February 25th, 2008, 20:28 Posted By: bandit
KontrolFreek SpeedFreek Joystick
Site: Buy from KontrolFreek / Buy from Amazon
Price: $9.95 (pack of 2) / $17.50 (pack of 4)
Overview : SpeedFreek allows you to relax your thumb and not worry about sliding off the analog stick. With its unique design, SpeedFreek keeps your thumb on the existing analog stick surface. There is no separation between the natural geometry that you have learned to use. The additional supporting side walls enable quicker and sharper movements, while adding control and precision. As a result, gamers report less stress on their thumbs and quicker lap times.
Quality/Usability : As more and better racing games comes out (both in gameplay and graphics), gamers want that semi-real racing effect. Gamers will pay up to $150 for a steering wheel with force feedback. I have been a big fan of racing games since the days of Rage Racer and Gran Turismo. I got my first steering wheel peripheral when Logitech released the Driving Force Feedback Steering Wheel for Gran Turismo 3 on the PlayStation 2. Luckily, at the time of release, I worked Electronics Boutique and got the steering wheel for free for working on launch and meeting creator of the game, Kazunori Yamauchi.
With the expensive price tag for steering wheel, who can afford them considering games themselves cost $50-60 each. Not to mention, the size of these peripherals and the amount of room they take up. KontrolFreek aims to solve both the cost and size factor by offering SpeedFreek.
SpeedFreek is made of plastic and in the shape of a "U" or a half-pipe. The design is very simple and basic and comes in two colors; white and black. The SpeedFreek attaches to the left analog thumb-stick. There are prongs that attaches to the thumb-stick. The side rails provide extra leverage in racing games. Turning in corners and passing cars was smoother than ever. I no longer had to nudge the joystick in order to make the turn. With a slight move of the thumb-stick, I was able to squeeze into tight spots as opposed to using a regular thumb-stick and bouncing off cars like a pinball machine.
The packaging is eye-catching. As mentioned at the very top, you can purchase a pack of two or four. The SpeedFreek comes packaged in a plastic tube. Inside the plastic tube is the SpeedFreeks are holding instructions rolled up. This also helps the SpeedFreek stay upright and in place.
Conclusion : Overall, the KontrolFreek SpeedFreek Joystick works great for racing games. No more nudging of the thumb-stick. Now I have a can make smooth turns every time and it also improved my lap times. I tried the SpeedFreek with a FPS game such as Gears of War and GRAW2 and although it helped me with my aim and accuracy, it wasnt perfect. Whats great is that it works both on the PS3 and Xbox 360. If you're interested in the FPS version, be sure to order yours here.
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