Joytech Neo Se Advanced Controller (Chill)
RRP: £14.99 (Official Microsoft AV Component Cable: RRP £19.99)
Support the site: Buy this pad from Play.com for £14.99
Game controllers are by far the most important aspect of a console. The console could be amazing, but if the controller is uncomfortable, bulky or otherwise crap, gamers will shy away from playing for too long. Some gamers prefer to stick to authentic, official game controllers (myself included!), whilst others are happy to try out ‘cheaper’ versions from 3rd party manufacturers.
I’ve always said you can’t beat an official product. So when I received JOYTECH’s ‘officially licensed’ but in no way Microsoft official, Neo Se Advanced Controller, I was somewhat hesitant.
As soon as I pulled it out of its shrink wrapped (and damn hard to open) box, negative comments starting coming out of my mouth — “Bah, it’s bulky. Meh, it doesn’t look right. Pfft, that guide button looks rubbish”. However, I persevered, and soon took those words right back.
Although initially uncomfortable, you’re hands soon come to realise that actually this controller is really well made, and well thought out. The Start and Back buttons have moved from the middle of the controller to the bottom left. This stops you from annoyingly pressing the ‘start’ button when you’re reaching for the guide button. The analog joypads feel really nice and smooth, and the D-Pad is FAR superior to Microsoft’s. It has a lot more control, and feels a lot more like it should — comfortable and responsive.
After a few hours of play, the controller still fits nicely into your hand, and you don’t get any hand cramp (which admittedly, a lot of 3rd party hardware products do give you). The controller comes with a 3 metre break-away cable. Yes that is massive! Although I can now hear your cries of “omg, the 360 is all about the wireless!”, you’ve got to remember that this controller links up to your PC — and works like a plug-and-play controller you buy from PC world or the like. And with three metres of cable, you can’t go wrong.
That being said, it would have been nice to have a wireless alternative for those of us who don’t want or need a PC controller. The controller isn’t all good news and happy cheers. There are one or two slight nagging’s that frustrate. I found the analog pads to be slightly unresponsive sometimes. Tiny movements tend not to be recognised very well, if at all. This causes a slight problem if you’re playing something like PGR3 and you want some very slight turns. That being said, I am being picky — as the movement has to be very slight for it not to recognise it. Not only that, but the back shoulder buttons are ‘stiff’. The official Microsoft pads have very easy to press shoulder buttons, whereas JOYTECH are ‘harder’ to press down. That however, is just down to personal taste. Some would argue that the official pad shoulder buttons aren’t stiff enough.
Let’s turn away from the negatives, because in reality, the JOYTECH Neo Se Advanced Controller is great — in fact, probably one of the best 3rd party controllers on the market. It’s durable, comfortable, and most importantly — it does exactly the same jazzy stuff that the official one does.
Although not wireless, the 3 meter cable is more than long enough, and it also allows for PC link up. Retailing at a stunning £17.99 online (Official wired 360 controller retails at £24.99) you really can’t go wrong. If you need a spare controller for when your mates come around, then why spend the extra money when you can buy JOYTECH’s pad, and still have the same options open?
Russ Clow not only nearly shares his name with one of the best Gladiators around, but he also has a bundle of experience under his belt. Since a very young age he's been playing video games, and has been working in the video game industry for most of his working career. Russ is a secret Sony Fanboy, although he tries hard to hide it so as to keep his position as Editor-in-Chief. When he's not playing games, Russ likes to play football with the "lads".
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