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Review: Razer Onza Tournament Edition - Xbox 360 controller

by Steven Williamson on 28 April 2011, 12:02 4.0

Tags: Razer

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A truly competitive Xbox Controller.

The Razer Onza Tournament Edition isn’t your standard, run-of-the-mill Xbox 360 third-party controller. More than most, Razer has created a serious rival to the official Microsoft pad that can improve your performance considerably. By taking all of the existing features from the standard Xbox 360 controller, refining them and then adding some customisable options, such as the ability to remap existing controls on the fly, the Onza is clearly targeting competitive gamers; and anyone looking to get an edge over their opponent shouldn't be disappointed.

The only major downside to the Onza is that it has to be wired. Having used a wireless Xbox 360 controller for some time, enjoying the convenience of sprawling on the couch not having to worry about wires tangling, it’s a big shame that Microsoft doesn’t allow third party manufacturers to develop wireless solutions, otherwise the Onza would have wider appeal. Nonetheless, Razer has done the best that it can do by at least powering the controller with a lengthy 15ft, durable, braided cable that comes complete with the quick release USB connector.

At first glance, aside from the snake (Razer's emblem) emblazoned across the bottom right-hand side of the pad, the Onza doesn’t look a lot different to the official controller; and feels similarly comfortable to hold and ergonomically sound resting in your palm. Designed in a jet black colour with a back-lit guide button and action buttons, it mimics the style of the official controller by placing the d-pad, analogue sticks, actions buttons and guide buttons in the same areas as they appear on Microsoft’s pad. However, there are quite a few features that differ.

The 'Start' and 'Back' buttons, for instance, don’t sit either side of the 'Guide' button in the centre of the pad. Instead, they have been placed directly below the 'Guide' button on the bottom of the pad, just above the microphone jack. That means you have to make a much longer journey to press it than you do on the official controller, where you can just slide your thumb slightly to the left to activate 'Start.' I’m always pausing in-game, whether it’s to grab a drink, have a rest, speak with someone in the family, or make a change of tactics in FIFA 11. I like having immediate access to 'Start', so moving it to a new area where you now have to bring your thumb over the analogue stick to reach it isn’t ideal. We're only talking milli-seconds here, but it can really make a difference. There's plenty of space next to the 'Guide' button, so it didn't need to be moved.

Continued overleaf