MOGA Mobile Gaming Controller Review

Power A finally launched the MOGA, a game controller designed to work with Android 2.3 smartphones and tablets. The MOGA is supposed to give players console quality controls and gaming, but the question is, does it succeed?

In short, yes it does.

As a hardcore gamer, I’m less likely to play games on my smartphone because of control limitations. Smartphones can pretty much do everything except offer gamers precise, physical controls. Try and count the number of times you died in-game because you were covering the screen with your fingers on the controls on-screen. Thankfully, the MOGA offers players the analog sticks, face buttons, and triggers that players need and makes it work with an ever-increasing number of mobile games.

Check out the our full MOGA Mobile Gaming Controller Review after the break.

The MOGA is a light and comfortable Bluetooth controller that works not only with Android 2.3 smartphones, but tablets as well. It offers players two analog sticks, four face buttons, and two triggers that are lot like the controllers found on consoles and handhelds. It’s got a nice jet black finish that doesn’t scratch easily. As well, the analog sticks are shorter and don’t protrude too much so players don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking them off when the MOGA is tucked away. Considering how small and compact the MOGA is, it makes sense that the face buttons are quite small; however, it’s sure to be annoy gamers with bigger hands since the analog sticks, buttons, and triggers are on the smaller side.

It has rubberized and grooved grips where the player’s fingers hold to prevent from slippage. It also weighs less than a pound, is five inches lengthwise, three inches high, and fits into most jacket and pant pockets. (Well, except skinny jeans if you’re into those.)  The MOGA requires two AAA batteries that can thankfully last up to 18 hours. However, I did keep thinking to myself “how much better would this be with built-in rechargeable batteries instead!”

Smartphones are fastened to the controller using the MOGA arm located in the middle of the device. The arm is extendable and can secure Android devices as big as the Samsung Galaxy Note and still feel comfortable even after hours of continued playtime. Phones are held quite securely and never slips or falls off no matter how much I shook or angled the MOGA. This may just be nitpicking, but I did have a small issue with the MOGA arm as it clips to the side of the phone where the volume control buttons are usually located. I had to slide my my phone sideways a few centimeters and that mucked up the balance since one side was heavier than the other.

So how did the MOGA fare with my Android games? Well, I played it with a number of games including The Dark Knight Rises, N.O.V.A. 3, Riptide GP, Six Guns, and more. The controls worked fine on most games especially third person action, racing, sidescrollers, and sports games. I did have to play around with the sensitivity on N.O.V.A. 3 to find a reasonably effective aiming speed. I also found that there’s a noticeable deadzone especially with first-person shooters. Because the analog sticks are so short, it makes it a bit of getting used to; it’s good thing then that the sticks have rubber grips on them, preventing the player’s thumb from slipping.

On the software side, there’s the Pivot App players can download that syncs mobile devices to the MOGA and lists all the games that are enhanced/compatible with the controller. Thankfully the app syncs with the controller in less than 10 seconds and allows players to jump into their favorite games without having to wait a long time. It also lists out MOGA-enhanced games that can be purchased. Too bad players can’t purchase or download games straight from the Pivot App. When players want to purchase a game, the app opens up the web browser where players can then download the game. Players will also have to exit the app in order to install the games.

PROS:

+ Light, small and compact
+ Responsive controls that give great feedback
+ Feels like a small version of the Xbox 360 controller
+ MOGA Arm accomodates all Android smartphone sizes
+ Wireless and works with Bluetooth technology
+ Long battery life
+ Pivot App streamlines the process

CONS:

- Right analog stick has a slight deadzone
– No built-in rechargeable batteries
– MOGA Arm placement covers phone volume controls
– Can’t download or purchase games straight from the Pivot App

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite having some issues with the right analog stick’s height and deadzone, what I loved about the MOGA is that it never felt like I was playing a game on another touchscreen phone. (Which I absolutely abhor) I actually felt like I was holding a hardcore-aimed gaming platform that was lighter than the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. It was small and compact, had an app that listed all my MOGA playable games, and it was easy to setup and use.

If you play games on your Android devices, you owe it to yourself to get the MOGA.

RECOMMENDED!

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on October 22, 2012, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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