I used to make fun of people who twist and squirm with the most unusual body movements whenever they pick up a pad to do some gaming. You know, like uncle Bob, screamin' and hollerin' at the screen while leaning left and right, smashing you into the end of the sofa... Well, game-peripheral designers have learned to take advantage of those body movements with tilt sensors, and this is Logitech's latest: the WingMan Gamepad Extreme. The WingMan Gamepad Extreme sports just a hint of iMac-ish design in its grips and buttons. It comes with a shortened version of one game, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D, along with the WingMan driver/profile software. After a fast installation, an LED glows brightly on the pad, telling you it's ready for action. As with other pads, the six buttons on top and the trigger pads on the underside are fully configurable. The additional buttons turn the tilt function on/off, act as a Start button, and serve as macro buttons that you can use as multi-key functions (programmable with the WingMan software). As an added bonus, if you turn the tilt sensor on, the D-pad acts as an eight-way hat switch. The Extreme comes in either USB or gameport form. The Extreme satisfied regular gamepad duties and was quite comfortable to use. But the tilt sensor was what I really wanted to test. For those unfamiliar with this technology, here's a brief rundown. Components in the pad "sense" if the pad is level. This information is then mapped as the X- or Y-axis (as with a joystick), so when you lean left, the sensors cause the same effect as if you pulled your joystick to the left. Tilt the pad forward, and your in-game car accelerates; tilt it back, and the car brakes. I ran the Extreme through a variety of games, including Motocross Madness and Midtown Madness, Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: High Stakes, Descent: FreeSpace, and Asteroids. The tilt sensor really helped out in certain g
ames like the NFS series but hampered my performance in FreeSpace, where any slight movement caused my ship to weave all over the place. I was disappointed, too, to find the steering way too sensitive in Midtown Madness with the tilt sensors on, and I found myself using the D-pad instead. Also, while I found the macro button useful, it was too small to access easily in the heat of gaming. The good news is that the tilt function works well, but it depends on what game you're using it with. I wouldn't recommend using it with games like FreeSpace or Asteroids because it takes a lot of getting used to. But for certain games, the tilt function is awesome, and it really is a natural extension of your body movement (sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not)--and you can always turn it off. It did improve my performance in High Stakes. The Extreme's definitely got a different feel than its natural rival, another tilt-sensor- packin' pad, the Microsoft Freestyle Pro, whose grip is angled more toward a "driving" sensation. Head over to the local computer store and get a feel for both controllers before making your decision. If you go with the Extreme, you'll get the benefits of a good pad with the added bonus of the tilt-sensor function. It all adds up to a solid buy.
This gamepad uses force feedback technology to give you a more varied gaming experience than standard gamepads can offer. ********** For £29.95 you get a sophisticated dual engine feedback mechanism in a super sleek gamepad. This is an extraordinary amount of value for your money, but if it cost twice as much, the Rumblepad would still be the best darned gamepad I've ever used. The Rumblead boasts an incredibly sophisticated dual motor technology. Two differently sized and weighted motors spin independently to create a range of effects wide enough that they have to be experienced to be believed. Not even the much more expensive force feedback joysticks can claim a better, or more varied set of effects than this small gamepad produces. If that is not enough of a "Go out and buy this product!" recommendation, let me add fuel to the fire. The controller itself is so well laid out, it was a pleasure to use from moment one. The grips are solid and my medium sized hands were very comfortable holding onto the controller. The frontside of these type controllers typically have four buttons and they are always awkward to use. Not so the Rumblepad. It has two oversized buttons on the front that your index fingers just naturally fit over. Your right index finger also naturally reaches to the sliding speed control. Your right thumb manages the six action specific buttons. Your left thumb controls the view. There is even a mode button for switching functionality in the middle of a game, which was a big help, especially as I was playing a number of different games while I worked my way through the ins and outs of the Rumblepad. ********** There is a sliding throttle for precise speed control. Dual analog mini joysticks each provide 360 degree of motion. The vibration mode is well enhanced by the pad's dual motor construction. The interface is USB, with no batteries and no external AC power pack re
quired. The pad itself has a slimline, tapered appearance, with a contoured underside that nicely fits itself to your fingers. All the buttons have beveled edges that help define them in the middle of frantic gameplay and the frontside buttons are even textured to help keep your sweaty fingers from slipping off. Logitech is becoming well known to gamers for its ultra precise attention to details. The little orange lines marking the relative position of the throttle is a perfect example of this. Much more useful than they first appeared to be, these lines help you handle acceleration adjustments with an ease bordering on the subconscious. Even the software is extra easy to install, with prompts helping make it a no brainer experience and, trust me on this, the first test screen you come to will instantly prove what a gas this controller is to use. After installation an applet sits in your system tray watching for the next game you want to run and then providing a specific key config for that particular game. Amazing! All I can say is, I hope, I hope, I hope Logitech sees fit to make versions of this Rumblepad for the console market. I will take two of each!
A friend gave me this gamepad as a present. As a digital gamepad, it is quite good, better than several others I have used. The pad fits nicely in my hands, though people with tiny hands may find reaching some of the buttons difficult (this is the case for some other gamepads as well). The device comes with software which allows you to configure the buttons and D-pad. The pad is both USB and Gameport compatible. The biggest fault of this device is the motion sensor thingy which is supposed to mimic analogue movement based on how you tilt the device. It just doesn't work well enough. Though, I know some people who have mastered using this mode. In short, a good digital pad with a problem in the 'sensor motion' mode.
Logitech are convinced that force feedback effets are the next step in gaming. I'm afraid I'm a little bit more sceptical.Say the word 'rumble' to me and I think of the deep subsonic emanations you might experience when confronted by an earthquake or a manic thunderstorm. This item would be more accurately called a vibro-pad; but although I'm sure this would have been received with more hilarity, Logitech's marketing people wouldn't have thought so. The pad itself is okay; the thumb pads are well designed (if a bit flimsy) and all the right hand buttons fall nicely under the thumb. The top buttons are also accompanied by a throttle bar, which, although it wasn't supported on any games on my PC, is a nice innovation which I can see having lots of potential in future games. It supports analogue controls which are becoming increasingly necessary as platform games become more involving. If you want a vibrating pad with dual analogue controls (a la Playstation) then this is presently the way to go. Everyone else calls it ugly, but I'm always a man to go on functionality too. Perhaps not the future of gaming controllers, but it'd be a nice birthday present.
Wingman gamepad extreme its extremely annoying..... what waste of my money it proclaims so much on the pack about the features of this gamepad they forgot to tell you just how much it would cost you to update your computer to the specs required to run all the features. If you have a simple 166 pentium forget it. I had to buy a new sound card that was not enought I then had to buy a new video card still not enought then it was memeory. I should of judt got a new computer or better a still a whole server. When i finally got it working the play on it was not worth all the money and found it better using my mouse.