Afterglow Prismatic Controller & LVL 5+ Wired Headset – Review (@pdpgaming)

With so much selection as far as gaming peripherals go, it can be hard to choose between them all. Today I have the PDP (Performance Designed Products) Afterglow Prismatic Controller for the Xbox One to review, and this is one product that I am looking forward to getting to grips with. Alongside the controller review, I also have the Afterglow LVL 5+ Wired Headset review included.

The first thing you see is the eye-catching, high quality packaging. The front of said packaging shows a holographic type image of the controller that changes colour as you move the box around. The back of the packaging has information about the “Signature Prismatic LED Lighting” which informs you that you can change the colour and brightness of the LED lights. Also included is a brief description of the Dual Multi-Function Wheels, as well as the 3.5mm Audio Jack and controls.

agpc01

Upon removing the controller from the box, I was instantly impressed with the build quality. Made from a transparent plastic, you are able to see the circuit board and the internal parts of the analogue sticks, rumble packs, etc. The actual controller itself feels very close in quality to the official Microsoft Xbox One controller, as do the A, B, X, Y buttons and the bumpers and triggers. Also included in the box is the user manual, and a 10 foot USB cable.

Now, I will admit, I was expecting my first time using the controller and setting the LED colour, programming the rear wheels, and generally getting to grips with things, to be a bit of a daunting task. How wrong was I?! From the moment I had the controller powered on, I found it very easy to assign the wheels to buttons, as well as changing the LED colour to one that suited me, and lastly, putting the controller into Prismatic mode (I will admit that I found this by accident and it took me a few button presses to figure out what it was that I pressed initially).

There is a small button on the back of the controller, located in the middle between the two wheels that is basically your gateway to fully customising the controller to your needs and preferences. Simply click the button once so that the LED on the front of the controller changes to blue. You can then use the left analogue stick to control the brightness of the LED and the right stick to cycle through the colours. Once you have chosen your preferred colour, press the button on the back to store your colour choice. If you would like to use Prismatic mode, press the button on the back to get the blue LED on the front and click Up on the D-Pad. To set the rear wheels to your preferred buttons, press the same button on the back of the controller twice so that the LED shows as green and then press the wheel of your choice (the LED should then flash green) at the same time as the button you wish to map it to, then simply release the rear wheel. The wheels on the back each have three different functions – scroll up and down, and also press the wheel inwards – so six in total! Lastly, if you would like to turn off the rumble packs inside the controller, press the rear function button three times so you see a yellow LED on the front and click Down on the D-Pad. To turn them back on, press the function button three times and click Up on the D-Pad. If the rumble is on, when you get to the yellow LED light, you will see red LED’s on either side of the controller – if they are off, no red LED lights are visible.  Lastly, to mute the mic when you have a headset connected, press the button that is located beside the right analogue stick, and press again to unmute.

As previously mentioned, the controller quality is pretty amazing. I love the feel of the analogue sticks, maybe more than I like the sticks on the official Xbox controller. They seem to have more grip to them than the original controller sticks, meaning that the usual add-ons that I use for gaming are no longer needed! The controller itself is very light to hold, but it is still very comfortable to have in your hands. I feel that for my size hands, which I would probably say are medium-ish, the buttons on the back of the controller are in the perfect position. The only drawback that I have with this controller is the fact that it is wired. Now this may not be an issue for many people, but for some, maybe with young children or pets, a wired controller may not be the suitable choice.

agpc02
______________________________________________________________________________

Now to move on and cover the Afterglow LVL 5+ Wired Headset.

I’m a stickler for headsets and always enjoy my game more when I have loud game play coming through a headset rather than a TV. To be able to do that, I need a headset that isn’t going to disappoint.

The LVL 5+ headset packaging, much like the Prismatic Controller, is very informative. The front of the box sports a nice side profile image of the headset. The rear of the box gives ample information on the back of the packaging, which includes additional bass impact drivers, easy accessible volume controls, and also the fact that it is compatible with the newer 3.5mm Xbox One controllers.

agl5hs01

In the box you simply get the headset, 2 x AAA batteries, and a user guide, though you really don’t expect to find more than that. The LVL 5+ headset has a long cable that comes down from the left ear cup with a 3.5mm jack on the end. It also has impressive 40mm Neodymium drivers. The volume controls are also located on the left ear cup, and so is the fully adjustable and flexible microphone. The Afterglow branded headband feels nice and comfortable due to the soft material used – this material is also on the ear cups, which only adds to the comfort. Lastly, the bottom half of the ear cups contains the LED lighting that we have become used to seeing on PDP products.

Getting started is really simple. While the provided batteries are not required, using them allows you to use the headset to its full potential. Simply slot in the batteries provided, plug-in the 3.5mm jack (please note; you will need either the Xbox One chat adapter, or a newer Xbox One controller with the 3.5mm port), and you’re good to go. Once the batteries are inserted, the LED lights come to life (green for Xbox One, blue for PS4). You also have the option to enable the Quad Boost function.

Sound quality on this headset is actually pretty good, especially for the price that you pay. I was told that the sound of my voice when using the microphone was clear, though the volume was a little on the low side unless I had the mic close to my mouth. The sound of the game play, however, was really good. I was able to notice the direction of explosions and gunfire, yet was able to sit back and take in the sounds during more relaxed game play. It is worth mentioning that the headset volume control does not work without the batteries. Whereas other headsets draw power from the controller itself, this one does not.

agl5hs02

I feel that with the Prismatic controller, PDP have covered all bases. While some features may take a bit of getting used to, or may even be seen as a bit of a gimmick, the controller is a pleasure to use and in some ways, I actually prefer it over the Microsoft controller. When coupled with the LVL 5+ headset, you really are good to go! The easy access volume controls, on-the-fly button re-mapping, and the impressive LED lighting on both products definitely sets them apart from competitors.  Both products compliment each other really well, and for the price you pay, I would highly recommend both the headset and the controller.

You can pre-order the Prismatic Controller from Amazon UK due for release on November 27th (£49.99).  You can pre-order the LVL 5+ Headset from Amazon UK due for release on November 20th (£37.99).  Both prices correct at time of posting.

Thanks to PDP for supplying both products for review.  Be sure to head over to their website, visit their Facebook, Twitter & Instagram pages!

Advertisements

Venom Quad Charging Stand – Review (@VenomGamingUK)

Having controllers with built in rechargeable batteries can be a pain when it comes to forgetting to charge them up and then getting caught out in the middle of a gaming session.  I have one of the latest official licensed products from Venom that aims to counteract this issue, by keeping all of your controllers not only charged, but kept together without having to have several charging cables plugged in.

venom01

The Quad Charging Stand from Venom comes boxed in a rectangular box that shows an image showing the charging stand on the front.  It also states that the stand is designed for use with DualShock 3 PlayStation controllers.  The back of the box has a short list of information relating to the product – this information is listed in several different languages.

Removing the product from the box was just a case of pulling out the stand.  Also provided in the box is an AC adapter, as well as a two and three pin plug – handy for use abroad, if and when needed.

venom02

The stand itself is made from a tough, black plastic and has four Mini USB cables tucked neatly away on the top, between the moulded spaces for the four controllers.  To use the stand it is simply a case of plugging in the AC adapter, popping out the USB cables that you need to use with the number of controllers you have, rest the controllers in the spaces provided, and plug in the Mini USB adapters.  Because the stand is powered separately from your console, you can quickly charge your controllers without having to turn your console on.

Having the option to not only charge your controllers but also to store your controllers on this stand will help to keep your gaming setup looking not only clean and tidy, but also stylish as the stand will not look out of place alongside your PS3 console.

venom03

The Venom Charging Stand is available at an affordable price of £19.99 from the Venom page on Play.com.

Gaming

Below is a list of gaming peripherals that would make awesome gifts and stocking fillers!

PC Gamer:
Definitely at the top of my list would be items from Razer. A company well known for the quality and usability of their products, there will be something for everyone. Below is a list of items that would kit out any gamers set-up.

Black Widow Ultimate Keyboard – Razer.com
Vespula Mouse Mat – Razer.com
Naga 2014  Mouse – Razer.com
Kraken 7.1 Headset – Razer.com

razergg

All of the above have excellent reviews and would suit anyone, from a hardcore gamer, to someone who plays casually, male or female!

Console Gamer:
I think that Gioteck have the console side of gaming pretty much covered. From headsets to controllers, there is something to suit most people, and with their upcoming new range release, there is even more to choose from!

EX-05 headset (EX-05S coming soon) (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – Gioteck.com
FR-1 Racing Wheel (PS3) – Gioteck.com
SC-1 controller (PS3) – Gioteck.com

Image3

Gioteck also have a PS4 range hitting the shelves from November 29th, onwards.  The reviews for all of the above are great, and the prices are even better!

Custom Xbox 360 Controller – Review (@NiftyModz)

Everyone likes to have something that represents them in one or another, whether it be a snazzy new phone case or a custom designed controller for your favourite gaming console.  So when I asked the fine folk over at NiftyModz if it would be possible to review one of their controllers and they agreed, I began looking forward to it.

I spoke with Ben from NiftyModz via email to let him know what I would like on the controller.  I mentioned that I would like my favourite colour in there somewhere (green), my gamertag (TootieTazzy), and the logo for the site that I am Community Manager for (XBLGamerhub).  Armed with these few details, he went to work.

When I first saw my controller, I was instantly impressed.  The marble green that he had used as the main shell colour was gorgeous, and coupled with the all pink inserts and buttons, the colours just matched each other so well.  He had included the XBLGamerhub logo on the left side of the controller and my gamertag, in a really nice font, on the right side.  The paint job itself is very high quality with no drip marks or roughness.  Just a very smooth and glossy finish, which is what you would expect.

nifty3

Flipping the controller over, there was even more goodness.  He had included the paddles on the back and had assigned them to the buttons that I chose – in this case, X and Y.  The paddles fit nicely in with the way you hold the controller and are not intrusive in any way.

When I used the controller for the first time, I went through and checked that all of the buttons, triggers, thumbsticks, and paddles worked as they should – which they did.  I found the paddles a nice addition and will also find it hard to play without them now that I have gotten used to them.

nifty2

Overall, I am really liking the controller.  The finished product is much better than I ever thought it would be.  If you would like to see more designs from NiftyModz, check out their YouTube channel and give them a follow on Twitter!

Big thanks to NiftyModz for sending this controller out for review.

Xbox 360 Controller Carbon Fiber Wrap – Review (@SlickWraps)

Today I am going to be reviewing an Xbox 360 wrap from the guys over at slickwraps.com. I went for the Lime Carbon Fiber wrap so that it would go nicely with my green and white custom controller.

Firstly, the product arrived in good time, about a week, which is good considering it was shipped from America. When it arrived, it came in a solid packaging which prevented the wrap from being bent or creased whilst in transit. Inside the packaging I found the wrap, a nicely sized and styled sticker, a microfiber cloth and a few miniature cards. The miniature cards include QR Codes on the back that take you to different websites and channels.

sw1

One has a Slickwraps logo in the front which also provides you with the social network links – the QR Code on the back of this card takes you to the section on slickwraps.com that provides instructions on how to apply your Slickwrap. The second has a Facebook logo on the front and the QR code on the back takes you to their Facebook page. The third and final card has an iTunes logo on the front and the QR Code takes to the iTunes app store to download their new Slickwraps Wallpaper app (which is pretty cool, just for the record!). Finally, you will find a small Slickwraps logo sticker.

Before you even think about applying your Slickwrap to your device, I would highly recommend you check out the instruction page over at slickwraps.com/instructions. You will find videos that will help you to fit your wrap perfectly.

After watching the video that you need for your device you should be at the stage of fitting the wrap. When it comes to peeling your wrap off of the backing paper, just go slowly. With this being a wrap for a controller, there are a lot of gaps and it isn’t a solid wrap all the way around. There is a gap on both the left and right side of the wrap so that it is easier to maneuver around the left thumbstick and also the X, Y, B, A buttons.  Use the included microfiber cloth to wipe over your device to ensure that there is no dust or dirt is lingering to get stuck underneath the wrap whilst applying it.

I think that I got lucky when fitting mine as I managed to apply it first time. I found that the easiest way to fit it was to line up the Xbox Guide Button on the controller so that it was in the center of the hole and then line up the X, Y, B, A buttons and then apply it from there. As you smooth down the wrap so that it is applied properly, make sure that you smooth down the edges on each side of the wrap as you go along so as not to leave any creases or bubbles along the edge of the wrap. I found it easiest to smooth it down bit by bit and once one side was finished, I moved over to the other side. The video really did help with this.

swc

Once your wrap is applied, sit back and admire your handiwork! I found that the Carbon Fiber wrap has a nice feel to it which adds a bit of extra grip whilst holding the controller. The Carbon effect also looks very nice, especially when the light hits it. It has definitely put the finishing touch to my custom controller.

For the price that you pay ($9.95USD for this particular wrap) it is definitely something that I could see myself buying and using again, especially on my other controllers. It takes away the plain look and adds a bit of colour.

Wraps are currently available for a wide range of products and devices. Head over to slickwraps.com for a look at everything that is available.

A big thanks to the guys over at Slickwraps for sending this out for me to review.

Rapid Fire Kits – Accessories Review (@RapidFireKits)

1302241412573437-affiliation_banner 

Whenever I heard the words “modded controller” I always used to think “why would anyone use one of those?”  Since getting in touch and speaking with the guys over at Rapid Fire Kits, I know that there is a lot more to a modded controller than the whole rapid fire and auto aim that you see on games such as Black Ops, etc.

Rapid Fire Kits were kind enough to send me s bunch of parts for my controller.  These parts range from thumbsticks to shoulder buttons – and then to the dreaded rapid fire mod chip.  I was actually starting to look forward to getting things started.

I chose to use one of my old white Xbox controllers to use all of these little bits and bobs in – I didn’t use the controller any more, didn’t want to take off my Squid Grip’s from my red chrome controller and my other half wouldn’t let me have his black one.  I had purchased my Torx T8 screwdriver and a soldering iron in advance so I was ready to get my hands dirty, so to speak!

Following the instructions supplied on the Rapid Fire Kits website, it was easy enough to take apart the controller for me to change the thumbsticks, buttons, etc.  I actually managed to get those bits done by myself, but having the option there if I needed help was nice.  When it came to attaching the mod chip though, I am very thankful for the guide.  There are step by step pictures as well as written text to keep you going in the right direction.  Unfortunately, I still missed a part and thought I had screwed everything up.  A quick email to them had me sorted though!

The quality of all of the parts that I had from them was really good.  All of the parts are really well made and didn’t feel cheap.  They all fit where they were supposed to with no gaps and everything works as it should.  Everything on this controller is a part from RFK, all except the Start and Back buttons, the shell and the triggers.

controller

The mod chip does what it should.  You have 9 different modes to choose from, from rapid fire to auto aim.  There is a full tutorial on how to use and choose each mode on their site also.  When everything is put together and works like it is supposed to, you do get a large sense of satisfaction.

Now whilst this is probably a controller that I won’t use too often, mostly because I like my red controller with my Squid Grip’s and Kontrol Freek’s, I have the option there to use it if and when I want to.

If the mod chip isn’t your cup of tea then there are plenty of other bits to choose from and prices start from as low as £1.  Check out their site if you feel like jazzing up your controller cosmetically, definitely give them a look.  I have a discount code that gives you 15% off of your total order price on their website.  Just click here to find the code.

I also have two sets of thumbsticks leftover so will be doing a giveaway for those some time soon.  A nice bright yellow set and a nice bright orange set.  Check them out on their site!

ORB Wired Game Controller PS3/PC – Review (@ORB_Accs)

When it comes to playing the PS3, the controllers aren’t always user friendly.  For this reason, I am always on the lookout to find ways to make PS3 game time more comfortable for my hands.  Hopefully, this is where the ORB Wired Game Controller for the PS3/PC from ORB Accessories comes into play.

First up, the box itself is easy on the eye.  The red and white box colouring is nice to look at, and is coupled with an image of the controller.  When looking around the box,  you can find some controller information listed, making it easy for you to find out the functions of the controller before you buy it.

itb

Inside the box you find the following contents.

  • 1 x Wired Game Controller
  • 1  x Instruction Manual

The controller itself looks and feels very nice.  With its matt black finish, ORB logo and nice button designs, it is nicer to look at than the regular PS3 controller – in my opinion.  When holding it, it has a nice texture on the skin, the kind of texture that you don’t need any extra grip with.  It has the four buttons on the back of the controller – L1, L2, R1 and R2.  The L2 and R2 buttons are not the usual trigger style, but normal buttons, just over double the size of the L1 and R2 buttons.  The D-Pad is a solid button you have a Turbo button, Clear button and the Select, Start and PS home buttons.  The thumbsticks have a nice grip to them, hopefully making it a little easier to control without added grip, rather than the sticks on the standard PS3 controller.  Lastly, the Square, Triangle, Circle and X buttons stay similar to those on the original controller, but have their own design to them too.

orbc

Product Features.

  • Support multiple signals transmission without interference
  • Suppers PC game using OS Windows2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7
  • Turbo buttons
  • 4 corresponding LED indicating the choice of channel
  • Support up to 7 multi-players

When it came to getting the controller up and running, it couldn’t be easier.  Simply plug the controller cable into the PS3 console and then turn it on.  You should see  the LED lights start to flash, confirming  the connection between the controller and console.  Press the PS button to operate the controller and the controller should choose the channel.

When it comes to using the Turbo button during gameplay, the Instruction Manual does a great job of walking you through how to get things up and running.  I would highly recommend reading through the manual, even if just to get to grips with how things work ahead of time.

Comfort wise, I found the ORB controller easy to hold and comfortable to use.  The thumbsticks seem to be reachable, more-so than they are on the standard controller.  The D-Pad is easy to use, as are the Square, Triangle, Circle and X buttons.  The L and R buttons are easily accessible and despite my reservations about using the less curved L2 & R2 buttons, I was pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of them.

I have used this controller a fair bit since receiving it and am impressed by it.  The comfort, style and look of the controller are all very appealing and if you are looking for something to use that has an improvement over the original PS3 controller, then this would be my suggestion to you.  At least give it a try if like me, you are a little skeptical about it – I don’t think you will be disappointed.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you ASAP.

SquidGrip for Xbox 360 Review

sglogo

I was very lucky to obtain a set of SquidGrip for the Xbox 360 from HonestXboxReviews. When I game, I don’t suffer from excessive sweating on the hands, but wanted to try this product to see if it helped with my hands hurting after playing for a few hours. I tend to hold the controller tightly to stop it slipping from my hands, so wanted to see if SquidGrip would improve my grip.

When the product arrived, it came in a very sleak, stylish, and minimal sleeve type packet. Minimal, but with all of the information you need regarding SquidGrip. On the back of the packet was an easy ‘tear here’ strip to open without damaging the sleeve too much. The bit that I liked was that after tearing off the strip, it tells you to “READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING!” – very handy for those of us that usually jump in with both feet.

Each pack contains:

2 SquidGrips (one for each side of the controller)
A set of badges,
A SquidGrip sticker
An instruction manual

The instruction manual shows you, with both text and pictures, how to successfully apply the SquidGrips to your controller, as well as how to differentiate between the left and right Grip. Applying the Grips was easy and straightforward – if I can do it, anybody can! The badges add a nice finished look to the Grips – these are customisable when you make your purchase for a small fee if you don’t want the bog standard ones.

sgrc

When I used the controller after applying the SquidGrips, I found them to be very comfortable, and they didn’t look out of place. I did find that my fingers would edge towards the edge of the Grip on the back of the controller, but once I was used to it, everything was fine. I did notice that I didn’t have to hold the controller as tightly, which was the main reason I wanted to give these a try because over-gripping causes me hand pain. This made my day and in my eyes, SquidGrip would be worth every penny of the $14.99 (plus postage).

To anyone that is looking to improve comfort or to minimise sweaty palms while playing, I would highly recommend SquidGrip.

Available for Xbox360 and PS3 controllers from http://www.squidgrip.com

Xbox 360 Red Chrome Controller Review

Image

After trying to convince myself that I needed a new Xbox controller – despite have 3 already – I decided to treat myself to a Red Chrome Controller as a birthday present to myself. I could have waited for another regular controller to come along, but the chrome style controllers really caught my eye.

The main look of the controller has changed slightly, compared to the bog standard wireless controllers. Not only has the face changed to an eye-catching and shiny colour, but there were also changes to the thumbsticks, as well as the D-Pad. The overall colour of the chrome controller is very eye-catching, with it’s shiny red chrome finish – hell, even the D-Pad is finished with a silver chrome colour! The red itself is definitely my favourite colour out of the three available – silver, blue and red. It is not an ‘in your face’ red, but a very nice ‘not too dark’ red that just screams at you – not in an over-bearing way though. The back of the controller is just a standard black finish, not chrome. It would have been nice to have a total chrome effect I think. The only downside is the amount of fingerprints that are now visible, even with numerous attempts at cleaning and wiping.

The thumbsticks are now slightly different to the ones that you get on the previous wireless controllers. You will no longer find the dots that you have on the older controllers – these always helped me with grip. Now you have a slightly raised edge to the edge of the thumbstick – I don’t find that this helps any, especially when in the middle of a long gaming session. This is something that iI have rectified by purchasing some thumb grips that simply go over the top of the sticks. I found this not only helps me with my grip, but also will stop the grip on the top of the sticks from wearing away.

I think the D-Pad change is the biggest change in these new style controllers though, and this must be a pretty big change to overshadow the colour change, as well as the thumbstick changes. When playing on older gaming systems, the D-Pad was always spot on, especially with fighting games. When you first get the chrome controller, the D-Pad will be in the raised position. This matches the way that the original 360 controllers are. However, if you twist the D-Pad in a clockwise direction, the corners raise which in turn, offers more control – in my opinion.

Overall, now that the price has come down quite substantially since release of these controllers, I think these are a good buy – but only if you are looking for a controller that looks really nice, or want to be that little more precise when using the D-Pad. The regular 360 wireless controllers do the job perfectly well if those two things don’t bother you.

If you have any questions about this controller, please feel to ask and I will get back to you as soon as possible.