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     " And the worst part of all is that the action stabilizer bar prevents you from destroying the controller with your bare hands when it doesn’t work (a hammer will do the job though). "

      Title: Nostromo P45 by Belkin

      Format: PS2 controller

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Take control of your games. Be more comfortable when you play. Program those difficult combos so you can beat anyone with the press of one button. The action stabilizer bar prevents the controller form breaking when you twist it and conforms to your leg so you have a nice space to rest your controller.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Ergonomics: Your hands have never been more comfortable than when grasping this controller. Unfortunately, if you ever want to use the start and select buttons, you will have to pull your thumbs out of their sockets (or shift the position of your hands). The controller fits right where you want it to in your hands and even has a bar along the bottom that, while designed to prevent the controller from being twisted, is perfect for resting the controller on your big gaming belly. Now if only they could add a spot to hold your beer…. 4.5 out of 5.

      Features: While you are still drooling over the belly bar (and the mention of beer) I have the unfortunate job of telling you that this controller has some major flaws. These flaws will present themselves shortly after you begin to use it. The first thing you will notice is that the controller will slip in and out of periods wherein it simply doesn’t do anything. You will be unbelievably pissed when you all of a sudden find yourself unable to control your game. The other big problem with is that it is damn near impossible to actually ever program in a sequence of buttons using the macro feature. This ties into the previous problem. The Macro button is very twitchy…often taking up to ten times for you to turn on the macro button and have it stay on until you have finished inputting your sequence and pushing it again. And this isn’t just a problem with long sequences; it took me four tries to program in a simple four-button-press chain. And added to this frustration, you will find that after you finally are successful in programming a sequence, it often will only work once and you will have to program it all over again. Get me my shotgun. 1 out of 5.

      Performance: The biggest feature of this controller is the macro function, which allows you to program button sequences that you can then access with the press of one button (it would be really cool if this feature actually worked on a regular basis). Another cool feature is the ability to choose between two speeds that the macro will work in; for some games if you do a combo too fast, it won’t work, with this feature you can slow the sequence down). And then the controller also has a mode button which, when pressed, sets up a special steering mode for racing games (unfortunately this doesn’t work with all racing games). But the feature that is the coolest and that works the best (i.e. at all) is the action stabilizer bar. Not only does it prevent the user from damaging the controller after they get pissed off at it for not functioning properly, but it also is very comfortable when resting on your belly. 3 out of 5.

      Installation: Plug and Play, N/A

      System Compatibility: Every game I tested this controller on accepted it, but not all racing games will accept its special steering mode function. Gran Turismo 3 did, but not a whole lot of other games. And with almost all of the games, I had trouble inputting the macrocodes. 3 out of 5.

      How it Compares: Ergonomically this controller is top notch. Other third party controllers should bow down to the feel of this one. As a macro controller this one sucks. It would probably be really cool if the function ever actually worked consistently, but as it is this had better be as bad as it gets. And overall this controller is way to glitchy for anybody to ever want to use it. 1 out of 5.

      The Verdict:

       My original comments in this section were (Crap out of 5. Don’t touch this controller. Don’t buy it, don’t borrow it, don’t look at it if you can avoid it) but I have called around to a couple of stores, and nobody claims to have heard any complaints. Still, after repeated calls to Belkin I was unable to get any help from their tech support, so we split the difference and give it a two and a half.

      The Good: It feels great, it is easy to install, and it has a belly bar!

      The Bad: It boasts functions that end up not working, and the controller itself seems to be possessed. It will turn the macro mode on and off of its own accord making it impossible to control anything in your game. And the worst part of all is that the action stabilizer bar prevents you from destroying the controller with your bare hands when it doesn’t work (a hammer will do the job though).

      The Overall Ugly: This controller would be great if the people at Belkin were able to work out the bugs.

      What it's Worth: Buy it for market (which is really cheap), but be sure to keep your receipt.

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