Gamepads are all around, but their main purpose is for gaming. Because there are so many gamepads they need to have some kind of feature that sets them apart. The MaxFire Grandias features dual motors for real vibration effects, Macros and Turbos.
- Dual motor provides real vibration effects for hits, explosions or crashes.
- Provides 8-way D-Pad/action buttons and the ergonomic design delivers the ultra comfort playing experience.
- Macro function for setting sequence of movements and anybody can do trick moves with one touch of the control button.
- Analog direction sticks for easy and advanced control.
- Turbo button for auto repeat, great for shooting and action games.
With dual motors to provide the feedback you will feel things on the right, left or both sides of the controller. This provides a little more realism to the effect.
The Macro feature has three levels of the function so you can combine buttons and repeat the critical movements as often as you like. The macros are stored in buttons 5-8 so you can only have 4 at a time, but you can store up to 15 steps in each macro. The possible steps are endless. You can even control the speed of the macros. Unfortunately, there are no profiles so you cannot have different setups for each of your games.
The Turbo feature is similar to Macro except that you can only have one button as turbo at a time. You can also control the speed of the turbo button.
The design of the MaxFire Grandias is fairly basic. From the looks of things it is very similar to other controllers of its type. The controller is slightly larger than the Logitech ChillStream Gamepad that we reviewed a couple of months ago.
The top of the controller is where the majority of the buttons are. There are a total of 9 buttons, one D-Pad and 2 analog sticks on top of the controller. Only 4 of the buttons will be used regularly during gaming, the other 5 buttons are turbo, select, start, macro and mode.
The front of the controller has another 4 buttons.
Testing a controller is fairly easy. I loaded up a game and started playing. As long as the game supported controllers like this one it worked without a problem. I even setup a couple of macros and used the turbo button without problems. It takes a little while to get used to the macros, but after a while they can can be useful. The rumble feature is nice, but it could be improved. Even though there are two motors it feels a lot like there is only one. It would be nice if the motors were more independent so they could provide a better feel. I suppose the game software would have to be written to support the two motors. The one thing I did have problems with is shooter games that require very precise movements for aiming and such. The analog sticks have a bit of a dead zone that makes it so precise movements near the center of the stick do not register.
The software provides a couple of pages where you can test the buttons and effects of the controller. The first page is the button and analog stick page. The second page is the effects page and as you move the left analog stick it makes the controller vibrate.
Warranty and Support
The Genius MaxFire Grandias comes with a 1 year parts and labor warranty. Everything seems solid on the controller, but will all the button mashing you will be doing in your games it is possible that a button will stop working. Hopefully, if it is going to happen, it will happen during the warranty period.
I really like the features of the controller. There are certainly controllers that have more features and are even smaller. I would recommend that in the next version, that Genius shrinks the controller so that it fits a normal sized hand better; however, I don’t think you will have trouble with it. You should be able to pick this up for about $25. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|