Wheel of Fortune!

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 1, 2008

Patience. It’s a virtue few people seem to have, and even fewer have mastered. While I don’t claim to be in either of those categories, I know that waiting to buy something can really help you out when it comes to saving money.

Case in point, the Fanatec Speedster Force 3 Feedback Xbox racing wheel. What was originally sold for $170.00 when it first came out, I was able to get on eBay for $20.00 ($40.00, if you include S&H). I’m still getting everything I can out of my Xbox, and this wheel definitely extends its life-span.

A few observations:

– All my old racing games are new again, including Project Gotham Racing 2 which I had sold but bought again for the wheel. It’s been worth it, actually – what I remember as being a mostly blah game has now turned into something fun every time play. I use first-person view now, and it really helps to immerse you in the game. There’s nothing like seeing someone you cut off in your rear view as you speed down the track. While I’ve mostly been playing PGR2 with the wheel, Forza is no slacker. Once I get as far as I can on Gotham, I’ll probably switch to that.

– One game I won’t be playing with the wheel is Rallisport Challenge. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best racing games I’ve played – but I need a guardrail man! If I don’t have something keeping me remotely on the track, I fly all over the place. No, Rallisport will stay a thumbstick game.

– The wheel is family-friendly. What do I mean by that? I mean that even I have been surprised by everyone’s reaction to it. For both friends and family, I can say that those who are familiar with video games and those who are not both enjoy the wheel. And that makes me happy.

– While this doesn’t reference the wheel directly, I realized something I sub-consciously love about racing games – you never run out of gas.

– It’s a long story, but we actually have an old van seat set up in the basement – so you really do feel like you’re in a car. Plus, it’s a two-seater! So, just like real life, someone can sit beside you and dispense helpful hints!

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