By HumanityPlague 3 Comments
Well, since I won the press case from PDP/Candace, I figured I should give something back. So, here's my review on it:
The case itself: I love the case/stuff inside. The case is solidly built, and looks great. Like an old record case from the 70's. Strong enough to withstand some heavy bombardment. The controls/electronics fit well. It'd be great actually if the case was sold separately, as it'd be perfect for holding about 25 games in it. All pics are using my iPod camera (so deal with it):
Outside of case:
Inside of case:
The circuit board inside the case is simple, but interesting. It's just a basic board, that connects power to the PS3/360/Wii-chuk. The Wiimote doesn't get power, because it needs a battery (and a Wii to keep it on...more on that later) The switch is a pressure switch that is pressed when the lid is down. Here's a picture of the switch, and of the circuitry inside (I was curious on it)
And a few of the circuitry itself (top, bottom, and side, in that order)
4 C batteries powers the case/controllers.
Bottom of the circuit board (and the two keys for the case)
And here's the side of the board (where everything plugs into it):
USB, USB, and funky Nintendo one.
So, for the case/stuff inside, I'd give it a 5 out of 5. My only complaint is the keys didn't seem to work. They didn't fit well, and when I did get them in, they didn't lock the case. But, that's a moot point, because I could envision a scenario where you lock it, loose the keys, and then end up screwed. So, the case is great, as are all the lights.
Anyways, onto the controllers. I'll start with the one I was actually able to use, and go from there.
Here's a picture of the controller itself:
Overall, the controller works fine. The build quality is decent, feels good, lights up BRIGHT (these were taken in the day, so it's a bit moot). It feels about the same as a normal wired 360 controller. Considering I think the 360 controller is the default pad for this generation, it's great. The only downside is, it took about 5 minutes of work to get it to work with my PC. I plugged it in, and Windows identified it as an "Afterglow Xbox 360 Gamepad", but didn't have a driver for it. After a mintue of Googling, I found a site with a driver walkthrough (download the new Xinput drivers from MS, and select the Xbox 360 controller driver profile in Device Manager). Once I did that, it worked fine, in Burnout Paradise, Fallout: New Vegas, and Darksiders. The games auto-changed to the 360 control scheme, without a hitch. It DOES do something interesting though, more than the Wired pad. When you press the Guide button, a little notification pops up asking you for help. You can see the status of the controller, change buttons, etc. The normal wired pad doesn't do this (or at least the driver to which it's assigned doesn't), so that's cool in my book. So, 5 out of 5, in my book.
The Wii controller:
And the Wiichuk (or whatever it's called):
So, the bad thing: I don't have a Wii. So, I wasn't able to try these out that much (compared to the 360 pad). I did try and hack the Wiimote into the NES emulator on my iPod, but it wouldn't connect. It connected with the Wiimote app, so I think the emulator was at fault, not the controller. The Wiimote itself is decent, with diagonal buttons for the A and B, kind of like a SNES pad. The Wiimote, and the Nunchuk felt fine, with the Nunchuk having an expandable cord. Once you expand it, you can press a small button, and it retracts. It's a neat idea, and good feature. My only worry is, the cord seems very thin (thinner than the normal ones), so I'm not sure if it's more fragile or not. Also, the Plus/Minus buttons are in kind of an odd spot. And the controller itself is a bit hard to use, because of the case. So things like battery placement, button names, can leave you fumbling around at the start. So, I'll give this a 4 out of 5, just because I didn't spend much time with it, but it seemed complimentary with the normal Nintendo ones.
The PS3 controller:
Well, like the Wiimote, I don't have a PS3. I did look up a way to use it on my PC (like the 360 pad), but didn't come up with much. There IS a way to connect it, but it involves rebooting into safe mode, and using some Chinese driver to get it to even show up in Win7, so it's not worth the trouble. The controller felt good, and seemed of comparable quality to the other controllers. The only thing I'll note is, the R2/L2 buttons. On a normal Sony controller, they are the worst part. The reason why the triggers on the 360 controller work is because they have a bit of resistance when you use them. The normal Sony ones don't. These have a bit, but are still modeled after the PS3 stuff. So, it's a step in the right direction, but really, just stick the 360 triggers on, and it'll be cool. So, I'll also give this a 4 out of 5.
Well, that's about it for this. The PDP controllers are a good alternative to the normal ones. While a bit cheaper, they don't suffer for quality, and do have a few unique features to offer on their own.