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Kontrol Freek's Speed Freek and FPS Freek [Product Review]

Overall Feeling: 

The FPS Freek can help you improve your accuracy, but will throw off your timing for fast-paced combat. The Speed Freek doesn't seem to offer any improvement what-so-ever.

The Pros: 

The FPS Freek will definitely help you with tweaking your accuracy, and on the PS3 it improves the feel of the rather small controller.

The Cons: 

On the Xbox the FPS Freek pushes just beyond the comfort zone, and provides a reduced reaction time. The Speed Freek feels awkward, and doesn't seem to offer any benefits to game-play what-so-ever. Rating : 

Over the last few weeks I’ve been feeding my need for action with a heavy portion of FPS and Driving games. During that period I opted to try out a couple interesting little products from the fine people over at Kontrol Freek. Those two being: the stick-extending FPS Freek, and the half-pipe-inspired Speed Freek. Each accessory is dedicated to specific needs for specific game types, but does adding $14.99 worth of plastic to your Xbox/PS3 controller make a world of difference?

First up is the FPS Freek. Designed to help increase accuracy on those frantic shooter sessions, it provides extra height and leverage to your controller’s sticks. The FPS Freek extends the length of the control stick by about 40%, which means you have a lot more room to tweak those perfect shots in shooters. I found that this works as advertised, and if you’re a sniper on Xbox Live or Playstation Network, then it could be $15 well spent. 

That’s not to say there weren’t some specific let downs with the product as well. For me, I found that putting the extra 40% reach on an Xbox controller feels uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say that I have small hands, but it seems the Xbox controller’s layout is already designed to make you stretch a bit for the control sticks. Adding on another 40% to the length pushes me a little beyond my comfort zone. On the PS3 controller this wasn’t an issue though, seeing as it’s a smaller controller it actually ended up feeling a little more natural. 

Another downside I came across, as a run-and-gun gamer, was slowed turn speeds and reaction time. You’ll need to throw the stick a whole lot further to whip around and pop people on the fly. If you’re not the kind that likes to hunker down and spend extra time lining up that perfect shot then the accuracy vs. reaction time debate will have you reconsidering your purchase.

Secondly we had the Speed Freek. This one doesn’t add any additional height, so there’s no issue of comfort when using this on either Xbox or PS3. The idea behind the U-shaped design is to keep your thumb on the stick while you power through those intense turns. For this specific function it does its job. There were never any instances where your thumb would accidentally slip off with this thing. 

However, the problem that I had, and this one is absolutely personal preference, is that in a strong turn I like to push on the side of the stick. With the Speed Freek in place not only can you not get your thumb off the stick, but you can’t get to the side of it to nudge it hard one direction or the other. 

While personally the Speed Freek held no positives for me, if you’re someone that finds your thumb slipping during intense battles online, I could see how this could be worth some money. At $15 though I’d say: if you’re into racing games and want to up your game, just put the $15 into savings and get yourself a racing wheel when you have a couple more bucks. 

Overall the products were hit and miss. Each seems designed not only for a specific genre of game, but for a very specific game-play style as well. After putting the FPS Freek through the paces in Halo, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield 1943, and Just Cause 2 (just for giggles) I found I did get more accuracy, better headshots, and more kills as a sniper. As someone that doesn’t play that style of gaming it was a nifty experience, however when I found the need to get moving (especially in Halo) I would snap the sticks off half-way through a match in frustration. 

Speed Freeks are absolutely useless for me. I understand that they weren’t meant for people that race the way that I do, but I have to say Racing is one of those genres I’ve always done pretty well for myself in. They had their chance in Blur, Split/Second, and Forza. Each time though I would pause the game half-way through the race, and slip them off so that I could play the way I’d learnt. 

The bottom line is this: if you’re a sniper the FPS Freek is worth the coin, and even if you are into racing I still wouldn’t recommend you spend money on the Speed Freek. Each of these products is designed very specifically. For their intended purpose only 50% of products have a positive result. By all means if you have those very specific needs buy these products. To the average gamer though, I would recommend pocketing the coin.