Splitfish FragFX Shark Review
First-person shooter purists swear by playing their favorite games on the PC with a mouse and keyboard, and I am inclined to agree. A console's controller simply cannot match the pinpoint accuracy of a mouse. Splitfish aims to turn purists into believers that even a console is able to get in on mouse controls. The question is, does it work?
The FragFX Shark mouse controller looks and feels like a standard mouse, albeit a slightly more bulky one. It has the standard buttons, as well as the four Playstation face buttons located on the side for thumb access. Another part of the controller is the joystick. Much like the nunchuck for the Wii, it rests in your left hand, and contains the analog stick as well as a d-pad, and the triggers located on the top. The controller also comes with a fairly big, sturdy pad that you can rest on your lap and easily use the mouse from the couch without the need of a table. Surprisingly the controllers are extremely lightweight, which ends being a problem with precision control, as well as making it feel downright cheap.
Though it does work as advertised, it has a fair share of problems. First of all, the mouse may be a bit too big for its own good, and often times makes reaching for all four of the face buttons a bit strenuous. The biggest problem is with the emulation of the right analog stick. Since the PS3 is incapable of actually registering mouse movement, what it does instead is mimic the right stick of a regular Dualshock 3. A slow pan of the mouse is equal to a slight nudge on the analog stick, and a flick of the wrist is akin to slamming the stick sideways. At least, that's the way it should operate.
I never got the level of sensitivity I was accustomed to. I turned up the sensitivity on the mouse and the in-game options, but I still didn't turn as fast as I needed to. Not only has Splitfish still not given us simple DPI adjustments that every other gaming mouse offers, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that previous models of the FragFX were actually more responsive. The sensitivity dial that's located on the joystick could have alleviated this problem but ends up being almost useless as the difference in mouse speed is almost unnoticeable.
Even though you might have that slight advantage by being able to aim more accurately (especially with a sniper), the slower turning speed makes it harder to traverse the environment while being mindful of your surroundings. You're also able to plug in the USB receiver into your PC, but this ends up feeling almost useless, especially for gamers who already own a gaming mouse, since any of those end up being way more accurate than the Shark. It's a neat prospect to have compatibility between the PS3 and PC, but if you're thinking of ever buying the FragFX Shark, chances are you're a PC faithful who already owns all the right equipment.
Perhaps Splitfish needs to work on ironing out these smaller problems by implementing more user customization, and adding a bit more control options, similar to a DPi switcher on a gaming mouse, to suit each gamers play style, as the included sensitivity dial doesn't make much of a difference. One thing is for sure though, being able to play with a mouse on a console is slowly but surely making steps in the right direction.