Mad Catz Street Fighter X Tekken Tournament Edition Fightstick Pro Review (Xbox 360)
Posted by Jim Cook, Sep 22, 2011 09:01
Another significant change is that the control panel has been moved from the upper left corner and is now in the upper right. It otherwise handles all the same functions it has on other TE sticks, allowing you to set turbo fire on a per button basis (perhaps useless in most tournaments, but fun when playing other games), toggle whether the joystick is acting as the directional pad or either analog stick, use the guide button, and toggle a lock switch. This lock switch keeps the improvements first featured in the ’S’ type, and when in use it causes the stick to ignore any attempts to press the Guide, Turbo, Start, and Back buttons. While the inclusion of turbo settings was clearly for casual fun, the lock switch is a tournament feature that helps prevent unintentional pauses; many tournaments issue penalties to a player that accidentally halts the match. It’s a smart feature to include, and using the improved version from the ’S’ is a very good choice.
Sloped surfaces, moving the control panel, and reducing the weight are nice... but how does the Pro hold up in play? Thankfully, it does very well. While this version bears some nice Street Fighter X Tekken art, it’s hard to test the stick on a game that hasn’t been released yet. Thankfully, it works fine with most other fighting games and can keep up with anything the player is capable of and I put it through several tests. Rapid parrying in Third Strike worked fine, as did triangle jumps and Amaterasu’s weapon-change combos (requiring quick uses of the "down, down, attack" input between hits) in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Lengthy combos, multiple button presses for doing EX moves in later Street Fighter games, general movement and blocking, and other important actions also handled exactly as I’d hope. Most special attack motions I tried were also fine, including standing 360 grabs, 720 grabs buffered off very short opportunities, charge motions, and of course the usual quarter-circles and uppercut motions worked too. The Pro will hold up its end of the deal with precise controls, so it’s up to you to win with your skill and knowledge.
Those who enjoy ’modding’ sticks should note that the Pro is assembled a little differently than previous TE designs. While the bottom panel still uses a series of screws, the top consists of a ’frame’ piece with the art panel placed in the center (rather than above as in previous versions). The art panel seems to be glued on since there are no visible screws or bolts, and it is significantly smaller, so this is worth keeping in mind if you plan to do any custom work to a Pro stick. I can’t speak to the layout and wiring inside, as I’m hesitant to void the warranty by opening up a stick that works just fine as-is. Nonetheless, anyone intending to do mod jobs on a Pro will need to do a little research because there are enough differences that you can’t just use the exact same methods that you would for other TE models.
In the end, all of this comes down to a single question: Do you need a Tournament Edition Pro stick? It’s a good question to ask, because its $160 USD cost is about half as much as the game system you would be using it on! If you already own a TE stick or some equivalent product, then no, you don’t specifically need this; the Pro’s improvements are too incremental to justify paying full price again. On the other hand, if you’re in the market for your first top grade stick or are looking to get a second one (perhaps for guests to use?) then this is a great choice. The reduced weight also makes it a fine ’travel’ stick, well suited to taking with you to various events. Regardless of what you need it for, the Tournament Edition Fightstick Pro is definitely worth the money!
Where To Buy: The Street Fighter X Tekken version is a limited edition product, available at Mad Catz’ Online Store.
Rating: 4.5, votes: 2