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All Hail Grog! Creator of the wheel
A lot of people like driving games, but end up playing them the wrong way. Some people try them with joysticks or gamepads. The real cheapskates among us use keyboards. But let's face it - how can you simulate driving a car without a steering wheel? Repeatedly tapping the arrow key is just not the way to generate a curve. Through some brilliant stroke of genius, some time in the Stone Age, the wheel was invented. A few years later some people waved their hands, mumbled a few words, and now we have force feedback wheels, which simulate real driving forces by offering resistance in the wheel. The most hip way to create that effect these days, is to use a technology called I-FORCE. It even sounds "with it." I-FORCE is used in most of the force feedback devices on the market today, and even used in medical equipment. If it's good enough to operate with, by golly, it's good enough to play with.
Guillemot is the manufacturer of the force feedback racing wheel we're reviewing today. Guillemot, in all the years I have seen them, produces some pretty quality stuff, including video cards and sound cards. It's a quality name in and of itself, but something else on the box oozed quality; it's covered with Ferrari insignias and cars. I am partial to Ferraris, and even more partial to the Maranellos. The box appeals to all that is masculine in me; it ranks right up there with the Mach3 razor commercials. You have got to love that jet streaking by the guy holding a razor. So is this thing swank enough to deserve an endorsement from Ferrari, a pinnacle of Italian engineering? Or better yet is this thing is worth the schamoolas you might spend on it.
Snakes and Ladders
To start off, wiring on this setup is very poorly done. All the wires connect to the wheelbase, which makes for lots of wires in places they shouldn't really be. A total of three wires snake out of the base heading for different places. One goes to a power source, another to the computer, and one more dangling down to the pedals. It would have been far more convenient to have the pedal base contain the majority of the wires since it is already on the ground. The current situation dictates that I either: A. leave the wheel on my desk perpetually or B. leave two wires on my desk and have the USB cable and wheel sit on the ground when not in use. I am not quite satisfied with either of the options left to me by this situation. It forces you to reconnect 3 different things everytime you want to fire up a racing game.
All the wiring is on the wheel