SCUF Controller: PS3 Reaper
A controller was the only thing really lacking from my professional gaming set-up when I decided to take the leap and purchase a SCUF and I knew it was my only real choice after hearing some great things about them from some of the greatest Call of Duty players out there – those of which that dominate almost every match they partake in. Now I’m not as naïve to think it was going to transform me into some world class gamer, but I knew if it could give me that extra one or two percent in terms of reaction time then I could learn to hone in on that and it would allow me to hit my personal ceiling with a lot less effort. After all that’s why we spend big cash on the best peripherals and headsets out there; to help maximize our potential, whether that be on the battlefield, on the court, or even duking it out with friends in a party game atmosphere.
I had to wait some time to eventually get what I had paid for as there was some problem with the controller shells being held up in customs – something about a mix up in the paperwork – but the sheer fact I knew this was down to the extremely helpful UK team who explained and took me through the process step-by-step. It did arrive though a week later and upon scooping it from the box I was taken aback by the beauty of the thing. I chose the Grim Reaper fascia and it gleams, standing out from the original black plastic that houses the back half of the controller. It’s a real eye-opener and from a purely aesthetic stand point it really cannot be faulted. The SCUF seal of approval on the back was also a nice touch, but what had me most intrigued were the back paddles – also featuring the Reaper pattern – and those were what I was really keen to test out first and foremost.
Being my go-to game of late, I powered up Modern Warfare 3 and jumped into a game with some random guys from the States and from the off I was testing my back paddles – jumping with my left index finger and knifing with my right. It all felt good and I knew with a bit of practice I would be using these on a regular basis. I can see a few people needing to build up the muscle memory in those fingers though to fully appreciate them as it takes a while to train your fingers to push at the right velocity at that angle. It wasn’t too much of a problem for me being a guitar player, but it definitely took more effort than I was initially expecting. During most of that game I was deliberately trying to get into close combat situations where I could knife a guy just for the hell of it and I was getting my wish, but of the five or six opportunities I had to stab their faces off I won only one.
I wasn’t disheartened though as I knew this would take practice, and even now after having the controller just over a month I still don’t feel I’m one-hundred percent competent, but I’m exponentially better than before. You wouldn’t believe the freedom of having those extra buttons round back, where it now takes minimal time to lay prone, knife and jump whenever each of them need to be called upon – all of which are now achievable without ever taking my thumbs off of those sticks. My favourite new obsession is jump crouching to make my body as small a target as possible in the shortest time, and the reaction of some people when you lay them out cold from it is pretty priceless. I even got a somewhat hilarious kill-cam from lying prone in a panic to avoid gunfire and knifing some guy’s feet. Everyone from the lobby seemed to get a kick out of it and it was something that would have been hard to pull off with any of the in-game button configurations.
I have my left paddle set as X and my right paddle as O and that suits my play style nicely, but before you make your purchase you have the choice of customizing these in a way that pleases you best. This added variety makes it easier to adapt the controller to a certain game or game type and while SCUF are built with shooters in mind you’re certainly not restricted to these alone. I’ve now ventured into a plethora of different genres and while the paddles aren’t as vital in cutting down that reaction time, it certainly makes your life a whole lot easier. Racing games are a particular highlight, changing the configuration so that the handbrake is mapped to O and using that to my advantage. It can also help out with fighting games too, especially if you use a conventional hand placement where you opt for thumb attacks as oppose to using your index and middle fingers for two button combinations. You may have to be careful though as SCUF aren’t compatible with all games – especially the more obscure ones - and before spending the big bucks on one it’s best to contact them and make sure that the games you have in mind will work without a hitch.
Another plus are the ‘Hyper Sensitive Triggers’ whereby the distance you have to push down L2 and R2 is decreased significantly, meaning you’re achieving your desired result in less time. This is great for getting those grenades thrown quicker and other such lethal and tactical equipment. They are also more responsive to varying pressure, for example, using your trigger as an accelerator and only pushing down a little when a sharp turn is coming for greater control or as a clutch where you can release slower for a smoother gear change. My particular model doesn’t have adjustable triggers, but many, if not all of the 360 versions do, allowing you to specifically tailor the amount of pressure needed in order to garner a response. If this is something that stands out to you as a selling point then I would double check whether the one you have your eye on houses this particular feature.
Every controller also comes with a ‘No Slow Turn Guarantee’ where you’ll never be plagued by stiff or clunky stick movement again. They claim that if this ever occurs then they will replace or repair the problem free of charge. I haven’t had any problems with them thus far because these things only usually happen over a prolonged period of time, but I’ll be sure to update this article if or when that eventuality occurs. SCUF Gaming also offer another two upgrades to customers in adding military grade grip to the back of your controller, but I personally decided not to take them up on this as it’s not something I’ve ever really suffered from in the past, but the option is there for quite a large mark-up in price. There’s also the option of removing the rumble packs from the pad for a lighter overall feel, but this seems a little nonsensical to me, as it feels more like a feature being removed than anything else.
In terms of actual problems with the controller itself there aren’t really any to speak of - other than the price point - but if I’m being a little pedantic they aren’t the best paired with KontrolFreeks, which are stick extenders that allow for more precision in certain games. I’ve had mine clipped on for a few weeks now and have already started noticing the surface of the SCUF scratching away slightly, indicating a less durable plastic than those of the official PS3 pad and that’s a little disappointing when you consider these are more than twice the price. Other than that I would highly recommend a SCUF to almost anyone and have now since advised many of my online friends to seriously consider adding one to their arsenal. Hand built, hand finished, hand tested and a massive two thumbs up from my hands at the very least.
The Final Verdict: While SCUF controllers are expensive they will improve your game, especially if you’re serious about shooters. If you already have a good set-up and want to take it that bit further then this is the peripheral for you. Trigger-Happy Gaming.
SCUF Gaming Website
Craig Bryan, NoobFeed
Twitter | Facebook | Email