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jay_red
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Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by jay_red Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:12 pm

With the 360 racing wheel review freshly posted, I figured I would keep it going with another wheel I just picked up, this time for the old fan favorite, The Dreamcast!

I first saw this wheel at a local goodwill, it caught my eye among the mountains of other crappy wheels I normally see at goodwill because one, it was complete in box, and two, Dreamcast wheels dont show up every day! The first time I saw it a couple weeks ago I passed on it, but then today there is was, still unclaimed and thought I could give it a good home. It cost me $25 (kind of steep for goodwill) but the condition and complete box sold me.
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First off, the build quality. This wheel feels just like any other "cheap" wheel, meaning anything that isnt made for hard core sim racers. It actually feels very comparable to the Microsoft wheel I just reviewed. The wheel its self is ribber all around, with all the buttons easily accessible. The shift paddles are actual metal on this, which was a pleasant surprise. It features an interesting button layout, with both sides sporting a "+\-" pair of buttons. There is no force feedback, but it does feature vibration (and thus requires a separate power supply). The wheel has almost 180 degrees of range in each direction, but I would have liked to have a bit more tension when turning.
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The pedals are very basic black plastic, but feel like they would hold up to some abuse. They both have a nice range, and the brake has considerably more resistance than the gas, but still a bit weak (but MUCH better than the 360 wheel).
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I played it attached to my Playseats Evolution racing chair, the wheel attached with the supplied clamps, but they are a very odd style and didnt seem to get a good hold, but nonetheless, they held it in place. I attached the pedals with a bit of velcro that came with my seat, and it held them pretty well too.
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(see edit below about wheel sensitivity!!)
I tried it out with 4 games I had on my shelf to get a good mix of how it would perform. First I popped in Sega Rally 2. This game is very heavy on drifting and I found myself over correcting non stop. Even though the wheel has good range, it is still very sensitive, resulting in very twitchy steering. In this game you pretty much dont let off the gas and slide every corner, and after some adjustment it was like playing in an arcade. The vibration was a very welcome feature, giving some life to the wheel.

I next tried Test Drive Le mans, and the twitchy-ness of the wheel was very apparent. It was hard to judge corners without the force feedback, and just a slight turn of the wheel caused a but of oversteer.

Up next was 4x4 evolution, this game I am sure is better suited for a controller, as it is overly arcade like, and benefits nothing from a wheel set up. The vibration also didnt seem to work in this game, and made the whole experience feel kind of dead.

Last was Ferrari F355 Challenge, I figured this wheel would really get to shine with this game. Once again that sensitive wheel was killing me at first, but you just have to adjust I guess. The vibration was very well used in this game, helping you forget about the lack of force feedback. Overall was a very enjoyable experience.

EDIT!!
I made this edit earlier, but looks like i forgot to save it, anyway... I found out that the wheel has different levels of sensitivity, and default it is the highest. I set it to the lowest and what a difference! The cars are not twitchy at all and it is a much more smooth experience. F355 is a blast now, and Sega Rally feels like im in the arcade! I also found out that the "+/-" buttons are mappable to any of the face buttons. Guess I should read the manual next time.

This wheel is definitely suited for arcade style racers (which the DC has quite a few of) and would not disappoint in that respect. Dont expect this to compare to hardcore sim wheels of today (like my G25) but take it for what it is and you will be having a blast sliding corners all day long in Sega Rally.


Thank you to anyone that takes the time to read this review, I hope this and my previous one were not too long. Once I get going I feel that I need to be as informative as i can. I would love to hear some feedback as well as what you thought of the review!
Last edited by jay_red on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My trade thread, updated 7/14
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30531&p=421248#p421248
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CD AGES
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by CD AGES Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:45 pm

Decent review! nicely done i love any review that has to do with Dreamcast :) I really appreciate that you tested the wheel on such versatile racing titles on the DC. I remember being given this particular wheel but giving it to a friend (I already own the official Sega Agetec Rally Wheel).
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jay_red
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by jay_red Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:00 pm

Thanks for the kind words!

I made an edit about the wheel sensitivity that i forgot to save earlier, so check that out.
My trade thread, updated 7/14
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30531&p=421248#p421248
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CD AGES
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by CD AGES Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:15 pm

Nice! I sure that unknown feature brings this wheel up a few notches :)
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kingbuzzo
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by kingbuzzo Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:32 am

I really like this wheel and am envious of your setup. I used the wheel a lot for Vanishing Point which I really love.

One problem I found what that I couldn't use the paddles as shifters if I was using the pedals for gas+brake. I read there was a way to hack them to do otherwise but there's no documentation. I've seen one setup where someone soldered the buttons to an external two way stick and used that as a shifter. Too bad really since I think the PS2 version supports paddle shifters with pedal gas+break.
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jay_red
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by jay_red Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:10 am

Yeah I actually read online that the paddles are just the L and R triggers, just like the pedals. I guess that is ok incase you couldnt use the pedals for some reason. The +/- buttons are what was intended for shifting, but its misleading as the box states the paddles as F1 style shifters.
My trade thread, updated 7/14
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30531&p=421248#p421248
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d123456
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by d123456 Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:46 am

Wow, great review! keep em coming. I read it with great joy.
What is the best wheel for the dreamcast?
Optimizing PS2 games 480p (progressive) and 240p gsm hdtv
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=30389
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jay_red
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by jay_red Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:10 pm

Thanks!

I am not sure which one would be considered "the best" but judging by reviews this one seems to be one of the more favored models. I am not sure how many different ones there are. I know of this one, the official one (that doesnt come with pedals) and a MAdCatz version that I havent heard anything about.
My trade thread, updated 7/14
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30531&p=421248#p421248
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SwankeyMonkey
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by SwankeyMonkey Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:27 pm

Just picked up the InterAct Concept4 wheel also from a thriftstore. Been wanting to try it out with some of DC's best racers, hoping that it "plays well" across the board with all.
I love the MadCatz MC2 wheel. Although MadCatz is notorious by some for making cheap junk, I personally believe they nailed it with the MC2 wheel being the better of all the DC wheels. The best part is it has customizable adjustments for "max lock" and "dead zone" sensitivities on the wheel which allow you to fine tune it in per race game handling demands. The same LED adjustment readout also gives you lit acceleration/brake feedback in game.
Of all the Dreamcast race-wheels, I used the MC2 as my preference for my custom Dreamcast Arcade Race Cabinet.
You can see it here at about the 38-minute mark in this video of my Dreamcast Arcade Cabinet(s).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBCYo9Kn1B0
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noiseredux
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Re: Dreamcast Concept 4 racing wheel

by noiseredux Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:54 pm

Woah.
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