Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: Pinnacle Game Profiler

A previous post of mine mentions having been hooked on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and getting 'trained' on the XBox 360, but the PC version doesn't have the greatest of support for gamepads of any variety, much less the console's controllers it eventually was ported to (hint for future PC game devs out there. Never overlook the possibility of PC-to-console ports, and if you can plan for them ahead of time, even better. Nothing's more satisfying than being able to system-shift painlessly). I wasn't about to go to strictly keyboard and mouse for my Oblivion fix, and so I checked with my good friend Google.

It let me to a site for a piece of software called Pinnacle Game Profiler, and at the time, the evolving Oblivion profile being developed with the 360's controller in mind. I was hooked on the possibility, and went for the demo.

The profile itself isn't 100% perfect to the control scheme you'd find on the 360. However, it's only the obscurer commands you'll have to adapt to, and only because of the limitations of software of this type. As it is, it stands about 95% accurate, and you'll only need a few minutes of playtime to adjust.

Furthermore, this program is set to detect games you've loaded profiles in for, and since it emulates a keyboard and mouse, you can control literally any program with your pad (or stick) of choice.

The version I used for this review was 3.8.4, and since then, version 4.0 has gone public, boasting even more compatibility, including Windows Vista, and refinements in input processing, plus more efficient processing.

It's the best there is at what it does, but limitations outside of anyone's control (besides Bethesda Softworks) keep it from attaining perfection.

3.8.4: 9.5/10
4.0.0: 9.8/10

(Edited slightly on February 8th. Originally, I goofed and said it now worked on Windows XP, when I'd meant to say it now supported Windows Vista instead.)

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