Extreme Joystick

Atari Jaguar

by Brett Daily

The Dark Knight Games Jaguar Extreme Joystick has been released, and the reviewers are RAVING. Check out the following review, and see what you're missing if you don't have one of these must have assesories for the Jag.

With the Jaguar being without a joystick to speak of, the folks at Dark Knight Games decided to try to fill the void by coming out with the Jaguar Extreme Joystick. It is Dark Knight Games first release. As you have probably heard, it is a conversion of the popular PC Blackhawk joystick.

First I'll describe the makeup of the Joystick. It is very similar to the picture on the right frame with a few differences. The first difference is there is a plug in the right side of the joystick that you can use for adding a Jaguar controller. In the prototype I have a cord which is hanging out, but in the final version it will be mounted inside the case. Also, the throttle on the left side was replaced by a toggle switch which can disable the fire buttons on the controller (I'll get into the specifics of these features later in the review.

As far as the button placement, the A button is located where you rest your thumb, the B button can be found where the fire button is and the C button is the lowest button on the stick. Also there is a fourth button located at the base of the joystick which acts as the option button.

With there being the three main buttons on the joystick they added the plug and switch to allow you to plug in the Pro Controller if you'd like to go that route and it also gives you access to the keypad. This also gives you the option for two player co-op play. An option that I felt was very nice was the toggle switch. What this does is it gives you the option to disable the fire buttons for those using the regular controller in co-op play. As anyone knows who has tried to play co-op, it can become quite confusing if both players have access to the fire buttons, so that was a nice added feature.

I have played the PC version of this Joystick several times and was quite fond of it and this one did not let me down either. I found this to be the best for flying games such as Battlemorph and racers though it worked quite well with the other array of games the Jaguar has to offer. It is certainly nice to be able to play games on the Jaguar with something other than a controller.

I know a few people have questioned a few things regarding the joystick prior to release and I'll put in my two cents regarding the issues. The main issue seemed to be the lack of a keypad. Obviously they combated that with the plug that allows you to add your own controller. If you are playing one player it may not be the most convenient thing to do if you have to reach for the other controller, but very few games use the keypad often and really you have to go a bit out of your way for the keypad on the regular controller too. So all in all I thought that was a nice compromise.

Also, some wanted it to have six buttons, but again it was combated with the plug option and really very few games utilize the six key pad anyways (mainly fighters) and really there is little way to add six buttons comfortably on a joystick. Also, the switch allowing for two player co-op play was a nice addition as I mentioned, as it made co-op play a bit more viable as you are able lack the confusion of two people trying to shoot!

Really, I was quite happy with the joystick, it fills an obvious void and the stick itself is very nice. The people at DKG did a pretty nice job with the modifications and the overall package is very nice. They marketed it towards games such as Cybermorph and the forthcoming Battlesphere and those are the types of games that will probably best utilize the Joystick. I will opt not to give the joystick a point rating as it's the lone joystick on the Jaguar, but to conclude if you are in the market for a breath of fresh air from the controller then this is an option worth taking a long look at. Order Yours Today!


--Brett Daily (JFPN)

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