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EU Hardware Review

THE FOX SPEAKS #1
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THE FOX SPEAKS #3

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:: Retro-Remakes ::




------------------------



.: Advertisement :.
 
 
 
ArcadeTones

Classic Tunes For Your Nokia Phones!
 

:: EU HARDWARE REVIEW ::

Review Three : PC MAGIC BOX


 

.PC Magic Box : Introduction

What does it do?

The PC Magic Box allows you to connect almost any Playstation/Playstation 2/Sega Saturn or Sega DreamCast controller to your PC for use in your favourite computer games or emulators.

What do I need?

Well obviously you are going to need one of the controllers mentioned above along with a PC that has a USB controller of some kind. These can be found around the back of your PC and are rapidly becoming the "Plug & Play" ports of choice. You will also need a copy of Windows which fully support Plug & Play, some earlier editions of Windows 95 did not have this feature but I seriously doubt anyone is still using that today.

How do I know if there is a USB port on my PC?

Ahh, simple. Just look at the back of your PC for one of the following:

Don't worry if you only have one USB port as a secondary set of ports, known as a USB hub can be purchased anywhere for around £20-£30 depending on how many you need.

 
 
.PC Magic Box : The Review

The PC Magic Box is fairly simple to install and use, simply plug the external device into a spare USB port (this can be either on your main machine or via a USB hub such as Netgear) and you are ready to go. One piece of advice though, if you are installing the PC Magic Box via a USB hub and you are running Windows XP you will need to restart your machine before any joypads you install will be recognised. It is normal under Windows XP for the installation wizard to fail during installation or present a balloon tip stating "A problem occured during installation" this will be fixed once you reboot your machine.

If you do not have much room around your desk to place this tiny piece of equipment at a comfortable and safe place do not worry, the USB cable (which is fixed internally and cannot be unplugged) is fairly lengthy and should reach to a nice destination for you to sit comfortable with your joypad and without causing any harm to your PC or looking out of place.

The device itself looks like it was designed for the Playstation One™ with its gray looks and funny looking shape but don't let that put you off, the Magic Box is designed for use with the Playstation 2 controller and does work well.

We tested the PC Magic Box using an out of the box Playstation 2 controller with Dual Shock on Grand Theft Auto 3 (PC). At first the game did not recognise the controller but on picking up the Logitech Rumble Pad for the PC the game worked fine, to solve this we exited the game and simply unplugged the PC controller from the USB port. This of course moves the secondary joypad (the PlayStation 2 pad) up into first place and is recognised by gamers. A little tip if this happens to you, do NOT uninstall your old PC joypad, simply remove it from the USB port as it can be a pain digging out your driver disc at a later date.

Again we reloaded GTA3 and tried the game, it works like a dream. It was like playing the PS2 version of GTA3 with all the same controlls as the PlayStation 2 but with much better looking graphics (1024x768 vs the PS2 resolution) and an absolutely superb, responsive controller. Anyone who owns a PS2 will tell you how much more comfortable the PlayStation controllers are towards the bulky PC counterparts and it realy does make a difference to your gaming experience.

After an hour or two blowing limbs off pedestrians we decided to unplug the PS2 controller and try the Sega DreamCast port, it works just as well as the PS2 pad but obviously with less comfort as the pads are much larger. Having said that it was great fun playing the PC version of Crazy Taxi with a Sega DreamCast controller, almost exactly like playing the DC version - awesome.

We did not test what, in our opinion at least, is the odd one out - the Sega Saturn port. The reason for this is primarily because we do not have a Sega Saturn controller to test and feel that the controller is the least comfortable of the 3 pads supported anyway. The only reason we can see for this port being in the PC Magic Box is that Sega Saturn emulation is beginning to kick off and fans of the system will be able to play those classic games again with the feel of the real thing via the Saturn controller. It certainly is the odd one out though, PlayStation 2 and Sega Dreamcast are relatively new machines but the Saturn is seriously dated.

The ratings:

Installation

Fairly easy to install but please read the review if you are planning on installing under Windows XP via a USB hub and/or you have an existing PC controller installed on your system.

9/10

Ease of use

Simple straight forward plug & play.

10/10

Value

If you are using a Sony Playstation/Sega Saturn or possibly even a Sega Dreamcase emulator or maybe you just like the feel (as we do) of the joypads and want to experience it on your PC then this is the BEST way to do it.

10/10

Overall

An absolutely superb, well built piece of hardware that allows you to plug almost any PlayStation, Dreamcast or Saturn controller into your PC and play great games with awesome controll.

10/10

CLICK TO PURCHASE PC MAGIC BOX ($24.99)
 

 

 

 
:: Last updated on March 27th, 2002

 

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