Published 12 August, 2013 | by Rashed Hashemi3
My Weapon Of Choice
After leaving my Playstation 2 with my brothers and requisitioning myself both a SNES/NES for my college and university years (drunken Mario Kart became a common occurrence in my apartment), I didn’t buy a console until 2009 when I finally decided to purchase an Xbox 360. At this time I was first introduced to the Madcatz Streetfighter Control Pad which allowed me to ease into the new fighting game era with the same proficiency I had from the days of playing 2D fighters on the older consoles. I never really played fighting games at the arcade as £1 per life for a fighting game never seemed worth it to me (I think that many big Arcade owners missed an opportunity there to decrease prices and increase volumes).
For my twenty-seventh birthday I received a present in the form of an arcade stick from my older brother. Was I surprised that I had received this gift? No. In fact I had requested it (he’s tired of figuring out what to buy me these days so he just asks). Recently I have become quite annoyed at the execution errors that were more likely to occur when using a D-pad (especially in today’s very combo heavy fighting FGC scene). Numerous charge attacks have been lost through the accidental added inputs from doing back to forward and down to up charge motions. Dragon punch motions which have only registered as a quarter circle motion in that particular direction resulting in the wrong moves occurring (the difference between hitting the opponent and leaving yourself completely open to an attack). As a predominantly Mahvel! player I can’t afford to drop combos as these typically lead to a beat down with extra salt added.
An extremely high percentage of players in the FGC use a high level arcade stick as their weapon of choice which are typically made from the same components as real Japanese arcade machines. Recent developments have even seen a new range of arcade sticks. You can now buy one made of silent parts (helps to avoid giving away your movements to your opponent), and also an arcade stick which is technically not a stick as the directions (up down left and right) are buttons also (almost like a keyboard layout). Add to this the variations in the designs of the base, they are catering to fans of all different types of fighting games and even the culture surrounding it, allowing the purchase of something that might be more individualised and representative of your personality.
I asked EVO 2012 UMVC3 runner up LXG| Infrit on his opinion in regards to the use of arcade sticks over control pads ‘’ I’m pretty biased. I feel sticks are more precise and give you more control over your characters. Plus the arcade feel is like nothing else. It might just be a preference but having played fighting games for years, most of us prefer arcade sticks. Feels more natural’’. I’ve decided to take his word on this (I’ve yet to receive bad advice form him) and will be pursuing and continuing on my quest to become an arcade stick user.
… I have now had two hours of arcade stick training, one of which I had for some strange reason decided to accept an invite into a Super Street Fighter 4 lobby with a particularly skilled individual on my friends list during which time I lost 7 matches in a row. I noticed in this time that whilst panicking to complete simple executions such as a fireball I would start mashing at the arcade stick awkwardly (like an actor in a film pretending to play a video game) and that my face would contort into what could only be described as the ‘herpiest of derps’. Added to my natural ability to gurn it’s not very attractive.
I have not been discouraged, and aim to be as good (if not better) with an arcade stick than I am now with my D-pad. I just hope that it don’t take too long… but I’ll be sure to update you all soon.