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     " The rest of us, evidently, are just screwed. "

      Title: Vortex Pad by Gamester (Radica)

      Format: Xbox gamepad

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: No question about it, you will need more controllers than your Xbox came with (unless, of course, you are some kind of hermit loser who just can't make friends). That being said, Radica's new Gamester brand has a proposition for you: buy ours and save 5-10 bucks. So, is there a reason to spend the extra money for someone elses? Let's find out…Together. And then, maybe, go out for frosty chocolate milkshakes.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Ergonomics: My first few minutes with this controller really confused me. The reason, simply enough, is that people typically have one of two complaints about the Xbox controllers that are currently on market. On the one hand many of the world's small, mouse-sized people feel that the standard Xbox controller is too big and, thus, is hard to wrap their hands around. On the other hand, most of the "smaller" controllers that have been made have a vertical set of gripping posts that make them very difficult for larger folk to hold (it tends to cramp wrists faster than you can say "Mommy, it hurts!"). Thus, the Vortex confuses me because it has the large, bulky frame of a standard pad with the vertical grips of a smaller pad. The result was that it was comfortable for almost no one. I say "almost" because five monkeys here in the office tried it extensively (all of varying shapes and sizes) and four of us hated the way it felt and 1 thought it was sheer heaven. We all looked at that one chimp like he was nuts, but he swore by it. So, while the first few minutes confused me, the pad suddenly became clear in that moment: it must have been patterned off one specific body size and designed, exclusively, to make that one type of person as happy as possible. The rest of us, evidently, are just screwed. 2 out of 5

      Features: All in all, this is just a standard Xbox controller with nothing unusual about it. Same buttons, same sticks, same layout. 3.5 out of 5

      Performance: Truthfully, when I had the Vortex in my hand I never really noticed any difference in the overall performance. The buttons are a little clunky in their motion and the sticks are shaped more like a PS2 pad than a Xbox one, but other than that it hit par straight through. The only time it really caught my attention was when my wrists were cramping. 3 out of 5

      How it Compares: It does all the same things the other controllers do and does it for around 20 bucks (depending on where you shop). So it's all the features for ¾ the money. Not too shabby. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       With the exception of it's shape you've got a good controller for the money here. So, my suggestion to you is when you're running out to buy a new pad go somewhere you can actually handle the Vortex. If it doesn't feel like Bruce Lee's putting you in a wrist lock- go for it. If it does, spend the extra couple of bucks for a pad that'll actually fit your paws.

      The Good: Good value on a standard controller.

      The Bad: Why would you design a pad so incredibly restrictive ergonomically?

      The Overall Ugly: Good for 1 out of 5 people.

      What it's Worth: Market

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