Zboard Fang Gaming Keyboard Review
Today, I am reviewing the Fang Gamepad from ZBoard. The functionality is similar to that of their MERC Gaming Keyboard, but built as a peripheral for those of us who don’t want to get rid of our trusty keyboards, but who might still want an enhanced gaming experience.
Not everyone is as clumsy as I am, but if you are, then this little piece of technology might be for you. It certainly isn’t fragile.
Play Quality (MMORPG):
First of all, on my desk, and those of many others, there isn’t a whole lot of room for extras. In order to use the gamepad properly, my keyboard had to be placed in an inappropriate space on my desk that made it very difficult to use. This was a hindrance, because I don’t use voice technology in my gameplay, and typing is the only means of communication that I have with other players.
In-so-far as the actual gameplay, I have to admit that I enjoyed the convenience of having the directional controls so clearly defined. The bigger keys that take the place of WSAD are a little easier on the wrists than staying perched above the keyboard. In fact, this is one of the first times that I’ve played an MMORPG for any length of time without a serious cramp in my left wrist. I also liked the location of the jump button (on the side of the gamepad so that you can easily hit it with your thumb), and the easy access to the number keys cut down on my usual hunt-and-peck approach to using skills and spells.
Still, I think that the fun of an MMORPG was more or less stripped away when my ability to communicate was hindered. If you rely at all on typing to communicate in MMORPGs, I would suggest trying out ZBoard’s MERC Gaming Keyboard, which provides many of the same features and is attached to its own, fully-functional typing tool.
Play Quality (FPS)
Again, the location of the buttons was extremely convenient, and actually expanded the amount of time that I was able to play continuously and comfortably from about an hour at a time to two or three without any wrist pain. That, in my books, is an important feature.
Still, the play quality wasn’t without its flaws. My biggest gripe about my experience was the fact that I had to study the key configuration very carefully. There are, after all, a large number of different keyboard keys that are used in the game, and while my hands are trained to know where they are on the spread of a QWERTY keyboard, I struggled with which key on the Fang would do what I needed it to do. I constantly had to exit the game to check the digital manual for a reminder. Still, with time, I figured it all out, and was able to play comfortably and easily.
In this case, the only thing to speak out against the Fang was the learning curve. In all other ways, I found that it did indeed enhance my game play experience and even improved my in-game scores. Te easy location of the number keys, which in this game allowed me to change weapons more quickly and efficiently, helped me to get those quick kills when I needed them.
Is it useful? Yes, in certain situations.
Is it fun? Yes, if you’re like me and enjoy new toys, it is.
Does it enhance gameplay? Not to the level that I’d like in terms of MMORPGs, but otherwise, it worked pretty well.
Would I buy it? Probably not, but I can be pretty stingy with my money.
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