Sexy stick action…
Gone are the days when your only options for a decent fight stick was to import or order a custom built stick from a guy working out of his garage. Now we have companies such as Mad Catz, Hori and numerous other upstarts providing you with gorgeous customisable alternatives to that homemade option. It most certainly is a good time to be a fighting game enthusiast.
The latest in Mad Catz’ long line of sticks comes in the form of the Street Fighter x Tekken Arcade Fightstick V.S. Edition, and this beast manages to impress straight out of the box. As you release this profound stick from its shackles the first thing you realise is the added weight that accompanies the product, already making it feel sturdier than the numerous TE editions available up until now. The V.S. Edition is also slightly longer when compared side by side, but comes in at around the same depth and width, making it slightly more stable on the lap, whilst retaining its portable nature. If there is any complaint to be thrown at the sticks build quality it would be the compartment at the rear of the unit that continues to put up a fight when trying to house its USB cable.
As you would expect, Mad Catz latest stick comes with all the bells and whistles associated with their previous offerings. The stock Sanwa JLF square gate and buttons more than serve their purpose (sexual is the word), but for those looking for a slightly different flavour, modding the stick is as easy as it has always been. With its easy plug and play nature even if your not good with tech, you should have no trouble getting the stick where you want it to be. Little extra touches like being able to remove the feet of the unit without opening it up are welcome additions, meaning you no longer need to void your warranty if you like mounting your sticks to a sturdy surface.
The V.S Edition has one more trick up its sleeve in the form of “stick-linking”, which is probably a dream come true for budding enthusiast wishing to craft their own arcade cabinet. Dimensions are set up to mirror a Japanese Viewlix arcade cabinet down to the last milometer. There isn’t a constraint for the feature, so you could connect a line of 20 stock if you are crazy and rich enough to do so. However, to get this feature out of the V.S Edition you will need to purchase the additional connector kit from Mad Catz themselves, setting you back $19.99/£14.99.
Simply put, the Street Fighter x Tekken Arcade Fightstick V.S. Edition is absolutely amazing. It feels great, looks great, has customisation options seeping out of its cracks and is built like a truck. Many have tried to topple the beast that is the Hori Real Arcade Pro 3 Ex Premium VLX (stick manufacturers really do love their long names), and whilst the V.S. Edition doesn’t quite manage it, it’s the closest any manufacturer has come to matching it so far.
Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade Fightstick V.S Edition is available to purchase now (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), costing $199.99/£159.99