Upon installing the software, a system tray utility allows you quick access to the configuration of your controller. As you would expect, you can manage everything from one tabbed screen. You can assign keystrokes to buttons for games that don't support joypads natively, allowing keyboard or mouse emulation. You can save individual button layouts as profiles, allowing you to load one before heading into a game. You can calibrate the two analogue sticks, and even tinker with the amount of force feedback you get from the controller.
However, most people just want to pick up a game and play, so that's exactly what we did. We loaded up Need For Speed: Underground 2. We didn't change anything in the configuration screen, we just headed straight in to race.
The gamepad behaved exactly as you'd expect, with left analogue stick assigned to steering and the face buttons assigned to accelerate, brake, handbrake and view change. Score 1 for ease of use!
In use, the gamepad is comfortable to hold, with a vulcanised rubber grip. It may be a little big for some tastes; it's certainly more Xbox-sized than PS2-sized. The analogue sticks felt a little light for my liking - there wasn't too much resistance in the movement, making it a little prone to oversteer in NFSU2.
However, overall, the pad operated flawlessly, on a technical level, and such ergonomic gripes will vary from person to person. Whilst Logitech and Microsoft may have a monopoly on gaming peripherals, on this form, XFX can hang with the big boys, and they can charge significantly less too. Unless you really have to have wireless, there's little point in having it just to sit at your desk. On that basis, at just a tenner, the XFX corded pad is an absolute steal, representing a comfortable and technically excellent product at a top-notch price.