Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 7:53 am Post subject: Unbiased review of Logitech's Wingman Cordless Gamepad
I recently was looking to purchase a quality gamepad for my PC that would replace my PS2toPC converter, and my search led me to purchase this highly praised pad, and, let me tell you folks....
I'm rather disappointed.
To be fair, I still haven't finished testing it, so my opinion isn't final.
First, lets go over the good: the Wingman Cordless is wireless with an excellent range, has rumble support, a large number of buttons, including 6 buttons in the front, two analog joysticks, a nifty little button that lets you switch between digital and analog so that you can use your analog stick as your D-pad, an easy and hassle-free setup, and a very useful program that lets you set up your controller for most PC Games with ease.
Now, the bad: It has one of the shittiest D-pads on the market, and could probably compete against the NES MAX for most unresponsive D-Pad ever made. Well, maybe I'm exagerrating a bit; nothing is as bad as the NES MAX, but, it is the first time since the MAX that I have ever wanted to smash my controller onto the ground in sheer frustration, and I'm definitely not one of those gamers who proudly brag about how many controllers they go through because they have no control over their tempers and their mama's never breast-fed them.
For example, I loaded up Super Street Fighter 2 X (or whatever) on FBA, and when I setup the controls, I should have known right of the bat that something wasn't right, because FBA kept mapping the wrong controls instead. Ignoring the clue, I finally set everything up correctly and began the game. Now, you know that either a) you suck, or b) the controls are fucked up, when Sagat is outgunned by Guile in a projectile match, and you definitely know that something is fishy when you couldn't even pull of a single projectile to boot. Undetered, I picked Ryu, and tried again, figuring that I only needed to better acquaint myself with my brand new, $50 friend.
Unfortunately, it didn't get any better. I could only pull of Hadukens on occasions, on rarer occasions, his Dragon Punch, and forget about executing any supers, especially when pulling off two Hadokens in a row was a surprise in itself. I nearly lost it when Ryu did his sliding punch into E. Honda's hundred hand slap for the third time in a row, instead of jamming a Hadoken right in between that fat bastard's immense titties like I wanted him to. I still think the CPU was mocking me, only pulling off that attack and standing there, waiting for me to run right into it like an idiot.
I tried to switch to analog mode, but the improvement was slight. The edges in which the analog sticks are encased are square, so it makes doing the circular movement required in fighting games very bumpy and distracting.
Things weren't any better with the other fighting games I tried either. I tried to rationalize my prior experience by acknowledging that fighting games weren't the Wingman's forte, so I loaded up a simple game like Legend of Zelda. Although it performed much better on this game, there were a couple of occasions that he would go left instead of up, etc.. I suspected that the D-pad's clumsy design was registering incorrect inputs, so I tried to play Guerrilla War on it instead, and my suspicions were proven correct. Although still playable, there were times in the game that felt like El Che was going through a "Leisure Suit Larry" moment after pounding back 6 beers and swaggering off in all the wrong directions.
To sum up, I wouldn't recommend this gamepad for emulation, or for any games in general that heavily require the use of a D-Pad. If only the D-Pad had separations in between the cardinal points, and not indented towards the center, it would have fared much better IMO. However, for all other games, this pad has many redeeming qualities to it that should make it a must have. I'm currently playing Alien vs. Predator 2 on it and it rocks. It just sucks that I primarily enjoy games in the first group.
Anyways, can any of you guys recommend a wireless PC Pad that would be perfect for emulation gaming. I have already heard of the Saitek P4000, but I've read that it has major battery issues, rendering the controller unplayable after a couple of months.
Joined: 28 Aug 2003 Posts: 743 Location: Henderson, NV
Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 3:47 am Post subject:
The world of PC gamepads has really gone down the crapper in recent years. Gravis, the company that introduced the console pad design to PC gamers in the first place with their rock-solid 4-button Gravis GamePad, is all about flashy design and talking, animated installation programs now; I tried 3 or 4 different pads, and returned all but 1, due to either defects or brain-damaged engineering (I would've returned that last one, but I'm lazy). Logitech is no better, as Ancient Oldie just confirmed ("Logitech: Oh, We Make Gamepads, Too!"). InterAct pads are just rewired versions of their horrible PSX gamepads, and should be left in the bargain bins they're normally found in. As a result of all this, I'm stuck using my old gameport SideWinder and generic 4-button PiranhaPad PC, both of which are solidly built and extremely responsive and accurate, the last of a virtually dead breed. I don't know what I'll do once they die...probably master the arrow keys all over again.
Joined: 28 Aug 2003 Posts: 2103 Location: I hate you.
Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:52 am Post subject:
Well, you deserve the problems you get for using wireless controllers.
I do not want to wait for the batteries to charge, and I am not spending money on buying AAA batteries to play. I'd rather keep using cords than wireless stuff. *shrugs*
The Wavebird is the single best controller I have ever used, and I really don't like thumbsticks. Nintendo *totally* did it right.
Of course, the battery argument is legit, and if you really want rumble you're out of luck.. but wow. Years of learned wired-controller behavior you never realized you had makes you feel stupid as you learn that you don't have to constantly worry about yanking the cable out of the system, or about people tripping, or that you can throw the controller around to people anywhere in the room, or .. cripes.
The only reason I really wanted Wavebirds in the beginning was because (not meaning to brag this time!) my tv was so big that we had to get extension cords and sit all the way against the wall on the other side of the room to play, and people would trip, but all the other stuff, the learned controller-wire behavior.. that was just amazing stuff to figure out.
Heh, I just returned the Wingman and got myself the P3000. Although the D-Pad is better (not as good as the Dualshocks though), it lacks rumble support and several buttons, plus the interface is a bit clumsy. Now, whenever I'm playing SF, I inadvertantly keep adding quarters, because the shoulder buttons, one of which is a coin button, has part of its edge on the side where I rest my fingers. I'm thinking about checking out some wireless dualshocks to see if they work on my converter, becase this controller isn't that good either.
To a certain extent, the Wingman is an excellent controller. It's just that Logitech didn't have in mind gamers who would primarily be playing games that heavily required a D-Pad with precise controls, which, on the PC, are mainly emulated games. Instead, Logitech focused on the more prevailent PC categories, like first peson shooters, racing games, strategy, etc., and in that respect, the pad was excellent. I just can't understand how it could do such a good job with all the other aspects of the controller, and add a D-pad that was pure shit.
I like my nyko AirFlo PC pad. Much like the PS2 controller, with a fan in place of the rumble feature. Only thing about is while like that I can use the thumbstick in place of the directional pad, I would also like to use the directional buttons on some games (and only ZSNES seems to support both). Is it the programming of the individual games or emulators or the pad?
Joined: 29 Apr 2004 Posts: 93 Location: Union City
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:54 am Post subject:
I have tried a few Gravis pads and some Sidewinders, but i have gotten the best results from a Propad 6, however, it does not say Interact, it says performance, and the axis is slightly crooked compared to the Interact pads I have seen, wich makes it a lot easier to handle, specially in fighting games. I never knew where it came from because I got it for $2 at a flea market, i have seen a propad 8 but i have yet to try that.
I got a Propad 6, and I used it for a long time. Maybe even to it's death.
After a few years of use, the direction pad started to sometimes to often hang on one direction, thus making game playing impossible.
So my friend suggested opening it to try to clean it. I did. When I plugged it back in, it didn't work at all.
But even with slightly wacky d-pad detection, it served me well for a few years.
BTW, Performace = InterAct = Rectocon(sp?) = STD (yes, their original name, or at least the oldest name I can remember, was STD). Though I tried to look up their website a little while ago, and got nothing.
Joined: 08 Nov 2003 Posts: 65 Location: Kansas City
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:55 pm Post subject:
Performance -> InterAct => STD
This is right, but I'm not sure Recoton was ever a part of it. They're the guys who made those crap cleaning kits for Funco. AS FAR AS I KNOW, they're still making (crap) products. I bought a CD player cleaner from them not too long ago. (Didn't realize it was one of their brands)
I guess they could have had a Video Game Products division that they sold to InterAct, but I don't remember that. What I do remember, at least I think I do, wasn't Mad Catz sold off to InterAct shortly after they changed names from STD?
I've been meaning to try one of these and see how the setup is on the PC end (obviously, they should be quite familiar to most any retro gamer). If what they say is accurate, it should be no problems getting it to work with any modern emulator or game.
Edit: Recoton? I've got a third-party C64 power supply by them. It seems to be more robust than the pack-in, but that's not hard to do.
Joined: 29 Apr 2004 Posts: 93 Location: Union City
Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:27 am Post subject:
I have done some of those, I ripped apart a crappy gravis pad and got it into a psx pad case. I'm assumig that is pretty much how those work, probably crappy usb pads windows detects by itself on another pad's shell, considering the prices I might as well keep on making my own or keep using my propad :D
The thing I can't stand the most about PC pads is that they force you to use the analog stick instead of the regular controls, and you can't configure it otherwise. Playing a 2D fighting game (or any 2D game for that matter) on an emulator is torture with an analog stick. Two nights ago, I got so annoyed that I hooked up my old Gravis GamePad Pro to the joystick port and I don't plan on disconnecting it.
Joined: 07 Sep 2003 Posts: 139 Location: the frozen northland
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:11 am Post subject:
Years of learned wired-controller behavior you never realized you had makes you feel stupid as you learn that you don't have to constantly worry about yanking the cable out of the system, or about people tripping, or that you can throw the controller around to people anywhere in the room, or .. cripes.
Yeah, I'll move somewhere else in the room with my wavebird in my hand and find my arm stuck out in the direction of the cube. It's pretty funny.
Also, I have a Macally PC pad, pretty much like a dualshock minus rumble. It's decent, but one of the analog sticks sometimes registers as "up" when it's in the center so button-mapping thingies keep setting it to every button >_<.
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