Gamester’s LX4 controller sports an unusual design; the ‘prongs’ being much shorter than the official controller, the overall design is noticeably wider and it has a chunky feel to it. Whilst it nice to see third party companies trying something a little different from the traditional ‘three pronged’ design, the results are mixed. Pick up the controller and its shape feels awkward to hold, with the shortened prongs not offering much to grasp on to. The end result is that the most common way of holding the controller (by the centre and right prongs) is also the least comfortable.
The centre prong is the worst affected by the design, and I found that my left had was not well supported at all whilst holding this part of the controller. The moulding of the plastic underneath the centre prong is poorly thought out in regards to aesthetics; whilst holding the centre only my forefinger and middle finger were actually gripping the plastic. This doesn’t make games unplayable, but it is certainly not as comfortable as it could be. Holding the controller at the edges feels more natural but this obviously makes it difficult to access the control stick, unless you have very large hands.
The button layout is almost exactly the same as the official design, and the only changes here are the start button being moved to beside the d-pad and the inclusion of the function buttons (slow, auto and turbo) in its place. The buttons are quite prominent and raised further from the controller’s casing than most. This doesn’t affect the overall comfort but it may become an issue during lengthy periods of use.
One aspect of the controller that stands out is the small c-buttons, which seem out of place on an otherwise quite chunky design. There’s plenty room on the controller for larger buttons, so the reason for their size is a mystery.
The d-pad is slightly stiff but still sufficiently responsive for fighting games. What isn’t helpful is the placement of the start button right next to the d-pad. Clearly this hasn’t been play-tested, as the start button is easily pressed when using the d-pad for even basic combinations. Forward circles or rotational moves end up with start being accidentally pressed, which ruins any combo which you might have been trying to pull off. It’s a shame really, as otherwise this would have been quite a good controller for fighting games.
Analogue control is good, and although the control stick offers little resistance, it works perfectly well for most styles of game. Unfortunately, it does have a flaw. Precise targeting in first person shooters is frustrating and in some cases impossible as the on-screen target shakes if moved to certain positions. At first I thought this was my mistake, but soon discovered that there were certain parts of the screen where the target cannot be kept steady.
Even when the control stick is held steady, the on-screen target will ‘shake’, moving just enough to make precise targeting impossible. It seems this only affects certain styles of games where the targeting reticule can be moved from the centre of the screen, and I can confirm that it definitely affects Goldeneye, Sin and Punishment, Perfect Dark, and The World Is Not Enough. In other styles of game this flaw isn’t even noticeable, so you could happily play Super Mario 64 without ever experiencing a problem. However, for shooting games, it does pose a problem.
The Gamester LX4 can’t be recommended as a replacement for an official Nintendo controller simply because it isn’t as competent with such a wide range of games. As a collectors piece it’s interesting because of it’s quirky design but potential buyers should bear in mind that some of the most popular Nintendo 64 shooters are difficult to play with this controller.
Source : Review by Alxbly