Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware
Shock 2 Ultra Analog
Score: 65%
Developer: Thrustmaster


ThrustMaster, usually associated with computer joysticks, has finally made the leap to console peripherals. The Shock 2 Ultra Analog controller is compatible with all of Sony's systems: the PSOne, PlayStation (PSX), and PlayStation 2 (PS2). This controller features all of the standard PS buttons, as well as a Turbo Mode and the Negcon (for racing games featuring the logo, but I don't have any to test this feature) Function. The Shock 2 acts as a standard controller, very similar to the Sony brand. It also has fully analog buttons for use with the PS2.


The Shock 2 by ThrustMaster lived up to most of the tests I put it through. The first thing I did notice, however, is that the analog sticks aren't quite as sensitive as the Sony brand controllers. What does this mean? Not a lot, unless you plan to walk around everywhere you go. Basically, when I tried to walk the ball up in NBA Live 2001, my players were jerky and tried to run anyway. Not a big deal as with most of your games you will be going full bore anyway!

For most of the time, the Shock 2 lived up to my full expectations. All of the buttons are fully analog, offering great PSX/PS2 gameplay. The digital pad is actually one of those rounded pads, with raised 'lips' in the four primary directions. I actually preferred to use the D-pad on a couple games, which I usually never do. Sometimes the D-pad would misinterpret my pressing, however, and in navigating menus, for example, the cursor would go right or left when clearly pressing down or up.

When I went to test the turbo mode (which works great in shoot 'em ups) in ESPN International Track & Field I noticed two things. First, as much as I wanted to bust every record out there, turbo is useless because the programmers of the game already thought of that and turbo makes your athletes super slow! Second, when I took the turbo off and tried my slide-your-fingernails-across-the-buttons technique, the Shock 2's buttons got stuck!!! I then had to bang on the controller to get them out, and tried again with other buttons. Stuck again! Apparently the quality of the controller's design isn't exactly as it first appeared to me.

  • 8 fully analog buttons
  • 2 integrated, independent motors for vibration
  • 100% Dual Shock and Dual Shock 2 compatible
  • Turbo Mode
  • Negcon Mode (racing games)
  • LED readouts for different modes

Drawbacks & Problems::

The biggest drawback to the Shock 2 Ultra Analog controller was the fact that the buttons stick if put under the stress of a solid Track 'n' Field title. Not a good thing! Another issue is that the Select & Start (as well as the Turbo & Mode) buttons are positioned vertically, instead of horizontally like the Sony controller. This does actually make a difference in a lot of games because accessing pause menus or other quick functions (i.e. calling time-outs in Madden) is harder to do. Other than that, the Shock 2's analog sticks aren't as sensitive as the Sony, but still perform well. Although I always recommend brand name accessories, ThrustMaster's Shock 2 Ultra Analog controller is a cheaper alternative to Sony's controller, but is also not as trustworthy in design and workmanship. I initially gave the Shock 2 a rating of 90% before realizing that the buttons stick. If you don't think this will ever concern you, feel free to give it a try.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.