Speed Freek Report
Who doesn't love an unfair advantage?
Article by Valerie Hilgenfeldt (Email)
May 6th 2008, 12:45AM
Unique gaming peripherals used to be a wasteful investment for manufacturers (see: R.O.B.). Few wanted to fork out extra bucks for a device that's unlikely to enhance their experience. This changed in recent times, thanks to the popularity of Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. However, since their accessories are somewhat proprietary, you're not going to cruise through Burnout Paradise with a plastic Gibson.
Enter the Speed Freek; a simplistic snap-on device that applies to more than one or two titles. It isn't even made by a game developer, but an independent inventor (take note, anti-establishmentees), and like its name implies, it's related to speediness – the racing sort, to be exact.
When you first touch the crescent-shaped piece of plastic, you might not believe it's going to change the way you race. It's a smidgen firmer than disposable tableware, but doesn't seem more complex. Once you've snapped it onto your analog stick and fired up a game like Forza Motorsport 2, your viewpoint will likely change. You'll realize that an impressive structure isn't a necessary component of effectiveness; sometimes, there truly is beauty in simplicity.
By upwardly extending the left and right ridges of the analog nub, the Speed Freek hardware gives you a greater range of thumb movement. Once you're used to it (which shouldn't take more than a few races), you'll find that it utilizes analog technology for all it's worth. Precise and subtle movements become second nature, and as is the case with many fine inventions, you'll wonder why you didn't make it first.