gear Solid. It's not a huge loss, as this is rarely used on controllers that offer it, but for games that do it's a big annoyance. The triggers are probably the best I've ever used. They are in fact analog, and have the perfect amount of resistance. This is most useful in racing games, allowing you to slow down and speed up gradually. I'm not as big a fan of the two bumpers, but this is mostly do to them having an annoying click. I think this varies from controller to controller though, so it's more a manufacturing problem than a design problem.

Special Features

The most significant feature that the 360 controller has that others don't, is a headphone jack on the top. This makes plugging in a headset so easy that anyone can get talking online (though this isn't always a good thing). You don't have to fuss with long chords, or setting up a wireless headset, simply plug and play. The controller also comes in a wireless model, and it works flawlessly. I never once had a disconnect or lag, and this is a huge step up from wireless controllers of the past. I do wish it came with a rechargeable battery, but these can be purchased separately for those that need them. On two AA batteries I got a ton of playtime, and have only had to swap batteries twice in five months.

Verdict
When it comes down to it, I absolutely love the 360 controller. It feels great to play with, the sticks are tight and accurate, and the triggers are a joy to use! If it wasn't for the D-Pad it would be practically perfect. I really hope that Microsoft gets this right when the next Xbox drops. It's the one glaring flaw in their plan, and is really a problem for platformers and arcade games that are much better using the traditional control. But for everything else, it's hard not to love the controller. It's one of my all time favorite video game controllers, and one that I can't help but highly recommend!

Final Opinion: 9/10 Incredible!

Note, this review is of the stock 360 controller. It does not represent any third party controllers, or Microsoft's own controller featuring the revolving D-Pad.

Hey, you look like you have a lot of money; how about donating some of it to my Extra Life drive?


#2 dualedge2

dualedge2

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

I really enjoyed your review and I'm glad you said something about the D-pad. It is, by far, the WORST D-pad I've ever had the displeasure of using.

However, I'd like to add some other things that I've begun to hate about the controller. The first is whatever substance the analogue sticks are made out of. For some reason, it feels cheap and the material rubs off very easily. Not only that, but after a short period of time, the stick slips out from under the thumb easily. On my own controller, the material dented, so my left analogue stick looks like this "D" rather than a circle. My second gripe is with the internals. Whenever the battery is getting low on juice (usually at two bars out of four (50%) and NOT low), the Xbox symbol starts blinking like crazy and all it really does is chew through more juice killing the batteries even faster.

Overall, my favorite controller of this generation, but still heavily flawed. 7/10
Fight for the Lost

#3 MrNinjaSquirrel

MrNinjaSquirrel

    Emo Blogger

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

I really enjoyed your review and I'm glad you said something about the D-pad. It is, by far, the WORST D-pad I've ever had the displeasure of using.

However, I'd like to add some other things that I've begun to hate about the controller. The first is whatever substance the analogue sticks are made out of. For some reason, it feels cheap and the material rubs off very easily. Not only that, but after a short period of time, the stick slips out from under the thumb easily. On my own controller, the material dented, so my left analogue stick looks like this "D" rather than a circle. My second gripe is with the internals. Whenever the battery is getting low on juice (usually at two bars out of four (50%) and NOT low), the Xbox symbol starts blinking like crazy and all it really does is chew through more juice killing the batteries even faster.

Overall, my favorite controller of this generation, but still heavily flawed. 7/10


Thanks for reading it, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I suppose I didn't take durability into account, as I've only had my 360 5 or so months and haven't experienced any problems with the rubber peeling. I do find the lights annoying, but just consider it part of the controllers design, and isn't really a huge deal to me.

I guess on further review I'd probably go with a 8.5, but I dont like to change a score after publishing, and still think this is one of the best controllers out there:)

#4 PenguinMaster

PenguinMaster

    Sacrilicious

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:27 PM

You're a bit late in writing this review, but it was well written.

I personally don't expect anyone to ever make a better controller than the 360 controller. I like it so much that I'm using it right now to browse the internet on my PC. All the extra features in other controllers are ones that I think games are better off without (motion control, touchpad, analog face buttons) plus I prefer using rechargeable AA batteries to a built in rechargeable battery. I really hope Microsoft doesn't ruin the next generation controller but I expect it to have at least some of the bad features I mentioned.

I'm curious: have you played Metal Gear Solid HD collection on 360? I think it plays better without analog face buttons, you just click the left stick to raise or lower your gun. On the PS2 & PS3 versions I frequently fired off a shot when trying to aim the assault rifle or lower my pistol.

Digital distribution is the death of the preservation of the arts.

 

Game Collection: http://backloggery.c...r=penguinmaster
Blu-ray Collection: http://www.blu-ray.c...action=overview


#5 MrNinjaSquirrel

MrNinjaSquirrel

    Emo Blogger

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:36 PM

You're a bit late in writing this review, but it was well written.

I personally don't expect anyone to ever make a better controller than the 360 controller. I like it so much that I'm using it right now to browse the internet on my PC. All the extra features in other controllers are ones that I think games are better off without (motion control, touchpad, analog face buttons) plus I prefer using rechargeable AA batteries to a built in rechargeable battery. I really hope Microsoft doesn't ruin the next generation controller but I expect it to have at least some of the bad features I mentioned.

I'm curious: have you played Metal Gear Solid HD collection on 360? I think it plays better without analog face buttons, you just click the left stick to raise or lower your gun. On the PS2 & PS3 versions I frequently fired off a shot when trying to aim the assault rifle or lower my pistol.


Personally I'm not to concerned about the timelyness of my reviews, as I rarely am able to get games/hardware close to release, and really just do it as a hobby. I haven't played it myself, but I've read a lot of comments of people dismayed to find out it doesn't work like it used to. I don't think it's a big problem, but it just seems like something some people expected that never panned out. I was never adept enough at the controls to pull off most of the special moves (CQC in MGS4 was completely impossible for me), but that is more part of the game than the controller.

I do love the fact it's supported in so many PC games and applications, I suppose that was something I forgot to mention.

Hey, you look like you have a lot of money; how about donating some of it to my Extra Life drive?


#6 dualedge2

dualedge2

    CAGiversary!

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:30 AM

Since you've done a review for the Wii Classic Controller Pro and the Xbox 360 controller, will you do one for the PS3 controller? Without a doubt, my least favorite controller of this generation.
Fight for the Lost

#7 MrNinjaSquirrel

MrNinjaSquirrel

    Emo Blogger

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:50 AM

Since you've done a review for the Wii Classic Controller Pro and the Xbox 360 controller, will you do one for the PS3 controller? Without a doubt, my least favorite controller of this generation.


Yeah, I'm planning on getting to it. I like the Dualshock 3 alright, but I agree. I think it was actually a step back from the DS2 (which is more or less the perfect controller IMO).

Hey, you look like you have a lot of money; how about donating some of it to my Extra Life drive?