If there is one thing I have always loved about my iPhone, it has to be the massive amount of apps and games that can be found on their app store. In fact it is no surprise for my friends when I tell them the number of games I have outnumber the number of apps installed due to me being quite a mobile gamer myself. You can definitely imagine my outburst of joy when Apple introduced the Game Controller framework to the iOS 7 as that would mean a more standardised platform for having actual physical buttons on a controller for the iOS. That would mean that my dream of playing my games on the iPhone with an actual D Pad and buttons is becoming a reality.
You can imagine the shouts of joy when I finally got my hands on the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery for my iPhone. In fact when my editor first mentioned it, I immediately started pestering him to send it over as I couldn’t wait to start playing all those games with controller support. What greeted me was an pretty looking box which holds the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery unit, instruction manuals, a L shape head phone adapter and a backing support for ipod.
The build of the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery feels good, solid and the buttons, which mimic the likes of the Nintendo 3DS, has a very satisfying click to it when de-press although I would personally have preferred the D-pad to be more like the 3DS as compare to the one that it has now.
Gaming experience was really awesome as no longer is the screen covered with the virtual controller that ends up blocking your view. Buttons is sharp as snap but somehow I felt that the D-pad was a tad slower. This does pose a slight problem for shooter games like Gunner Z, Overkill 2 or even Galaxy On Fire 2 HD. Shooter games generally require the player to have a quick response time and while the on screen controls were good, having a slight lag on the D Pad would be missing shots as you would have to move the cross-hair around and risk getting hit by the enemies as well.
Moving onto the racing genre, I loaded up Nitro and used the buttons to accelerate but left the steering to the rotation of my iPhone as it was more precise this way. Again somehow the D Pad is just not working out the way I hoped it would be.
Yet in all the disappointment, I found a game where the whole controller shined bright like a star in the black night. Loading up the Real Steel World Robot Boxing game, the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery seem to have blended in as though it was meant to be. Moving your robot with the D-pad and punch/ block or using your special attack with the YXBA buttons felt 2nd nature and if there is one game you have to try with the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery, this game has to be it.
Another nice touch is Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery adds an additional 1500mAH of juice to your phone so that you will not risk running out of battery halfway through a game. Of course this would come with a price as this made my iPhone 5 look like the upcoming iPhone 10. It will also not fit into your pants or jeans pocket. While the designers have definitely put thought into the overall design of the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery to make it look as sleek as possible, it is still longer than the Sony PSP for those wondering.
Do take note though that the only way to use your earphones with the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery is to use the special adapter that comes with it. It can be quite a hassle at first as most devices usually come with the headphone jack built in. At this time of writing, I am unable to find out if you can get a replacement for the adapter so please keep it safe least you lose it.
In short, the Logitech G550 Powershell is a pretty good controller + battery pack for your iPhone but as with all things new, support for it is still lacking which unfortunately affects the overall experience. I guess this is usually the issue with new products for a new framework and hopefully things will get better. Logitech definitely had a great idea that turned into a product that has great potential and now all we need is for more games to support it. When that happens, you can be sure the Logitech G550 Powershell Controller + Battery will be a force to reckon with.
Till then, have fun and here’s wishing everyone out there an awesome gaming 2014!
Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars
by Alex Tan
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