Fighting fans usually prefer arcade sticks over standard controllers for various reasons, but you normally have to spend a buck and a half to get a decent one. The price range is usually never less than a hundred dollars and I’ve seen them as expensive as several hundred dollars. The WWE All Stars Collector’s Edition Brawl Stick claims to offer a premium arcade stick experience at an affordable price: sounds a bit too good to be true, right? Read on if you’ve been thinking about picking this beauty up, or are just in the market for a new stick.
You might not be able to tell by looking at it, but the stick is pretty heavy. It has the durability that you look for in good sticks and it doesn’t seem like it’ll break very easily. Those of you who own the Hori stick that came in the limited edition of Tekken 6 should know what I’m talking about; that thing feels like a child’s toy, despite the A+ art. The thick and bulky design of this one is comforting.
Speaking of art, the Brawl Stick features a blue and red scheme on a white background with WWE front men Triple H and The Rock. It’s laid out with eight buttons, as is standard for sticks.
Each wide button is some 30MM across and they are very sensitive. So much as resting your finger on them will trigger them. Despite this, they do feel very sturdy. They only descend a tiny amount when you press them, but I found this to be rather effective for long inputs. You’re a lot more certain that you’ve correctly pressed the buttons during long inputs thanks to this feature. In addition, they click pretty loudly when hit. Honestly, I found that the buttons and the joystick might be a tiny bit too close to each other, but it’s easy to get used to.
The joystick itself is a ball top. Rotating the stick will yield that irritating (or assuring) clicking sound and it is set in a diamond or sideways square gate. I personally prefer a circular gate, but this works just fine. The diagonals are clear and I could perform just about every technique with relative ease. ‘Z’ Motions come out flawlessly, as well as half and quarter circles and 360/720s. Another way I tested it was by using Viper in MVC3 to play with her 8-way dash. The experiment was a success. The joystick is adequate and this is one of the big reasons people buy these things.
Like its less-than-stellar cousin the All Stars Brawl Pad, the Brawl Stick is fully featured. This stick is wired and the cable is four meters long, so you should be able to sit as far from the console as you need to. In addition to being built strongly, the metal base helps it stay firmly seated on your lap, but a table is even better. An advanced turbo function allows you to program all eight of the action buttons. The control area features eight small lights that indicate whether or not you’ve programmed a specific button, and this is all pretty awesome.
A switch allows the joystick to function as either the left or right analog stick or the D-pad of a standard controller. There is also a controller lock button which prevents accidental presses of the menu or start buttons. Since the select and start buttons are actually not on the face of the stick but on the away facing side of it, you shouldn’t have problems accidentally pressing them.
Summarily, the WWE All Stars CE Brawl Stick does exactly what it claims to: offers a well built and fully functional arcade stick at a very competitive price. Solid foundation, buttons, joystick and feature list make this stick an absolute steal at $80. You just don’t come by this kind of value very often. If you’re interested in picking up a quality stick and not interested in breaking the bank, I highly recommend grabbing this one.
- Title: WWE ALL STARS Collector’s Edition Brawl Stick
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Creator: Mad Catz
- MSRP: $79.99
- Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
- Review Copy Info: Hardware was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the manufacturer for the purpose of this review.