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Review: SplitFish FragFX v.2 controller

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Quick Version: So you’re a gamer that splits his or her time between the PC and PlayStation 3, but you really want to make the switch to console full time. And at the same time, you can’t give up the mouse and keyboard combo you’ve grown accustomed to, right? Short of the PlayStation team announcing a mouse and keyboard as an official control scheme, SplitFish’s FragFX controller is probably the best option the hardcore FPS PC enthusiast.

Extended Version: The PC vs Console FPS argument will likely never go away with each camp arguing why one is better than the other until the end of time. I understand both sides, but I left PC gaming earlier in the decade and haven’t looked back since. Sure, I might not be as accurate with my headshots on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller, but I’ve managed to get the job done for the last decade or so.

But then came a package from SplitFish containing the updated FragFX v2 controller for the PS3. And all I can say is, I’ve missed you, mouse, I really have.

Version 2 of the FragFX controller comes bundled as a mouse and grip controller combo that connects via USB to your PlayStation 3. At six 10-feet, the cable is long enough that you should be able to game from your couch comfortably. They even throw in a hard plastic mouse pad with a neoprene-like surface. For the money, it’s a very good setup.

Hardware

The optical mouse (right-hand only) has the four default PS buttons right where your thumb will rest and the “start” and “select” buttons under that middle finger of yours. You’ll have to tweak the controller settings in-game based on what game you’re playing to ensure you’re having a smooth experience. It’s straightforward and the build quality is acceptable despite its appearance. The mouse buttons, however, leave a bit to be desired. They require quite a bit of movement that cannot be achieved with a gentle tap.

Perhaps I’ve grown too accustomed to my Logitech Revolution MX, but the SplitFish’s doesn’t feel as comfortable. However, I arch my hand over my mice rather than laying them on like a normal human being.

The grip stick is essentially a Wiimote clone and it features a D-pad, analog joystick, Left and Right bumper buttons, sensitivity dial, and the ‘frag’ button. While using the ‘frag’ feature, the mouse slows down a tad for you to really get an accurate shot, but I’ve only been playing Killzone 2 and haven’t used it very much. SIXAXIS is supported by the grip stick in case you were wondering.

I won’t lie: it’s pretty awkward to hold. I found that using just one finger to tap the bumpers was more comfortable than trying to double tap with my index and middle finger. Honestly, all I wanted to do with the grip stick was flail around like a Wii jackass.

Performance

Now let’s get down to what’s really important. Because Killzone 2 was the latest game in my PS3 collection, I chose to review the FragFX with just this game. By tweaking the in-game settings for the controller and adjusting the sensitivity on the controller itself, I found myself navigating through K2 a bit faster than I was with the six-axis controller during certain stages.

SplitFish suggested the following settings to me for Killzone 2: 80 percent on the X- and Y-axis with sensitivity on the controller set between 3 and 4. I have to say, it worked a lot better than what I was doing.

Keep in mind that the FragFX controller requires a small learning curve and FPS enthusiasts all have varying styles of play, so my experience is obviously going to be much different than yours. The bottom line, though, is that it works.

The only issue I see arising from a PC gamers standpoint is sensitivity. Although I only played Killzone 2 for 99 percent of my review, I dabbled with a couple demos just to see what it was like. You’re going to have to constantly adjust sensitivity settings both in-game and on the FragFX to find that sweet spot. However, I’d imagine that’s something PC gamers are used to by now.

Overall: PC gamers who find themselves playing FPS games on the PS3 with the FragFX probably won’t be impressed compared to their standard PC rig, but they’ll likely find it much better than the SIXAXIS controller. At $80, the FragFX v2 controller from SplitFish is a good investment for any PS3 owner with a dedicated library of FPS titles like Resistance or Killzone.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out the #1 Call of Duty player in the world DD tell you what he likes about v2.

SplitFish

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