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Hyper Drive
Score: 78%
Developer: Blaze
Device Type: Controller


If you play a lot of driving games, you?re probably on the lookout for the next great driving controller. You know that what you?re looking for needs to be precise and, most likely, analog. The Hyper Drive is here, but it doesn?t quite fit that description. The entire controller is digital. It has no analog output. This seriously limits its precision, making it ideal only for old school-style racing gamers who are adept at the ?tap-tap? method of steering. Unfortunately, if you are adept at this method, it is unlikely that you will be able to transfer this ability to the steering wheel mechanism. The speed is just not there. The included thumb controllers may be of interest, though. The Thumb-Stick is a small joystick type of add-on which secures nicely and gives a better tactile response than a standard D-pad, while still having a surprisingly short throw. However, when we ran several controllers head to head in a test of extreme control playability, this didn?t seem to help its placing on the list. (To check out the results, check my ?Control Freaks? feature...) The Hyper Drive also has a turbo feature which can be independently set on any of the eight buttons. The turbo feature also has a Mode switch that allows you to set the speed of all turbos to high or low speed. There also is a Slow feature, but this feature is usually not usable with newer games since they have menus when the Pause button is pressed.


The controller itself is shaped very much like an original standard digital controller, so if you?ve used an old school controller before, then the standard setup of this one should be immediately familiar. The Turbo and Slow features have buttons for setting them, but these are out of the way, so you won?t accidentally hit them while playing. Using the Turbo and Slow features is a pretty simple task as well, so that won?t require much practice. The hardest thing to get used to on the Hyper Drive is the Steering Wheel control. Being digital, it?s not very forgiving. Either you are turning or you?re not. There?s no turning ?just a bit.? So, if you over-steer, you have to quickly turn the opposite direction to compensate. Any time you have to ?quickly? turn a wheel, you can pretty much count on over-steering (again). This leads to wildly turning back and forth (hopefully a little less each time). This is not exactly what I would call ?control.? With time, you can learn to use it more proficiently, but that doesn?t mean it?s an advantage to use it. Your best bet is to simply use the controller as a standard controller, and maybe play using the Turbo feature. The wheel is not necessarily a skill worth learning.

The Hyper Drive is a lightweight, small, digital controller. Based on its weight and balance, it could be used for hours on end. Its steering wheel feature is not something you?ll want to spend a lot of time using, but as a digital controller, it is pretty good. The Turbo feature is nice and simple to use, but the Slow feature is pretty much an obsolete function for controllers these days, since newer games have menus when they are paused. If you?re mainly looking to pick up a few extra controllers for some older games or games that don?t require very much precision, then you may consider picking up a Hyper Drive. If you really want to do some serious driving, though, you?re better off passing on by.

  • Standard (digital) controller
  • Built-in (digital) steering mechanism
  • Independent Turbo button with LED indicator
  • Two Turbo speed settings (Hi/Low)
  • Lightweight
  • 6? cord

Drawbacks & Problems::

When it comes to driving, the most important thing is control. When control is the most important aspect of a controller, usually an analog device is used. This allows for a wider range of control, in degrees. The physical design of the Hyper Drive is interesting and has potential, but the mechanism used for the steering feature was, unfortunately, a digital one. If the Hyper Drive had an analog steering mechanism, I think it could have been a real contender. Actually, the thumb-stick included with the Hyper Drive provides better control than a standard controller, even for driving games. But to beat an analog controller, you need an analog controller.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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