PS3 Review – Rocketfish Rapid Fire Controller

November 10, 2009 Written by Ruben Perez

rocketfish-header

For three generations of gaming, the PlayStation controller has been my favorite choice of controller across all genres. Today, the layout that was established halfway through the lifecycle of the original PlayStation is one that remains unchanged, and for a good reason: it works great.  However, although the current Dualshock 3 is among the best controllers of all time, I have recently found some issues with it, such as the position of its analog sticks, how close they are to each other, and how their convex shape can become a problem, as thumbs may bump into each other, causing players to lose grip during constant movement. Therefore, I began to look for a controller that would remedy such issues, and in my search, I came across the Rocketfish Rapid Fire Controller in Best Buy.

At first glance, what is most noticeable is the similarity the controller holds to the 360’s controller, which some may find an advantage over the PlayStation controller’s layout. For me it clears up the the problem of having my thumbs meet while gaming, and that is great, yet the structure of the controller brings up other issues that could have easily been avoided.  The bottom of the controller is curved way too much, making it comfortable to hold only if the player’s trigger fingers lie on R2 and L2.  Speaking of these triggers, the shape of these two are fantastic when compared to the Dualshock 3’s, and even the 360’s, yet these triggers suffer from their glossy, uncomfortable finish, which leads to a serious lack of resistance. Pressing down on these feels like putting a knife through melted butter. Further, the location of the L1 and R1 buttons feels like an afterthought, as they are placed at an awkward angle and they are a bit too far from L2 and R2.

rocketfish

None of this is helped by the fact that most action/shooter games are set to aim with L1 and shoot with R1 on the PS3, because these two triggers are a lot more pleasant to hit on the Dualshock 3 than the rear triggers. Games like Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2 (which can have its layout adjusted only to have R2 to shoot; no option to have L2 as aim) have been made harder to play with this controller.  Resistance 2, on the other hand, was a breeze to play with the Rocketfish, and ironically, third party games with a layout more comfortable for 360 owners (such as GTA IV) became a more comfortable experience on PS3 since its aiming and shooting functions are tied to L2 and R2.

So basically, the biggest flaw this controller has is not within the controller itself, but within the fact that games on the PlayStation 3 are programmed to play comfortably with the Dualshock 3.  The Rocketfish’s dissimilarity from the Dualshock 3 puts it at a strong disadvantage. Players who can look past the $47.99 price tag and compatibility issues may have a pleasant experience, granted they play the right games with it.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Rear triggers comfortable for shooters and racers

Controller way too curved

Better suited to some games than others

3 out of 5