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Panther
Score: 90%
Developer: Mad Catz
Device Type: Controller


Function:

A quantum leap! It is rare that I experience a PC product that has a great impact on my enjoyment of computer gaming. The Mad Catz Panther is certainly one of these. This is much better than the old mouse-keyboard setup for ?First Person Shooter? games in that I don?t have the problem of hitting the wrong keys since this combo of trackball and joystick will have plenty of keys to map the most used functions. With the joystick on the right and trackball on the left, this system will, with practice, allow any gamer to enjoy most fully the many FPS type games on the market. The Panther can be used alone, or with CH Products (as tested), Thrustmaster, or a ?generic? joystick with up to four buttons. As an added bonus for flight sim fans, the Panther?s Controlball can be used as rudder control or steering in flight simulators.

Performance:

The Mad Catz Panther is designed to sit on the left when used with a joystick or either side when used alone. Those who like to hold the controller in their lap are out of luck as this system is composed of two separate components, only suited to the desktop (flat surface). The Controlball is large enough to be ergonomically pleasing and is flanked on either side with a button and one below. The lower button is the only thing I don?t understand in that I awkwardly have to use my index finger to push it, which removes my hand from proximity to the controlball.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about this system in that the trackball, which is your ?eyes? in FPS games is now on the left, whereas with the mouse-keyboard system it is on the right. This resulted in a slightly longer initiation process before I felt comfortable. But believe me, it is well worth the practice as the reward is a vastly increased enjoyment of the game. Half-Life and Unreal are a blast!!!


Features:
  • Standard gray colored base with red buttons
  • Large, easy-to-use Controlball
  • Upgrades your existing joystick to digital
  • Compatible with many current games, with more to come!
  • Optional Palm-Rest (can be removed)

Drawbacks & Problems::

The lower button on the Controlball base is awkwardly placed -- almost as if it was intended to be pressed with the palm of the hand. This and a somewhat longer than usual learning curve (better coordinated individuals may not have a problem) are the only drawbacks.

-d0gsb0dy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kelly Key

Sony PSOne Mouse Windows Panther XL

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated