Recently I was given the honor of trying out a custom Xbox 360 modded controller from the fine folks over at GamerModz. I have never played games with a modded controller before and I’m a complete stranger to the world of custom controllers, but I was eager to dive in and give it a try!
My first stop was the GamerModz website, where users can design a controller of their choice with very specific specifications and options available. The site was very easy to navigate and find the Create-A-Controller page. Once there, I was blown away by all the different options available; there are not only a variety of colors to choose from, but also various types, as well (Glossy, Chrome, Matte, etc.). A 360 controller was shown on the side that would change in real time so you could see how all of your options looked, which is a magic I still don’t quite understand. Everything, from the bumpers, triggers, control sticks, shell, buttons, and even the LED ring was fully customizable, and I really got the sense I was building something I could truly call my own. Once you create a controller, you have the option of having all the parts sent to you so you can build it yourself, send in your own controller and have GamerModz modify it, or have them build it for you from scratch.
For my review I was given the SPS-X3 mod type, which differs greatly from the SPS-X1 and SPS-X2 we reviewed last year. The SPS-X1 is a single trigger rapid fire controller (RT) which can be programmed to shoot as many shots per second as the user desires. The mod is undetectable and easy to turn on and off. The SPS-X2 is a slight upgrade to the X1, where you can set both triggers (RT and LT) to rapid fire, and can program your shots per second, as well. The SPS-X3 however, has five different modes that you can program (the X1 and X2 only have one), dual or single trigger rapid fire, adjustable shots per second, and the option to be in fully automatic or burst mode (burst mode can be programmed to adjust how many rounds you want fired per burst). Having five modes means you can have one mode with single trigger rapid fire in burst mode, one with dual trigger rapid fire in fully automatic mode; the possibilities are endless, especially due to how customizable you can make the bursts and shots per second. I placed my order and eagerly awaited my controller.
Fast forward a couple of days later, and the controller appeared on my doorstep. I opened the box and found my blue controller in all of its chromy glory. It looked exactly as I had designed it, and I was happy to finally have it to use. I took out the battery pack and inserted my batteries, and noticed you have to keep the button on the pack held down and let go to snap it back into place, unlike a regular 360 controller. The controller was quite light and felt super comfortable in my hands. I turned on my 360 and then my controller, and was greeted with my white LED light, which shone with the intensity and fury of a thousand suns. I was already playing Dead Space, so I decided to try my new controller out on it. The start button felt a little weird and had to be pushed in slightly hard to register, but it didn’t bother me and I got used to it after a while. I set it to rapid fire, and tried out burst mode and fully automatic mode. It turns out Dead Space is not the game you want to try this bad boy out on, as Isaac’s shots were unchanged. Also, charge weapons like the Contact Beam didn’t charge because the controller was set to rapid fire. Curious, I decided to see what the controller was like just as a regular controller, but the instructions given with the controller did not say how to turn rapid fire off. A quick Google search indicated that hitting the sync button any greater than five times (due to the five programmable modes) set rapid fire off. My only real complaint was with this and not with the controller itself, as the instruction manuals for the SPS-X1 and SPS-X2 show how to turn rapid fire off for them, but the SPS-X3 did not. Once changed, the controller worked just fine as a regular controller, but I knew I wanted to use all the mods and enhancements and wonderful things the X3 provided. “Best to test this out on something First Person,” I thought.
Enter Borderlands 2. I got some great playtime in with this one, alongside my lovely girlfriend. My Siren and her Mechromancer were already a force to be reckoned with, so adding lightning fast guns to the mix meant the Bandits, Skags, and those damned Loader Robots were in trouble. Guns like sniper rifles and sub machine guns remained unchanged when using the mod, but the pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles were a different story. Any gun that had the description “fires as fast as you can pull the trigger” was GREATLY enhanced by the SPS-X3. I used revolvers, shotguns, and one particular assault rifle, and set the controller to fully automatic at 11 shots per second. The result was amazing: holding RT fired faster than even my quick trigger finger could handle, and I no longer had to worry about getting arthritis. Even my shotgun discharged quick one-two blasts speedier than I could use my index finger. I just loved seeing the hit points of damage rack up higher than the most advanced calculus equation could calculate. The burst mode worked just as advertised, as well; I set up 3 round bursts and had some fun with my revolver, but I’m a fully automatic man and love to empty my clips out as quickly as possible, which the X3 was more than capable of handling. “This is fantastic! Now to test it out on some COD BLOPS 2!”
Full disclosure: I am not a Call of Duty type of guy. My brother is a seasoned veteran at COD, so I played some Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 matches with him to test out my blue wonder. After telling him about how it worked, he suggested trying out two semi-automatic rifles: the FAL and SMR. I tried out both, fully automatic, 20 shots per second. This seemed to be too much, because the guns would spurt, stop, and spurt again, which isn’t how I wanted to beat my brother AT HIS OWN GAME. I tried it at 15 shots per second, and I had hit the sweet spot! I managed to kill my brother a record FIVE TIMES in our match, which I can assure you I would not have been able to do without the X3. We then fought some bots together (he was paranoid about getting banned from LIVE even though the controller mod is undetectable, and I was afraid of getting my ass kicked), and the speed at which I could shoot them was amazing; they literally went down in seconds. No question: games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield are where gamers are gonna get the most bang for their buck with the SPS-X3.
Personally, I am very happy with my SPS-X3. The ease of use of the Create-A-Controller page was wonderful and I got to see what my controller would look like before it was even made. The controller came fast, was put together exactly to my specifications, and the instructions that were included with it clearly specified how to change modes, program each one, and what to do if there were any issues. Guns fired quickly and precisely how I set them, and the controller remembers your settings for each mode even after turning it off. But above all, the greatest thing about the SPS-X3 is that it is truly mine. It is something I helped create and design, and that is what makes it so very special. I have a feeling that gamers will agree with me if they decide to enter the world of custom controller mods, which I urge them to do, whether they play competitively or just for fun. Check out GamerModz if you are itching to give that index finger a rest. Now if you’ll excuse me, Left 4 Dead 2 is just begging to be conquered with my blue beast.
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