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Evil Backplate (Hardware) Review

 
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backplatekitfull-white-skullz_1
backplatekitfull-white-skullz_1

 
Overview
 

Platforms: Xbox360
 
Application:
 
Platform:
 
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Year Of Manufacture:
 
Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
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We liked?


No more fumbling for batteries.

Not so Much?


Convex thumbsticks may be a turnoff for some.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Overall, I found Evil Controllers’ Vision controller with Evil Backplate to be a top notch piece of hardware. It has a comfortable feel to it, and the smooth back means no more fumbling with the battery pack. With little extras like the instant kill switch, it makes for added convenience without affecting your game. Hands down, the pièce de résistance is the long lasting rechargeable battery, ending forever the desperate fumble for the AA’s.

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Posted May 3, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

It’s so good…it’s eeeevil.backplatekitfull-white-skullz_1

Quick – what is your biggest pet peeve with your Xbox360 controller? Ten to one, you just screamed out either how much you hate changing batteries, or how very often you knock the battery pack off mid-play. Whichever one is your biggest complaint, both of them have very little to do with the controls, and yet everything to do with playability. Knocking the battery pack off can be the difference between winning or losing, and let’s face it – we all run out of batteries sometime. What if I told you there is finally a solution for these annoying issues?

Meet the Evil Backplate, a new product from Evil Controllers that finally takes the inconvenience of those pesky low battery lights out of the picture for serious gamers. Evil Controllers claim a sixty hour battery life on these things, due to the lightweight Lithium Ion battery. I (and my family) have playing on the controller all week on a single charge, and have yet to need a recharge. Considering that ours is a household of seven gamers, we are usually swapping out AA’s like we own stock in Energizer – so that’s saying a lot. When it does need a charge, you simply plug it in and charge via mini usb, easy-peasy.

I can’t go on enough about the battery life, but a fully charged controller does no good if it isn’t effective for gameplay. Thankfully, Evil’s Vision line controllers stack up pretty well against the competition. As with all controllers though, your mileage may vary based on your personal preferences. The controller features a glossy finish that looks great and feels very smooth in your hands. I personally preferred this to the rougher finish of a standard Xbox360 controller, but if you happen to be the type that sweats a lot, you may find you don’t agree.

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Size-wise, the Evil controller is looks and feels just like your standard controllers – although it does weigh in a little bit heavier. The real differences come in when you pick it up to play, the most notable one being the feel of the backside of the controller, as the completely smooth backplate makes for a more comfortable grip, allowing you to stretch your fingers out however you like. The directional pad has been replaced with four separate buttons, which may take a little getting used to but ultimately aids in accuracy.

You’ll also notice that Evil has given the analog sticks a convex top, forgoing the nubby concave design of the standard controller. Being a gamer with small hands, I prefer the convex design as it is a more comfortable fit (besides, I always hated those little nubs). If you’re used to playing on PS3 controllers, you likely won’t even notice the difference. This is definitely an issue of personal preference though, and if you have issues with your fingers slipping during tense moments, this design choice likely won’t set as well with you.

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In addition to the obvious differences of the backplate and analog sticks, there are a few other extras that you might not notice at first glance. As you look at the top of the controller, you’ll find some little goodies that pack a big punch for convenience. The tiny red button on the right is a kill switch – meaning you can instantly turn the controller off, whenever you like. You’ll also see some vents, added to help cool the battery. There are lights behind the vents that indicate charge status – red for charging, green for full.

One of the cooler aspects of Evil Controllers is their complete customizability. From the color of the buttons to glow in the dark thumbsticks to a wicked zombie themed cover, you truly can customize every single piece of your controller – for a price of course. The Evil Controller Creator lets you pick and choose your way to controller heaven. While each extra feature costs more, the basic package is pretty reasonable at $69.99 (Microsoft’s standard controller with plug and play package retails at $64.99). If you do decide to add a few extras (go ahead, it’s fun), you’ll find the prices clearly marked for each part, and the site keeps a running tally of your total cost, making it easy to stay within your budget.

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If your budget just can’t handle a new controller right now (and you happen to be handy), Evil does offer the option to purchase a backplate kit for your existing controllers, at a price of $29.99. I wasn’t able to test the DIY Kit personally – so I can’t speak for ease of installation – but it is a solid option for gamers who really just want the benefits of the backplate without investing in an entirely new controller.

Overall, I found Evil Controllers’ Vision controller with Evil Backplate to be a top notch piece of hardware. It has a comfortable feel to it, and the smooth back means no more fumbling with the battery pack. With little extras like the instant kill switch, it makes for added convenience without affecting your game. Hands down, the pièce de résistance is the long lasting rechargeable battery, ending forever the desperate fumble for the AA’s.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)