Friday, 4 July 2008

From the Archive: The Belkin Nostromo n52

A long time ago, in the days when my blog had readers, I posted this just after I got my n52. I used it for a few weeks, then it went into the "cable cache", the box in which I keep all of my electronics. It sat in storage for a few weeks, partying with my gamecube controllers, recharge cables and even an entire scanner (which doesn't work on XP). Until now.

The problem with the pad was that you have to get used to it. It wasn't useful for WoW, since I'm a clicker (quite the revelation to many back then, all of them awestruck. My guild didn't believe it) and other games often required more buttons than you'd imagine. The scrollwheel is has too much friction and is unpleasant to work with. The D-pad feels off, because on a normal controller the angle of which your thumb is on it is different (n52 about 0 degrees off the Y-axis, X360 has about 20 to 30 degrees), which actually makes quite a difference.

So, no real addition for WoW, HG:L had too much buttons (same reason why I don't use switchblade for it) and it took too much time to get used to. But I've never really looked at how useful it really is. You are supposed to make macro's with the n52's software, but after tinkering for ages, I still didn't get a single macro working. The software did not detect which game you play, unlike programs such as Xfire, requiring you to manually switch control setups. A few mouseclicks, still too much for something that's supposed to be convienient.

But this weekend, I'll be looking how useable it is for games like TF2... And maybe Frets on Fire.

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