Razer Sabertooth ReviewClayMeow - May 20, 2014
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Razer Sabertooth Results:
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (SASRT) is an arcade kart-racing game and thus another great test for any controller. SASRT is like Mario Kart, but with characters from Sega and a few other games (including Team Fortress 2 on PC), and with transforming cars mid-race to tackle land, sea, and air. The game uses the left analog stick to steer (not allowing the use of the D-Pad), to allow for precise controls, and the Sabertooth manages that perfectly. Of course, if you don't find the default sensitivity to your liking, you can always alter it, as mentioned earlier. While the main racing component on the ground and sea only utilize left and right, the analog stick is fully utilized when engaging flight mode.
I'm sure a racing wheel would be the ideal control method for SASRT and most racing games, but for someone who just plays the occasional racing game like myself, using a gamepad is perfectly suitable. And in a game like SASRT where the steering is variable, using an analog stick is definitely preferable over keyboard controls.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
For the last game in my official testing, I just had to try Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition. Dark Souls is a notoriously difficult, third-person action role-playing game, which launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011 before being ported over to the PC nearly a year later. I bring up this brief history lesson because the latter part is rather important as to why I chose to test the game with the Sabertooth. Just as notoriously difficult as the game is, the PC port is notoriously poor. Resolution, framerate, and graphics options aside, the biggest atrocity may have been how horrible the keyboard and mouse controls were translated.
I tried the default keyboard and mouse controls, and they were bad. I then installed a community-made hack to improve the controls, and they were certainly better, but, having played the game a little on an Xbox 360, I knew they were still pale in comparison to a controller. So then I tried to use my old controller. Problem solved? Not quite. See, my old controller was not an official Xbox 360 controller, yet all the in-game prompts were for the Xbox 360. Figuring out what controls did what was frustrating, especially in the heat of battle. But now I have the Sabertooth and all is good in the world!
Dark Souls' control scheme is a rather interesting one and why a good controller is essential. As you'd expect from a 3D game, movement is handled by the left-analog stick, while the camera is handled by the right-analog stick. But this is where things get complicated: each direction of the D-Pad is assigned to a task (spells, items, left-hand, right-hand); A interacts; B backsteps, rolls, or runs; X uses the selected item; Y switches to a two-hand weapon stance; RB attacks; RT does a heavy attack; LB guards or ripostes; LT parries or does a shield bash; and pressing on the right analog stick (R3) target locks. If that sounds like pretty much every single button of a standard controller is covered, that's because it is. The only one not utilized is pressing the left analog stick (L3).
So yes, a good, comfortable controller is pretty much essential to fully enjoy Dark Souls, and thankfully the Sabertooth proved to be one. I'm happy to report that I got further in the game with the Sabertooth than any of my previous attempts! That's not to say I didn't die…a lot. I mean, it IS Dark Souls after all – but my plentiful deaths were certainly not due to the Sabertooth. In fact, thanks to the customization, the Sabertooth made it slightly easier, allowing me to assign the R3 to M6 for easier target locks (I always hate having to press analog sticks).