you a real game freak? Do you own so many console games that
you're running out of shelf space? If the answer is yes, then
you probably already own every piece of conceivable hardware
for your machine. If, on the other hand, you only have a console
and controller you're going to need to buy a few accessories
to ensure that your gaming experience is everything it should
Online takes a looks at those essential add-ons that you can't
afford to live without...
a jungle out there. There are so many different controllers
and add-ons out there, that getting one that does what you
want it to is not easy. We've compiled a collection of some
of the more reliable products below, but a word of warning.
We noticed that all of the hardware (with the exception of
lightguns) take a great deal of time to get used to. There
is the temptation to say "Stuff it! My old controller
is much better!" Don't forget, you've spent years playing
with the standard game controllers, and getting used to the
accessories will take a little time.
forget your memory cards
the first essential purchase? Well, if you haven't got a memory
card, then you better get one quickly. There are a number
of different versions. But be warned - a cheaper product might
not be the excellent value that you at first think it is.
are some memory cards that you can't simply plug into your
console. You also have to put a smaller disc into your Playstation,
then once that has loaded, you need to put the game in you
want to play.
be honest, these are more hassle than they are worth and we
strongly suggest going for the official PS2 memory card -
at least you know that it's been designed with ease of use
an offical PS2 memory card for £16.99 (RRP £19.99)
by clicking here].
the next most important purchase - assuming you have some
friends - is a 4-way link cable. This allows you to play against
three other friends at the same time.
best of the bunch has to be Bigben's 4 Player Multitap, as
it acts as much more than a link cable - and it's cheap too.
only can you have four players (and four memory cards) inserted
at the same time, but it also acts as a stand for your PS2.
This way you can store your console vertically. And it also
allows you to store 6 games or DVDs.
frankly the best multiplayer attachment we've seen.
Bigben's 4 Player Multitap for £22.99) by clicking here]
next must own accessory has to be a gun. Those shoot 'em fanatics
out there won't be able to play any games properly until they
have a lightgun in their possession, but knowing which is
the best on the market is not easy. It's also a good idea
to check that any gun you purchase is compatible with your
make of TV - especially if it is a widescreen set.
up is the G-con2 from Namco. Now, anyone who owns any of the
Time Crisis games will probably already own the first
version released by Namco. And, if you are looking to upgrade
your current gun, or this is your first purchase, you could
do a lot worse than this little baby.
model includes new buttons for added control - a directional
pad plus reload button. It's also suitable for both left and
right handed players. It is also compatible with a host of
added bonus is that it has been designed for use with most
widescreen television sets. But you may experience problems
if your television runs at 100hz, or if it runs on the 625
is an excellent gun which improves on the original design.
Namco's G-Con2 lightgun £16.99 (RRP: £19.99) by
there is The Shooter from Wild Things.
is a stylish looking weapon which looks like a cross between
James Bond's trusty Walther P99 and something that Robocop
you are after a sexy looking gun that also handles well then
this will do the trick.
stylish, rugged and has a kick-ass design. The only thing
that spoils the effect is having "The Shooter" written
across it in huge white letters.
Wild Thing's The Shooter lightgun (RRP: £19.99) by clicking
there is MaxPlay's PS2 50Hz Light Gun - not the world's catchiest
name, but it looks the business.
has many features including auto fire and auto reload. It
is designed for balance and comfort and supports all Namco
Guncom 1 and Guncom 2 games.
you want to feel like Robocop when you are blasting the bad
guys, then this is the gun for you. It's also the cheapest
model we tested and is one of the best guns we've seen.
MaxPlay's PS2 50Hz lightgun (RRP: £15.99) by
you are a fan of racing games you are going to need a decent
steering wheel. We found that by far the best way to play
driving games is with a quality wheel and pedals. Be warned
though, there are models on the market that don't come equipped
with pedals, and there are other models that are not as responsive
of the best wheels on the market at the moment is Bigben's Speedster
is an official licensed steering wheel for PS2 and PSone and
is fully compatibility with DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers.
can be used on the lap or with its tabletop attachment. It
also comes equipped with funky looking racing pedals - not
all wheels on the market do. It has F1-style gear shift (i.e.
buttons) and realistic gear changing. It has a programmable
dead zone and steering sensitivity, as well as programmable
horn button and gear levers. You can adjust the vibration
function, and it's tracking control prevents skidding.
is a well priced, and responsive wheel. The addition of the
pedals makes all the difference. Without a doubt, this is
the model we would choose to buy.
Bigben's Speedster wheel for £39.99 (RRP: £49.99)
by clicking here]
up is the Driving Force Steering Wheel from Logitech.
comes equipped with force feedback technology; Rubber hand
grips; 4 action buttons; 2 wheel-mounted paddles; Status indicator
lights; Dual clamping system; Realistic accelerator and brake
pedals and Non-slip floorboard.
is probably the best designed wheel we've tried, but at £10
more expensive than the Speedster Steering Wheel, it is
a little more expensive for the same responsiveness. Having
said that, it looks a lot cooler.
Logitech's Driving Force wheel for £49.99 (RRP:
£59.99) by clicking here]
are a lot of bike simulators out there and thankfully there
is a good controller for this market in the form of Pro Play's
Motorbike handlebars for PSone and PS2.
controller includes vibration feedback on handle bars (Dual
Shock & Dual Shock 2 compatible); Realistic non-slip rubber
handgrips; Analogue throttle and brake controls on handle
bars to give precise acceleration and braking; 4 direction
buttons and 13 function keys; Knee top attachment for extra
comfort; Ultra strong desk clamp plus 4 heavy duty suction
cups allow easy mounting to desk or table.
goodness someone is catering for the bike market. Sadly though,
we can't think of any decent games that do this justice...
so it's a little redundant in today's market. Although, you
could plug it in and play it when you grab a bike on Grant
Theft Auto: Vice City... but that seems a little silly.
Pro Play's bike handlebars by clicking here]
it some stick
you want to feel like your playing an arcade machine or simply
want a controller that is a little different there are plenty
on the market.
up is the Pro Arcade Stick from Spectravideo. This fine looking
joystick is tough and reminded us of the old Kempston joystick
many of us used to bash around on the old Spectrum 48K computer.
Well... the stick itself looks similar, but their are many
quick action 8-way joystick includes rubber hand bumper and
contoured rubber palm rest to enhance control and comfort.
It also comes equipped with arcade-style fully analog fire
buttons for that authentic arcade machine feel.
a little beefy, but it feels great once you get the hang of
Spectravideo's Pro Arcade Stick (RRP £17.99)
by clicking here]
games are something that have caught the gameplayer's imagination
(there are plenty of Tony Hawkes clones out there at present)
and, until recently, there was no controller that would allow
you to feel the thrill of really skating.
sportsboard tries to solve that problem with its full size
skateboard controller. A word of warning though. Just like
the real thing, this is difficult to get the hang of and you'll
be tempted to give in after a few tries. Don't! The results
are worth it in the end.
reality this controller simply allows you to go left and right,
by tilting your weight from one side to the other. There are
also two buttons (one at the front and one at the back of
the board) The rest of the controls can be accessed by plugging
a standard joystick into the board. It almost works as well,
but we think that the majority of users will probably fair
better with their trusty hand controller for games where you
are required to do tricks. It's fine for games where you don't
have to do tricks, but almost impossible to control when playing
games like Tony Hawkes.
Bigben's Sportsboard for £34.99 (RRP £39.99)
by clicking here]
Type "Sportsboard" in the searchbox once you are
redirected to the store.
we thought we'd have a look at the real arcade experience.
We've always wanted to have an arcade driving game here in
the office. And you can have the next best thing with Ash
Design's GamePod GT2 with Rockingham seat.
has a super comfy chair and adjustable legroom so that everyone
will be able to reach the pedals comfortably.
It comes in a variety of colours and finishes and seems a
little on the expensive side, until you realise that it is
the same price as a decent armchair.
you have the money lying around, and you have the space, you
really need one of these.
Ash Design's GamePod GT2 by clicking here]
the night away
of nowhere a dance craze has emerged and middle-aged people,
who should know better, have changed from normal citizens
during the day into dancing divas come the hours of darkness.
Now, we are not advocating this pastime - what people do behind
their own closed doors is up to them. However, we get the
feeling that in another 10 years we'll all be looking back
at the 2000's and cringing with embarrassment at our dance
parties. But, if we still can't persuade you to stop it then
we urge you to practice safe steps. Here is our idiots guide
to the best mats around.
up is Joytech's dancemat. It looks simple enough, and it does
the job. But it scores a big thumbs down for it's appearance.
The colours and graphics make it look very old fashioned and
why are the well known Playstation button symbols jazzed up?
took us a long time to get used to the placement of the buttons
and this would have been helped by having the X, circle, square
and triangle buttons in the same style and colour as they
are on your standard controller.
unless you are in your mid to late 30's you are not going
to think the design of this mat is cool. There are some plus
points. It's cheap and works on the PSOne as well as the PS2,
but this is probably one for the mums and dads only!
Joytech's dancemat for £12.99 (RRP £14.99) by
up is Bigben Interactive's offering in the form of the funky
looking Dance:UK mat (for our separate review of this product
and the game it was designed for click here.)
this is not an easy mat to get the hang of and it suffers
from the same points raised with the Joytech mat - i.e. the
X, circle, triangle and square buttons are all over the place
and don't look like the buttons we are familiar with (in fact
the X button looks like the square button.
it does look a lot funkier, and can still be used on the PSOne
and PS2 consoles.
Bigben's dancemat for £9.99 (RRP £19.99) by clicking
there is Spectravideo's Metal Dance Stage - which is an arcade
style metal platform with flashing lights.
you can get hold of one of these little babies, it's well
worth it. You can't get much cooler that this. However, it's
not going to please those of you who want need to keep looking
at the floor to see which is the X, circle, square and triangle
buttons - all you get here are arrows.
comes with 8 heavy-duty pressure pads under each directional
arrow, as well as 60 non-marking rubber feet on the bottom
to protect the platform and the floor and ensure that it doesn't
move whilst dancing. It also has a built-in control box and
LEDs for easier set-up. As with the other mats, it is compatible
with all dancing games for PSone and PS2.
Spectravideo's dancemat by clicking here]