Guillemot Thrustmaster Top Gun Fox 2 Pro
Review Some games are more sensitive than others, with USAF ranking highly in this department - try to play it with a Microsoft SideWinder Pro and you'll end up eating a fair amount of tarmac. It's a fine contender, then, to put the Top Gun Fox 2 Pro through its paces. Control of the game was significantly easier than with the Sidewinder Pro, as the joystick seems to translate movement cleanly to the game, making landings almost easy and combat flying 'fun'.
Build quality is good, with an intuitive button layout on the base and on the stick, making it comfortable to use even for those with small hands. Adjustable resistance, featured on the Fox 2 Pro for rudder and stick, should be mandatory on all joysticks. If you're a bit jumpy at the controls it does help iron out the bumps. Construction seems robust, although it wasn't tested to destruction.
Unfortunately the review unit came without the Thrustmapper 3 drivers, meaning a lengthy download before we could start using it. In theory Windows should be able to handle joysticks without any additional drivers, although in practice it can't. Whether this is solely down to Microsoft or not it's hard to tell. The more expensive two-piece, Afterburner II, did come with a disk, so this hopefully was just an omission and retail boxes will include the drivers.
Well built and solid, with adjustable resistance, the Thrustmaster is a serious contender to Microsoft's SideWinder Pro. Good button placement makes for easy and fluid play, and the stick itself makes flying a little easier, which is always welcome. The lack of drivers was a shame, but hopefully this won't occur in the retail version. ®
Contact: 020 8686 5600
Web site: www.thrustmaster.com
Requires: Pentium 133MHz or higher, USB port, Windows 98 or 2000
Build quality: 8
Value for Money: 7
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