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Friday, June 14, 2024

This Sonic the Hedgehog-themed ‘gaming kit’ has gotta go fast into the trash

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When PC Gamer senior editor Wes Fenlon pointed out that Walmart is selling a Sonic The Hedgehog-themed 3-in-1 gaming kit, I felt obligated as a journalist to put in an order faster than Sonic can eat a chili dog. 

The Sonic the Hedgehog 3-in-1 gaming kit Includes a gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard, and gaming headset. Each is covered in that classic Sonic blue, white, and red, and the keyboard and mouse include RGB lighting that makes the ring decals twinkle in rainbow colors. At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen: The lights in the keyboard crapped out after 10 minutes and has yet to turn back on. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Jorge, this is clearly made for children and not weirdo adult Sonic fans.” To that I respond, “Then why is there a picture of a grown man raising his fist in success on the box?”

Anyway, out of all my years reviewing PC gaming hardware, this ‘gaming kit’ is by far one of the worst things I ever plugged into my personal computer. I wouldn’t even gift this to a kid I hated. 

After plugging everything into my PC and playing a few matches of Fortnite, I can assure you that there was no way the man in the picture on the box was celebrating any sort of victory in a videogame. The keyboard keys are mushy and the space bar often sticks. The packaging doesn’t say what sort of mechanical switches it uses but it feels like you’re trying to type on Nickelodeon slime. The RGB lighting in both the keyboard (when it worked) and mouse were dim and looked like warnings. 

The headset was ill-fitting and never sat on my head right, and felt like it was on the verge of snapping when I tried to adjust the headband. It also sounds terrible, even by budget headset standards. The volume is too low even when the little dial is cranked to the max—I’m assuming this is so kids don’t blow their eardrums, but lacking any oomph whatsoever is unacceptable. My teammates’ voices sounded distant, and the microphone did not work at all. 

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Perhaps the most offensive of the three peripherals is the mouse. There are two DP settings for 800 and 1,200, which is dreadfully slow. For context, a good cheap mouse like the Logitech G203, which you can find on sale for $20 most weeks, is 8,000 DPI. If you play anything that requires fast, accurate clicking like a shooter or an RTS, you might as well be better off not playing with a mouse at all and just trying to move your cursor with positive thoughts. 

I knew what I was getting into when I ordered this thing but a part of me, the reluctant Sonic fan, was hopeful that I would be surprised by this value bundle. The company Sakar, which makes this product, often just slaps licensed logos on existing products—like this Thomas and Friends adventure kit—and calls it a day.

If you’re thinking of picking up this set for a young Sonic fan, don’t. It’s not only bad for gaming, it’s just plain bad. Everything is fragile and flimsy, and given that Sonic’s whole thing is going fast, a 1,200 DPI mouse goes against everything he stands for. Sonic fans have been through enough; they don’t deserve this.


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