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My Favorite Stick... A ReView - June 04,1999 by JoseQ
"Hi, my name is JoseQ... and I... I am a MAME-a-holic".That line certainly sounds like what I'll be saying in thenear future if I don't get help. Since I received the"Hot Rod: The Ultimate Joystick Control", I've been playingMAME like I had never done before. Well, except the day Ifound it for the first time. This stick certainly broughtnew life once again into those old games. I'm going to letyou know exactly what you should expect from this newJoystick, describing my whole experience.
Needless to say, with all the neat pics at their HomePage, and from what I had heard from their show at E3, Iwas very eager to receive my Hot Rod stick. When I gothome from vacation on Tuesday night and saw that big boxsitting on my doorstep, my heart jumped with joy. I openedthe door faster than I had done before and like a littlekid on Christmas Eve, I smashed through the box to findthe beauty that the Hot Rod is. I was so happy with thelooks of it, that the feelings I had when I couldn't findthe cable were undeniably sad. A quick run to the mailboxrefueled my energy when I saw an envelope from the sameaddress; inside, the needed Keyboard cable. So I ran backhome, flew upstairs and plugged this puppy into the keyboard port, then plugged my keyboard into the Hot Rod.
This time my PC took what felt like 2.3 years to bootup, but when it finally did, I went right into MAME32 andshot up the first game I could find. Right after the MAMEscreens, while the emulation was starting, I 'tabbed' intothe configuration menu to set this joystick as fast as Icould. Checked the 1st coin slot, pressed enter, andthen pressed the coin button on the side of my Hot Rod. It felt weird how the setting was set to what it was. The samefor the second coin slot and the "1P" key. I said outloud: "This can't be!". Pressed the escape key and pushedon that side button... The sound of Galaga acknowledgingmy coin insert was as sweet as a Pia Colada Ice Cream ina Puertorican summer. True Plug & Play... I never thoughtsomething could achieve that description, but I waswrong.
After playing Galaga, Moon Patrol, Jr. Pac-Man andsome others I decided to get back to work. Geesh, three hourshad gone by and I was just trying out my new stick. Yesterdaya friend came by, he's not either an arcade or emulationfan. However, he truly enjoyed playing two player simultaneousMario Bros. on my computer. I'm sure he wouldn't have, hadwe been using the keyboard or even some cool Sidewinder Pads. I never thought that playing with other kinds of controllers took away anything from the Arcade experienceuntil I had this stick in my hands.
Proof of sturdyness? Sure! I just played Track'N'Fieldwith a friend for a good hour. I can safely say that theHot Rod seemed to be holding up much better than my desk.Great response time, and good button quality helped meachieve a couple of world records. However, it didn't doany magic for my friend whom couldn't get past the 110 meterswith hurdles no matter how hard he tried. I don't blamethe stick.
How's the stick you ask? Funny you should say that, asI would say nothing better than a couple of shoot'em'upgames to test its reaction time, and accuracy. Well, we triedTiger Heli and 1943 for about an hour and a half between thetwo. Either I'm getting better at those games, or the stickreally helps when compared to my previous shoot'em'up experiences using the keyboard. The Joystick is an 8-waydirectional stick that rotates smoothly across all 8 directions. Jr Pac Man seemed to travel a lot better throughthose mazes as well. I really love this stick.
What can I say? 10 out of 10? 5 stars? Two thumbs up?It is everything you can wish for in a stick. I have theSE version which holds two rows of three buttons each a'laStreet Fighter fashion. If you want to save some money, youcan get the standard version with three buttons to the rightof each stick and one on the left. It all depends on what you like.
The fact that this product is connected to your machinevia the keyboard port makes it instantaneously convenientfor MAME, Retrocade and Shark. Other emulators are said tobe setting their buttons in a similar fashion so that theywork with it right out of the box. However, the keyboardcircuitry needed also contributed to its kind of steepprice.
Considering that you get a special edition MAME, a custom built Arcade @ Home front-end, and even legallylicensed Capcom ROMs to be used with MAME and the stick,it does make for a pretty well priced package. I can tellyou one thing. I simply can't imagine a better joystickfor arcade emulation. Yes, maybe a trackball would be coolto have, but not too many games use that. But let's leavethat as a nice addition, and not a flaw of this product.For what it has, it does have with tremendous quality andclass. So how would you feel if I decided to give away oneof these sticks at EmuViews to one lucky winner? Stay tunedto EV for details on that coming soon!

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Add Your Comments

Name: christopher Posted: Sunday, November 21, 1999 - (14:55)
Subject: hot rod
I just ordered the hot-rod joy stick and was wondering how well it works with modern games such as half-life and rogue spear?

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Name: Posted: Monday, September 23, 2002 - (12:15)
Subject: Re: hot rod
>I just ordered the hot-rod joy stick and was wondering how well it works with modern games such as half-life and rogue spear?

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