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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro
Mad Catz Arcade FightStick Pro
Arcade FightStick Pro Conclusion

Arcade FightStick Pro Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

As you might expect, the Mad Catz Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro works and functions very much like the standard Sony PS3 Dual Shock 3 gamepad. The buttons map out the same, but their ergonomic orientation on the base unit make them more usable, and the joystick gives you a distinct advantage in fighting games. Sanwa Denshi branded ball-handled joystick and 30mm action buttons recreate arcade cabinet authenticity, and are durable enough to outlast the most abusive gamers.

Of all the functionality this adds to the platform, it is the Turbo Module that I found most interesting. It's not an instant-win for all games, because Tekken, Mortal Kombat, and Virtua Fighter games rely more on timed attacks than button mashing. But in the Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom series, adding turbo to the light attack buttons works very well. The same goes other fighting games such as Fight Night or UFC, which offer jab/light attacks.

Mad-Catz-Street-Fighter-X-Tekken-FightStick-PRO-Top.jpg

Button placement, while matching a Vewlix arcade cabinet configuration, does compromise some functionality. I understand that to create an authentic 'Arcade' FightStick you must adhere to a traditional cabinet layout, but I've always been a fan of function over fashion. If there were to be follow-up to this product, I would recommend moving the Control Module from the upper-right corner to the upper-left, and position the 'Start' and 'Select' buttons in its place. Additionally, the eight 30mm action buttons should be arranged into natural finger-length positions, since the last column of buttons on the far right is presently located beyond the reach of most pinkie fingers.

While unsure of the XBOX360 version Arcade FightStick Pro, the PS3 version is compatible with PC, and works as a Plug-n-Play USB device on Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and 7, which all report the controller as "Madcatz FightStick TE". With some in-game button-mapping, you can effectively use the Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro with games on your personal computer... a dramatic improvement over the restrictive keyboard controls for some video games. Even though I have Street Fighter & Tekken combos such as: Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6, and Virtua Fighter 5 for the PS3, I still occasionally find myself playing old-school Virtua Fighter 2 on my computer, but for those willing to risk copyright prosecution nearly every old gaming console title can be played on PC with an emulator.

The Mad Catz Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro comes in two versions: Sony PlayStation3 (model SXT883810SA1/02/1) and Microsoft XBOX360 (model SXT473810MA1/02/1). As of late September 2011, both versions of the Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro sell directly from GameShark Store for $159.99. Use our Price Comparison Tool to locate other online merchants.

While functionality is the Mad Catz Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro's biggest selling point, the asking price is steep considering the price of competing gamepad solutions, so the Value rating takes a hit in our final score. If you're not very serious about winning the fight, go ahead and suffer a beat-down with your PS3 controller. I've played Tekken 6 online against veteran gamers, and assure you that winning requires every possible advantage. For the hardcore fight series gamer an arcade joystick is necessary equipment and the Sanwa Denshi joystick and button components joined to Turbo functionality could be considered well-worth the asking price.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award for Quality Recognition

+ Sanwa Denshi ball-handled joystick and 30mm action buttons
+ Turbo Module adds slow/fast rapid button assignment
+ Long 13-foot USB cord with storage compartment
+ Heavy 5-pound base unit and smooth contact surface
+ PC Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7
+ Authentic arcade-style joystick/button layout

Cons:

- Expensive perhiperal device
- Placement of 'Start' and 'Select' buttons

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.25
  • Value: 6.75

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Promilo 2011-10-16 13:25
this review's flawed for a few reasons...

olin says he has street fighter x tekken for the ps3 even though it hasn't been released yet, and is not scheduled to be until next year.

it's a licensed stick aimed at street fighter x tekken players so it is going to use the viewlix layout that the arcade units will use - this cannot be criticised as a flaw as the function is there for its intended purpose otherwise why not mention the lack of 2 analog stick type controls? if the buttons were to be rearranged this stick would be a heavily flawed "fightstick" and wouldn't deserve the licensing.

start and select buttons are positioned to make it difficult to accidentally pause the game which in a tournament situation could disqualify a player - strictly speaking use of turbo is also forbidden but its addition is for the casual fights.

a well informed gamer and windows user will know that xbox controllers will work on a windows machine (winxp will need seperate drivers, vista and 7 will work out of the box) so the xbox version of the stick will definitely do the same. this stick, the ps3 version, does not work on a pc because it's a ps3 stick but because the pcb inside it is pc compatible - an official ps3 controller cannot be made to work on a pc without some driver hacking.
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# RE: RE: Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick ProOlin Coles 2011-10-16 13:56
Milo: The reviewed product was the PS3 version of the controller, not the XBOX version. As a reviewer, I know better than to speak about products I'm not testing. It wouldn't be smart to assume the XBOX version works with PC, so I simply didn't discuss the matter. If it does, it does, but that's not my duty to discern in this review.

You go on about how it's a licensed product and I "cannot" criticize the layout or it wouldn't deserve the qualification, but I have clearly stated as much in my conclusion and added that "If there were to be follow-up to this product, I would recommend...". That means I'm making suggestions for consideration on their next product.

Finally, I said "Even though I have Street Fighter & Tekken combos such as: Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6, and Virtua Fighter 5 for the PS3...". However, I do have plans to buy Street Fighter X Tekken when it's available.

I hardly think these misinterpretation make my review of the product 'flawed'. Of course, you're welcome to write up your own full review.
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# good review but.Bryytown 2011-10-24 21:45
The start and select buttons is not a con (its superposed to be there so u don't accidentally press it, and is now a standard everyone knows which is which whos going to pay to buy a pro stick and they will learn in 20 mins.

Nor is the price for sanwa switches ect.

Im not saying there are no cons... just not the ones you picked.
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# RE: Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Proferalshad0w 2011-10-27 22:20
I bought the previous joysticks for the first streetfighter 4 game and were SERIOUSLY dissapointed in the clicky square-gate joysticks. They make it very hard to go perfectly down/up/left/right for difficult moves. Most serious players prefer 360 degree action circle gates for fighting games. I think I read on the first page that the joystick was three switch. Does that mean that its got left, right, and diagnal clickly switches? What shape is the gate (the whole that the joystick comes out of). Thanks. Great review otherwise.
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# RE: RE: Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick ProOlin Coles 2011-10-28 08:38
The gate is circular, and there are three switches.
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# mrdeen 2012-02-11 02:59
need arcade stick asap
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