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Anyone have the Radica FPS Master Xbox controller?


MastaRedSnappa
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When I was in Best Buy the other day, I say a new Xbox controller from Radica called the FPS Master. In case you haven't seen it, the controller kind of looks like two handguns stuck together with the two analog sticks placed symetrically on the controller (not diagonally as on most controllers) and the X/Y/A/B buttons located on the grips (where your middle, ring, and pinkie fingers rest on a gun grip).

 

Does anyone have this controller? If so, what are you thoughts? It certainly looks cool but how well does it work for FPS? When I was holding it, I kept thinking I would always be accidentally activating the X/Y/A/B buttons on the gun grips whenever I pulled the triggers. That might make for some unusal FPS maneuvers though. :D

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  • 2 months later...

I picked up the FPS Master Controller Saturday at Best Buy. Curiousity got the better of me, and I'll try anything that will help me survive just a little longer in Xbox LIVE FPS games.

 

It looks cheesy and flimsy, but the construction is passable. I don't think I will break this controller from just normal gameplay, but I'm not one to throw them or handle controllers roughly. It's cheesy because of the weird build. It has some superfluous molded decorations on either side, and an LCD display that really doesn't serve much purpose other than to display the pre-set selection you have, and remind you that Gamester made the controller. The handles fit comfortably into my large hands, and it feels rather like holding two pistols (which I think is the intent).

 

I haven't had a chance to play with it extensively yet. The idea is, you have the A,B,X,Y buttons on the grips, so you can operate them with your middle and ring fingers. this means your right thumb never has to leave the thumbstick, and the precious milliseconds that this buys you can mean the difference between life and death. But in order to gain this advantage, the use of the buttons must be second-nature. I am far from this point yet, so I'll withhold my final verdict on any actual performance gains until I can use the buttons unconsciously. Right now I am still in the learning curve, and having to THINK about the buttons.

 

I tried it out with Halo on single player first. The first thing I decided was that I needed to remap the buttons. I wanted the Melee (B) button on the left hand side. Using the LCD display, it is very easy to remap the four buttons. I decided to swap the A and B buttons around. You can have 3 pre-defined button configurations, so if, say, I want the A button back on the other side for RS3, I can easily switch to that preset.

 

When "thinking" about the button I needed to press, and which finger I needed to use, I found it very easy to click each button with just a twitch of the correct finger. As far as letting you keep your thumb on that right thumbstick, it is working as advertised!

 

The thumsticks are responsive, but a bit on the loose side. Those used to playing with the controller S will say that they are too loose, but they are only about as loose as the previous Xbox large controller. This will be a deal-breaker for many, as it nearly was for me, but I am committed to spending the time to relearning the "touch" that will be necessary for fine moves.

 

The triggers are more like handgun triggers. They don't disappear all the way into the controller like those on the Controller S. They hit a stopping point after moving in about 3/4 inch. There are trigger guards around the triggers that annoyed me at first, but in no way interfere with gameplay.

 

I put in about 45 minutes of use with it on Saturday, and felt no discomfort or hand-cramping.

 

Once I get used to the buttons and can operate them without thinking, I'll let you know whether I perceive a performance gain. Any questions, ask away?

 

 

Carlos.

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I looked at one of these in EB a while back, and was tempted to just buy it because control is the main reason I won't play FPS game on a console. I handled it in the store for a bit, but wasn't sure if it was a gimmick or not, so I look forward to your impressions after you've had it for a while.

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Originally posted by Carlucci@Mar 1 2004, 11:01 AM

It looks cheesy and flimsy, but the construction is passable. I don't think I will break this controller from just normal gameplay, but I'm not one to throw them or handle controllers roughly.

Yea uh me ethier honsetly... I don't know how that hole got in the wall ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone picked this up yet? I was reading a review that mentioned a toggle switch that inverted the axis on joystick, which would be very handy for games that don't allow it. It didn't mention if it affected both X & Y axis just vertical. Hopefully both & independantly - it bugs me when I get used to one game that has the horizontal reversed & then the next game doesn't.

 

-Dave

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I've got it and have been using it for the last few weeks, but my playtime has been limited.

 

Mostly, the thumbsticks are too loose for my liking, and that is causing me all kinds of grief. I'm having to relearn my fine motor skills, and only in the last 2 days or so did I think to ratchet down the in-game sensitivity settings.

 

I got tired of being owned in MP Halo and RS3 because of this, and went back to my trusty controller "S" during online play this weekend, and did much better.

 

But, I haven't totally given up hope yet, and will contine to try to adjust. I will try to spend at least 5 or so more hours of play with the controller, before I reach my final verdict.

 

Carlos.

 

EDITED TO RMV LINK TO TOPIC MERGED INTO THIS ONE. HIS REVIEW IS ABOVE. -RM

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Sure thing. You can invert each thumbstick individually, but it is only for up/down invert, not left/right.

 

So far, I haven't had to use this feature because the games I am playing already support invert.

 

I can see where it might come in handy in a game like 007:EoN, because that game lets you invert the look, but not the fine-grained aim control.

 

You can assign your invert choice, along with button reassignment to one of three presets. A quick tap of the preset keys would allow you to quickly switch from invert to non-invert, if you so desire.

 

A word on the button reassigment: This is only to rearrange the location of the A,B,X, and Y buttons. You would be UNABLE to map the left trigger, for instance, to one of the four finger buttons. (unless of course the game supports this remap itself).

 

Hope that helps. Any other questions, ask away!

 

Carlos.

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Originally posted by Carlucci@Mar 15 2004, 09:52 PM

You can invert each thumbstick individually, but it is only for up/down invert, not left/right.

Nuts. The left/right inversion is what I was really hoping for, since not many games have that as a user-defined option. It sounds like a pretty good controller with some pretty unique features, but I guess I'll save some cash and stick with the ol' S controller.

 

Thanks for saving me $30! :)

 

-Dave

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Ok, I feel I have now spent a sufficient amount of time getting accustomed to this controller to give my final review:

 

Overall, the controller works as advertised. I was able to work the A,B,X, and Y buttons without ever having to take my thumbs off of the thumbstick. This is supposed to afford you more control of your character as you will be able to reload, melee (Halo), switch weapons (Halo), and toggle thermal/nightvision (RS3), while still maintaining your aim.

 

The controller is sturdier than it looks, and I'm quite confident it could withstand a reasonable amount of abuse without cracking or breaking down.

 

I never saw any appreciable performance gain while playing, however. In fact, I'm convinced I performed much more poorly than when I use my controller S, and here's why:

 

First, some info about my normal gaming style. With the Controller S, I am able to play Halo with a look sensitivity of 6 (default is 3), and Rainbow 6 with a X and Y set a few notches above default. This gives me the balance I need between look speed and control. But with the FPS Master, I was just never able to get used to the looseness of the thumbsticks. They just don't provide enough resistance to avoid constant inadvertant minute movement. Fine-grain control, the kind you need when standing totally still trying to put someone in the crosshairs to snipe at them, was particulary difficult. I experimented with many different degrees of "look sensitivity" within the game settings, but only the slowest sensitivity settings granted me the control I needed from the stick, but this also yields an unpleasant side effect -- the slower your look sensitivity, the slower your character is able to turn around. So I had to sacrifice speed for control, the very opposite of what this controller promises.

 

Furthermore, the FPS master has the D-pad in a spot where it is hard to reach comfortably. This makes no difference in a game like Halo, but in RS3, switching to a grenade became much more cumbersome.

 

I will keep the FPS master lying around as a backup controller, but I have already abandoned it as my controller of choice for both Halo and RS3.

 

I totally loved the ability to melee while maintaining aim control in Halo. This was particularly usefull in multiplayer and in battling the Flood. As you probably know, sometimes the flood get up after you shoot them down. Because the FPS master made it easier to melee down (hit the b-button while looking down), I was able to smack the fallen Flood, ensuring he wouldn't get up, and saving precious ammo. However, you can achieve the same result by changing your controller preference to "Boxer" on the controller setup screen in Halo, allowing you to use the Left trigger for melee and the b button for grenades. Now I'm experimenting with this setup on my controller "S" and so far I like it a lot.

 

Carlos.

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