Alongside the release of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (TvC), Mad Catz releases a FightStick that looks to satisfy those hungry to play the fighter the way it was meant to be played. Wii remotes, Wii classic controllers, and Gamecube controllers are nice, but fighting games, especially a Capcom fighter, are unarguably best played with a joystick and buttons. It’s what fighting games started with, it’s what the pros prefer, and they just go together like peanut butter and jelly. So, how well does Mad Catz’ FightStick get the job done. Like I’ve shared before, the FightStick is great and I’ll explain why.
If you haven’t seen it before in the pictures or video, take a look. It has a nice artwork and the surface is a matte finish. Based on my preference, matte is awesome, but you may like glossy. Who cares about that. There’s the joystick and 8 face buttons. TvC uses about 5 buttons altogether, so although the FightStick is catered towards TvC, Mad Catz obviously had other games in mind. Even ZR and ZL are on the pad. How many games use ZR and ZL? But you know what? Thankfully it’s there, right on the pad, just as important as the other buttons, because one day I’m going to need them and be glad they’re there. The joystick is on a 4-way mechanism, which took me a while to get used to, but I guess this FightStick is truly for the hardcore players. It also has the ability to switch the joystick to either the D-pad, the left stick, or right stick. Again, signs of Mad Catz keeping other games in mind. Unfortunately, the games that use more than just one of those will be a real hassle (if not unplayable) to continuously switch back and forth. Other than that, the FightStick can pretty much work with all games as a classic remote substitute. Additional features include the option of turbo for every face button indicated by LED lights, and a locking switch in case the home, start and select buttons don’t want to be touched. Each work great without a hitch.
The stick is powered off of and connected through a Wii remote and hangs off the FightStick. You can place the Wii remote beside the FightStick or next to you if the FightStick is on your lap. I really don’t see how it hanging off can be a real issue, but who knows what crazy scenarios you can be in e.g. sitting in a room full of animals and the monkey is real grabby, and you can’t really play and hold on to the Wii remote at the same time, so the monkey keeps pulling the FightStick off of your lap. So I guess hanging off the Wii remote makes it semi-wireless since you can take it anywhere in the room and I know the concern is if there is any lag. I have not experienced any latency from it being wireless while playing games, so those worries can leave. The biggest downside I can find about the FightStick running from a Wii remote is no Gamecube support. Every game on the Wii that I can recall that uses the classic controller, can be substituted by a Gamecube remote. If the FightStick would have connected to the Wii through the Gamecube controller port, maybe even wireless like the Wavebird, it would have doubled the library of games playable with the stick (Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO and Ikaruga anyone?). This may be too much to ask, but then again the FightStick isn’t cheap.
Overall, I really find no real problems with the FightStick. Of course, there could have been things that can make it better, but those are some wants that the FightStick really doesn’t need. It works great, it’s fun to use, and it gets the job done. And that’s all we can ask for right? The price is a bit much for something not overly spectacular, so check it out if you have the wallet for it. I give it a 4/5.
Product: Wii Tatsunoko vs. Capcom FightStick
Manufacturer: Mad Catz Interactive, INC.
Review Info: This FightStick was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the manufacturer for reviewing purposes.