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Top Shot Elite Peripheral Preview

Feature; Aug. 4, 2010; Channels: Video Games; By Jenner David Cauton
Subtypes: Preview
Mouse or Controller? Who Wins? NEITHER!

I love my mouse. No, seriously, I really do. I give it birthday presents on the day that I bought it. When the computer turns off, I unplug it and put it inside a locked safe behind three separate security doors you have to pass through after a retinal scan... after a urine test.

OK, if you couldn't tell by now, when it comes to FPS games, I have to say hands down to the mouse. It's precise, accurate and little to no compensation errors when aiming. But I digress, when the whole "console market" thing started happening, I was getting a little bit slighted when I started seeing FPS games only coming on to the 360, or whatever console have you. The ironic thing is, I don't blame the companies. For whatever reasons, companies don't release PC versions of particular games, there's no doubt that there are enough reasons (both legal and financial) why any company wouldn't want to make one, even if they say such reasons aren't the case. I'm a PC shooter fan a heart, but I can't say that I despise analog sticks enough for shooters. All it took was a few months and suddenly I feel right at home on both platforms.

On a controller, you have to set it to one sensitivity setting and stick with it. On a mouse, you can fine tune that setting with your own hand, from changing from the smallest minuscule of movements to doing a complete 180 all in a fraction of a second. A controller allows you the freedom to sit down and generally feels more comfortable to use after hours of play. So who's the true winner here? None. The mouse, while accurate, requires a surface to use and, of course, a powerful enough rig to run the game. PC games make use of the tired and true dedicated server, but thanks to freeloaders and hackers (and the fact that a console is cheaper), the support for it is slowly dwindling. Now personally, I could go with either. On a PC, ultimately of course I'm leaning more over on the dedicated server choice, but over time, less because of a dedicated servers benefits, but more because everybody else is so stuck up with sticking with dedicated that I'll have no one to play with if the game doesn't support it. (BlackOps: Tango Down, I'm looking at you.)

Then I came across this thing.

The lovechild of Gordon Freeman and a Stormtrooper, modeled as a gun.

Oh great, it's another light gun. So? We haven't had had rail shooters since the PS2. So I think it's about time we started pointing hilariously colored plastic toys at the TV again. Only this gun isn't meant for an on rails shooter. This is the Top Shot Elite, a gun controller, at least in theory, that's meant to be used with full on FPS games. The very latest light gun I think anyone has made was the one for the PS2 for the Time Crisis series. (That I think unfortunately broke when I was trying to use it on my friend's huge plasma TV. Or whatever it was. You know who you are if you're reading this.) That gun had a D-Pad at the back of the gun as well as two other buttons on both sides of the gun (approximately where the auto/semi flip is on this picture) and one on the bottom handle. That's it. 

Let's look at this one. (Yes, I know the picture is for the PS3, but since I own only a 360 I'm going to use those terms.) The end of the barrel has an analog stick, and a face button. This maps out where your left hand would most likely be anyway on a controller, or even a gun peripheral. (Just turn your own controller to its side.) On the handle is another analog stick and two more buttons. This maps out where your right hand would be on a regular controller, as well. On the magazine is where you'll find BACK and START as well as the HOME button. Both the scope on the top and shoulder brace/stock are also detachable, removing weight for more of a pistol like feel.

If I were to actually choose a winner between the mouse and the controller...I would say neither of them. THIS GUY WINS. At least, I hope so. There's a lot of different control styles that you could map this out to emulate an actual controller, but there's also missing buttons. For one, the trigger and scope pretty much emulates the right and left trigger buttons respectively, but it also leaves out the bumpers, which could prove a problem with throwing grenades. They also should made the HOME button a fourth face button instead. I mean they already added three of the four, why stop? It would of made an excellent opportunity for a "reload" action on the magazine, and just put the menu buttons up higher somewhere unobstructed from your hands. This leaves out more possibilities for the other three buttons that are already there. Lastly, assuming the left stick (barrel) would be used to move your character, aiming the gun itself pretty much renders the right stick useless, so it's use might be for something else. As it is the right stick is a bit dead center matching up to the trigger, where as on a controller the stick is nudged a bit to the left where you thumb would be comfortably at, and at an angle from the right trigger.

Gun peripherals usually aren't popular for very long, but the Top Shot Elite is being made by Red Octane, the very same people who brought you Guitar Hero. So if their guitar popularity is any indication, it should almost be expected for these guns to perform well. The first game to use this is Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011, retailing at $39.99, with the gun package at $59.99. I may sound crazy, but I kind of wish the game was the full $60, because $40 doesn't seem like the mark of a full FPS game, rather it seems like the price just for the gun itself, which in this case, is just $20.00 So far, the game only seems to be about shooting random animals. Deer Hunter anyone? The game touts minigames and mulitplayer as well, but I'm not going to hold my breath for it honestly. I'd rather wait to see what other games they'll make for it. That is, if we can all get used to controlling the damn thing. Time will tell, this fall.

Editor's Note: IGN is listed as a source because the screenshots shown came from IGN. Thanks, IGN!



JCXanirus - Aug. 17, 2010 at 10:52:04pm

Oops. Forgot to mention one thing that isn't made obvious. Though the pictures above are for the PS3, the Top Shot Elite will be made for the 360 and Wii as well.


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