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900mhz Wireless Dual Force 2 Controller
Score: 70%
Developer: MadCatz


Those of you with big television sets or angry mothers telling you to get back from the tube have long dreamed of a way to get rid of that pesky cord and chill back on your couch instead of dragging a chair in front of the screen or sitting on the floor. Beanbags are also known as 'the floor' in case you were wondering, wiseguy. And so, Mad Catz bring us the 900mhz Wireless Dual Force 2 Controller and answer all our prayers, right? Well. What this thing does is let you sit up to 40' from the television and play games without any cord. By plugging a small receptor in the standard controller port and utilizing RF technology (that's Radio Frequency to you non-nerds out there), Mad Catz has created an 'unblockable' device, far superior in function to standard television remotes and similar infrared remote devices.


The Wireless Dual Force 2 is built around a rechargeable battery pack that must be installed in the controller before use. It needs to be charged before use, also. This takes 10 hours the first time, and at least overnight each subsequent time. So, don't get this on a Saturday afternoon and expect to be jamming away all night, because you're not going near that thing until Sunday morning. The controller recharges on a unit that comes included with the Wireless Dual Force 2. Plug the base unit into a wall, set the controller down on top of it, and 2 contact points let the current flow to charge your battery. An indicator light on the controller shows various degrees of charge available. This way, you'll also know when your charge is running low.

As a pure controller, Wireless Dual Force 2 includes everything we would expect, and a few bonuses. It is optimized for PS2, in the sense that it includes fully analog buttons and D-Pad. Obviously, these aren't used for PlayStation or PS One. Also, a macro button lets you program sequences of button pushes that make fighting games a pure pleasure. Other nice things you'll appreciate are the rubber grips and the overall sturdy feeling of the controller. It is not small, so big hands will feel right at home here. The receiving unit for the actual console fits nicely into the controller slot and has its own reset button. The other slick item you'll appreciate is the option for Steering Wheel controls, set on the same button that switches analog and digital. Steering Wheel Mode fits with NeGCon protocols in games that support this, offering a better experience for discriminating race fans.

  • Compatible with PlayStation 2, PlayStation and PS one
  • Unblockable RF wireless technology
  • Long-life rechargeable power supply included -- no batteries required
  • Up to 8 hours of continuous play
  • Play with up to 8 Wireless Dual Force 2 controllers -- over 65,000 Auto-scanning RF channels
  • Dual Analog joysticks
  • Fully analog pressure sensitive action buttons and D-pad
  • Rubberized grips for handling and comfort
  • Programmable macro button
  • Three play modes (Analog, Digital, and Steering Wheel)

Drawbacks & Problems::

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are some fairly large problems with the Wireless Dual Force 2. First, I mentioned the charge time, and that could take the wind out of your sails if you didn't realize you'd have to wait 10 hours to get your game on. And, getting the battery installed is no picnic either. Ever try to work on eyeglasses? That's about the size of the screw in this thing. And, the instructions are a little diagram the size of a Chinese fortune, so don't expect to find inspiration there. Other issues I had were the sheer size and weight of the controller. I'm a big guy, and sometimes I think I'll like the bigger controllers, but going back to the Sony controller always proves me wrong. The amount of fine control available with the Wireless Dual Force 2 is probably the biggest issue. Playing RPG or more slow-paced games that don't require twitch reflexes is fine, but trying to play anything else drove me crazy. The response is sluggish, especially in the analog sticks. And, the analog button response is dodgy, judging by the performances I was achieving in Mad Maestro, where pressing buttons harder or lighter makes a big difference. Going back to the Sony controller was like slipping out of a snowstorm into a warm bath. Mad Catz solved one problem (the need for wireless), but still hasn't come up with a controller as sensitive and smoothly responsive as Sony's Dual Shock. This one doesn't come close, and I found it almost unusable for games like Deus Ex, where moving in small increments to sneak, snipe or interact with the environment is a constant. Plus, I know I did not get the 8 hours of gameplay before my Wireless Dual Force 2 petered out and needed another 8-10 hours of recharging. If you live for the time you can play your RPG on the couch or in bed from afar, this is your controller. If you need accuracy and silky-smooth response, don't say I didn't warn you. At times like this, Sony's mastery of consumer electronics becomes painfully apparent. Poor Microsoft - they never had a chance.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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