One of the nice features of the Renegade is that you can hook up a portable device like a DS, PSP, or MP3 player and listen to those sounds through the chair which is a nice bonus. This creates a nice self sufficient audio environment especially when coupled with the massage mode of the chair.
This is a nice feature but console games are where the Renegade really shines. To test the unit I played a bunch of Mass Effect, Rock Band, and Call of Duty 4 to see how well the unit performed. Mass Effect and Rock Band showed off what the unit could do but FPS games like Call of Duty 4 really show off what the unit could do. Mass Effect was a very solid experience as you get a nice mix of dialog and music from the speakers in the Renegade. There's not a lot of rumble but it's still a fun experience. Rock Band was also very strong but it's strictly a singing and strumming experience as the chair is too low to the ground to play the drums comfortably for a long period of time. While these games were great to play, they were nothing compared to playing Call of Duty 4 in the chair.
The folks at Ultimate Game Chair need to partner with Activision to sell the Renegade chair with a copy of Call of Duty 4. I'd call this pairing the "F**K Yeah" package as that was what I I said about ten times while playing the game in the chair. The immersion the chair provides really takes the game to the next level. Call of Duty 4 has a level where you man the guns of an AC-130 gunship and the Renegade brings takes that level to the next level as the audio and rumble in the chair almost make it feel like you're sitting in a plane orbiting a battlefield. I didn't get a chance to try Halo 3 but I can't imagine it not being an awesome experience. The rumble and the wrap around audio really take you that next step into the game.
I also tried Ratchet and Clank and a few other downloadable games on the PS3 but the experience really wasn't the same. This isn't the fault of the chair though as I was forced to use the pre-out rear from the receiver to get a signal to the chair (I don't have the component cables for the PS3). While it got some sound to the chair it lacked the oomph that I got from using the component cables from the Xbox 360. Again this isn't the fault of the chair but more an issue with my audio setup. That said I'm not sure you're really going to get a lot out of playing platformer type games with the chair other than the audio pumping in behind you.
If you're a single gamer with some spare cash, a penchant for action games, and plenty of space in your gaming room then you owe it to yourself to own one of these fabulous chairs. I will warn you that the chair will draw raised eye brows from non-gaming members of the opposite gender (until they enjoy the massage mode of the chair). I did have a female friend try out the chair's massage function and it was very well received, possibly too well as I was asked to leave the room and come back in about 10 minutes.
For everyone with a second level of approval you will need to stage the argument in the correct light. To do that you need to tell your significant other that you want to buy them a massage chair that has audio support built in. That way they can come home, put on their favorite tunes and massage away their troubles. They key to this is to omit the part about the games part of the chair. By setting it up as a win-win argument you can dramatically increase your odds of being allowed to buy the $299 chair.
$299 is a good chunk of change to spend on a gaming accessory. That's enough money to buy five new games or a Wii and a second set of controllers but for the gamer that has everything this is certainly a nice addition to the game room if you have the funds to buy one. It really adds a lot to the game playing experience and the massage functions of the chair are an added bonus. If you've got the scratch and a place to put it I highly recommend the Renegade Ultimate Gaming Chair with the caveat that those with long legs do a fit test before plunking down the plastic.
$300 is a bit of money to spend but if you've got the cash it's worth the purchase if you're a FPS, RPG, or action game fan.
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