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Friday, March 20, 2009

FPS Freek Hands On

I first heard about this gaming add-on last year in a Gizmodo article (3/2008). On Wednesday it finally arrived in a non-specific USPS envelope :

The packaging is bareboned and consists of nothing more than the plastic container (which is easy to open), the paper insert and a pair of the Freeks. All I can say is that I'm glad it didn't come in a 12" x 12" cardboard box filled with packing shells.

Installation is pretty simple and straightfoward : clip on top of the analog sticks. That's it, you're done. Here is the installation with my Xbox 360 controller (360 glowing in the background).

Here is the claim & challenge of the FPS Freek :

"FPS Freek was tested by professional gamers in Halo tournaments and by avid gamers across the country. The results are clear - FPS Freek enhances aiming precision and increases game performance with minimal learning curve. The added ananlog stick length provides 40% more linear distance from full stop to stop."

"Take the Challenge! Try FPS Freek and see how it can improve your game. Use FPS Freek for 2-3 hours and then remove it to see the difference in your game."

In this test I used the multiplayer of Halo 3 as my lab table. First of all, my FPS console experience is limited. I have experience playing many console FPS : Halo, Halo 2, Gears of War, etc. That experience, however, is limited (mostly) to the solo campaign & not to multiplayer action. My multiplayer experience in FPS comes from PC, mostly. I find that a keyboard and mouse is a much more precise interface than two analog sticks and have saved most of my FPS gaming for the PC. Since Wednesday, I have played approximately 6 basic traning sessions to test out the FPS Freek (total play time is around the 60-90 minute mark). My results vary, but so far I'm averaging 10 kills/session and have been in the #2 spot (of the 4 person match) three times. I am still short of the recommended 2-3 hours for testing, but so far am still on the fence about the product's effectiveness. It could be doing something or on the other hand I could just be getting used to the analog controls (the old practice makes perfect theory). I guess I will have to test with some other games & then again without the FPS Freek, to garner any difference in ability/performance. Stay tuned.


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