Over the past couple of years, gamers have been witness to a rebirth of the fighting game genre. Thanks to the efforts of many companies, but perhaps most notably Capcom, the genre has quickly risen to the top once more. Titles such as (Super) Street Fighter IV, BlazBlue, Mortal Kombat, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are at the forefront of the industry as they were over a decade ago. In the fighting game world, there is one gleaming difference between the casual player and the seasoned veteran: the fight stick. A lot of gamers can hold their own using the standard console controllers but anyone looking to take their game to the next level needs to seriously consider getting a true arcade-style stick. Just take a look at the competitive scene; you won’t see a single player using a controller. All serious play is done using arcade controllers.
When it comes to picking an arcade stick for use at home, the market offers you a variety of options. Mad Catz in particular offers consumers a variety of options taking the step into the competitive fray regardless of their budget. Their latest release is aimed at the higher end of the market: the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Tournament Edition fight stick. The lower end offerings provide a nice alternative to the regular controller but if you are looking for a true arcade experience and quality, this is the level of fight stick that you need. What exactly sets the sticks apart other than price? well, I am glad that you asked...
The most noticeable difference in the MvC3 Tournament Edition FightStick over the lower end sticks is the quality of its build and the parts used in the design. This stick uses genuine Sanwa Denshi parts for both the pushbuttons and joystick; specifically it uses a ball-top joystick with 30MM standard buttons. In terms of layout, the stick utilizes the standard Vewlix cabinet configuration, which has become pretty standard for most 6-button fighting games. In comparison to the standard Mad Catz joystick (as shown in the pictures included in this article) all of the components feel a lot tighter (physically) and are much more responsive. These components are built to take a pounding and maintain their responsiveness after hours upon hours of usage. I have easily racked up well over 20 hours of play directly on this stick and it is still as responsive as it was when I first took it our of the box.
The entire controller case is incredibly solid in terms of its physical build. Weighing just over 9 pounds, the controller is made to stay secure when rested on a flat surface. You won’t have to worry about it slipping or sliding on the surface thanks to four rubber feet screwed into the bottom. The top surface is much larger than the standard edition controllers, making it a more comfortable place for players to rest their forearms during play. The striking black casing with red trim is topped off with a fantastic collage of the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 cast, giving nod to its pedigree. The whole package looks very slick and really stands out when placed next to other sticks; it looks like it means business and let me assure you, it does.
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