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  Space Orb 360 - Review
by: Larry Mingus Published: July 6, 1998

 

This is definitely not your ordinary game controller...

space6dof.gif (10473 bytes)The SpaceOrb 360 game controller offers six degrees of movement to most games. Radically different than any other controller, you move by twisting, pressing, pushing, and pulling a small ball barely larger than a golf ball with your left hand. Your right hand controls the six programmable buttons. This controller has to be experienced to be appreciated. I was very skeptical at first, anything that sounds and looks this good has to have problems. Lets see...

 

Installation

This was a sweet no problem installation the only thing I needed was a free serial port. I plugged the SpaceOrb into my Com1 serial port turned the computer on. Windows reported new hardware found, I inserted in the install CD and within minuets I was running the training program. This is the way all hardware should install, hassle free!

 

How does it work

After spending a fair amount of time learning how to move in all directions, I found by accident that for me the best trainer was the control panel game controller applet. It shows all axis's at one time and lets you see when you are making a mistake by pulling or pushing two axis's at one time. After a short while I had the basics down. Then it was time for a little Quake2. At first it was pretty awkward I was slamming into walls and looking up when I was trying to go forward but after about a half hour I was getting the hang of it. Everything was fine as long as I wasn't being attacked as soon as battle would break out I would loose control and be all over the place. Another problem for me, I would get so tensed up trying to make smooth movements that my hands were getting very fatigued. I tried to relax but never succeeded. I have played numerous times over 8hrs straight with a Sidewinder joystick and never came close to the same hand fatigue.

 

The software

spacesenstvty.gif (32342 bytes)The control software is user-friendly and allows excellent fine control of all functions. It also does what MS Sidewinder software doesn't, the software can detect when a game is launched and automatically change to the proper game profile, a very nice feature especially if you have a pile of games.

 

Conclusion

Update:10/12/98

Unfortunatly this controler just didn't cut it. Support for it in new games is lacking plus the learning curve and fatuige factor has put this baby in the collectors box. Although this controller would be fine for slow non action games.

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