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Mad Catz Control Pad Pro

Xbox Control Pad Pro




The Xbox goes Pro with the Mad Catz controller offering.

Mad Catz has been around for several major consoles over the last 10 years producing third Party peripherals. The Control Pad Pro is a culmination of the company's experience in the field.

The first thing that people will notice about the pad is that it is slimmer than Microsoft's offering in the controller market. This enables people with more "normal" sized hands to position their thumbs correctly.

It is the button positioning that is one of the few drawbacks to the Control Pad Pro, but that really can't be pinned on Mad Catz. Microsoft designed the "black" and "white" buttons so far up, that a lot of gamers won't be able to reach them. A slightly tighter button arrangement could have been beneficial, but isn't essential.

The biggest improvement over Microsoft's controller is the D-pad. Instead of the round pad on Microsoft's controller, Mad Catz has replaced it with a more traditional styled pad. This helps avoid any confusion when navigating menus and such. The D-pad is fuly directional, so no functionality is lost.

The control sticks are a little loose (in a good way), which helps with games in need of fluid gameplay, such as Dead or Alive 3. The addition of a "Macro" button helps in those fighting games where button combinations are key. Positioned in the middle (between the D-pad and the right analog controller) the button is more accessible to the left thumb than the right. Trigger buttons have some "give" to them, especially useful in racing games where varied acceleration is needed.

The other main addition to the Control Pad Pro is the rubberized grips. This of course will help keep your hands from slipping after several hours of sweaty gameplay.

Overall, this is an excellent controller, with more functionality than Microsoft's (more expensive) controller. The fact that it costs less than the first party controller is a major plus, but many gamers will want it for the slightly smaller size and added functions. At $34.99, the difference in price over the standard Control Pad may turn away some gamers.

Daniel "monk" Pelfrey

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