During my childhood, I spent my week’s pocket money down my local arcade every week because of the games’ high quality and superb controls, and with their beautifully decorated cabinets.
However it turned out to be quite an expensive gig in the long term, leaving me wishing I could take an arcade machine home to play whenever I wanted.
Fast forward to today and my wish has finally come true and I didn’t even have to win the lottery thanks to the creation of the Arcade fight stick, but I’m not talking about the older ones,
Mad Catz has released the very first fight stick to be released on the Wii-U to complement the release of one of the best launch titles and fighting games ever created Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii-U Edition.
The premise of this fight stick is exactly like the kind of control scheme you would find at your local arcade.
You have a joystick and 8 face buttons next to it with two on the top of the main unit which are the Wii-U’s + and – buttons featured on the standard controller.
Also positioned at the top left corner of the stick, you will find a small panel containing a rapid fire toggle button, the Wii-U’s home button and two flick switches to toggle different button layouts.
Also beside the + and – buttons is a flip lid compartment that houses the lead and connection that connects into a standard Wii remote via the nunchuck port.
The buttons and stick are nicely placed and succeeds in giving you the arcade style feel.
The buttons are large and coloured in two different colours to help identify which button you are pressing at a glance.
The disappointing thing about the design of the fight stick was that when a Wii remote is connected, you have to leave it dangling or if you are on a flat surface, laid above the main unit.
It would have been nice to have the lead compartment big enough to place the Wii remote inside.
The fight stick looks superb with the interchangeable face plate design being a smashed pane of glass which appears as though the stick has punched through it and a subtle picture of the Tekken Tag 2 logo on the bottom right.
I can’t wait to see what other designs are going to be on offer in the future. The whole of the top of the fight stick looks as though it has been ripped straight from an arcade cabinet, beaming with authenticity,
I love the Tekken games and playing with the controller and gamepad is extremely comfortable but let me tell you now, the fight stick is not easy to use if you’re a casual gamer.
The stick is meant to be nudged around frantically but efficiently to knock out those huge combos along with the buttons but if you’re not an expert then you will soon find yourself mashing the buttons with an open palm and wiggling the stick in the hope you will unleash a 10 hit combo, this is NOT how you play Tekken or any fighting game for that matter.
The main question is, is the Wii-U’s first fight stick worth its hefty price tag?
Well... no not really. Yes it brings the arcade experience to your front room (or bedroom) but the difficulty in using it to its full capacity and the lack of a place to put your Wii remote once its connected makes it really hard to fork out for this thing but it does look rather ravishing.
The Wii-U’s first real game enhancing peripheral is here in the form of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Whilst it may look nice, the Wii-U arcade fight stick is authentic to the core and is just as difficult to master as it is in your local arcade. However none of this justifies its £139.99 RRP. If you’re a hard-core fan of arcade style gaming then I would recommend this thing to you however casual gamers stay clear, at least until we see a price drop. The Wii-U arcade fight stick is a nice introduction to give us a nice break from the Wii-U’s gamepad and pro controller.
Wii-U arcade fight stick
Manufacturer: Mad Catz
Authentic Japanese-style Sanwa Denshi™ joystick & buttons
Premium-quality components with genuine arcade layout
8-button layout with additional multi-speed Turbo functionality
Usability – 3/5
Comfort – 3/5
Value for money – 2/5
Overall – 3/5