Monday, December 15, 2008

XCM XFPS 3.0 Sniper Plus (XBOX 360)

- Picked it for around $90 from play-asia.
- My primary goal was to get the x-arcade solo to work with my xbox 360 specifically for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (and sf4 down the road). You can read here why there isn't a native 360 adapter for x-arcade.
- I had everything else required already: x-arcade solo with the playstation 2 adapter and an xbox 360 wired controller.
- Here is how it looks all hooked up:

sniper -> xbox 360 using usb
360 wired controller -> usb 1 on sniper
x-arcade ps2 adapter -> sniper on ps2 connector
x-arcade joystick -> x-arcade ps2 adapter using serial.
- Yeah that's a lot of cables, and the signal is getting converted a lot. The x-arcade stick outputs db9 serial, this then gets converted into ps2, and finally into xbox 360 using the sniper. This double conversion does actually work but maybe not perfectly.
- The wired 360 controller is there just to make the 360 think it has a certified controller attached. After the initial boot up, you can actually unplug the 360 controller.
- It works pretty well in ssf2 turbo hd remix. I think there might be a bit of lag sometimes due to the double conversion but I'm not positive. I can pull off several special moves in a row then all of a sudden I would miss several. It's hard for me to exactly pinpoint what was going on. It might be additional lag from all the conversion or it might be me. I'm pretty rusty at sf2 now, and I haven't used a joystick in a long time so maybe I'm just more comfortable with a pad instead. Eithery way something just felt off to me. I practiced in training mode for quite a while. I was actually more consistent with just the regular 360 d-pad.
- I also tried the joystick in a few classic arcade games like contra and galaga. It worked quite well. I can see my kids having fun with it just for the sake of having a big joystick and buttons to mash on.
- Switching to a ps2 game pad (I'm using a logitech wireless ps2 game pad here but of course the regular old dual shock 2 will work fine) seemed a bit more responsive for me. Granted, one level of conversion is now removed but this is something I'm not sure how to measure. It could be all in my head but subjectively it felt better than the x-arcade joystick as far as responsiveness goes.

- Finally I tried a keyboard and mouse with halo 3:

- First, I had a Logitech mx 3000 wireless desktop hooked up. Only the keyboard was recognized.
- Next, I tried a vx nano wireless mouse in the other usb port, no go, it kind of went crazy.
- Finally, I plugged in a wired mx518, and it seems to work. After adjusting the separate X and Y sensitivity dials, it's sort of playable. You can never really tune it in right. It never felt smooth or precise. It was quite jerky in motion and made me ill after a few minutes (this is with me finishing the single player campaign, then again in legendary co-op, then making captain online all on the gamepad without any motion sickness). Basically, it's worthless for keyboard/mouse play in fps.
- It's quite flexible in they way you can map the keyboard/mouse to any of the equivalent 360 controller buttons/sticks. When using a ps2 controller, the mapping is fixed but the defaults are fine. I even tried some geometry wars 2 with a ps2 controller just to make sure the analog sticks were mapped correctly. It all worked quite nicely. Mappings persist between power cycles.

- Turbo switches seem interesting. Can we say dual pistols on Left 4 Dead (can't try it yet though since my copy still hasn't arrived from amazon yet)?

Not recommended. It's overpriced. The keyboard/mouse is a joke. I would never use it on the 360 in place of the standard control pad, and I grew up on PC keyboard/mouse controls for fps. The ability to use a ps2 controller on the 360 is pretty spot on. I thought this functionality was probably the best and worked really well. Using the x-arcade joystick with the double conversion required was a bit more of a miss though still not bad. So as a ps2 controller adapter for the 360 I would say it would be worth maybe around $30. No way is it worth $90 (+ a wired 360 controller if you don't already have one) unless you really love your dual shock 2 that much. For a good sf2 controller on 360 I'm hoping the sf4 gamepad will be it when it is released in late February. For now I'm back to the regular 360 controller. I find I do better on the d-pad for ryu style characters and the analog stick on charge style characters.

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