reviews\ Sep 15, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Marvel Spider-Man Pad - PS2 - Review

When a console is first released upon the world it is a sure bet that there will be millions of different peripherals released along side  it throughout its life span. Naki has been a third party product vendor for many years now, and this is the first time that they have released a controller that has a specific theme. They recently acquired, the exceedingly popular, Marvel license and decided that the first product to be released will be based on the smash game/movie/and comic book: Spiderman.

The controller, named "Spider-Pad", is very reminiscent of Spiderman. The casing has the classic blue and red colors, that is embroidered with the black webbing, which resemble Spiderman's costume. The buttons are all the same, Triangle, Square, and the Circle, except the X button, which is now a Spider. This is a nice touch to bring the theme of the controller together. The controller also contains a turbo button, which can be mapped to any button, and a slow mode button. The slow mode button is pretty much useless as all it does is bring up the menu on and off repeatedly. All of the buttons feel nice and smooth and have the same amount of resistance as the Dual Shock 2 does. The controller's chord is also very long, but just a smidgen shorter than the Dual Shock 2. One of the biggest problems that I have with third party controllers is that they do not feel like the first party ones do, and they tend to be less comfortable. The question that came to mind is: Will this controller be any different?

The first game that I choose to take this controller for a test drive was clearly obvious: Spiderman: The Movie. Once I had Spiderman under my controller I got a feel for how the controller was laid out and if it did stand up to the Dual Shock 2 legacy. Personally, after spending considerable time, with numerous different games, this controller feels pretty nice. The extra length of the handles is a nice touch for players that have bigger hands. The buttons were all smooth when pressed in those tight moments, and every game chosen ran smoothly with no problem. The casing is sturdy and will be able to stand up to the abuse gamers might put upon it, while stuck in an extremely difficult situation.

In comparison to the Dual Shock 2 though, it was a little lacking. The analog sticks are looser, and the buttons were not as responsive as the DS2. Also the D-Pad is a little bit looser in comparison to the DS2. One minor annoyance with the controller is this: each time the players will press a button; it will make a "clicking" sound. This is not that big of a deal, but can become an aggravation to the late night gamers trying to be quiet and not wake up other members of the household.

The thing that will turn players off from purchasing this controller will be the price. One thing that makes third party peripherals so successful is that they are normally a lot cheaper than the first party items. The Spider-Pad is retailed at $29.99, which is higher than other third party controllers.  Since many people prefer first party merchandise to third party, this controller might get skipped over. Which is a shame as this is a high quality controller.

It's a Spiderman controller, and looks really awesome while playing a Spiderman game! While that might not impress all of your friends, it has a unique look, which will stand out with your PS2 items. The handles are longer than the Dual Shock, which will accommodate people with larger hands.

The Slow motion button was the worst idea conceived to be put upon this controller. It is more of an annoyance than assistance. The loud button clicks can become a distraction to players that become deeply involved in a game. Another thing that will turn people off is the price point, which is just barely below the price of the Dual Shock 2.

Verdict: 8.5
The Spider-Pad works well with every game in your PS2 library. The controller is really comfortable, and is unique looking. The only bad thing is that the price point is set a little high in comparison to other controllers out there, and might turn potential customers away to buying the first party products.


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