It was just under a month ago that BT Games had DMC (the Ninja Theory reboot of the Capcom franchise Devil May Cry) on sale for just under R200 (+-$20), so I decided to head on over and get myself a copy. I was standing there waiting for the store assistant to find their copies when I realised that I didn’t have a gamepad, and playing DMC on keyboard would have been a complete waste of money.
So I popped by Computer Mania and took a look at the gamepads they had. Of course, they had the wired and wireless Xbox 360 controllers. I was tempted, as I knew they were plug and play but the wired one cost R600 ($60). I knew I could probably find it somewhere for about R500, so I decided to give the Xbox controllers a skip. I took a look at their Logitech gamepads and was quite pleased to find a gamepad that would fit my budget: the Logitech Gamepad F310.
Now I almost always look up reviews of hardware, even if I have to do it on my budget Nokia standing right there in the store. But for some reason it wasn’t until I’d paid for it and was walking out the store that I realised that I probably should’ve taken a look at a review first.
As I was walking, I quickly popped onto Amazon, typed in logitech f310, clicked it, and almost immediately regretted it. Apparently this gamepad was less than stellar. I say apparently, because (thankfully) some of the reviews make this gamepad seem far worse than it actually is.
- Reasonable price
- Nice feel
- Easy to setup and customise
- Supports both Xinput/Directinput for maximum compatibility with games
- Suitably responsive buttons BUT…
- The triggers require too much force to register an action (details below)
The triggers can be incredibly uncomfortable to use if you are playing a game that required you to push the triggers in combination with the bumpers, or if you have to hold the triggers for extended periods of time.
For example, in DMC, you can use two special type of dodges by pressing the right bumper and either the left or the right trigger. Doing this with the bumper and left trigger isn’t a problem because you’re using your left index finger to press the trigger. However, to do the other type of dodge with the right trigger? That’s a bit of an issue. Pushing the right trigger with your middle finger actually takes a bit of effort, and as weird as it sounds, it was so uncomfortable to try and do that move that I have been playing the game without it.
I had a similar problem with Rayman: Origins, which required you to push the right trigger to run. I was pushing it with my index finger, but the triggers provide so much resistance that my finger actually got tired. At least for Rayman, I was able to remap the run button to the left bumper.
There is another issue that you might see other people complaining about, and that’s the dead zones. Yes, it’s true that you have to move the sticks fairly far before they register movement. But this hasn’t ever left me feeling out of control in any of the 8 hours I’ve put into DMC, or the 2 hours I’ve put into Rayman. I quite simply got used to it. Now I can see that this might be a problem for people who play FPS games on gamepad and require those micrometers of accuracy, but I don’t so this isn’t a problem for me. For the games I’ve either put a lot of time into, or simply messed around in, I quickly adapted to the gamepads dead zones and had a blast using it.
My final verdict? This gamepad is worth paying about R300 ($30) for, although you might need a while to get used to the dead zones. The trigger issue is a problem if you have to press them for long periods of time, or if you have to press them in combination with the shoulder buttons, but you either adapt to it or try to work around it. At this price it’s hard to ignore the fact that everything else about this controller is well worth the money. Honestly, if Logitech made the triggers easier to press this gamepad would be as good as many other far more expensive models. Having said that, if you’ve got the money to go for a more expensive gamepad with more comfortable triggers, rather go for that.