OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator (nia) - The Log
Author: Chris Buer
Ok, as many of you may know I am working hard on getting used to the nia, and to assist with the process I have decided to stick with my game of choice, Counter-Strike Source. Some may ask why I have chosen this game and the reason is that in one form or another, I have played Counter-Strike since early 2000, so you could say that I know the game pretty well.
A lot of the NIA reviews I have read show gamers playing Unreal Tournament 3 and whereas this is undoubtedly a great game, I felt that it was important not to replicate the work of other sites. I therefore decided to test out the nia on something different, hence another reason why I have continued to test with Counter-Strike Source.
By playing this game with the nia, I could really put it to the test and see if this device could really help me improve on my eight years of Counter-Strike experience. The bottom line is that if the nia can make me a better player at Counter-Strike, after eight years, then it really would be a great addition to any gamer’s collection.
To make this log update a little better this time around, I have included some FRAPS videos of game play with the nia. The first video shows the nia in action against medium skill level bots and the second video shows the same but using a conventional keyboard and mouse. When using the nia I am only using my mouse to aim and the nia to control all movement and shooting. Although my movement looks OK in the nia video, I did struggle to make a fluid movement through the doors at bombsite B, however shooting is fine.
I’m into my third week with the nia and things have progressed slowly. As you will see from these videos, controlling the movement around the map is still quite difficult. The biggest problems I faced came from trying to stop the player moving around the screen. In games such as UT3 you tend to move around the majority of the time. However in Counter-Strike Source, there is a balance of running, walking and holding. The question I asked myself at the start of this test was “can the nia cope with these inputs”. You will see from the video that getting this balance is a little tricky, but I am sure that it just comes down to practice.
-With nia -
I found that walking around the screen has proven to be the most difficult, so the possible use of a key bind should resolve the issue. Firing the gun is still not as quick as using the mouse and I am consistently returning more kills and fewer deaths by using a conventional mouse and keyboard set up.
My time with the nia has provided mixed feelings. The device is certainly a revelation as there is simply nothing else out there on the market that can compare. However I do wonder if the device is better suited to faster paced games where the action is non-stop. I wonder how the nia will cope with other popular online games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft where the end user will need the ability to balance the pace of their inputs. Games such as the Quake and Unreal Tournament series do lend themselves to a faster paced game and the fine balance of control, (e.g. being able to move a player slower) is less of a concern.
The one comment I can pass on the nia is that it is definitely not a device that will be mastered quickly. However as they say, practice makes perfect and that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do.
Other sites of interest
While talking to OCZ recently about the nia, they drew my attention to some very promising video's over at game-tv.com
. These video's show OCZ's VP of Technology - Michael Schuette using the nia in a 1-on-1 Unreal Tournament 3 battle against Klaus frag^m Wiedemann, avid Unreal gamer and winner of EuroCup XII. The outcome is interesting to say the least.
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