by Rob Williams on March 1, 2005 in Peripherals
Logitech has always been known for making great computer peripherals. They are the world leader in Webcams, and make great Keyboards, Mice, Speakers and tons more. But how about their gamepads? PC gamepads are incredibly difficult to get right, especially for a gamer who is expecting console equivalent feel and design. Read on to see how their RumblePad 2 controller fares in our review.
The configuration on the left, is what you can expect if you do not install the drivers that come on the CD. If you have Windows XP, the Gamepad should work fine without installing the drivers, so it’s up to you if you want to install them, if you have XP. If you do install the drivers off the CD, you get the configuration on the right. To test the buttons, you click them on the controller and they light up in the config. Installation was very easy, and it worked off the get go. It helps since it’s USB based, and nothing else. One thing I recommend though, is to not lose the CD-Rom. At the time of writing, you couldn’t easily get the drivers off the official site.
Performance and Testing
To thoroughly test the gamepad, I played a heavy amount of Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and Need For Speed: Underground 2. These games are both available on all the mainstream consoles, and I have played them both on the Xbox console, so I can give an accurate view of how the controller performs.
Need For Speed: Underground 2
Alright, I’m in my Honda Civic and seat belt on. I’m ready race! The ingame configuration allowed for perfect control over what the buttons do, so I could mimic the real PS2 or Xbox control scheme. Within seconds, I was ready to go in and race.
How to describe the initial feel and control of the gamepad.. Wow! The control was tight and allowed for perfect racing. Not once did I blame a crash on the gamepad! I was going around corners with ease, and felt every bump along the way, thanks to the built in Rumble. There was no configuration to get the rumble to work for the game, it was set automatically.
As I already noted, I prefer to play games with the D-Pad, rather than the Analog sticks, but I did test both ways. Either way, the control was very tight, and allowed for accurate play. Setting the two center buttons on the controller as Select and Start, really makes it feel like you are playing a console.. but only with amped up graphics. All in all, I really enjoyed using this gamepad for the game.. it worked perfectly.
Tony Hawk: Underground 2
Skateboard? Check. Crazy levels? Check. RumblePad 2? Check. Alright, ready to grind up a storm. Now, unlike NFS: U2, TH: U2 is nowhere as refined and polished for PC play. The game overall feels somewhat bulky, and the graphics are not as clean and crisp as the console counterparts. At any rate, I once again set up the RumblePad 2 to the same configuration as the game has for the PlayStation 2.
Even with the clunky design of the game, the controller still acted as it should. The character was easy to control, and the tricks were performed smoothly. The control was not as smooth as NFS: U2 for instance, but I believe that to be because of the clunkiness of the game. However, if you do own this game for the PC, this gamepad will not let you down. The vibration definitely added to the experience as well.
If you play a lot of games on your PC that are better played on a Gamepad, without a doubt, get this one. I’m certainly not easily impressed with any peripherals, especially Gamepads. This one however, easily won me over with it’s ease of use, and perfect design. With the Rumble feature added in there, there’s no reason to not own this Gamepad. The first night I used it, I was so impressed, I went online and ordered a second one! Definitely give this one a go. Thanks to Pamela at Logitech for allowing us to review their gamepad!
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