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General: ZBoard Fang Review

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Jon Wood reviews the ZBoard Fang today here on MMORPG.com. The board, not entirely intended for MMORPGs, is reviewed in a slightly different way. We split the Game Play score into two categories: MMORPG and FPS (which it was intended for).




image 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.

The Gamepad itself retails for about $34.99. Just plug it into a USB port, install the software and you’re ready to go. Next up on my to-do list was to decide which games I was going to use to try this thing out. Obviously, I had to try it out with an MMORPG, and for that, I chose EverQuest II. I did want to get a second perspective on the gamepad though, so I thought I’d go with my current favorite in the world of First Person Shooters, Battlefield 2. I’ll give separate Play Quality reviews for each game, as the experience does differ slightly.

You can read the review here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

Comments

  • Sanctus_MorsSanctus_Mors N. Bay, CAPosts: 597Member

    As a south paw, the Fang has immensly improved my gaming for both MMO and FPS. I play Guildawars, Everquest 2, Oblivion, and Battlefield 2.

    If the layout for the game doesn't suit my needs, I'll just go into the game I'm playing and change the control options. EQ2 there is never a need for me to crouch or run/walk. So I set the run/walk to autorun and the crouch to open/close bags. For Guildwars, the Fang is fantastic.

    My only gripe is that the fang doesn't have option for the F1-F12 keys, which for BF2 you need to change positions on a vehicle.

    If your left handed, I recommend the Fang. My computer setup is as follows, with the monitor and keyboard centered on my desk.

               Monitor
    Mouse>Keyboard>Fang

    Typing in EQ2 and GW isnt' much of a problem for me, since the keyboard is right in the middle.

    If a game is not listed on the Fang as one of the games, you can use the default setup and then adjust the ingame options for what makes the best sense. this also works if you don't like the setup that the Fang recommends for the games it has listed.

    your arguement is so persuasive, so filled with knowledge and insight. You back up your argument very articulately, with suggestions of improvements and raising examples to glorify your position....oh wait, you didn't

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

    It's great to get the perspective of a south paw. That's one way I could not possibly review this accessory, being a right hander, so thanks for chiming in! It's appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Jon "Stradden" Wood, News Editor / Community Manager, MMORPG.com

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • LongswdLongswd No, CAPosts: 155Member
    Probably the single most important question I would have liked to see addressed is wether or not you can program the keys for whatever keystrokes you want. If you can, can you do macros? If you can do macros, can you insert wait states and repeats? That would be a make or break issue for anyone who doesn't like the default layouts.

    Seems a bit silly to write a review on something like that and not even address such a basic issue.


  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    My apologies.

    Yes, the keys are customizable, although I found the process to be a bit frustrating.

    As far as macros go, I don't use them. That's why I didn't talk about it in the article. Once again, my apologies.

    Cheers,
    Jon "Stradden" Wood


    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member

    Thank you for writing such an honest review!

    I'd bet that it would be great for DDO [but, as you stated, ONLY if you use voice-chat].  Anybody out there have one and use it for DDO?

  • vulgrinvulgrin Fort Wayne, INPosts: 12Member

    Not a great review - you shouldn't have dinged the device because you had inadequate space.  You should comment on the amount of space it takes up, and how that affected your gameplay, but rating the device lower because of your setup was inappropriate.

    "Seems a bit silly to write a review on something like that and not even address such a basic issue."

    Yeah, I agree. 



    LOTRO: Vulgrin - Dwarf Champion - Gladden
    LOTRO: Truffle - Hobbit Minstrel - Gladden

  • Sanctus_MorsSanctus_Mors N. Bay, CAPosts: 597Member

    Steps to customize your Fang Keyboard:


    • Set fang prgram to default (note you can select the game you want to use also if you want to tweek the layout a bit)

    • Load game you want to play

    • Go to game options to configure keyboard

    • Select action in the config keyboard options in game and hit the key you want to use on the fang

    • Profit

    If, ingame you can set a macro to a key, then that can carry over to the fang if you adjust the game options and associate to one of the keys on the fang.

    The Fang can't be set up to do macro's on it's own...it's just a keyboard with a different layout. The Fang Software doesn't allow to config macros or program keystrokes, that has to be done if your game allows it or you have another program that allows it. To find out what key on the fang corrilates to, bring up notepad and start hitting keys on the fang, I noticed that the P1 button (side button on left side) is actually the N key (Not 100% sure, at work now and cant' confirm) The 1 button on the fang is the same 1 on the number strip (1-0 above the letters on keyboard.)

    So the fang is just a keyboard with the keys in convenient areas, it is not a macro machine unless the game your playing can assign a macro to one key.

    For a left hander, this is convenient because we don't have to reprogram all the keys in game, also saves a lot of stress on the wrist.

    your arguement is so persuasive, so filled with knowledge and insight. You back up your argument very articulately, with suggestions of improvements and raising examples to glorify your position....oh wait, you didn't

  • noretreatnoretreat Janesville, WIPosts: 4Member

    So this keypad would have scored how much higher if you had a bigger desk?

    I use a small  dining room table as my desk thats about 5 feet wide and 4 feet deep for a desk.  Now what I'd like to see games sites start reviewing a bit is computer desks, chairs and whatnot.  Anyhow I digress. I have plenty of room to have something to the left of my keyboard.  Currently I have a "Claw" there but I have found it is a tiny bit laggy so I'm looking to replace it.  This may be an option for me.

    How responsive is this thing?  If the direction keys function one tiny bit worse than WASD on my Logitech G-15 I'm not interested.  If they are as fast as my keyboard I'll order one tomorrow.

  • Sanctus_MorsSanctus_Mors N. Bay, CAPosts: 597Member
    No delay, it's just like a keyboard with the keys in a different layout. Hooked up USB so even more responsive then some keyboards that are out there

    your arguement is so persuasive, so filled with knowledge and insight. You back up your argument very articulately, with suggestions of improvements and raising examples to glorify your position....oh wait, you didn't

  • noretreatnoretreat Janesville, WIPosts: 4Member
    Awesome, thanks. Thats all I needed to hear to pick one up. 
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