reviews\ Sep 16, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Marvel Black Spider-Man Pad - XB - Review

Naki’s Spider-Man controller for the Xbox seems a little slow in response times, but is comfortable and looks cool

When delving into the world of controllers, game players are looking for three things – ease of installation, comfort and responsiveness.

If the controller looks cool, that is a bonus.

Naki has come up with a line of control devices that definitely hit on the major points and look very cool.

The Naki controller for the Xbox follows the Marvel Spider-Man motif, and though not in the typical red and blue colors associated with the Webcrawler, this controller has a silver spider emblazoned across the top of the black device. Rubber cushions on the outside and inside of the controller arms are embossed with Spiderman designs as well.

The Xbox configuration is typical of the majority of the platform controllers. There are your basic array of A, B, X, Y, Black and White buttons, the Start and Pause buttons, right and left thumbsticks, and eight-way digital direction pad. Naki, though, has added a couple of buttons – a programmable turbo-fire button and the clear button.

The latter two buttons will enable game players to set these keys up to the actions they want immediately and responsively. There are two turbo modes, and the clear button does just what it says, clears the action. The button setup is simple, hold down the turbo button and the button that you will enable in that mode. Tested on NCAA College Football 2003 (from EASports) and The Thing (Vivendi Universal Games), the button did not seem to do much other than speed up the function of the button used. If you hit the A button, and enabled turbo on that button, it seemed to make the responsiveness of that button faster.

The device also comes with two extension memory card slots and has the vibration function.

When it comes to comfort, this controller scores big. The handgrips, or arms, are rounded to sit in the palm of the hand easily, and there are indentations in the grips to tuck or wrap the middle fingers around. The rubber pads also seem to eliminate dreaded sweaty palms syndrome, when – after hours of play – you find yourself wiping your hands on your shirt or pants in order to get a better grip on the controller.

Used on The Thing, the controller seemed to function quickly. However, when it came to NCAA Football, the response time seemed a hair slower than the controller devices that came with the Xbox. Also the buttons had to be solidly depressed to initiate the action. Once that was configured into the gaming style, it proved to be incidental to the game action.

When it comes to installation, forget that. Plug it in and play.

This device is very comfortable and the button set-up is nicely configured. Of course, it looks very cool.

The turbo button doesn’t seem to do all that much in the two games tried – unless just a quicker response time was the intent, then it did that well.

Verdict: 8.4
Naki’s Spider-Man controller for the Xbox is a very good-looking device that is comfortable in the hands. If the response time was a touch slower (of course, it could be reaction time on the part of the game player), that is negligible when compared to the comfort factor. If you are going to have a device in your hands for hours, you don’t want it to induce cramps, and the design of this controller helps alleviate that problem. After a six-eight hour session, the only things worn down were the eyes (and nerves) from staring at the screen and the game intensity. This is a nice controller, and if you are a long-time Spider-Man fan (guilty as charged), well, you will probably want to add this device to your collection.  


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