|Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick Pro|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 22 September 2011|
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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.
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.
+ Sanwa Denshi ball-handled joystick and 30mm action buttons
- Expensive perhiperal device
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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