Razer Onza Tournament Edition

The need to have a good controller for our gaming systems has become a necessity. For us computer gamers, we use high DPI mouse, quick reacting keyboards that help us move quickly, and effortlessly during our gaming sessions. Which leaves you console users the use of a controller that is sluggish, and not very refined on the control during your gaming sessions. Due to the nature of the Xbox 360 it uses an acceleration on the controller sticks, and is proportionate to the analog sticks on the controller. Meaning that if you move the sticks a little bit you move slowly, if you move the sticks to the far sides you start to move quickly. On paper, and in theory this type of control scheme that Microsoft is using on the XBox 360 controller works. But, in the reality of things, not quite so much.

As we gamers move from one map (or level) to the next, the controller sensitivity may not apply to the next level (or map) we find our selves on. So you console users are having to exit out of the game (or pause it), then bring up that games controller sensitivity adjustment, and then adjust the sensitivity up or down for that type of game play you need to do. Now here is where the real kicker comes into play, you only have 1 adjustment for both controller sticks. Not to forget you cannot remap the buttons to other buttons on the controller to make your game play easier, faster and funner. Sure you have different presets, but you still are stuck with ” What the game manufacturer says they think is best”, not what you think is best for your gaming style.

Which brings us to the Razer Onza Tournament Edition  XBox 360 controller, you console gamers are able now to make on the fly analog stick adjustments, effortlessly, and easy with out ever having to go into the in games controller menu constantly. Now the Onza controller still does not give you a “True DPI Adjustment” it does however give you console gamers the ability of adjusting the analog sticks movement from slow and steady, to fast and quick on the fly (meaning you do not have to turn off the XBox 360, or pause the game; that, all your adjustments can be done while you are in game). You can also reassign any of the top upper buttons to 2 extra shoulder buttons on the fly as well. So you can adapt the Onza controller quickly, and effortlessly to your specific gaming style.

Packaging


Razer has always given us gamers eye catching packaging, the Onza is no different.

 
   

Looking at the many sides of the box, we can see that Razer ensures us what the capabilities of the Onza XBox 360 controller. I will get into more detail about the control surfaces, during the overview of the controller.

I have purchased/reviewed Razer products before, and like always Razer makes sure that their products are well protected from the rigors of shipping.

This is what we get with the Razer Onza controller. We get the controller, a small sheath that contains an owners manual, 2 stickers, a certificate of authenticity, and a small flyer.

Time for me to go over the Razer Onza controller. Razer places 2 shoulder buttons on both sides of the controller, where on the original controller only uses 1 per side. This is the right hand side of the controller, the standard buttons are the trigger button, and the lower shoulder button. The upper shoulder button is the one you can reassign any of the upper buttons to this button, including the analog thumb buttons of the controller itself. Now Razer did tweak these three buttons; they are a bit more sensitive to you pressing on them, as they do not require a lot of force for you to operate.

The right bottom trigger, as we can see it,  is different from what the original XBox 360 controller uses, has a shorter throw, and is a bit more sensitive.

Razer opted to move the start/select buttons from the top of the controller towards the bottom of the controller. This should keep you from accidentally hitting these 2 buttons while you are gaming. Also makes makes getting access to these 2 buttons a lot easier. Just below the select/start buttons is the standard 2.5mm headphone jack.

Razer placed their emblem right on the right side of the controller. The Onza controller has an anti-slip feel to it, the same rubberized material as used on their mice, so the controller should stay in place in our hands during the heat of the battle.

This is the D-Pad; Razer uses a totally different button layout than the original XBox 360 controller. Where the D-Pad on the original controller was one single unit, Razer uses 4 independent buttons for the D-Pad. The D-Pad is also sensitive, and easy to operate.

Making our way over to the analog  joy sticks of the controller. These sticks work pretty much the same way as the original XBox 360 controller does, but there is a slight twist to these sticks. We can adjust how these sticks react in our hands, I should mention you still do not adjust the DPI of each analog stick, but instead you adjust the sensitivity (or spring tension)  of each stick individually. You can make the stick move freely and quickly, or you can limit their movement. By doing this type of adjustment, gives the gamer the ability of dictating the amount of “acceleration” they want for any specific game, map, or level type. These adjustments can be made “On The Fly”, and it only takes a few seconds to go from free movement to a more refined and stiffer analog movement.

The left hand side buttons of the Onza controller.

Razer been using a cloth covered wire for some time now, and I can see why. Using a cloth covered wire wrap adds a bit more class to the controller. The only issue with the wire that is being used on the Onza controller is that it is a bit stiffer than a standard XBox 360 controller. The controller wire that Razer uses is 15 feet long, so you should have no issues on being able to reach your XBox 360 anywhere in the room.

 

The wire that Razer uses on the Onza controller, has a quick break away. This part of the wire breaks away fairly quickly and easily. So in case some one gets snagged up in the wire of the controller, it will break the connection here so it does not ruin the controllers’ cord or cause the Xbox 360 to come crashing down.

Game On

Since I am not a console gamer, I am going to let my friend/roommate talk about his thoughts about the Razer Onza and how it effected his game play. So please give a warm welcome to Nyborg.

Hello, I’m Nyborg, an Xbox / Xbox 360  console gamer. The Razer Onza Tournament Edition  Xbox 360 controller is the ultimate 360 controller I have played with. I’m an older gamer in the mid 50’s with mostly FPS games under my belt.  For the game tests, The joysticks were dialed down to the lightest tension. The upper shoulder buttons were mapped to mirror the joysticks push buttons. The games the controller was tested on are: Halo 2, Halo ODST, Halo Reach, Forza Motorsport, and Unreal Tournament III, in single play, Co-op as well as on-line play (multiplayer). XBox Live and XBox Connect were utilized for the on-line play.

In game (Halo), I played against the AI’s and was able to move with more authority due to the finer control (and lack of noticeable acceleration) of the joysticks. Sniping was much improved in scope mode as the control was much better while ranging and strafing.  Weapons ranging from the pistol to the rocket launcher (both human and covenant) also showed improved aiming capabilities. Character movement was more precise when in melee or close-quarter situations (lets dance!). The same was true with all the other games.  In vehicle driving (all games), steering is more precise, acceleration and braking is more refined due to the lack of noticeable ‘acceleration’ of the joysticks and the finer control of the triggers.   This was most evident in the Forza racing game, as tight braking turns and passing was more precise and resulted in better lap times. Online play was improved and was more fluid in the movements again due to the lack of noticeable joystick acceleration.

Tech notes: The joystick tension adjustments are easy to change. Just turn the castellated plastic ring under the mushroom head counter-clock wise for light tension; turn it clockwise for firm tension. This is easier for older gamers due to less stress on the thumbs, especially if the gamer has arthritis of the hands. (which I do) The ABXY buttons use tactile switches which are sensitive (similar to mouse buttons) with less throw and are pleasantly lit.  The “D” pad has four separate plastic pieces that have rubber contacts to the motherboard, so, no false inputs unlike the OEM controller which has one plastic piece.  The triggers have a shorter throw and have a built-in extension for better control. The shoulder buttons are basically the same as the OEM version and are slightly louder in clik (sound). The Back / Start buttons are in a better location and are not accidentally pressed in-game in darkness. (which some gamers like to play)  The 15 foot braided sheath cord is somewhat stiff; I believe the stiffness will mellow out after it gets worn in.The only thing that is somewhat distracting are the two vibrator motors: they tend to rattle within the case . Other than that, everything works as designed.

Overall, the Onza Tournament Edition controller is superior to the OEM Microsoft  360 controller in functionality, ease of adjustment and style. The Onza is lightweight, comfortable, and very responsive in all of it’s functions.  A worthy and affordable alternative to the standard OEM 360 controller. I highly recommend this controller for the hard-core gamer who is looking for an easier, ergonomic alternative to the standard OEM 360 controller.

Wrap Up

After talking to Nyborg about what his personal thoughts are about the Razer Onza controller, it is time for myself to wrap things up and give out a rating for this device. Looking around the internet for a pricing of this controller, I can see this controller goes for on, or around the 55USD mark. Which I feel is a fair price to pay for a controller that does more then just your everyday standard XBox 360 controller. Both Nyborg, and myself, Dragon, give the Razer Onza Tournament Edition, a rating of:

9 out of Ten and the:

Golden Dragon Award

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One response to “Razer Onza Tournament Edition

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