" Iíve used some force sticks that were the equivalent of arm wrestling Bill Gates. What you have here is a match with Mr. T. "
Title: Logitech WingMan Force 3D
Format: PC Force Feedback Joystick
Reviewing Monkey: The Goodyear Chimp
The Hype: : "Feel what youíve been missing." Just donít feel me up; Iím not into that, dude.
What This Monkey Thought...
Ergonomics: Iím not shitting you when I say that this stick sat on my desk for a week before I had time to hook it up and there wasnít a single day that I didnít play with it [Editor's Note: We are currently helping Goodyear get help for his "idle stick playing" habbits]. Speaking for every guy with small hands and pudgy digits, Iím a little wary of non-adjustable, molded plastic joysticks. I just know that my thumb is going to end up five feet from the hat switch because Dumb Ass Input Co. used a cast of Andre the Giantís hand to get their proportions. Not so with the WingMan Force, my short-fat-fingered friends. While itís no Cyborg 3D (see the GameMonkeys review), this one-size-fits-most design actually manages to fit many. The buttons are all in logical, easy to reach locations. I have only one gripe and, because Iím a hard ass, the stick loses one point for not having a pinky trigger. 4 out of 5
Pointlessócan someone explain why youíd need a screw to lock out the handle twist? (This was probably a suggestion from the division who developed the force feedback mouse.)
Not So Niceówhere is my pinky button?
Niceóseven programmable buttons, three axes (complete with a Ďprofilerí program that allows you to swap them around), one smooth ass throttle, an eight-way hat switch, and a fairly sturdy base.
Excellentómighty force feedback. 4 out of 5
Performance: With the possible exception of those thumb-operated trackballs (stupid) and the incomprehensible force feedback mouse (rock stupid), Logitech knows what theyíre doing in the field of input. Everything about the WingMan stick screams responsiveness. The hat actually moves in eight directions (unlike some sticks I could mention), the throttle control is smooth, and neither of those is the best part. Logitech cooked the force feedback till it was extra feisty. So snappy was the spring force during the inaugural hook up that it rattled the table whenever I let go. Once again though, I have to bitch about the minor things. Thereís this dead zone in the center thatís nearly a mile across where the joystick absolutely refuses to provide any tension whatsoever. You spend so much time with the feedback whipping you about that itís hardly noticeable except when youíre working on precise movements. Overall, itís not a big enough drawback to warrant anything less than 4 out of 5
Installation: The installation was excellently guided and USB-riffic. It took longer to install than I had hoped (probably due to loading a program instead of just a driver) but the wait wasnít intolerable. I would like to lodge one formal complaint. The "Profiler" software that I mentioned earlier happily nestles itself into your system tray and refuses to allow function without sucking up itís bit oí RAM. While this may be necessary to ensure proper force functionality, does it need to masquerade as a start center for all your feedback enabled games? Could it be just as effective at half the size? Complaint lodged. 3 out of 5
System Compatibility: Is it wise to forsake the gameport and make a USB only joystick? The engineers at Logitech must think so. Iím pleased but I donít know how many of those guys barely scraping by the Pentium 166 MHz system requirement are going to take it. Installation didnít eat up any of my other installed joy devices, so Iíll have to go with 4 out of 5
How it Compares: I canít think of another joystick on the market that offers a screw lock for the handle twist. Brilliant, simply brilliant. All sarcasm aside, Iíve used some force sticks that were the equivalent of arm wrestling Bill Gates. What you have here is a match with Mr. T. 4 out of 5
The Good: The can of whupass that is the force motor in the unit and the price.
The Bad: Whereís my pinky button? Goddamn Profiler software!
The Overall Ugly: Uhm, feel what youíve been missing? Well, feel it for less than Microsoft asks for theirs.
What it's Worth: Theyíll charge you $60 (shhhhóI saw one for $45) and youíll be getting your pesoís worth.