I released this video earlier in the week (Monday) displaying exactly how I play Gears of War with the Razer Onza Tournament Edition controller. I have been gauging some of the feedback on the Onza and wanted to know what people thought of the controller. As negatives, I have noted that people are:
- Giving the controller 1 day – 2 weeks trial time (not enough time)
- Having durability issues (duly noted)
- Having Slow Turn issues (duly noted)
The first point is just unacceptable to me, as someone that spends a lot of time reviewing products — you just cannot expect to “learn” something new in 1 – 14 days. It took me at minimum 4 weeks before I was comfortable with the controller and another few months before I stopped doing things wrong (i.e. pressing the MFB instead of bumpers). I keep bringing this point up, but for gamers like myself; we have been playing with a Microsoft issued Xbox 360 controller for 5 years — that’s roughly 1825 days. It’s one thing to say you don’t like the “feel” or “design” of the controller, but people are comparing their Kill/Death ratios? Uhhh…what??
Valid issues that I don’t like seeing are in regards to Durability and Slow Turn. I have had my same Onza controller for 5 months without any issues. The one issue I noticed involved adjusting tension on the analog sticks which I mention in my Onza review. That was it, no buttons not working, slow turn or any of the other issues I’ve seen creeping up. In Razer’s defense and I’m sure this is a valid reason for some of those issues; they are rushing to get Onza out to the public. I am hoping to see improvements in the durability department very soon. As far as Slow Turn goes, Razer released a video that explained how to unleash Hyper Sensitivity Mode which should (I haven’t had to use it) alleviate the problem.
I want to let everyone know that this spawned from a healthy debate on YouTube after I read one of my comments on my recent video (above). The conversation is below:
action937: Love you guys to death, liked the vid, but I’m sorry. This is cheating. — Comment Link
Me: cheating, really? How so? You’re not programming a sequence of buttons, like a macro controller. There’s no rapid fire or mods. If Gears of War allowed for a “bumper jumper” controller setting there would be very little difference. I feel like it adds to the game, the controller doesn’t alter the game mechanics like a rapid fire button or as i said map as sequence of buttons (prevalent in fighting games). Elaborate =)
action937: Absolutely. Look no further than 2:20. This allows you to perform actions that are unavailable to someone like me with a regular controller. I am physically unable to perform moves that you can simply because of hardware. I would have to purchase one (cheat) in order to be on equal footing. You have an advantage that I do not. Is is worse than mapping buttons or rapid fire? no. of course not. But I’m not arguing degree. I’m arguing true or false.
Me: You have validity, but where you look at it as “cheating” I look at it from a developer/programming standpoint. I am not changing any of the game mechanics or altering the performance of the game. I am changing my button layout. If Gears of War offered that at the design level, your argument wouldn’t hold water because I would have my “bumper jumper” setting. Fom that standpoint I can’t help but disagree with your viewpoint.
action937: My argument is only be enhanced if they offered that at a design level. Everyone would be on equal ground. And they should. But they don’t. That’s like saying, they should give you the option of having the hammerburst fire more quickly, so I’m just going to use turbo because it should have been in the design docs to begin with. Changing button layout for convenience purposes is different than doing it so you can physically perform moves I can’t. An interesting debate to be sure.
Me: On the contrary, if in fact you learned to “claw” using a MS controller you would have the same user-end affect which is why I don’t in any form see this as cheating. The game mechanics aren’t altered and you mentioned a turbo controller, but a turbo controller alters the game’s mechanics
action937: It’s a fair point. I think we just draw the line in the sand at different points. You draws a line in altering game mechanics. I draw a line in any hardware that gives a competative advantage.
So after our string of comments, I wanted to put together an article with the general consensus from the people that follow our team, my friends in the gaming community, and quite frankly as many people as I possibly on the Onza. Today I hit Twitter and started an Onza discusssion with some of the feedback below.
What has your experience been like with the Razer Onza?
“ @arCtyC I have some slight slow turn on right joystick going left to up. The sticker on the back is peeling off. They are both minor though. ” By Brendon117 on 26-5-2011 19:52:42 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC my left stick gets some "slow turn" type movement... but not very often. Struggled with it in Gears… (cont) http://deck.ly/~PKeAy ” By CVaughan598 on 26-5-2011 22:25:07 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC onza are not cheap, after watching your videos I've decided to by some with the headset. Best combo ever http://yfrog.com/h7ygjqoj ” By Retrokid223 on 27-5-2011 03:11:28 in reply to K.L. Smith
Do you view the controller as an unfair advantage?
“ @arCtyC #Onza Slowturn leftstick (slight) love tac buttons, wish Dpad was same. Unfair, maybe but anything better than MS will be in theory. ” By Icedogg03 on 26-5-2011 21:41:03 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC No but I think it's a pretty average controller with questionable durability and construction. Noticed no advantage in Gears though ” By TanneRain on 27-5-2011 02:34:45 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC Yes the onza provides an unfair advantage in 1 of 3 games HALO REACH , Due to the fact you can Run Jet/Evade and Shoot without hasle ” By DaFaCex on 27-5-2011 02:30:43 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC I pre-order it,got it day1 returned it day2, so if your patience can tolerate it, you put in Time2 learn it,while taking L's...FAIR ” By DeltaDefSquadYo on 27-5-2011 02:34:10 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC It's a neat enough pad, but still just a pad. No turbo or anything. Might add fractions of seconds to some gameplay actions. No big. ” By Vigil80 on 27-5-2011 02:35:57 in reply to K.L. Smith
“ @arCtyC I wouldn't say the #Onza provides an "unfair" advantage. I would say that it provides a slight advantage after getting used to it. ” By LegendaryMarvel on 27-5-2011 17:21:42 in reply to K.L. Smith
My Gears of War Onza Settings
I have my Razer Onza Multi-Function Buttons configured like so:
- Right Multi-Function Button: Remapped to A Button (Sprint, Roll, Cover, Mantle)
- Left Multi-Function Button: Remapped to B Button (Melee)
I am not sure if I will change my LMFB on the retail release of the game, but there is a high probability that I will because the melee is not (currently) used as frequently as either of the previous games. It is also worth noting that I am currently NOT using the adjustable tension on the analog sticks for the inconsistency reasons in my review.
In addition to the Onza + Gears of War pairing, I decided to include a brief tutorial for the quick toss on guided grenades and an alternative shooting style which may improve trigger finger firing rates for semi-automatic weapons. Based on some responses from my video I want to know a few things!
- Top Smash Players Fixed Match, Banned from MLG Finals
- Improving the Integrity of Online Tournaments
- Gears of War Lessons Episode #11: Weapon of Choice (Starting Rifles)
- MLG Gears of War Player's Coalition
- Gears of War Lessons Episode #8: MLG River and Resource Management
- Cliff Bleszinski Interviewed by Major League Gaming
- Epic Games, Gears of War 3, And Major League Gaming
- IGN: Gears of War 3 Gameplay Footage
- Gears of War Lessons Episode #9: How To Wallbounce
- Gears of War 3 Season Pass and Weapon Skins Discussion (Video)