Remember the time you smashed your controller in rage while facing off with Black Dragon Kalameet in Dark Souls for the very first time? Yeah, neither do we since these things are rather expensive.
Controllers are simply the tools for players to achieve our best but past that, it’s a camera to a photographer and ultimately, it’s down to the gamer and his skills. Yet, in some circles, efforts are made to make the controller an even more awesome experience outside of the default option.
The basic form of a gaming controller has not evolved much over the years. It’s one of those products where most users are more than familiar how a controller should be held and where one’s fingers would eventually rest. Thus, it becomes a real challenge to develop a brand new controller with enough bells and whistles to make the user sit up and take notice.
Now in its second iteration, the Razer Wolverine V2 brings to the table measured improvements which builds nicely into the goodwill the first edition has built up.
The first thing (or most) folks do when taking a new controller out of the box would be to depress the face buttons for the very first time. With the Razer Wolverine V2, we’re greeted with a nice and audible click. Anyone who’s familiar with mechanical keyboards would feel totally at home here. More akin towards traditional mechanical blue switches, the Wolverine V2 packs in Razer’s own mecha tactile switches. In a totally quiet environment and if you’re listening intently for the aural prompt, it’s honestly hard to hear it over the sound of the game audio.
If you’ve used mechanical keyboards for some time, most would find it hard to go back to convention. Now, imagine the same feeling once you’ve tried your hand at the Wolverine V2. Compared to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, the buttons feel mushy right and soon you’d find yourself missing the tactile feel offered by Razer’s offering.
It might be hard to ask for Razer to make all buttons mechanical as the only inputs which have the clicky feel would be the face buttons (ABXY)and the D-pad. If these really matter in your gameplan, then you’re pretty much set.
Mechanical buttons in controllers should become more of a thing in the future and the Razer Wolverine V2 certainly has shown the potential.
He Ain’t Heavy
Heft wise, the Razer Wolverine V2 feels great in your hands, weighing in at 274 grams. This places it in between the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (246 grams), and the darling of the season, the PlayStation 5 DualSense (280 grams).
The Wolverine V2 is nicely balanced as all controllers should be, with concentration of the weight focuses mainly towards the palm of your hand. It’s not the biggest controller in terms of footprint and would rest nicely into those who have smaller hands.
To help improve the grip on the controller, a textured rubber seathe has been added around the controller. While it might look like a prime location for hand gunk to accumulate over time, a quick wipe down with a wet wipe is more than sufficient to deal with it. The only worry right now is how the rubber might hold up in more humid climates like Singapore over time.
As much as the Razer Wolverine V2 does well for first impressions, it all comes down to how well it performs and across battles, beat-em-ups and loads of action across Battletoads, Streets of Rage 4, and Hollow Knight extensively, the Wolverine V2 performs remarkably well.
When it comes to Streets of Rage and Hollow Knight, each button press is a dream, going to show that good hardware needs a good partner to bring the best gaming experience to players. With Streets of Rage, there’s a marked difference between being able to hold on to your combo streak as enemies sneak up behind you in being able to quickly shift focus and take them out.
When it comes to Hollow Knight, there’s a marked difference especially during boss fights, with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Wolverine V2. While traversing the overworld, there’s much less effort pressing down on the jump button especially considering the Knight has a good amount of weight to the character. Short jumps and downward slashes can be executed with much confidence as well.
But for all the kudos we would love to give the controller, it’s still not able to save the sluggish control experience in Battletoads.
As a wired controller, the big upside is that there is little to no setup needed when plugging it into the PC. As Xbox makes its moves towards bridging both PC and the home console, the Razer Wolverine V2 does find itself in a good place being able to straddle both. Ultimately when it comes to PC support, it’s down to how well each brand supports the PC Master Race outside of their base console. With Xbox Live on the PC not playing nicely with other controllers at time, the Wolverine V2 gives you more game time and less setup time.
Outside of the mechanical buttons, the Razer Wolverine V2 comes with additional shoulder trigger buttons and a trigger stop toggles which allows players to physically rapid fire it the occasion calls for it. These are nice additions overall but we wouldn’t go so far to say these are game changing. It ultimately depends on your own personal use case application. Being able to remap these buttons is a boon as well though such options do come in game more often than not these days.
The biggest concern outside of the controller is that the wire is not braide but made of rubber. Over time, this might be a concern depending on how extensively the controller is used. For US$99.99 (S$159.90), this is an aspect which Razer should have considered in an otherwise excellent controller.
Ultimately, the downside again for most Razer products is price, would anyone really want to pay US$99.99 for a wired controller? That’s a mental barrier one has to overcome. Yet if you’re a strong believer in having the best products for the job, the Razer Wolverine V2 will get you across the finish line and you’d only have your subpar skills to blame.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
A solid controller all round, the Razer Wolverine V2 has dropped all the RGB nonsense and put in the required upgrade to improve your game. Outside of price, this is a solid 3rd party option for all PC and Xbox gamers looking for a second controller.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Performance - 9/10
Value - 7.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Gerald currently straddles between his love of video games and board gaming. There’s nothing that interests him more than trying out the newest and fanciest gadget in town as well. He dreams of publishing a board game sometime in the future!