Reviewed: October 31, 2003
The list of PC games that require a gamepad these days is dwindling. PC games in general are becoming fewer in number, but that hasn't stopped Logitech from continuing to tweak their existing line of PC gamepads. While their recent focus seems to have shifted to wireless peripherals for PC and console, they still havenít forgot about the budget-minded gamer who doesnít mind a corded controller at a fair price.
The Logitech Rumblepad 2 expands upon their previous Dual Action Gamepad from last year, which was one of the better PS2-style PC gamepads available at the time. This new version features improvements, both internal and external, that make the Rumblepad 2 an obvious choice for any gamer that needs a quality gamepad.
Installation - 10
It doesnít get any easier than USB. Turn you back for a minute and your five-year-old will have this installed and ready to go. Just plug the controller into any available USB port, install the drivers and configuration software and start playing games. Yes, itís really that easy. If you are running XP you probably wonít even have to restart your computer.
Aesthetics - 9
The Rumblepad 2 has several external design changes, all for the better. The convave D-pad has been replaced with a traditional raised cross design giving you better control. The four-button face design mirrors the DualShock and the two extra buttons traditionally found on a PC gamepad remain in the center. While this design will certainly appeal to the console crowd, I still prefer the six-button cluster on my PC gamepads.
Two new buttons, one to toggle vibration, and the other to switch between digital and analog modes also occupy the top of the controller surface. The front of the gamepad features four large shoulder buttons and all the buttons feature numeric labels making it very easy to program your pad.
The entire gamepad features a gunmetal blue casing accented with black controls and textured rubber grips on the side pods. Itís a very attractive peripheral that will complement your game system.
Durability - 10
The Rumblepad 2 is very solid, slightly lighter than itís cordless cousin, but with a nice weight that offsets the excellent vibration effects powered by the twin motors inside. Even when this gamepad is in full vibration, everything feels solid. No rattles here.
After more than 10 hours hardcore gaming the controller was performing just like it did out of the package. The analog sticks all remained firm with no additional slack or play in their movement.
Performance - 10
I put the Logitech controller through multiple tests with games like The Suffering and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst then moved on to TOCA Race Driver 2 and Tony Hawk Underground 2, a game that certainly demands a quality and precise gamepad.
The Rumblepad 2 performed flawlessly with precise analog control and instant button response with not the slightest hint of lag. The improved D-pad allowed for much more precise digital control allowing for the flawless execution of crazy tricks and combos.
The analog sticks have been tightened up a notch, offering more precise control in 360-degrees and not a hint of lag or play in the sticks. Logitech has easily addressed every issue we had with the Dual Action pad and then added some amazing vibration effects to sweeten the deal.
Value - 10
At $29.99 the Logitech Rumblepad 2 is priced right in line with other controllers in the same league. Whether you can justify the price or even the need for a gamepad is going to be your decision based on the type of games you play. Does the Logitech controller out-perform any of the other less expensive gamepads? You bet!
Of course, you also have to factor in that for $10 more you can get the freedom of a cordless controller, but the added expense of batteries. It's all a matter of preference and your budget. Side by side, the corded and cordless controllers perform and feel virtually identical so Logitech is leaving the final choice up to you.
Overall Ė 9.6
If you donít mind using a corded controller the Logitech Rumblepad 2 is easily one of the best PC pads weíve tested to date. Iíd rank it right up there with the Saitek P2500; itís only real competition. In fact, the only thing keeping this controller from a perfect score is my personal preference for a six-button thumb configuration.
If you own or have used any of Logitechís controllers for the console, or even a standard DualShock for that matter, you will know exactly what to expect with the Rumblepad 2. Quality, performance, value, and some of the best vibration effects you can experience are waiting. If your PC games require a console-style gamepad, this is the one you want.