Quote: Originally Posted by bobland
Is the Hydra customizable? The problem I run into with the XBox controller is it responds differently to different games. On GTA4 I love it for driving but keep walking into walls. If I could decrease the sensitivity for the left stick it, in that particular instance, it would be perfect. Similar problems with other games.
While I like the KB+M combo, I'd really like something more static as I end up hitting the wrong keys all the time and getting destroyed...even in my single player games. For that reason, I don't play multiplayer because I'm so rotten with the controls.
The Razer looks intriguing.
It does have a 'controller' option where it works like a game controller without motion control, but I don't care for it much and never use it. It's a bit awkward as button placement is a little weird for that sort of use and it feels better to have one solid unit if you want to use a controller to play a game anyway. It works, I've messed with it a little and it wasn't difficult to use, I just prefer my 360 controller if I'm going to bother with playing a game that way. It just feels better to me.
There's a lot you can do with the motion controls as it supports: twisting or doorknob motion, moving the controller in a direction, up, down, left, right, forward, and back, tilting the controller up, down, left, or right, distance from the other controller, velocity, and distance from the base. It's also very responsive, more so than any current gen console due to it being a wired controller and using a weak magnetic field for positioning. [It's not strong enough to harm other electronics, so no need to worry about it messing up your screen or screwing with HDD data. Though if you're using both halves and have mouse look mapped to the Hydra, it's best to have it about eight or nine inches away from anything else as other devices that have a magnetic field of their own can give it the jitters.]
Yes, it requires a program to map every key, move function, and trigger. You can map every button to be anything you want it to be and even allows for the programming of blank functions, which is nice if you don't want to use the motion controls. [I like putting jump, crouch, melee, and reload as motion controls.] Most games require that you use one of the two available programs actually. There are two options, one from Razer, and the other from Sixsense, both are free. A lot of reviews and articles online complain that you have to adjust the code manually to get it to work, but you no longer need to do that anymore so don't worry about it. It's been addressed and there is now a functional GUI for it through Sixsense.
There are only a handful of games that natively support it and you don't need to use the Sixsense or Razer program to use it with Portal 2 provided you have the Hydra DLC which includes several new levels and is super awesome. [You can get the extra levels for free if you've already got Portal 2 just by sending Sixsense your unit's serial number and requesting it via E-mail. So if you want the Portal 2 levels and already have the game save your money and don't buy the more expensive Portal 2 bundle. Just get the stand alone unit instead and contact Sixsense.]
Left for Dead and Team Fortress 2 are other games that come to mind. For native support for these games they require that you download a the Hydra Steam Client in the software section of Steam, and it is free as well. Just type in 'Hydra' under the Software section of the Store, it won't pop up if you try it in the Games section, so be aware that you need to be in Software to find it.
The Sixsense program has a whole bunch of preprogramed sets for tons of games, a couple hundred or so as I recall. I prefer using a custom one that I've set up with common controls from various first person games. If a game is set up different, I can either create a duplicate and tweak it, or adjust the in game key mapping to match my setup. I can also adjust how sensitive the motion control is as well, which is really nice and enables you to find that sweet spot where it's not difficult to use but is also difficult to set off by accident.
One nice thing about the preprogramed sets is that you can use one and check out how it's programmed so you can figure out how to make your own a little easier. You can then add games by finding the .exe to a particular game and adding it so that whenever you play it with the Sixsense program running it automatically goes to the preset you programmed. [Just make sure you've disabled it if there's another preset for it.] There's also a 'force' option if you're having difficulty with multiple presets trying to run at once. I use that most of the time anyway just because it's a surefire way to get it to behave the way you want.
You don't want to use the one from Razer. It's pretty useless. The one from Sixsense is the one to use. It has a GUI interface for programming the buttons. It does take some getting used too, but once you figure out how it works, you can set the thing anyway you want. It's very left handed friendly in that regard as well. My sister is left handed and she loves it, I had to buy her one for her birthday last year.
The mouse is still better, but it's even fun to use as a full motion controller with one controller controlling the mouse pointer. It's pretty accurate and responsive, but I still prefer the mouse.
I would suggest using a gaming mouse with a couple of side buttons as well. You don't need a whole number pad or anything [though it is nice to have], but if you don't have a few extra keys on your mouse you'll be poking at your keyboard on occasion. It's not too bad, but can set off whatever functions you've got mapped to the motion controls, which is why I don't recommend mapping something like 'toss grenade' to motion control.
As far as I'm concerned it's the best PC controller I've ever owned. I only ever use my Xbox controller for games like Batman or other 3rd person beat em ups, or racing games like Grid anymore. Anything in first person or where my character uses a firearm and I'm using the Hydra and my Naga mouse.