“This is embarrassing.”
I’m at the very beginning of Cyberpunk 2077 and the game wants me to pick a dialogue choice. I click on the line I want to say. Nothing happens. I start to hit a bunch of buttons with no luck. How hard can it be to select a line of dialogue?
Turns out, all I had to do was press F, which is the main interact button in the game. It even says it on the screen, though it’s faded into the background a bit and I wasn’t sure that this prompt was trying to tell me to press F.
Despite having used a keyboard and mouse for pretty much my whole life, using it within the context of gaming has been an uphill climb.
Despite their popularity and influence on controller design at large, PlayStation controllers have never been my cup of tea. Though I’ve grown accustomed to the symmetrical analog stick layout of the DualShock controllers, I still prefer the asymmetrical Xbox style. I hated the mushy triggers on the DualShock 3. Also ran into a slew of durability issues with both of my DualShock 4 controllers, from plastic ripping off of the analog sticks, to shoulder buttons getting jammed, to awful battery life.
Needless to say that Sony had an uphill climb to win me over with the DualSense controller that comes with the PlayStation 5. Does it make enough improvements to win me over? Here are my thoughts after having spent a few days with it!
The HyperX Cloud Alpha S is a wired gaming headset intended for use on PC. When plugged in via USB, you can use the headset controller to adjust the volume, audio mix, and even toggle its simulated 7.1 surround sound. Though its functionality on other platforms is limited, you can listen to game audio and voice chat with your friends on modern consoles or anything with a 3.5mm jack. Is this your next gaming headset?
Rest in peace to my old gaming headset. Held together with electrical tape, they’ve been on life support for some time. Once the left ear cup fell off and the sound stopped coming out of it, I knew it was time to let them go. Thank you for your service.
With the amount of time I used that headset for gaming and streaming, I figured now was a great time to upgrade to a higher-quality set. Thanks to Amazon Prime Day, I was able to get the HyperX Cloud Alpha S gaming headset. Let’s crack this box open!
The Nintendo Joy-Con controllers work great in portable mode, and serve as a handy way for 2-player action when no other controller options are available. However, as a standalone controller in the Joy-Con grip, it falls well short of the standard. Buying a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller isn’t cheap, and you still might prefer the feel of the PlayStation or Xbox controllers. For me, I want to play fighting games with a fightstick, but I’m not ready to pay hundreds of dollars for one just to use on the Switch.
Enter the Mayflash Magic-NS. This USB adapter is designed to let Switch players use a number of different controllers from outside of the Nintendo Switch ecosystem. I recently picked one up to address my fightstick needs, but I also tried it with my DualShock 4 and Xbox One Controller.
As soon as the Nintendo Switch was revealed, the lack of a d-pad on the left Joy-Con struck me as an immediate issue. While I understand the appeal of having buttons in that space instead so that it could act as a quasi-second controller, the lack of a d-pad has greatly impacted the games I play portably. From fighting games, to puzzle games, to the myriad of indie games that the Switch has been blessed with, a sizable portion of my library were played with less-than-ideal controls.
Many DIY mods exist to solve this problem, but Hori and Nintendo have an official solution as well. The D-Pad Controller (L) replaces the four face buttons with a proper d-pad and is sold at a fairly reasonable price. The two different versions of this controller in North America include one that’s The Legend of Zelda themed, and another that’s Super Mario themed. But does it lose more than it gains in the process?
From the different coloured editions of the original Gameboy, to the Pikachu edition of the Nintendo 64, Nintendo is the king of incentivizing the purchase of additional hardware through cosmetic changes. They first got me years ago when I bought a limited edition NES-themed version of the Gameboy Advance SP, even though I already owned a standard edition.
This time, I think Nintendo might have hit the jackpot with its multi-coloured Joy-Con controllers.
As a gift from my brother, I received a pair of Neon Red Nintendo Switch Joycon controllers. Besides serving the functional benefit of now having enough controllers for four-player Mario Kart, they give the Switch a very different vibe. The default grey controllers make the unit look like a slick piece of professional technology. By swapping them out with the Neon controllers, the console looks more distinctly Nintendo.
Thank you to my brother for the controllers!
Buy The Neon Red Joycon Controllers Now From Amazon.com
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The default Joy-Con controllers on the Nintendo Switch provide an unprecedented level of versatility, from acting as the controllers on a portable unit, to working as a standalone controller when attached to a Joy-Con Grip, or even as two separate controllers when split in half. This versatility, however, comes at a cost. In particular, when used with a Joy-Con Grip, it works okay, but it’s certainly no substitute for a more traditional controller.
To address this issue, you could buy a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. It definitely looks the part, though its steep price point may give you pause. Is this control alternative worth it?
For a game designed to get players exploring the world around them, Pokemon Go is quite the attention hog. It forces you to travel the world while your face is buried in the screen, either catching Pokemon, fighting in gyms, or eyeing for upcoming PokeStops as you walk down the street. Futhermore, since you can’t run the game in the background of your phone, it’s an all-consuming experience that stops you from performing other tasks while destroying your battery.
Pokemon Go Plus was designed to alleviate these issues. Off the strength of its one-button interface, it aims to take your attention away from the screen and onto your surroundings, allowing you to live your life while playing the game in a more passive manner. Is this highly sought after peripheral worth tracking down?