Review: KontrolFreek’s FPS Freek and Speed Freek
- March 10th, 2011
- By MogKnight
Being a person who plays a bunch of FPS like Halo and Call of Duty and a few racing games here and there like Forza and Need for Speed, I usually don’t look into any of these special enhancements on controllers or anything like that. On the FPS side, I’m usually just fine and with racing games, I tend to switch over to a real steering wheel. However, after seeing these for 20 dollars for both sets on Amazon one day, I decided to give them a shot. What did I think of them?First off, lets start with the FPS Freek. The FPS Freeks are simply extensions to the analog stick that can be placed on top of an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 controller. I’d assume they work on other consoles and third parties but they are really meant for Xbox 360 and PS3 official controllers. What this does is that it gives you an extra thumb leverage with the analog sticks, making it so that you have a much wider range of motion and also requires less force from your thumbs to move the stick around. This is supposed to help with aiming and allow you to control higher sensitivities.
So, does this product work? Yes, it does but that doesn’t require a lot of research to understand what it does. However, does it work in practicality? Well, that really depends on the player more so than anything else. If you always felt like you can never get the right amount of sensitivity in your aiming, this would help that a lot given the extension. If you are a fragging king already and murder everyone in Halo or Call of Duty just fine, you probably won’t need this product. In fact, if you are dying a lot in FPS games on console and you just can’t seem to get it together at all, this probably will not help you. You won’t get “mouse-like” precision aiming and if you’re dying that much, I think aiming is the least of your problems. I think if I can sum up the use of the FPS Freek, it would be that it will make a good player better but it won’t make a bad player into a good one. I can recommend this as I think you can only get better with this item. It does take a bit of getting used to though so don’t expect to be seeing any huge improvements right out of the box.
The FPS Freeks also come in different flavors that include emblems from Halo and Call of Duty. I should also note that they are convex (curves out) instead of concave (curves in). The ones that I’m reviewing are concave. This also means that if you like the concave analog sticks on the Xbox 360 but you’re on the Playstation 3 and hate the convex analog sticks, this would fix that problem. The materials used are very identical to the grippy 360 stick heads. You also can use this for practically any game that needs aiming. Third Person Shooters, for example, are not exempt from these things.
The next item is the Speed Freek. Again, like the FPS Freek, these latch on top of the analog sticks to provide you with more control over your steering. What I don’t really understand is why they gave you two of these, though I guess you only really need one of the FPS Freeks for the right analog stick and not so much the left one. Anyways, the idea behind these is that you would have your thumb steer by applying pressure to the tabs of the Speed Freek instead of purely on the analog stick itself. This is actually a pretty damn good godsend for someone like me as I would previously never use a controller for a racing game. The amount of preciseness I would get out of an analog stick normally would just not be enough for me in a racing game and this is especially true when I want to hold down the analog stick at a specific angle just to make a turn. Unlike the FPS Freeks, I think these are definitely game changers and for those without a steering wheel, I’d say these are great.
My only issue with them though is that I don’t think these are comfortable on a PS3 controller. I tried playing some PS2 racing games on my PS2 controller and while the control is still there, I had to grip my controller in such a way that it was just uncomfortable to hold for a long duration of time. Would definitely suck if you were going for those long endurance races in Gran Turismo.
All in all, both of these will enhance your video game playing experience. The FPS Freek and Speed Freek both do their jobs in helping making these specific genres much more accessible to players. It’s much like buying a joystick (albeit a much cheaper one) for fighting games. The FPS Freek is not something I’d say that would make you a god in Halo or Call of Duty. The Speed Freak, however, does enhance the driving experience by a lot and I can highly recommend that for any racing fan. I also found it to be very hard to find an Xbox 360 official steering wheel nowadays and those were very good in quality. I guess this would be the next place to go for precise racing controls.
For roughly 10 dollars for a set, these are a cheap investment if you want try them out. If you end up not liking them or you want to switch up games that don’t use them, they do pry off of the stick with a little force. They won’t damage the analog sticks unless you try to rip it off. They also don’t have any residue or anything like that since there are no adhesives in place, it is all purely clips that latch on. Overall, I think they’re a good purchase. With the multitude of games that you can use these on, if you end up liking them, they will see a lot of use.
Both the FPS and Speed Freak can be purchased off of Amazon.com for $10.99 each or you can buy both packs for $19.99. You can also check out more of KontrolFreek’s products on their website at www.kontrolfreak.com.