Monday, May 13, 2013

Viking 360 Macro controller review

Many online gamers think that a modded controller is mainly just a rapid fire controller. Hold down the trigger and you’ll be able to hit any cap on semi-automatic weapons without fail. They would be right, but they also would be missing a larger part of what modded controllers can be.

Where the Viking 360 Macro excels is the scope of it’s functionality. Six tact switches (yes I said SIX tact switches) allow for easily accessible page turning and macro engaging. What does “page turning” mean? Imagine you have two macros set for Black Ops II. Each can be enabled with the macro right next to your palm, whether it’s a simple rapid fire/drop shot/jitter fix. Then you might decide to pop in Halo 4. Rather than try to adjust the macros or rapid fire settings, just toggle a tact switch to scroll to the next page which has your preset controls for that game. Then switch again for your favorite fighting game. The controller holds up to 16 pages of different controls, all easily accessible with a single button tap. Don’t play 16 games? Setup different macro combos for the same game on each page for use with different weapons. Want rapid fire on the semi-auto? Page 1. Drop shot maybe using a sniper (don’t ask questions!)? Page 2. And so on and so on. It’s also the only controller that can do auto hold sniper breath, akimbo, jitter, drop shot, and rapid fire all on a single mode. Another innovation that is a godsend on some games is the ability to record button presses in real time. These button combos can then be activated again with the touch of a single button. Fighting game combos are relatively simple using this feature.

The controller has a vast customizable macro system for a build a bea- wait no! I meant macro! Using the incredible Time line software, you can alter button presses down to 1/100th of a second for the best accuracy imaginable. With this editing system, players can design a single button macro or make a full macro set. If you are looking to avoid figuring out some personal macros, they also offer user generated ones in their Macro library. Some of the library macros are a bit outdated, so you may have to experiment with some of them to see if they work with current titles (e.g. Black Ops macro working with Black Ops II). All of these can be installed right to your controller by using the play-n-charge cable that is included with the controller package. The program disc also features video breakdowns to get you through the simple features all the way to the advanced settings for experienced macro users.

One of the cool features is the button remapping. Rather than take your thumb off the joystick to hit the “A” button, you can use one of the fingers holding the controller to tap a tact switch instead. This can help with serious gamers as well as those with disabilities.

The great thing about this controller is that it’s made with an official Xbox 360 controller. Players don’t have to sacrifice the durability and comfort of a design they’ve had for 7 years. It’s completely wireless and feels just a like a factory standard controller, minus the tact switches. It also means that the controller is 100% stealth. Your Xbox won’t be able to detect the controller or the chip, allowing for use with any game. It utilizes a PIC 24FJ256 chip which grants it the ability to handle high processing demands and also lowers the energy consumption. That being said, the controller does use up battery life fairly quickly, however Viking includes a rechargeable battery pack and the play-n-charge kit that you would use for the macro downloads.

One feature is something of both a personal nature and utilization one. 8 tri colored LEDs allows for the ring of light to produce 16 different colors. These are used to assign colors to different pages and macros so you will know which one is active at any given time. When using the controller in standard mode, you can make the main LED any color you want. So if you don’t like the standard green, you have 15 other colors to choose from, as well as a strobe effect if you really want to go all out. It’s a disco in your hand! That’s a type of music for all of your young’uns.

The customized shells, button colors, sticks, and bumpers really make the controller feel personal. You can get it exactly how you want. Unfortunately we had a problem with the first controller having a bad paint job. A few issues with the clear-coat edges made the joystick skip slightly and the battery pack wouldn’t fully seal. After expressing concerns, a new one was shipped out with the company keeping in touch through the entire process and it came in perfect. Customer service is a big part of what makes a product and Viking excels in that department.

The price is pretty steep coming in at $249.95 without any of the customized shells, button colors, etc. However, the full package this controller comes with more than makes up for the cost.

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