I’m a huge fan of the fighting genre and can remember in the 90’s heading to my local laundromats and video stores to play on the arcade machines. Of course I was just a couple of feet tall then and was looking to spend every quarter I can find for the mere gratification of honing my skills better then anyone else. Although this addiction led me to purchase most fighters as soon as they were available on a physical format (imported versions of the Street Fighter vs series for the Sega Saturn is no exception), I never seem to be able to get that real arcade feeling though. This was especially troubling during the years where arcades weren’t the go to and fighting games would come straight to consoles.
Madcatz introduced their line of fight sticks back when Capcom released the return of the Street Fighter franchise, Street Fighter IV. Not only was the game a success, the fight sticks broke new ground for arcade type play in the household. This year is no exception as Madcatz has not only been continuing this trend but has put some new additions. We were sent one of their Street Fighter X Tekken Fight Stick Pro for the Xbox 360 and here are my thoughts.
Here are a list of features stated by Madcatz:
Authentic Japanese-style Joystick & Buttons
8-Button Layout with Additional Multi-Speed Turbo Functionality
Premium-Quality Components with Genuine Arcade Layout
Controller Lock/Unlock Switch
3-Way Joystick Switch
Heavy Metal Base
13ft Cable with Internal Cable Storage
Connects to the Console via Lag-free USB
Integrated Xbox LIVE Headset Port
The new fight stick pro is bigger then the previous entry level fight sticks. Weighing in at about 5 and a half pounds this fight stick more then looks the part, it feels the part too. It doesn’t feel to heavy yet very solid when on your lap or on a table. The design also has to get a nod as the art and overall look to it is great. The 3-Way joystick switch is a great feature to have. This allows you to switch from the left, right analogue stick or even the directional pad for use in other games. Side scrollers and other titles are examples of this. Madcatz are also one of the only companies to feature turbo controllers on their fight sticks. Valuable depending on it’s use but something good to have none the less.
The eight button layout with the start and select being at the back of the controller is the best decision for tournament play since pressing one of them can lead to automatic disqualification. This stick is USB wired which I prefer. I have a wireless stick myself and thought that the slight amount of precision made from this being wired is definitely better. The cord is long and also has a put away compartment when it is not in use. For those playing over Xbox Live will like the addition of the headset port which is standard nowadays. What’s also great is that it comes with an adapter incase you are using the generic headset. For anyone else using headsets or mixers will be able to plug and play directly into the stick.
We’ve found this fight stick to be one of the best we’ve ever used across the board. The joystick and button precision is top notch and the sticks weight should easily become the standard to start with. We’ve tested the game with Street Fighter X Tekken, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Mortal Kombat and Tekken 6. Mortal Kombat especially felt nice since most moves require quick left or right movement instead of circular motions. The ability to lock in settings to a certain fighting game with the stick is also great as you won’t need to go through every controller menu to change them.
Our only main gripe has to do with the joystick itself. While our results bested other fight sticks it wasn’t as 1 to 1 with 3D fighters like Tekken. Other sticks tuned for that have a broader joystick directional gate then this but is hardly noticeable for casual player. The stick will also set you back $169 for those counting their dollars.
Overall this is the best arcade stick I’ve played with at this price point. Sturdy yet solid design, button mapping, turbo controls and a cord put away compartment easily make this a go to stick for those looking out there. The arcades never felt better in a living room then here. Must buy for those looking to up their game on the new wave of fighters. Check out our unboxing video below.