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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | Nostromo n50 SpeedPad
   

Nostromo n50 SpeedPad
Another controller screams out for attention...and gets it!
  — by Pappy-R


Alien craft or gift from the Gods?

Comfort

Now it's time to actually place your hand on the Nostromo n50 in the pursuit of frags and fame. Taking into consideration that the device was created with the human hand in mind, those of you with hooves or missing parts may see different results here, but the normal everyday gamer is going to be thrilled. Not only is the Nostromo n50 comfortable naturally, but it's built to be adjustable! I've long been miffed at device makers who cater to the long, slender fingers of an 18 year old, 6 foot gamer, but Belkin didn't fall into this trend. The rounded piece you see on top with the logo on it is adjustable and/or removable, making it fit almost any size mitt with real comfort. I have it removed since my hands are hammers and I couldn't be more comfy as the levels load up.

The Play

It's time to put configuration and comfort to the real test and fly into action!

Whenever you go to test out a new controller of any kind, you must tell yourself you'll reserve judgement until you have forced yourself to use it for a certain amount of time. With something as new in style as the Nostromo n50, I set a two day limit. In other words I refused to allow myself an opinion until I hammered away for two solid days. Whenever I cranked up a game, whether to test mods, levels or play for fun, I had to use the n50. This is a must! Unfortunatley I wasn't prepared for what happened at the end of two days.

Although quite light, the Nostromo n50 didn't budge, skate or slip at all due to the rubber feet that seem to almost adhere to the desktop. In terms of a learning curve, you'd expect to have quite a bit to get used to, but the shock here is that within a short time (that would vary per user), your hand is dancing with the combination of keys, wheel and directional pad. Each felt solid, yet sensitive enough to be doing tricks and twists you thought you might lose with a new setup. The big shock at the end of my two days testing the Nostromo n50 was that when I naturally went back to my keyboard, I missed the directional pad! My hand searched for the gadget and did not come up happy without it. I was using it basically for next weapon selection, item activation and zooming in and out with ease unheard of on my keyboard layout.

Did my game improve with the Nostromo n50? Well that's hard to say since I've yet to really put it to any solid, competitive tests to determine that, but I can say without hesitation that my game didn't suffer. Infact I do believe it did and will improve due to the n50.

The End

At the end of it all, the Nostromo n50 SpeedPad is now firmly part of my desktop arsenal and if Belkin wants it back they're gonna have to come and take it. I can't say that the device is the "be all and end all" for every gamer out there, but it's gonna become the weapon of choice for quite a few. Adaptable, adjustable, smart and reasonably priced is just what we needed to see in any attempt to push the keyboard aside and the Nostromo n50 is all that. Fraggers...we have a winner!

Contest!

Since I got mine and do indeed think it's a product of value, we're gonna give away two Nostromo n50 SpeedPads to you, the fuzzy faithful! All you have to do is mail me, Pappy-R with what you'd like to use the Nostromo n50 SpeedPad's 8-way directional pad (that's 8 commands!) for in any Quake! Be creative, be inventive....go nuts!!

I'll take all the entries that come in by November 5th, 2001 and run them past IceStorm and Jube who will each pick one crazy configuration as a winner! Have fun with it folks and you could have yourself a new toy!


Questions? Comments? Send them into feedback.

Next: And the winners are..


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