Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Joystick Review: MadCatz Tournament Edition Fight Stick

tl;dr: MadCatz TE Fight Stick is the easiest stick on the market to mod, and the most widely available joystick in all of north America.  The numbers don't lie though it plays 'arcade perfect' and is hands down the best value in arcade sticks, especially when it is on sale.

-All sanwa parts
-mimics the look and layout of the official SSFIV arcade cab
-the easiest stick on the market to modify and repair
-most customizable mass manufactured stick to date
-front mounted start buttons and xbox/psn button lock
-easily stores and travels thanks to cord storage and thin profile
-heavy to some, but this is a matter of preference

With the release of Street Fighter IV, Capcom realized that there were not enough Arcade Sticks on the market to meet the demand the game would create.  So when it was announced that Mad Catz had secured the deal to make the sticks, the community was appalled.  After this is the same MadCatz that had been delivering sub-par controllers and peripherals for the past ten years, no way they could make an arcade stick that would rival Hori.  Their previous attempt seen to the right was beyond unusable for fighting game purposes.  So much so that many of the controllers were bought for the soul purpose of being a PCB donor to custom and dual-modified sticks.

However things would be different this time, a mad catz employ by the name of Mark Julio (aka MarkMan) happened to be a die hard arcade enthusiast and had become a serious collector of home arcade-style controller got the call to be the head of the team designing the Street Fighter IV arcade sticks.  Not only was he an arcade enthusiast but he was also an administrator at TekkenZaibatsu and a frequent poster in Shoryuken.com's tech talk.  With his ear close to the ground he lead the design the mad catz TE and SE arcade sticks.  Both feature common ground pcbs and quick disconnects for easy customization and modification, and the Tournament Edition (TE) has a Vewlix inspired case and sanwa buttons which are standard on the Vewlix.

Taito Vewlix
Official Street Fighter IV Arcade Cabinet

Additionally the front mounted start/select/back buttons prevent pause from being activated during battle, and cord storage make this a very convenient stick to use.

The Mad Catz Fight Stick Tournament Edition

1. Accuracy: 9.5/10 the only gripe most players have about the stick is that it is not EXACTLY the Vewlix layout, but its honestly nothing 99% of players would notice.
2. Parts and Standard Equipment: 10/10 with a solid case and full sanwa parts, this stick is perfect right out of the box.
3.Convenience: 10/10 while it is heavy, it is not the heaviest stick on the market and its heft helps stabilize it during play.  With a full featured case this is one of the easiest sticks to store as well as to play.
4.Does it need modification?: 10/10 no
5.How easy is it to mod?: 10/10 it does not need modding, but if desired, customization is the easiest of any stick on the market.

Final Score : 99 A++


  1. that looks amazing tbh this might be my next i own

  2. awesome. i really need one of these

  3. Just hearing the company "madCatz" gets me angry, as during my childhood they put out such shoddy controllers. It's cool that they made something cool now!