Avenger by N-Control (Review)

An open letter to N-Control. The review they won’t feature on avengercontroller.com,

Originally written for InsolentBoggle.com, adapted as a review for GenGAME.net

Reading the “reviews” on the avenger website, it’s hard not to wonder if some of these are fake or if people were pd off, nowhere is there a single mention of a negative thing about this product. There are even a couple quotes from some reputable websites like:

it hadn’t really occurred to us that some might prefer an overhaul [of the Xbox 360 controller]. N-Control, however, has done just that with this insane lever-filled shell, which wraps around the gamepad to provide simultaneous control over a host of inputs at once. The idea is that you’ll never need to take your thumbs off the analog sticks to swap weapons or reload, because you’ll just flick one of those weighted levers instead. You’ll also apparently gain a split-second advantage over opponents on the draw since the contraption constantly applies tension to each of the controller’s triggers, making them easier to press.

-Engadget

And others such as:

If you think your controller is one dominatrix suit away from total multiplayer domination, it may well be worth the $60‚especially with the 30-day money back guarantee. Of course, by then your controller and the Avenger will have mind-melded sufficiently to make them inseparable.

-Gizmodo

My unboxing/setup/review video (not great quality, sorry):

Official Avenger setup video:

The Avenger Controller is sold at the avenger website and is presently only available for an xbox 360 controller for the low low price of $59.00. And to think I just pd $70 with shipping . I guess it might turn out ok because the avenger manufacturer sent me (and I assume they sent this to everyone who payed full price) a leaflet saying that because I was an “Early Adopter” I’d get the next model sent to me for free. Well, to be perfectly honest, if the 2nd generation of this product isn’t 1000% better than the original then I’d rather have my money back.

Here is the official instruction sheet and leaflet packaged in the box:


PROS:

  • Triggers not only work, they’re excellent.
  • The sticks for the Y and X buttons are easy to get used to and actually helpful.

CONS:

  • Feel very fragile.
  • The lever on the B button is very bulky. As a gamer you do not use B nearly as much as the other 3 main buttons; Get ‘rid of the lever and let it be.
  • The shell covers a good portion of Left and Right Bumper.
  • I was promised a tripod with my order, which I did not receive.
  • Broken/defective product: The “tensioning” system for the buttons; Over my X and Y buttons don’t touch when they’re fully tightened
  • Not compatible with FPS Freek.

*: Constructive Fix: Reverse the attachment, put the hinge on the bottom of the controller where the microphone is and have the clasp on top.

After realizing that it may be possible to use the avenger after some serious modifications, I write out a game plan.

I’m going to:

  1. Widen both of the joystick areas so my extended joystick can move freely.
  2. Cut off the lever blocking my B button.
  3. Trim the hinges to try to expose as much of the bumpers as possible.

Now, N-Control, I have spoken about a lot of negative things in regards to your product, but I hope you’ll still send me the next version for free, as you sd you would. I’m currently your biggest critic, and a positive review from GenGAME could really move a lot of Avengers, so you may want to keep these things in mind.

6 days after I placed my order, I got an eml back saying that my Avenger would not ship until mid-January 2011 (it was late Nov, early Dec). This obviously needs to change. I was honestly surprised when I finally got the package.

The triggers, while in their current state, are not very good. The bumper button access needs to be improved. By putting the trigger pivot point a little lower, so the over large triggers actually act as rockers, the top of the trigger in would activate the bumper!

Here are some pictures of what I have done so far:

Their

Mine

Their's

Mine

Where my joystick's blocked

Another view of blocked joystick

It's almost impossible to see the Right Bumper, let alone reach it!

There is some real promise locked inside the Avenger, but it needs to get a major face-lift.

In conclusion, I’d love to test your product. I’ll send you my modified Avenger so you can see what I’ve done! Send my a prepd empty box and then I’ll send you what I made.

-rigs19, [email protected]

I sent the following to N-Control using their site’s contact form on 26FEB2011 @ 0717 PST:

Dear N-Control,
I’ve written an open letter/review of the avenger controller available at the following link:

I hope you take the time to read it and would appreciate any response.
NOTE: Though I speak negatively in my open letter, it was never my intent to offend or insult you, and I apologize if that occurs.

We’ll see how long it takes them to respond.

UPDATE: Now with about 8 minutes worth of work, most of which was filing and smoothing, I have a fully functional “Rigs19-mk1″ avenger. I cut away and filed/smoothed most of the right joystick bell. I decided I didn’t need the rubber thing that was interfering with my left joystick, then I got a pr of needle-nose pliers and pulled the pivot pin out the the actuator for the B button. My m stick now has full 3600 movement. As you can see I decided to leave the pivot points for the B button actuator, the reasons for this are two-fold: It makes a nice stop for my thumb when I quickly mash B, and if for whatever reason I decide to reattach that flipper again.

With a few simple tools…. the mk1 was born.

GenGAME Score =

What do you think? What score would you rate it? Any questions or comments about the article? Please leave them below, let the community discuss.

  • Licon

    I got one of these and it wouldn't stay attached to either of my 100% original Xbox 360 controllers for more than 10 seconds of use. Seller said he would help and after 5 weeks still nothing. Seller is now saying they will not send one. Also threatened legal action if I posted any negative reviews.

    Contacted Avenger directly and they did not respond after 5 weeks either.

    Great concept but poor quality. Don't bother. Waste of money.