Best Fighting Game Controller: MadCatz Arcade FightStick Vs.
Your stock game controller is no match for this arcade-true beast.
The popularity of "versus" fighting games has picked up over the years, with Capcom's multiple "Street Fighter" games, Namco's recently released "Tekken Tag Tournament 2" and the forthcoming "Dead Or Alive 5" from Tecmo. And with an ordinary controller you could fare pretty well in them. But if you're an avid fan, you need a peripheral that can turn you into a fighting master. While the $200 price is high, the MadCatz Street Fighter x Tekken Arcade FightStick Vs. is worth every dollar.
Why we like it
The controller is built with quality in mind. The first thing you'll notice is the base. While a bit hefty and thick, that has advantages. The base easily stores the fighting guides and the cable. It also sits comfortably in your lap and keeps the buttons within reach. And very important, the large surface provides space to manage complex functions with the joystick, such as a "fireball" motion: pulling the joystick down, then rolling down and forward and finally pushing forward.
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MadCatz called upon Japanese arcade manufacturer Sanwa Denshi to provide authentic parts. When you slam down on the 30-millimeter wide buttons to execute punch-and-kick maneuvers, you can feel the same "tap, tap" feedback that you would in an arcade unit, without losing any of the responsiveness. The joystick comes complete with a ball on top so you can grip it comfortably.
The performance of the stick is unparalleled, no matter what fighting game you're playing. We tested it on a number of titles, including "Tekken Tag Tournament 2," "Mortal Kombat" and "Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition." The joystick feels much more natural, using a full-hand grip instead of just your thumb with a standard controller's analog stick. Also, the buttons aren't nearly as mushy- feeling as those on a regular controller.
To top it off, MadCatz has imprinted the controller with an awesome piece of artwork from "Street Fighter x Tekken" — a pair of warriors in their best battle poses.
Keep in mind
This is a wired controller (on a 13-foot long cable), so you'll need to stick relatively close to your system. However, you really get the best performance this way, compared to using wireless signals that could result in delays from your responses. (MadCatz made this decision following previously released wireless controllers that didn't perform well enough.)
If you want to play with a friend, you can buy a secondary connector kit, for an additional $20, to get that side-by-side arcade feeling.
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If you love fighting games, you must own the "Street Fighter x Tekken" Arcade FightStick Vs. Not only is it one of the best custom-built controllers, but it's comfortable and responsive — making it the ideal controller to (virtually) beat someone senseless.
- Models available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
- 13-foot USB cable
- 16.4 in. (w) by 11.5 in. (d) by 6.2 in. (h)
- 8.5 pounds