Logitech Cordless Action Controller for PS2
Gear Review: Logitech Cordless Action Controller for PS2 [PS2]
Praise be to Logitech, then, for ye hath made the controller tons better with - drumroll - the Logitech Cordless Action Controller for the Playstation 2.
Released in mid-2004, the Logitech Cordless Action Controller should not be confused with the following:
- Logitech Action Controller
- Logitech Extreme Action
- Logitech PS2 Cordless Controller
Those are somewhat stinky in comparison to the Logitech Cordless Action Controller, which is 99.9% stink free.
On with the show, then. What makes this controller so tantalizing? Several things that inspires me to construct a list:
The original Dual Shock controllers sport Sony's almost-signature segmented d-pad. Meaning, it lacks a true center on the pad itself. Logically, this shouldn't make a difference. We spend our time hitting the four main directions and the diagonal combinations in between - not the middle of the pad, yes? However, one of the few complaints of the Dual Shock family is that very segmented pad. Somehow, fireballs in Street Fighter are a bit more difficult to pull off. Somehow, thumbs blister easier. Somehow, that damned segmented d-pad doesn't feel right. Unlike most of the rest of the controller, it in fact does NOT make sense.
Logitech's d-pad makes dollars and sense. Not a true cross of the Nintendo or Dreamcast variety, the d-pad is instead a circular pad with a light cross embossed across the surface. It's also rounded at the edges of the pad, unlike the "sharp" edges of the Xbox controller. The pad in its entirety, then, evokes the soft-yet-accurate feel of the old Sega Saturn d-pad, which some tout as the finest d-pad to date. In other words, it's both comfortable and completely functional. Compared below: the original PS2 d-pad and the Logitech d-pad.
The original Dual Shock buttons are pretty comfortable, especially in comparison with the cold, hard "jewel" nature of the original Xbox controller. However, some might also miss the "springy" feel of that controller. There was a springy and even "squishy" tactile and precise feel to the buttons on the Super Nintendo controller that since has rarely been replicated. Logitech has recaptured this feel, with buttons that at first look bulbous like on the Xbox controller but instantly feel responsive and comfortable to press. The increased range of button depression on the Logitech buttons also helps you utilize the analog button functionality of the Dual Shock's spec.
The Form Factor
You seem unsatisfied. "Button functionality? Analog stick tension? Bah. How does it feel to just hold in your hand?" So that's what you want to know. Where the original Dual Shock undeniably makes almost no attempt at building contours to the controller shell to fit to your hands (even if you find it comfortable, just take a look at the smoothly flat shape to the "handlebars"), the Logitech Cordless Action Controller almost melts into the palms. It combines the sturdy heft of the Xbox controller and the hand-fitting contours of the Gamecube controller, with a great groove in the back for your non-index fingers to rest.
Even the rumble in the Logitech Cordless Action Controller seems to one-up its first-party cousin. You have three adjustable levels of rumble, as well as "off." Presumably the lower rumble settings are to save battery life. At the highest setting, though, the force feedback feels much, much stronger and sharper than it does in the original Dual Shock. Simply put, playing Shadow of the Colossus with Logitech's offering as opposed to the Dual Shock heightens the intensity of each and every colossus encounter.
The obvious and perhaps most touted feature of this little toy is the fact that someone ripped the wire out of it. It is indeed awesome to be able to wave around the thing from wherever you want in your room and not trip your little brother in the process, on a 2.4GHz frequency. Never once has the signal been lost in over a year of use, unless the battery was sputtering its last alkaline breath.
The wire has instead been replaced by a compact receiver that plugs into the PS2 controller port. The one niggling complaint with this receiver is that it is ever so slightly thicker than the original controller plug. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but if anyone who owns a slimline PS2 decides to use this controller, the console itself will be elevated at a very small angle due to the fact that the receiver will be pushing it up and off whatever table your console is sitting on. The easy solution would be to arrange your PS2 in the vertical alignment, or to push it to the very edge of your table so that the receiver hangs off the edge. Or just sit it on an elevated platform - like a book or something. Truly, this one hiccup should not prevent any slim PS2 owners from using this fantastic product.
What about The Copper Top?
To support this controller's addiction to the wireless spectrum, the Logitech Cordless Action Controller requires the use of two AA batteries. With rumble turned on, the controller is spec'd to last 50 hours. This claim is likely true, though no hard timed testing has been conducted. It would be nice for it to have a rechargeable battery, but perhaps that's what the next generation is all about. However, with such a battery life, changing them only every so often hasn't yet become a bother.
You may now "sproing".
Yes. Purchase this. Now. To be serious for a second, the Logitech Cordless Action Controller is perhaps the first third-party controller that I would whole-heartedly recommend over the first-party offering. The construction, button feel, and ergonomics harnessed within this controller leapfrog over the original Dual Shock on the Playstation 2. Any faults with this controller can't be leveled against it without first questioning Sony's original core design decisions, and to wit, there really isn't anything to fault this controller for other than the tiny receiver problem. Spend the extra forty bucks.
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