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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

 
  USB Gamestick 3D

 I think that when it comes to joysticks and gamepads and other peripherals of that sort, CH Products is my first choice, and their Gamestick 3D is another perfect example of why.

Since this is a USB joystick, installation is a breeze. All you have to do is plug it in. It is automatically recognized and the "Add New Hardware" Wizard pops up. Just click the NEXT button a couple of times and you're done (you might have to insert your Windows 98 CD if you don't have the .CAB files on your hard drive).

The Gamestick 3D is constructed of a heavy duty dark gray plastic with light gray buttons. Much like it's predecessor, the Fightstick Pro, the Gamestick 3D has 4 buttons and a POV Hat. The trigger is in the usual index finger spot, Button 2 just below the trigger and is easily accessible by the middle finger, and Buttons 3 & 4 are located just below the POV Hat located on the top of the sitck. The new design of the POV Hat is a tremendous improvement over the old pyramid shape Hat on the Flightstick Pro. Rather than having a raised center, the Gamestick 3D has a large, oblong, concave shape, which makes it fit your thumb perfectly. The throttle control is positioned at the back of the joystick facing you and is controlled with the thumb. There are also two trim controls located at the front and left side of the stick for centering the stick for calibration. Finally, the Gamestick 3D incorporates a twisting handle (Z axis) which can be programmed (with the included Game Center software) to control turret or torso control in a 3D first person kinda game or rudder control in a flight sim, without needing to resort to keyboard commands or a secondary peripheral like a set of rudder pedals.

The shaft of the Gamestick 3D is unusually long and tilted slightly to the front which is especially nice if you have large hands. Another bonus of this digital joystick is that it is universally useful. What I mean is that not only is it ambidextrous (it can be used by both left and right-handed gamers), but it supports both PC and Macintosh platforms. Kudos to you CH Products.

As I mentioned above, the Gamestick 3D comes with this Game Center software which I found most useful. What it does is allows you to configure/program the joystick for as many games as you like and lets you have up to 3 different profiles for each game! This utility doesn't reprogram the stick itself, it simply intercepts the commands from the joystick changes them in to the corresponding keyboard touch. This means that the Game Center must be running while you are playing the game so it will not work with DOS games, but most games now-a-days are windows based anyways, so this doesn't really matter.

Simply click on the ADD button and locate the game's .EXE file. Then, click on the button in the picture that you wish to program (this will put a red box around that particular button) and type the key(s) you want to have the button activate when pressed.

With it's solid construction, ambidextrous design, and integrated twisting action, combined with the easy to program Game Center utility, CH Product's USB Gamestick 3D is a fabulous joystick that will provide years of reliable gaming for both the PC and the Macintosh platforms.


Review ID Number: 450
  Product Details
CH Products
Review Date: 2001-04-20
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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