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Review of the Razer Onza 360 Controller

History of the Onza:

So it’s been nearly a year from the first announcement of Razer‘s entrance into the console gaming market with two new peripherals for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. At CES 2010, they announced (and had a working demo unit) of the Onza controller, and a 5.1 surround sound headset named the Chimera.

Both their products kept getting pushed back, and it wasn’t until January 2011 that they allowed pre-orders for the Onza (while the Chimera is still on hold). Razer did expand both lines a bit further to include two versions of each product. For the Onza, there’s a Tournament Edition with a few more features (adjustable tension sticks, braided cable, rubberized surface) than the Standard Edition. The Chimera was also expanded to have a 5.1 system over a 5.8Ghz band and a standard stereo system over 2.4Ghz.

There’s been much talk on the ASTRO Gaming Forums about the Onza with many members pre-ordering it. Let me also admit that I was planning to pre-order it as well, but it went out of stock on the Razer site so quickly (even for a pre-order) that I missed out entirely. Razer’s handling of shipping the item out a few weeks late added to the frustration of many customers online. Just this week, some of the members on the forum mentioned that BestBuy was getting them in stock. I checked the next day and was able to secure one at my local BestBuy.


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Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 Demos

I tried both Bulletstorm and Crysis 2’s demos yesterday.

Bulletstorm was neat. Felt like Unreal Tournament meets Gears. Or a strange GoW in 1st person. The concept and weapons were different enough from Gears to make it fun. While the level was short, they made it so you can keep replaying the demo over and over again to improve your score. How do you do that? Well, the whole slogan of Bulletstorm is “Kill With Skill”. The game gives you various powers to start combos (sliding kick, telsa cable, boot-kick). Then they’re put into a StreetFighter type juggle move where they hover in the air for a few seconds which gives you the opportunity to shoot at their helpless floating body with your weapons. Various different things can be done from headshots, to attaching a sticky grenade to them, kicking their body, and exploding it when the body is near other enemies (think of a remote air-mail bomb). One of the funniest things that I found was environmental damage. Some concrete walls were partially destroyed, so when I pulled an enemy towards it with the telsa cable, he was impaled on the exposed crossbars of the wall and I got “Voodoo doll” points for it.

Crysis 2 was similar to a Call of Duty style game, but with a sci-fi twist. You get basic classes (Assault Rifles, Shotguns, Snipers, Heavy MG, etc.), but you also have these exo-skeletons that have abilities like instantly adding Armor, invisibility, or a sprint boost. Each of these run off of the same battery, and only one can be used at a time. The game also has all the same COD style weapon and perk unlocks. Unfortunately in order to use items like a suppressor on a weapon, you have to unlock it by completely challenges for each weapon. It makes BlackOps unlock system with points seem like the way all games should go now.

I ended up playing the Crysis 2 demo for a lot longer time than the Bulletstorm demo, though I thought it would be the complete opposite, considering I haven’t even played the first Crysis game.

There were still MANY flaws in the Crysis 2 demo not to be overlooked. Things like client-side advantage, ping, hit-detection, and the speed of players are just to name a few. I know the game’s not completely done, but when you find a bug like the “Tactical button layout” causes the right-stick to both zoom and crouch with a sniper, it just makes you think they really didn’t work on the game.

So does this change if I’m going to buy either game?

I’m still unsure, but Bulletstorm was fun. I think the co-op aspect of the game could be fun as well. Considering it’s an EA game, I should be able to get it cheap. At the same time, not many of my close gaming circle friends may play this, but my extended industry friends probably would. So I may pick this one up (and get that exclusive GoW3 beta, hehe).

For Crysis 2, I’ll continue to play the demo and see how it pans out. It has some neat things about the game (love the sliding when running), but other parts of it need a lot of improvement.