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December 04, 2003|By Kevin E. Washington

Adrenalin Stick puts flight game players in precise control

Several flight games have headed to video game consoles this fall. This is good news for the few pure joysticks out there for Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube.

I'm still searching for a solid GameCube joystick, but I think that Saitek's Adrenalin Stick ($40) for the Xbox is probably the best available for that console. It has a weighted base and needs a table - so don't try to put it in your lap.

Joysticks offer players greater and more precise control in gaming. While many of the games designed to use joysticks - such as Secret Weapons Over Normandy, Battlestar Galactica and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge - can be played with a regular controller, those of us who have been using joysticks on PCs for years find the controller to be awkward at best because it requires that you fly and steer your craft with your left hand.

The Adrenalin stick has all of the buttons in the right place. The A button is the trigger finger for your main gun or weapons; the X and Y buttons, which are usually for auxiliary weapons, are easily in reach on the joystick head.

The stick also has a top hat for looking around you, which is critical in games that support it.

Of course, if you're a two-handed gamer, you'll have your other hand free to punch the buttons on the base as well as use the slider switch at the front of the joystick base as your throttle. If spinning through the sky uncontrollably is the usual result of your playing flight games with the controller, you'll be pleased to regain control of your craft and speed of flight by using the Adrenalin stick.

Information: 800-452-4377 or www.saitekusa.com.

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