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Rcade Freek
Score: 90%
Developer: KontrolFreek
Device Type: Accessory
Compatible With:


[Begin Infomercial]
Do you Love arcade games, but find that the analog sticks on today's console controllers are totally wrong for playing them? Is your analog stick too short? Is the concave top of your stick throwing your game off? Wish your controller had an arcade stick of yesteryear... taller and with a big, round ball on top?

Your worries are over! KontrolFreek's new Rcade Freek analog stick tips can whisk you and your OEM PS3 or Xbox 360 gamepad back to the Eighties, for a realistic retro-gaming experience!
[End Infomercial]


Okay, so maybe the Rcade Freek can't actually time travel. And, it's not for everyone - if you're comfortable with your existing gamepad for playing retro games, arcade games and fighters, then you probably wouldn't be interested. However...

I found that the Rcade Freek did a good job of giving that old-school arcade stick feel to the analog sticks, both on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Attaching the Rcade Freek to the stick almost triples the length of the stick's throw, giving better control, while the big ball top is big enough to grab with a couple of fingers, if you like a more realistic arcade stick feel.

The one thing that concerned me about the stick, before I tried it, was that the Rcade Freeks might not attach to the analog stick enough to withstand frantic arcade action. When I tried them out, however, I was pleased to find that they attach snugly to either analog stick on the OEM 360 or PS3 controller. They are easy to attach and to remove, when desired - if you know what you're doing - but they stayed put when I was moving the stick around while gripping it with multiple fingers and when slapping the stick in the direction I wanted it to go.

I tried the Rcade Freeks with a few arcade games, but the most impressive improvement in performance was when I was playing Mortal Kombat for review. While playing through the Story Mode, I took turns with J. R. Nip working our way through the different opponents, but when we got to the final boss, Shao Kahn, neither of us could defeat him... until the Rcade Freeks arrived. With the use of the Rcade Freek on the left stick, I was able to finally beat Shao Kahn and finish the Story Mode. I basically got a rhythm going of spamming an alternating pattern of teleporting and hitting him, but I attribute my ability to keep that pattern going to the extra control I had thanks to the Rcade Freek on the left stick.

  • Large Round Ball Tops for Analog Sticks
  • Easy to Install and Remove
  • Stays Firmly in Place During Gameplay
  • Two Rcade Freeks Per Package
  • Enough for Two Players (for Most Arcade Games)
  • Works with PS3 / Xbox 360 OEM Controllers

Drawbacks & Problems::

The Rcade Freek is marketed for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360. It works perfectly for the 360 and it works well with the PS3... for the most part.

The only issue when used with the PS3 is that, given the analog sticks being close to each other, the large ball tops can actually hit each other if they are both moved toward the center at the same time. The upside, however, is that most arcade games (especially retro games) require the use of a single stick. If you install only one Rcade Freek on a PS3 analog stick, this isn't an issue. Also, since most arcade games only require a single stick, one pack of 2 Rcade Freeks could be shared by two players, using them on the appropriate stick (left or right, depending on the game in question) of two different controllers.

The only other issue I see with the Rcade Freek is keeping track of them. These aren't tiny, but they're small enough to be choking hazards for small children and you wouldn't want to find one by stepping on it barefoot. The Rcade Freeks could benefit by some sort of bag for carrying them in and storing them when not in use, since they're not necessarily something you would want to use for every game.

At the end of the day, the Rcade Freeks fill a niche somewhere between the normal OEM gamepads and actual arcade stick controllers. If you're striving to become the world's greatest player in some fighting game (Tekken, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc.), then you're probably looking for a more serious specialty controller made with arcade components. If, however, you're just not-quite-satisfied with the small analog sticks for your favorite arcade games, then the Rcade Freek might be just what you're looking for.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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