Friday, September 24, 2010

Joystick Review Series

I am going to start reviewing different brands and models of Arcade style Joysticks. In addition i will provide some insights into the culture of Arcade sticks and how they've impacted the fighting game scene.

MadCatz Fight Stick TE GOLD
only available at EVO World Championship

I've used MANY different types of stick over the years and can give a great recomendations based on needs and money.  I'll rate the sticks out of the following categories:
1. How acurate is the stick compared to the arcade cabinet?
2. What sort of parts is the stick fitted with?
3. How portable, comfortable and convenient is the stick to use.
4.  Can the stick be used without modifying?
5. How easy is it to mod the stick?

The Original Hori Real Arcade Pro (HRAP)
One of the first 'Arcade Perfect' joystick to enter the mass martker

For example, the original Hori Real Arcade Pro was one of the first Arcade-Accurate sticks on the market.  It came stock with the highly regarded Sanwa JLF which is the standard arcade stick used in Japanese arcade cabinets, and while it came with cheaper chinese hori buttons, the buttons were wired with quick disconnect terminals which allowed for an easy swap to popular buttons from either Sanwa or Seimetsu.  Its a little heavy after carrying it around all day at a tournament, but fits perfectly in the lap and very accurately represents the arcade feel. The only awkward things about it are face-positioned start and select buttons, which make mashing tricky if you're not careful and its lack of cable storing, though this has only become a feature on sticks in the last two years, so it is very understandable.

Accuracy: 7.5/10 the button layout is not ideal, and lack of sanwa buttons is the sticks overall low point. Make no mistake though, the stick is ready for almost any level of arcade action.

Part and build quality:  8/10 again the lack of sanwa buttons hurts, but cannot stop an all around well designed stick.

Ease of use: 9/10 the only things affecting this score are the face positioned start and select and lack of wire storage, but both are very easy quips to get over.  An overall great feeling stick.

How Modifiable? 9 /10 while its difficult to get in the case, once you're in, the use of quick disconnect terminals and a common-ground PCB make this a very easy and rewarding stick to modify.

Does it need modification? 10/10 no it does not.

Total Grade: 87/B+

While its not perfect, it was the first of its kind and its innovative spirit has come to define the future of the arcade-parts industry


  1. Good info, iv been looking for a good joystick might have to pick this one up.

  2. Two player sticks are much more worth it if you're lookin for that authentic arcade feel.. Just sayin

  3. Awesome review on the sticks. I got the normal SSF4 one.


    they no longer make this stick, but you can find the modern version the Real Arcade Pro 3 for PS3 or Real Arcade Pro EX for Xbox

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  6. wow great info, consider yourself followed.

  7. Some cool looking accessories, very retro.