I never thought I would get a Razer product since they make mostly mice for PC game players, and I've pretty much swore off PC games. So boy was I surprised when I found myself picking up the Razer Onza Tournament Edition Xbox 360 Controller
When you first unpack it out of it's classy looking box and hold it in your hands, it feels incredibly light! Which coupled with the rubber like surface makes it feels incredibly cheap since there's no sense of mass, at first I thought they didn't include the rumble motors inside but after playing a bit it confirmed that yes, the stick rumbles. So if you don't like your joypads light you might want to stick some weight on this.
Another interesting problem is that the top left and right corners are SHARP AND POINTY!!
Why the heck did they make it like that?!?!?! It HURTS if you scrape or press your finger on this, I'm gonna introduce it to a file after this can't have WZ cutting himself on it when I leave it in the room.
Let's talk about the pad's nifty features now, first we start with the face buttons.
We can't really call these buttons, they are basically little caps sitting directly on top of the switches. They have very little travel distance, which means when you press these they engage almost immediately. How much difference does this make in a match already running with lag through the internet is anybody's guess but one thing to note is that you need to get used to the fact that you might not even notice you've pressed the button. Also.. the buttons light up because that's the cool thing to do. :P
Next we come up to the D-Pad...
Or rather, the OTHER face button set. Because it's NOT a pad or meant to act like a directional input in the traditional sense, it is just 4 DISTINCT buttons arranged in a cross manner. Absolutely FANTASTIC for use in games where you use the D-Pad to select weapons cause you know exactly which direction you're pressing. Pretty much USELESS if you're thinking of using it for fighting games and such. Oh and these are normal buttons which have travel distance and not like the hyper-response (Razer's name) ABXY buttons.
The Onza TE's headphone jack
Is in the usual spot at the button of the controller, note that it will not accept the puck style connector. And I've personally haven't been able to test it out properly yet cause on some reviews they mentioned that there's interference using this port.
Then we have the shoulder buttons
Your eyes do not decieve you, there are TWO bumper buttons. The lower one is your regular LB RB button, the higher one is called the Multi Function Button (MFB) and is one of the main selling point for this controller. Through the use of the assign buttons below the controller.
You can map the MFB to almost any other button on the pad, with exceptions being that the thumb stick, bumper and trigger buttons can only be remaped to an MFB on the same side. This opens up a world of possibilities, for example in Halo:Reach I can assign the Left MFB to Crouch, and the Right MFB to Jump. This means I can now move and crouch easier since I don't have to hold the left thumbstick down to crouch, and because I don't have to move my finger away from the right thumbstick when jumping some interesting possibilities beckons!
There's just one problem with the whole MFB concept though, and I already knew it when I saw the placement of the button. You also should have figured it out by now. Yes... you're VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY likely to press the wrong button in the heat of a match, it'll most likely go away once you're used to it but if you see me in Reach and I melee and jump at the same time? I'm still not used to it then!
And now for the main reason I decided to buy the Onza, the thumbsticks.
If you're asking yourself what are the little groves underneath the pad, then you're focusing on the right item. The groves allow you to push the housing of the stick downwards. What this achieves is that it makes the stick STIFF and you can in theory make smaller, tighter movements such as when trying to no scope someone. When fully screwed it the stick looks like this.
The problem here is that it's like a screw and as you tighten it it gets harder to turn with each click. What's the problem then? The problem would be when you ask yourself "I'd like this to be a wheee bee tighter, but is it at max yet?" But.. there's no indication of where MAX is, and there's the warning in the manual that states Over tightening the stick WILL damage it so that kind of scares you a bit.
Does a tighter stick give you better control? I haven't played enough games with it to confidently say so. I think it makes some difference though. Not sure wheter it's a good or bad difference.
The Onza has one last trick, and it's a very interesting one. You can swap the sensitivity of the stick from normal to RIDICULOUSLY sensitive while the steps below.
What does this achieve? I can only answer in Halo : Reach terms, a sensitivity of 3 in Reach now acts like a sensitivity of 6. Does that help? Maybe... Would it be considered an unfair advantage? HARD to say. :P
In closing I still can't confidently say wheter the Onza TE will improve your game or not, the button remap and stick sensitivity features are interesting tools to have. But like all tools it's up to the user to learn to use them effectively. I can say it's worth a try if you are a serious FPS player and can spare the price. Because the weird out D-Pad does NOT help at all with any other type of games.