In a rush to play with my new found joy, I fired up
EAs Need For Speed 3 without first getting into the control panel to check the
regular things i.e. calibration etc, etc. (Remember that I had only a mere hour or
so before I had to prepare myself for a wedding dinner.)
"My initial experience with NFS3 was not very
encouraging due to the steering lag and the force feedback."
As soon as NFS 3 was up, I went straight into racing. I didnt
even looked at the force feedback options which were provide by NFS 3. At this point, I
wasnt sure if the wheel has been properly initialised or even if NFS 3 had detected
it. I was just crossing my fingers and hoping that everything would just work out all
right. So as soon as the countdown to the race began, I held my breath with anticipation.
The moment the countdown hit zero, I stepped on the accelerator and held on the wheel. To
my surprise and of course delight, everything worked like a charm.
Controlling the car (I used the Lamborghini Diablo) was a bit strange
in the beginning. Even with the force feedback turned on, the wheel did not feel natural.
There was a lag between the steering action and the change of direction in the car. The
steering wheel had a long throw on each side making a full 270 degrees from end to end.
The steering lag and the long throw made me oversteer in both directions almost all the
way in the race.
The force was not too strong in NFS in terms of steering
(later when I looked in the control panel, I found out that the force settings were at
"high"). However, the force feedback for road bumps and crashes felt very
natural. That was all the time I had before setting off for the wedding dinner. (You can
imagine how I felt at the wedding dinner physically, I was at the dinner but
mentally I was at home planning what to do next when I get home from the dinner).
To cut a long story short, I went to the MS Sidewinder FF Wheel site to
look at the list of games which support the wheel and I picked up a few of the titles to
check my new toy. The list of titles I tested my wheel on were the following:
- MS Precision CART racing
- Monster Truck Madness 2
- Ultimate Race Pro
- Newman Haas Racing
- Colin McRae Rally
My initial experience with NFS3 was not very encouraging due to the
steering lag and the force feedback. I looked the force feedback steering options (there
were quite a few) and I experimented with a few settings but I still could not get a
setting which made NFS 3 felt more natural. I wasted no time on NFS 3 and moved on to the
other titles which I had waiting.
"Newman Haas Racing & Colin
McRae Rally, had mediocre force feedback performance. They were not as realistic as, say,
CART or Dethkarz, but they were still much better than NFS 3 in my opinion."
In summary, the 2 titles which were bundled with the wheel were much
more natural compared to NFS 3 (which seemed to be everyones favourite). The force
feedback was stronger, the steering felt much heavier (like an unassisted steering wheel
or non-power steering car) and there was no steering lag which I experienced in NFS 3.
Between the two MS titles, CART was much better than MTM2 but MTM2 was much more fun to
play. This was because MTM2s tracks were simpler compared to CARTs racing
realistic simulation model.
The next 2 titles which were also pretty good in terms of control and
force feedback was Dethkarz & Ultimate Race Pro. These 2 titles played almost as well
as the 2 MS titles - if not better. Incidentally, both Ultimate Race Pro & Dethkarz
have absolutely gorgeous graphics compared to the 2 MS titles. The 2 MS titles maxed out
at 640x480 (CART) & 800x600 (MTM2). I seem to have a problem trying to get Ultimate
Race Pro to run at 1024x768 (at the moment it runs at 800x600). Dethkarz is the other
title which I could run at 1024x768 besides NFS3.
The last 2 titles, Newman Haas Racing & Colin McRae Rally, had
mediocre force feedback performance. They were not as realistic as, say, CART or Dethkarz,
but they were still much better than NFS 3 in my opinion. At present, I am checking the
Internet for any preferred force feedback settings for NFS 3 used by other owners of the