Manufactured by: Evil Controllers
Review sample supplied by: Evil Controllers
Review by Devin
Review Contents & Index:
- Official Feature List
- Packaging and Contents
- Design and Impressions
Evil Controllers have been around for a few years, producing high-end aftermarket controllers for enthusiasts. They are best known for their luxury XBOX 360 controllers which feature both functional and cosmetic enhancements. One of their newest options is the Vision Backplate, which contains a long-life rechargeable lithium-ion battery without the "battery brick" that comes standard with a Microsoft branded controller.
Manufacturer Listed Features
- 60 Hour Battery Life
- Mini USB Port
- Cooling Vents
- LED Charging Indication
- Custom Printed Case
- Evil Controller's Custom D-PAD
- Evil Controller's Analog Sticks
- Ergonomic Feel
- Evil Controller's 360 Controller
- Mini USB Cable
- Evil Controller's Instructions Card
As a long-time XBOX 360 enthusiast and modder, I have used many controllers. However, I can say without exaggeration that this is the nicest XBOX 360 controller I've ever used. The cosmetic and passive enhancements make the controller stand out, and, given the price range, the build quality meets and exceeds that of the official Microsoft controller.
The surface of the controller has a shiny, scratch-resistant surface that is surprisingly fingerprint-resistant. Customers are given a broad selection of colors for all the visible components of the controller; from the analog sticks to the trigger buttons and even LEDs, Evil Controllers can be thoroughly personalized. As pictured, this controller has red LEDs around the guide button, but you can select other colors as well.
The most recognizable cosmetic feature that sets these controllers apart, is the selection of patterns for the controller shell itself. I did ask about a custom GBAtemp controller, and they said it would be possible in the future. Unfortunately, they were too swamped with orders to provide one for this review.
Regarding the more functional enhancements, the buttons have a clicky but solid, responsive feel. The analog sticks have a quality, easy-to-grip texture to them; more reminiscent to the Playstation 3 DualShock 3 analog sticks than the Microsoft 360 controller. You can choose between sticks with the official Microsoft-styled indentations on the pads, or without. The option to get separate D-Pad buttons is very nice, I felt it was a major improvement over the single-piece D-Pad "rocker" of the official 360 controller.
Not sure if the kill-switch is a worthy upgrade? It's nice to not have to go into the XBOX Guide menu to turn the controller off through a software selection.
Most impressive of the features on my review sample is the Vision Backplate. Charging by USB is most convenient, and the battery charges to full fairly quickly. The manufacturer specifies 60 hours battery life, which is a solid week or two of usage in an active gamer's household. As a student, it would take a long time for me to actually deplete the battery so I've also been sharing it with my stepfather. He's an avid shooter, and also enjoys sports games. I gave it to him on Sunday, and so far he hasn't asked me to charge it at all. This is in addition to my non-stop gaming session on Saturday on Black Ops 2. I will update this thread when it eventually dies, but it's just about at 54 hours in, writing this, and I believe it might even get over 60 hours.
There's a limit to how many ways one can compare this controller's performance to the standard Microsoft 360 controller. Lag is not an issue; wireless performance meets or exceeds that of the Microsoft controller. Some may have their doubts, but the texture and balanced feel of the controller actually helps improve my play. The responsive feel of the buttons helps in fast-paced gameplay. Fighting games can be a little easier with the separated D-Pad buttons. Evil Controllers do deserve credit for improving upon the subtleties for the more hardcore enthusiasts that are willing to pay the premium. Ultimately, if you're paying over $100 for a customized controller, it really needs to improve control - and I do feel that improvement with this product.
If you know exactly what you want when you configure all the options for your controller, you have the opportunity to make it perfectly suit you - for a price. Before I received this review sample, I could not see myself buying a controller for $120. Given the opportunity to examine the product, though, I do feel it's worth the price. A new Microsoft XBOX 360 controller runs you $60 retail, and the Evil Controller Vision Backplate is $39.99 standalone. All of the customizations such as colors, buttons, and LEDs would easily add up as well. The bottom line is that if you want to invest in a better XBOX 360 control experience with some personal flair, this is the investment to make.
9/10 - The only drawback aside from the price is having to know exactly what you want before you pay.