by Mark Julio aka MarkMan
*Please note that this converter was only tested with arcade sticks for this portion of the review.
The important question that everyone wants to know is how The Ant Commandos’ Universal PS2 to PS3 Converter stacks up to the Pelican USB PS2 to PS3 Adapter… Well, first and foremost, the Pelican is still King when it comes to fighting gaming. That being said, the TAC converter is still a good option if you don’t want to pay the insane prices the Pelican is now going for on the aftermarket.
In my testing using a Namco Arcade Stick (PS1) and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, I found that the Pelican performed better when performing combos/sequences with strict timing. Doing some of the harder iSW combos in the game resulted in a higher connect rate when using the Pelican vs the TAC. The difference is very slight, but ultimately I was able to average a combo on the Pelican 5 out 5 times vs 3 out of 5 times on the TAC.
From what I noticed, the lag frame drops occur when trying to input a directional motion in quick succession + a button input (dashing jabs, also shining wizards). I also tested CH d/f+2 with Kazuya into EWGF launch and was able to pull it off with somewhat consistency (I’m not good at doing this at all). If I were to be nitpicky, yes I would say this has slightly LESS performance than the Pelican converter, but most people might not notice or will not see a difference at all.
I did multi input testing with Virtua Fighter 5 as well. Using a Hori Real Arcade Pro 2 (PS2) and it’s auto fire feature, I set the sequence of P+K+G on auto fire. After switching the auto fire off I would measure the inputs difference between both converters.
For the TAC the last 8 or so inputs would vary from 1 frame to 3 frames between each successive input. The majority of them being 1. The sequence looking like: 1-1-3-1-2-1-2-1.
NOTE: The above screen capture does not reflect the actual frame numbers that were calculated through our testing, it is just an example to show how we got our numbers.
For the Pelican the last 8 or so inputs would vary from 1 frame to 2 frames between each succesive input. The vast majority of them being 1. The sequence recorded was as follows: 1-1-1-2-1-1-2-1.
I tested the same process about five times, all of which resulting in similar number sequences and all of them in favor of the Pelican.
In the end… The TAC converter is very good for fighting games. Depending on how much 1 or 2 frames are to you when playing, it may make or break this purchase for you. It isn’t the best one out there and lacks some features that other converters have (no built in PS/Home button, LED player indicator does not work). This can cause some headache for those who plan on using it for tournaments as there is no quick access to the PS button menu for changing controller inputs on the fly. If your arcade stick has a mode/analog button however, you can use that as a PS/Home button.
With the Pelicans no longer being made, this is the best choice out there. For $19.99 it is a great deal, especially considering the ridiculous prices that the Pelican converter is going for (I’ve seen some auctions end close to $100 USD!). Don’t hesitate to purchase this converter for your fighting game needs.
Music Games Review
by Nate Aguilera aka n8nmonster
*For this review, we performed testing using the original GH1 Black SG Controller, GH2 Red SG Controller, and with only available controllers for the PS2 game backwards compatibility.
For Rock Band for PS3 and Guitar Hero III for PS3, both GH1 and GH2 controllers seemed to work almost flawlessly. We could perform hammer ons and pull offs, whammy bar, tilt for Overdrive / Star Power, and Select Button for Overdrive / Star Power.
When tilting the controller, there’s a slight delay in order for the Star Power to activate. The converter instructions mention the tilt must be held up for about 1.5 seconds in order for Star Power to activate and that this is necessary due to a difference in tilt sensor design in the PS2 guitars compared to the PS3 guitars. Literally, this means you may need to tilt the controller a bit longer than usual or plan ahead so that Star Power comes out before you die. Using the Select button, of course, remains as an alternative to activate Star Power instantly. Although, Select has it’s own problem which we mention next.
When in Rock Band or Guitar Hero mode, the converter allows special button combinations when using the PS2 guitars. Pressing the Start and Select buttons together activates the PS3 Home menu while pressing Select and Green or Orange together allow for D-Pad Left or Right. The latter of the button combinations, unfortunately, may cause problems during gameplay. As mentioned earlier, the Select Button can still be used to activate Star Power. However, if the Green or Orange button are held when trying to press the Select button, Star Power would not activate. Small bummer, yes, but you can still use the tilt to activate Star Power in its stead.
Of course, these are minor details. Whichever method you choose for activating Star Power, as long as you can rock out, you’ll be fine.
The converter itself has three mode options — Game Pad (GP), Rock Band (RB), and Guitar Hero (GH) — each of which can be selected by moving the onboard switch left or right. What we found interesting was that what mattered most was what mode the converter was set on when first plugging it into the USB.
If it was set on RB and you were ready to fire up Guitar Hero III, for example, despite being able to move the switch to GH, your controller would still be recognized to be in RB mode (along with improper button mapping). If you unplugged the converter, moved the switch to GH, and then plugged it back in, -then- would your controller be recognized for Guitar Hero III as normal. Obviously, this can be a little inconvenient when switching between games. Just be sure to be set in the proper mode whenever plugging the converter into the USB.
Another interesting thing we found was that the LED player indicator would only light up when in GH mode.
For PS2 game on PS3 compatibility, there are some ups and downs. First and foremost, the RB and GH modes are not supported when playing a PS2 game on PS3. So we’re stuck working with GP mode. Trying Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Rock the 80s, the GH1 and GH2 controllers, unfortunately, were not recognized properly, making both games unplayable. Trying Guitar Hero 1, however, both GH1 and GH2 guitars worked perfectly, including no tilt delays or Select Button + Color Button problems.
For other games like Dance Dance Revolution series and Taiko Drum Master, our RedOctane Ignition Foam Pad and Taiko Drum controllers were unusable due to special button mapping. Both games, of course, are still playable through use of a regular Dual Shock 2 controller. Trying Beatmania, the Turntable controller worked perfectly in both 5 button and 7 button mode, and in either turntable left or right side configuration.
**Edit: Through further testing, we tried out the PS1 Official Konami Dance Mat for DDR as well as the PS2 Pump It Up Pad for Pump It Up Exceed. For DDR, Up-and-Down and Left-and-Right arrow combinations unfortunately could not be pressed at the same time. This problem is sure to kill most doubles and step sequences like Left-Right-Left-Right where you would have one foot resting on one arrow while your other foot steps on the other. For Pump It Up, the Pump It Up Pad did not seem to suffer from any problems, perhaps because its special diagonal arrows are mapped to the L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons instead.
Despite not being the ideal solution for other peripherals and the general nitpicks we have on it, for the purpose of being able to use your GH1 or GH2 controllers on Rock Band for PS3 or Guitar Hero III for PS3, The Ant Commandos’ Universal PS2 to PS3 Converter definitely comes through. We recommend it as an excellent choice for those seeking to breathe new life into their old guitars.
Where To Buy: