I recently acquired an official Mad Catz’ Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. edition for Xbox 360. I’ve played the hell out of it, and now I’m here to bring you my final results.
Everyone remember Mad Catz, but not many remember them in a positive way. Most of us remember Mad Catz as that controller nobody wanted to use when your friends come over and play N64 and such. Mad Catz made the cheap-o budget controllers. I personally owned a Mad Catz N64 controller and absolutely hated it. The analog stick was off-center and finicky, and the buttons would stick constantly. It did have the feature to assign turbo functionality to a single button at a time, but it was not the most reliable feature at all.
Now, Mad Catz has redeemed themselves. They have successfully changed their outlook from the budget controller manufacturers that make the cheap-o third-party hardware to the hardware manufacturers that make the high-quality third-party treasures. How have they done this? In my opinion, it started with their fightsticks; The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. edition in particular, due to its wide range of features and perfect build.
The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. from Mad Catz
The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. edition feature eight top-notch quality Sanwa arcade convex buttons and a Sanwa high-quality ball-top arcade stick. They are all ultra-sensitive, ultra-responsive, and ultra-accurate. The build quality of the arcade stick is absolutely amazing. This thing is built like a tank.
One of the FightStick’s flagship features is the ability to connect to another Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. and play two-player like you would on an authentic arcade machine. However, in order to connect two of them, you’ll have to separately purchase a connector kit, which thankfully retails for £14.99 ($19.99). This seriously enhances your arcade-style gaming experience. Not only does it look cool, it feels authentic as well.
The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. connects to your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 system via a surprisingly long lag-free USB cable. This USB cable ensures ultra-responsive and sensitive gameplay and controls. It is boxed up in a small compartment on the back of the FightStick. Storing it in this compartment is very convenient and makes it very portable and storable. The Start and Back/Select buttons are also located on the back of the FightStick to make sure that the player does not accidentally pause the game mid-session. There’s also a separate part that you attach to the unit in order to connect a headset. I’m not sure how well it works, since I do not own a conventional headset, but it’s good to know that it’s there.
Home and Turbo controls (Left) and USB stowaway compartment (Right)
Another great feature of the Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. is that it has turbo functionality. However, most controllers can only assign turbo to a single button at a time. This FightStick allows you to assign turbo functionality to any or all 8 buttons in any combination you want. This can give you the edge in any battle. The turbo button is located on the top-left of the FightStick. The Xbox/PS Home button is also located there.
On the top-left of the FightStick, there are a few switches in addition to the turbo and home buttons. One of these switches allows you to have the ball-top arcade stick act as the d-pad, the left analog stick, or the right analog stick. This can be useful for players that want to customize their Street Fighter or Tekken experience. The other switch allows you to lock the buttons in the top-left corner of the FightStick (the Turbo and Home buttons). That way you don’t accidentally press them and mess up your experience mid-battle.
One more thing about the Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. is that you can open it up, and rewire and reprogram the buttons any way you want. You can even replace the original parts with your own custom parts (if you’re skilled enough). This is for the most hardcore of players, and you’ll likely see these things souped-up all over the place at EVO. If you have the time, money, and enthusiasm, then you could make this FightStick any way you want.
Dual connection between two FightSticks V.S. via the Connector Kit
The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. is also fully compatible with other Street Fighter and Tekken games. The FightStick is officially licensed by both Capcom and NamcoBandai. I’ve personally tested it on Super Street Fighter IV and it worked like a dream. This FightStick definitely increases your skill as a player on Street Fighter and Tekken games. I’ve found myself winning more matches and performing more advanced combos and specials as soon as I picked up the FightStick. I was performing combos that I didn’t even know existed in the game. This FightStick is the ultimate weapon in the fighting game genre.
Mad Catz has created the greatest piece of third-party hardware that I’ve ever used on a console. While it retails at £159.99 ($199.99), it’s really the best money a Capcom fighter or Namco fighter could buy right now. I’d recommend this product to just about anyone. The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. has changed the way I look at Mad Catz. I’m looking forward to seeing what Mad Catz comes up with next.