Razer Onza – Taking Gaming to New Levels
I think we can all agree that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller has a fundamental design flaw, regardless of where we may stand in regards to the console. The 360 controller’s D-pad has been a major source of irritation for some of the best players out there, especially in the realm of fighting games. Although Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and introduced the “transforming” controller, I offer to you a better solution – The Razer Onza Tournament Edition controller.
First, the nuts and bolts: The Onza Tournament Edition controller contains a number of features designed with not just the fighter in mind, but also the racer, the shooter, and pretty much everyone out there looking to gain an advantage over their competition. This controller sports tensioners on the analog sticks that allow you to adjust the amount of tension you require for each individual stick. The start and back buttons have been relocated between the handgrips for easier accessibility. The buttons are a lower profile with a hyper-responsive touch allowing for twitch-quick response. Also, two extra programmable buttons are paired off with the bumpers to suit your needs. This along with an actual D-pad instead of the rocking circle that the Xbox 360 standard controller comes with makes for a highly versatile controller made for just about everything.
For the fighter, the directional pad obviously plays a huge role, and Razer delivers in spades. The pie-shaped buttons allow you to gracefully glide between them for the absolute precision of any other controller D-pad. Added height and tactile response from the buttons solidly let you know what’s been initiated without accidentally hitting the wrong key mid-combo. While the design takes a little getting used to with the additional height, you’ll be guaranteed to begin busting out combos with an impressive level of efficiency in a relatively short amount of time. For example, while playing Mortal Kombat with the original 360 controller, I became stuck relatively early in the second chapter of the game, mainly due to the fact that I had to resort to button mashing to have any level of luck to progress through, and MK finally stonewalled me, forbidding me to return to the arena until I had acquired some skills. After getting used to the Onza in the practice dojo, I was able to progress further while rarely losing any matches. I would say that my fighting game had easily improved over 100%!
For the shooter, the adjustable tensioners and additional bumper buttons really come into play the most. For the player like yours truly, there’s a tendency to be heavy handed on one side or another, overreacting and pushing one stick harder than necessary. During those high intensity moments, I tend to be heavy handed on the look side (right analog stick) which causes my shots to go wild. However, by increasing the tension on that stick, movements are less drastic during those moments, allowing you to keep a bead on your enemy and increase your kill-death ratio as a result. Furthermore, for the “bumper jumper”, you can map that additional bumper button to allow for an even quicker trigger pull on the shotgun and immediately melee. Can we say, “Boom! Ka-chuck!“?
While the Onza Tournament Edition controller takes the same general shape as the standard Xbox 360 controller, they’ve also managed to make a few changes that may appear to be aesthetic, but are in fact functional. For example, the triggers are longer and swept out further, allowing for a better response for those of us who tend to rest our trigger fingers lower than others. The handles on the controller are more pronounced as well, providing for a more comfortable grip.
The triggers along with the additional bumpers and adjustable analog sticks bring some serious game for the racer as well. By remapping the handbrake button to the right side, I was able to quickly and flawlessly execute a cornering drift, whereas the tensioned analog sticks allow me to maintain control throughout the corner. Also, changing the clutch (Forza Motorsport 3) to these mappable buttons can allow for nearly zero time shifts when using the right controller setup for the quarter mile.
The only real complaint I have about the controller is that it is a cabled. However, Razer can’t be faulted for that as Microsoft doesn’t allow their wireless technology for controllers to be licensed. So it isn’t a matter of Razer not wanting to make a wireless controller, it’s simply that the Onza TE is wired because they can’t. However, they did add a nice little safety feature with a breakaway point in the cable. At the console end of the cable is a connector that disconnects the controller at that point, so as to prevent the console from crashing to the floor or otherwise being damaged if someone were to trip over the cord. This saves your overall investment from those pesky siblings or animals that may not know, or simply don’t care about the obstruction in their path. Console aside, this feature is also good for human safety, as the cord won’t pull taut, thereby making face-plants a less likely possibility.
The Razer Onza Tournament Edition controller is an absolute must have for the serious gamer, or the enthusiast just looking for an edge. With its $49.99 retail price point, it’s definitely worth picking up.
This product receives a perfect 5.0/5.0.
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