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Versa Game Controller Review

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Versa Game Controller Review
Versa Game Controller Review
Versa Game Controller Review
Introduction:

One of the most unique devices to be released by Verizon so far this year is the LG Versa. This is mainly due to it being a touchscreen phone that also accepts detachable modules. The first, which comes included with the Versa, is a clamshell QWERTY keyboard attachment that also acts as a case for the phone. Other modules have been rumored, such as stereo speakers and Wi-Fi, but currently the only other one to be released is a game control pad.

Interesting enough, this accessory is manufactured by USAWireless Solutions (www.usaws.com), and not LG or Verizon, even though it can be purchased at Verizon stores or through their web site for $29.99.


Usability:

Connecting the game pad to the LG Versa is done in similar fashion as the keyboard, but it doesn’t give a nice “click” sound to know that it’s fully attached. We had to try it a few times, as it didn’t feel securely connected to the phone. We found that pushing on it harder locks it into place.

Once it’s attached, the overall thickness of the Versa is 0.80”, which makes it slightly thicker than when using keyboard. The sides and back are finished with the same espresso brown soft touch paint that is used on the battery cover. We also like the fact there is a cut out for the Versa’s camera and flash, but the flash is obstructed if the game pad is slid open.

Versa Game Controller Review
Versa Game Controller Review
Versa Game Controller Review

Sliding it open is easy enough, but you can hear the plastic parts rubbing next to each other. Located on the left side is an 8-way d-pad for up, down, left, right, and diagonal movement, with a start and select button in the middle, and function buttons (x, y, a, b) on the right. Most gamers are familiar with layout, but we weren’t able to find any use for the function buttons during testing. The internal game pad itself is a nice metallic blue with white lettering.

The display shows a new “Gamehome screen, where you can add links for up to 5 games that you’ve downloaded, but you can’t drag them around the display like you can with the “Shortcuts” home screen.

The 'Game' home screen allows for up to five game shortcuts - Versa Game Controller Review
8-way D-pad - Versa Game Controller Review

The 'Game' home screen allows for up to five game shortcuts

8-way D-pad


We used the control pad with three games: Pac-Man, Monopoly, and Need for Speed. It worked well with Pac-Man, as you can change the options between accelerometer (default), swipe, and d-pad (recommended while using the game control pad). The response was good, and we could move around the board and eat up points. We found this method easier than using the accelerometer.

Next we tried it with Monopoly, but found the controller wasn’t necessary for game use. You have to shake the phone to roll the dice, and pressing on the screen to buy a property is not an inconvenience.

Lastly, we tried Need for Speed Undercover. We found that this game is more accurate and works better with the accelerometer acting as the steering wheel, instead of pressing the buttons on the control pad.

Pac-Man - Versa Game Controller Review
Monopoly - Versa Game Controller Review
Need for Speed Undercover - Versa Game Controller Review

Pac-Man

Monopoly

Need for Speed Undercover


Conclusion:

For the price, the Game Controller isn’t a bad investment for the hard core gamer that likes to play games on the Versa, but you have to keep in mind that while some titles work well with it, other don’t. A few improvements we’d like it to see is an LED backlight for use while in dark environments, and the possibility of using the game d-pad in conjunction with the HTML Browser for navigation and selecting links.

PhoneArena rating:
6.5
User rating:
Not rated

5 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. ATTXBM (Posts: 10; Member since: 01 Apr 2009)


wow, can anyone say gameboy?

posted on 23 Apr 2009, 20:58

2. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


it looks more like a super nintendo controller than the game boy.

posted on 24 Apr 2009, 22:08

3. bng (Posts: 107; Member since: 12 Feb 2009)


im waiting for a slide out Keyboard.. hopefully soon lol

posted on 08 May 2009, 16:41

5. soccergeek18 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 May 2009)


mee too! Hopefully it will make the phone skinnier!

posted on 25 Apr 2009, 09:57

4. jskrenes (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


What would be unique is building a game that incorporated motion sensors and the game controller. But it's also tricky to review a product that is contingent upon 3rd party developers, not Verizon or LG.

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