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.