April 14th, 2010, 17:51 Posted By: bandit
XCM XFPS Storm Light Gun (PC)
Review by: TrialSword
Provided by: DCEmu Reviews
Site: Buy from Play-Asia / Buy from ConsoleSource / Buy from GoldenShop / Buy from Amazon
Overview : XFPS Storm Light Gun brings first person shooters to a whole new experience. With the XFPS Storm, you can snipe your foes with precision aiming using this unique light gun. No more keyboard, no more mouse and having to rest your wrist with point and click. Simply point and shoot.
The Storm will support CRT, LCD, Plasma, DLP as well as Projector. It supports every gun shooting game on PC. Storm can be upgraded via software and is compatible with Windows XP, Window vista and Windows 7 operating system. Now you can enjoy gun shooting games with your LCD, Plasma or any other display you have.
Quality/Usability : The XFPS Storm Light Gun peripheral for the PC has one simple goal: to turn your first person shooters into a more interactive, contextual experience. With it, the player can aim, move, fire, and perform other in-game functions using an assortment of shortcut buttons and a very familiar motion tracking mechanic. Is this something to pull the trigger on, or should you check the safety first?
The Storm Light Gun sports a relatively safe design that champions utility over style. The grip is sizable and designed to hold with one hand. Attached to the side is a smaller grip that can be detached and appear very much like a nunchuk for the Wii. Shortcut buttons can be found here and on the gun itself, on both sides. This is aside from the two analog sticks, which can also be pressed in, and the trigger. The material feels sturdy but is a very benign, shiny blue plastic. Liken it to the look and feel of a shiny blue lego. Sleek is hardly the word that comes to mind, but despite the lack of flair I could not say that it is cheaply constructed.
The technology at work here is almost exactly that of the Wii. The Storm Light Gun comes packed with an IR sensor that could easily be mistaken for the same one packed with the Wii. It is intended to rest on top of your monitor, so make sure there's a home for it or that your monitor can accommodate. Both the sensor bar and the gun itself connect via USB, so two free ports are necessary to use the Storm Light Gun.
The good news is that this peripheral is completely plug and play. Once you've plugged it in, the IR tracking serves as a proxy for mouse navigation. The trigger is the left mouse click and the shortcut buttons can be remapped in-game as a regular gamepad would. The gun conveniently transfers the controls to most PC FPS games in an accurate, intuitive way: The analog stick on the nunchuk lets you move your character, the trigger fires, and you can aim your weapons by simply aiming the gun itself. If you have played any FPS on the Wii at all, one can easily gain a sense for what they will be turning their game experience on the PC into.
There are a few snags, of course. The IR sensors can be spotty at times, resulting in the player character reeling their aim into the far corners of the map, but when responding appropriately can provide a surprising degree of control and accuracy. In addition, the sensor bar requires that the player be about 3 feet from the monitor at minimum, which is further than many PC gamers are used to.
I tested the Storm Light Gun with a number of games:
For games with relatively simple control schemes, the gun provided a fun, new experience. Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 accomodated especially well, requiring few button shortcuts and few opportunities in which you won't be running and gunning. For all the novelty, however, it never really crossed my mind that this could be a legitimate replacement control scheme for the games I was playing. This rings especially true for the more complex games, which require more context-sensitive button presses. Having both hands full with the nunchuk and the gun's grip also makes it somewhat cumbersome to even reach the buttons at times. Chances are, a player will be dead long before they have found the time to navigate to some of these buttons.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Half-Life 2
Because the gun is essentially a plug and play gamepad with IR tracking, it does not always perform the same for every game encountered. For instance, Modern Warfare 2 requires little in the way of shortcut keys and a simple mechanic for firing/aiming that accommodate the gun very well. Games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, however, have many contextual button presses that would be hard to map or reliably execute with the gun, such as piloting any vehicles or arming/disarming bombs.
The obvious statement to make here is that anyone attempting to use this gun for multiplayer in lieu of a traditional keyboard and mouse will always be at a disadvantage for virtually every game they'd want to play. I cannot recommend it for any level of competitive play or for any game that will have your character regularly changing control schemes. The plug and play nature of this peripheral is a double edged sword: while it provides a mostly unilateral experience for any FPS, another obvious statement is that every FPS is different, and none are made specifically for this method of control.
Conclusion : Any attempt to alter or simplify controls for the FPS is a battle in itself. No contender has managed to dethrone the classic keyboard and mouse combo, and unfortunately, the XFPS Storm Light Gun does not come close to that vaunted status. Instead, it provides a solid, reliable and effective method of altering the controls in a way engaging enough to facilitate a second or third romp through a personal favorite title or two. It suits the mentality that games are to be played for fun and spectacle, not necessarily as a serious engagement or a competitive grudge match. In this way the Storm Light Gun is much like the games it's meant to play: the experience is entirely what you make of it.
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