Game review: fightsticks


I love playing fighting games like TEKKEN X STREETFIGHTER, SKULL GIRLS and VITUA FIGHTER and all the rest.

However, I often find playing on-line I just get my bottom kicked by some dedicated 10 year old who has been playing since birth!

“How do you shorten the odds?” I thought, then in a flash of inspiration it came to me (not really, my son mentioned it actually) get a FIGHTSTICK!

Now to the uninitiated a FIGHTSTICK is a box containing a row of buttons and a knob.

Remember the old arcade versions of STREETFIGHTER etc, then a FIGHTSTICK is the control panel layout on one of those.

Tell you what folks, this is a must have accessory if you want to be a serious contender on-line.

I could not believe the difference it makes to the whole experience, plus you stand a bit more of a chance against some of these cocky little 10 year olds that keep opening a tin of “kick bottom” on you.

There is no greater feeling than mashing away on your buttons, kicking ten bells out of some opponent’s character.

I must admit my chances improved dramatically, and I actually won a couple of rounds against some tough opponents (which didn`t go down too well).

So I went on a quest to find the best FIGHTSTICKS, both similar in spec and price and here is what I found.

First off we have the SOUL CALIBUR V FIGHTSTICK from Japanese company HORI. Now this company always makes solid well-built accessories, and this item is no exception. It’s 16.9 inches long by 10.6 inches wide so it isn`t small, and weighing in at 6.4lbs it’s pretty solid.

The cable is a respectable 9.8ft long which is more than adequate, and this stores away nicely in a little compartment in the front.

There are endless button configurations available, so customising it to your own style is easy enough.

As the HORI FIGHTSTICK is fairly heavy it gives you more confidence to mash away on those buttons (great for kids) and it doesn`t move around.

Performance overall is excellent and being able to set the turbo button as well is very handy.

I used STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN in my testing and it worked beautifully with no lagging and was very responsive.

The build quality is so solid in the usual HORI way, and you can safely let your kids loose on this without fear of them breaking it.

There is, of course, a headset socket for those victory yells on-line, but be aware it doesn’t fit older versions of headset plugs. Mind you there are adaptors available so it’s all good.

A version without the SOUL CALIBUR image plastered all over it would have been nice, or at least the option to change the face plate.

THE SOUL CALIBUR V FIGHTSTICK is, of course, an officially licensed Microsoft® product so compatibility isn`t a problem and with a Playstation 3® version available, all you PS3 users don`t have to feel left out.

Prices range from £90 upwards so shop around which is good value.

Hori soul calibur V Fightstick

Manufacturer: Hori

Dimensions: L 16.9” W 10.6” H 4.7”

Weight: 6.4 lbs

Xbox 360®

Playstation 3®

Price: £90 upwards (depends on retailer)

Release date: February 2012

Next we have what is known in the business as the top notch FIGHTSTICK the STREETFIGHTER X TEKKEN-ARCADE FIGHTSTICK-PRO from MADCATZ.

This is used by 8 out of 10 pro gamers so it should be good!

And it is, of course. MADCATZ really know their stuff when it comes to gaming accessories and it shows in this item.

It is made from genuine arcade components supplied by legendary Japanese arcade manufacturer SANWA DENSHI so they aren`t messing about.

Approved by both CAPCOM and NAMCO the STREETFIGHTER X TEKKEN-ARCADE FIGHTSTICK-PRO, you just know it’s going to work beautifully with their games, and it certainly doesn`t disappoint.

I felt like a real pro as I bashed away on the solid buttons and yanked the stick, like a demented madman, as I kicked some unsuspecting opponent to oblivion on-line (sometimes).

The MADCATZ FIGHTSTICK has a number of nice features, including a controller lock to prevent accidental button presses, multi-speed programmable turbo functions a nice three-way switch to enable left or right analogue stick or even the D-Pad.

There is a very nice 13ft cable with a usb connection which is more than adequate.

The only pain is it is a bit of a challenge to store it in the small storage slot at the front.

As with the HORI, I used STREETFIGHTER X TEKKEN to test it and, of course, this being the official FIGHTSTICK for this game it performed brilliantly; very intuitive and because of the nice layout it soon became very comfortable to play.

With a headset connection (of course) this is a perfect complement to the game. The unit is fairly light but not flimsy, and is smaller than the HORI, but does feel comfortable on the lap and it does feel tough and indestructible so it is definitely kid safe.

Having used this particular item for a while now I can see why it is used by the pro gamers.

There has been plenty of thought put into it and MADCATZ have obviously listened to the Gaming community whilst developing this item.

As for the price, £125 upwards is out of the range of most casual gamers but you do get a great product for your money.

The legacy of the Tournament Edition continues with the brand new design of the FightStick PRO!

Authentic Japanese-style Sanwa Denshi™ joystick & buttons.

8-button layout with additional multi-speed Turbo functionality.

Premium-quality components with genuine arcade layout.

Controller lock/unlock switch prevents accidental button presses.

13ft (4m) USB cable with internal cable storage.

Connects to console via lag-free USB.

Storage compartment for efficient cable management.

3-way switch enables joystick to function as left or right analog stick or D-Pad.

Integrated headset port for use with Xbox LIVE®.

Officially licensed by Capcom & Namco Bandai.

Price: £125 upwards.


As this is not a comparison review I am not going to say which one is better out of the two, but the HORI is cheaper. The MADCTZ is more responsive, mind. Either way they are both great products and work well with most fighting games. If you do want to take it to the next level then either one of these will do the job perfectly.

By Dayvid Ryan