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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

Logitech Wingman 

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by Logitech

Feature-laden, stylish, and cost-effective 

Downs: Throttle a bit over-sensitive.

System Reqs: Pentium-class PC, 16 MB RAM, Win 98 or Win 2000; USB port.

With a sliding throttle for precise speed control, two analog sticks for full 360 degree rotation, plus vibration feedback to let you feel every bump and turn, Logitech’s Wingman RumblePad might resemble the ubiquitous PlayStation Dual Shock gamepad, but several improvements make it far superior peripheral. The RumblePad is comfortable and stylish, with six thumb buttons and two triggers that are firm and responsive; its precise analog, thumb-controlled joysticks offer just the right amount of resistance.   And there’s no batteries required!

The Rumblepad installs quickly and easily; just load the software, which includes the delightfully intuitive WingMan Profiler programming suite, reboot, and plug the gamepad in. The analog thumb sticks can be switched on or off with the touch of a button—when they're on, the left one becomes the main x- and y-axis controller and the D-pad functions as a POV hat. The thumb controllers offer surprisingly exact, proportional control, which is perfect for most any flight/vehicle sim out there. For many, it won’t feel right to play a realistic flight sim with a gamepad and the throttle slider, which is mounted just above the right trigger barely offers any resistance, making it too easy to overcompensate when adjusting on-the-fly.

Disabling the analog controllers turns the RumblePad into an ordinary vibrating gamepad that’s versatile enough for a variety of sports and arcade games.  In fact, the Rumblepad includes a mode button that allows quick changes from a “sports” setup to a “sims” setup.  The Logitech software includes over 285 game profiles for most popular games (force feedback or not!)

Much like the recently-released Wingman Force 3D, the Logitech WingMan RumblePad succeeds in being a multitalented controller with a terrific price-to-performance ratio.  If you’re at all interested in an economical entry into the vibration feedback controller market, you’d be well-advised to pick up the Wingman Rumblepad—with a retail cost of $29.95, it’s well worth the investment.

--Al Wildey