Developer: Dragon War
Publisher: Dragon War
Dragon War Dragon Shock Ultimate – Hardware Review
It’s been quite some time since we last featured any Dragon War products on the site, and while we were mostly content of their items, it’s their affordable gaming mice and third party controllers that truly stole the show. The previous generation of Dragon Shock controllers were amazingly comfortable, looked fancy with their bright colors and finishing touches, and offered the same qualitative experience than most first party controllers. This time we’re back with the next generation controllers, with the first one being the Dragon Shock Ultimate, the wireless controller for PC.
With each passing generation it becomes more and more clear that the days of cheap looking third party controllers are over, or at least for the most part. The Dragon Shock Ultimate looks smooth, even with its somewhat edgy design, and like a professional gaming peripheral. The orange finishes on the matte black look superb, and the Dragon War logo and brand name have been added in a rather subtle way, perfectly blending in with the rest of the device.
Seeing the device is a hybrid of a Xbox One controller and a PlayStation 4 controller, the first concerning the shape, the latter when looking at the placement of both joysticks, there were bound to be some discrepancies compared to the controllers this device is based upon. The matte finish looks good, and the gridded matte finish on both handles looks superb, even though it’s been handled in a very subtle fashion.
Last but not least, there are a few pretty LED lights embedded in the controller, which will show which player you are (one to four), the logo is able to light up as well, and even the sticks have a faint orange glow to them, which is an extremely nice touch when you’re playing in a dimmed or darkened room.
Even with the somewhat atypical shape and dents on the handles, the controller is extremely comfortable. The dents prove to be very comfortable resting places for your hands, thus adding an extra layer of comfort to the device. The soft extra layer around the controller makes sure the controller feels soft and grants you more grip if your hands get sweaty during longer gaming sessions. Sadly, the latter does have a big disadvantage in the form of additional upkeep in order to keep your device clean. The padding causes your fingerprints to be seen all over the device, even if your hands aren’t remotely greasy. A bit of extra cleaning will do the trick, but even then, it’s quite hard to keep your newly acquired in a spick-and-span state.
This controller has slightly smaller joysticks than the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 controller, but with the slightly dented top of said sticks, it still feels very pleasant to work with. There’s sufficient grip and you won’t slip off if you have sweaty hands.
- 2 vibration motors
- Non-slip and glowing joysticks
- Ergonomic triggers
- High-capacity battery
Dragon War’s wireless controller is a plug and play item, which allows you to enjoy most of the device’s functionalities if you want to dive into your games immediately. That being said, without installing the drivers, the rumble function did not work for us, thus it is advised to insert the disc enclosed within the box first, or download the drivers from the official website. Installing said drivers should do the trick, and you’re good to go in a matter of minutes.
Even though the plastic used for this device might not feel precisely as qualitative as it would with first party devices, the device holds its own quite well. You’ll be treated to sturdy controllers, and a decent D-pad, the latter being a rare commodity for brands that might have a ‘budget’ reputation. Overall there’s no delay between the press of a button and the actual execution onscreen, at least, after a few seconds of booting up the controller.
Something that’s becoming more common for third party hardware is that some flaws of the original controllers are properly handled and thus in many ways better than the source material. In this case, the triggers are a delight, they feel quite sturdy, and you’ll have to apply a proper amount of pressure to them in order to fully press them down. The resistance on the triggers will make it easier to regulate speed during racing games, as you’ll be able to pinpoint the desired amount of throttle easier this way.
The battery lifespan is pretty much the same as normal controllers, thus there is no real issue in this department. You’ll also be supplied with a charging cable, which might not be that long, but long enough if you sit closely to your PC, and if you’re gaming on a laptop, there should not be an issue at all concerning the cable length.
Of course, controllers like this aren’t perfect and we also found a few minor flaws, which can feel like an annoyance from time to time. For starters, this device doesn’t have a battery indicator, thus you can’t properly see when your device is slowly reaching the point where it has to be charged. While this isn’t a big issue, it would have been nice if there was a better indication of knowing when your device will die on you. Secondly, even though the device powers down quite rapidly if you unplug the wireless dongle, it would have been great if it came with an on/off switch, as it now forces you to actually unplug the transmitter, if you don’t want to waste precious minutes of battery life.
Dragon War’s Dragon Shock Ultimate is a great new addition in the Dragon Shock line of controllers. You’ll be treated to an affordable, sturdy and good-looking device, that has ample comfort and ends up being a dependable gaming companion. If you’re looking for a wireless alternative, that’s still in a fair price range, this one might do the trick.