|★ HARDWARE ★ JOYSTICKS ★ CHEETAH: THE BUG|Amstrad Computer User) ★|
|Joystick - Cheetah - The Bug||Hardware Joysticks|
Is it the ultimate in handheld blasting? Jim Johnson investigates.
Joysticks come and joysticks go. That is the way of the world, or so they say. I remember a time when you went to buy a joystick and that is exactly what you got! A stick stuck on a base with a couple of fire buttons thrown in for good measure. Nowadays, of course, times have changed and, when you enter your local computer shop and ask that ill-fated question/Could you tell me where your joystick section is, please?' you are, more often than not, directed to the shelf that you first thought was a leftover from the pet shop that previously inhabited the premises.
There, staring down at you, is a motley assortment of tortoises, sub-continental looking amphibians and, what's this, a bug?
Yes, the latest in the long line of blasting gizmos is a little offering from Cheetah, that looks something like a well-nourished scarab with a radar beacon on top.
Call me an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy if you will, but I have always been a firm believer in the old school of joysticks and, until I came across this insectile offering, I really did not think that I would be budged into actually enjoying the nouveau trends of the stick manufacturers.
From what I have just written, you may have guessed that I did enjoy playing with the Bug. Indeed I was so impressed, in fact, that it has now replaced my old favourite and is fast becoming my fave testing stick.
So just what is it that makes the Bug so good. Well, for starters, the Bug is just about one of the most ergonomically designed sticks I have ever come across. What that favourite term of the makers means, is that it fits superbly into either of your hands. The Bug really is tremendously comfortable to use, enabling you to play almost single-handedly. The stick itself is easily accessible to the thumb, with the forefinger left free to do the blasting damage.
Microswitches With a fire button on either side at the front, the Bug is ideal for both left and right handed players and features an extremely sturdy steel shaft on the stick and high quality microswitches.
Quite apart from that, the little beast looks and feels mean, allowing for long-term playing power without any discomfort. With autofire built in, do not let the size of the Bug lead you into thinking it is only half a joystick when, in fact, it is probably more like a joystick and a half.
If there is one drawback to this excellent device, it is that the autofire button cover slips off a little too easily but, as this is purely decorative, it does not detract from performance one bit.
All in all, if you want all round blasting power at an affordable price, then throw out your old assumptions and move on to a new plane of stick standards. It shouldn't be too long before a lot of people get the Bug, if you get my meaning.