In the world of competitive gaming, a slight advantage could mean the difference between a win or loss, a death or kill. Gamers have tried all kinds of methods to gain this advantage. The folks at N-Control are touting that they have just the thing to give you that advantage with the Avenger Xbox 360 controller adapter.
I first mentioned the Avenger after going to PAX East 2011. I got to do a quick demo of the product and got a small taste of what the adapter could do. The only problem I had at PAX was the fact that the adapter was not set up the way I would have done it, so it felt cumbersome.
The good folks at N-Control recently sent me a review “copy” to really put the adapter through its paces and get a true feel on how it works. I can honestly say that after a few hours of gaming I can see where the adapter could give an advantage on the battlefield.
Installation of the Avenger is easy; a five-year old could figure out how to place the Avenger on the controller. It is a hard plastic shell that wraps around the controller and snaps shut. Once installed, you will need to set it up to your liking. I found the best way to do this is to play a single player game as not to get frustrated with the adapter in a multiplayer session. To set the Avenger up you will use setscrews to add pressure on the face buttons. You can make it to where the slightest tap will cause an activation of the button, or you can have it where you have to make a drastic move to activate the button. I found my preferred set up is somewhere in the middle; with the button pre-loaded I was doing actions I did not want to, and with the other way I could not perform the actions quick enough. From the buttons are three levers that are fully moveable and can be place where the player feels comfortable with them. Two of the levers hang over the trigger area of the controller and are activated using your index fingers. The third lever jaunts off the side of the controller and is activated with the side of your right index finger with a slight twitch of your right arm. The triggers area activated by using two pressure straps on the back of the controller adapter these straps are also customizable to the players liking, you can preload the trigger or not. You can stretch the strap across the back of the controller or you can disconnect one end and make a loop that goes around your finger. The trigger straps are controlled by using you middle finger instead of using the index fingers.
The Avenger was designed to help the player keep his or her thumbs firmly planted on the analog sticks. I have to say that once you get the hang of it, it works.
This new way of using the controller will take some time to get use to. I found myself constantly taking my thumb off the stick to locate the face button. I had to cancel out multiple years of muscle memory and teach myself a new method. When I first placed the Avenger on my controller and started playing I almost removed it because I was not gaming the way I was comfortable with. For the sake of the review, I stuck with it and eventually found a setup that worked for me. After several hours of gaming, I now feel proficient with the Avenger, and it seems to have improved my gaming even if it is a just a slight improvement. If your are looking for a new challenge that will later help in your gaming or if you are a serious gadget guy, I would recommend the Avenger, but if you are a casual gamer or don’t need that slight competitive edge then you are not really missing too much. Another thing I have noticed is the Avenger appears to be designed with the first person shooter twitch player in mind; you are not going to notice anything significant while playing other genres in gaming.
The Avenger Adapter will set you back about $50 and can be ordered on the N-Control website. N-Control will be introducing a Playstation Model in the future and will be showing off the new revisions of the adapter at E3 2011.