The first test in our suite of games is FIFA 2000 from Electronic Arts. This is one of my favorite games, though I haven’t tried 2001. It sports good graphics for its time and great soccer action, but no force feedback. With the controller in “sport mode” the first couple games confirmed my suspicions that the digital direction pad was hard to use due to its knotty nature (no pun intended). When I switched to “flight mode”, which basically changes the controls to the analog joystick, I fared much better with the smoother control it gave. The buttons were also easy to reach during mad dashes for the goal and tricky maneuvers.
The next game, in an attempt to reach all genres of gaming is Sports Car GT, a racing title that does support force feedback. Though a steering wheel is best suited towards this type of game, such as another force feedback wheel (Logitech Formula Force GP), the Rumble pad got good merits (in flight mode) for precision and use. All force feedback effects including crashes and engine roar were done well with the larger motor handling the sharp kicks while the small handled vibrations. But, you don’t get the sense of fighting the wheel when you damage a tire and what not.
Fly! is a very good flight simulator with decent force feedback effects was also used. Again the Rumble pad exhibited good control and ease of use, again the flight mode. The throttle control, located at the top left corner of the controller, was the only deficiency on this pad in a flight simulator situation, because of it’s awkward positioning. Like in Sports Car GT, it performed well with all effects from turbulence etc. Likewise, you don’t have the feeling of fighting the joystick, as you would have with a force feedback joystick of sorts.
Lastly, in Rogue Spear, a tactical first person shooter; again, the Rumble pad showed good control and ease of use in flight mode. Are you starting to see a pattern? Rogue Spear embodies a great variety in situations requiring the player to move slowly and silently to infiltrate an enemy base or move quickly to strike down an opposing enemy. The pad excelled in all areas, though a keyboard, the controller of choice, is better suited. Are you seeing another pattern emerging? No force feedback is supported though I would imagine that it would probably feel like an enhanced rumble pack.
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