The Avenger controller mod by N-Control is touted by its creator as a mod that avenges disadvantages and even makes other modified-from-the-ground-up controllers better. We’ll see if it can it give you the edge on your competition. David Kotkin, designer and creator of The Avenger, developed the controller add-on out of necessity. In the design stages, David got some assistance and input from a disabled student who didn’t have the ability to use an Xbox 360 controller in the common way. It’s a novel approach to giving a wider range of gamers a way to compete where they otherwise might not be able to.
In the review unit provided to us, the controller modification consists of a set of three arms that depress the X, Y and B buttons. There are also two arms for the triggers that attach to straps that travel underneath the controller with easy access to your fingertips below. There is an initial learning curve, with a decent amount of tweaking and fiddling with the controller attachment to suit your preferences. The default arm configuration creates access for the right hand to hit the Y and B buttons, with X handled by your left. What sets this mod apart from the others is that you don’t necessarily press the buttons. Your fingers instead travel outwards for the X and Y, with a push up of the right hand for the B. While this configuration gives easier access to these buttons, it can tend to divorce your digits from both the left and right shoulder buttons in addition to the A, Back and Start buttons. The design of the mod almost makes the A button flush with the body itself, making it just a little harder to reach. This effect is magnified by the purpose of the controller, which is to keep your thumbs in the action on the sticks and not pressing the face buttons.
Depressing the straps with your fingertips under the controller can provide more specific control of the triggers but sacrifices the milliseconds needed for that extra control where speed is a factor. David even goes so far as to say that some choose not to use the bands and simply depress the triggers themselves. Our testing shows that using the triggers themselves without the straps are ideal for twitch movements.
My first impressions with the Avenger in, say, a racing game like Dirt 3, weren’t ideal. With a FPS like Call of Duty: Black Ops, it can provide a decent amount of control in hitting the buttons you need. This, however, comes at the cost of making it more difficult to tap A and the shoulder buttons. Thankfully one can remap buttons to not depend on the shoulder buttons while in use. In general, there are some games in which you can gain an advantage with little or no time getting used to the setup.
The arms themselves are flexible and can be modified in your liking. If you were so inclined, your right hand and index finger could activate the X, Y, B and right trigger.
David is aware of and mentions people complaning about its usage, but when the users were asked to return the device, they didn’t want to give it back, as they had grown used to the modification. That admission says that, while some aspects of the mod might not be ideal, others can make up the difference in keeping the edge it provides.
The important point to take away from our review is that while it might not be our go-to mod in a controller, it could very well be yours. The range of customization coupled with the feedback from N-Control makes this mod poised to be a staple in many a home. The N-Control Avenger can do more than just help your game, it helps those who can’t game like you or I do. The Avenger can be purchased online for $49.99 right now.
|Clever design allows for easy access to some face buttons.|
Customizable to each user.
|Makes access to some buttons more difficult.|
Price point is comparable to that of a new, standalone controller.