Arcade stick roundup
Today is September 9th 2009. The first day of college again. Yay. But enough of that boring stuff, onto my first post!
Ah…the arcade. Nowadays, hardly anyone frequents them anymore, what with the quick and easy console market. As a result, many of my [and chances are, your] favorite childhood places to visit have vanished over the years. To try to recapture some of that arcade magic, companies have released many home console arcade sticks over the years that emulate the arcade experience with varing degrees of success.
This is to show off several of the sticks I own and have collected over the years. This isn’t all of them, but this is all the ones I have that are NOT in peices.
Famicom HJ-7 Arcade Stick (Famicom/AV Famicom/Twin)/FDS)
The oldest stick by far is the Famicom arcade stick. I don’t even know what to call it. Interestingly, it was made by famed Arcade marker Hori and carries a copyright date of 1984. It has as you can see, yellowed in the same way most Famicoms have over the years. This stick is small and with its oversized joystick yet undersized and oddly shaped buttons, it was probably made for young children rather than adult players. The very small Start and Select buttons don’t help against this theory either. The stick features a 4-way/8-way switch (that seems to be broken on mine) and a Player 1 or 2 slider. There are no extra buttons, no turbo. This being a Famicom controller of course means it has a DB-15 plug so this is not NES compatible as is. Even if it was though, the next controller totally blows it out of the water. Price paid: $10 Est. Value: $25 Overall: 6
NES Advantage (NES)
The NES Advantage was released in 1987 and quickly became a hot item. It is made of sturdy thick plastic with a metal plate bottom for extra weight. It features an excellent custom joystick oversized angled A and B buttons and smaller Start and Select buttons. But what really set this controller apart from others of its day was its turbo feature. Not only could you toggle turbo on for each button, you could also select on a dile just how many times a second the button would be resister as being pressed! The Slow-mo button is actually just a rapid fire Start button, but for games that allowed you to quickly pause it really did feel like playing in slow motion. Price paid: $20 Est. value: $25 Overall: 8
ASCII NES Joystick (NES)
This is a odd stick I bought for $5 as it reminds me of the sticks from my childhood computer, the Commodore 64. Outside of slower paced shooters, I wouldn’t recommend this stick for anything. Novelty only. It doesnt even have start and select buttons! Price paid: $5 Est. value: $5 Overall: 5
ASCII Fighting Stick (SNES)
This arcade stick released around 1993 is similar to the SNES Advantage but much smaller and much less useless space. There are turbo switches for each of the face buttons and the Start button. It’s decent. Price paid: $$15 Est. value: $20 Overall: 8
ASCII Fighting Stick (Genesis)
The Genesis version of the stick above, it is exactly the same. Great for the many shooters on the Genesis and Sega CD. Price paid: $20 [new in box!] Est. value: $30 [new] Overall: 8
GameStar Xbox Arcade Stick (Xbox 1)
This is another used game store find. It was dirty and cheap, and complete, but honestly its a step backwards from the ASCII 16-bit sticks I own. The joystick on this thing is loud and unresponsive and the buttons are extremely mushy. I don’t recommend you buy this stick. Price paid: $7Est. value: $15 Overall: 6
Naki-Tec Mini Stick (PS2)
Ugh. What a piece of shit. I have TWO of these but thankfully I didn’t pay for them; they were a free gift when I bought two controller adapters. Even free these controllers are a rip-off. They are made of poor quality buttons and the stick is awful. DO NOT buy. Price paid: $0 Est. value: $-20 Overall: 0
Hori EX2 (Xbox 360/Windows XP)
This stick is an official Hori product, so you know you’re getting quality. Unfortunately, Hori uses their own parts in this stick so while good, they aren’t the god-like Sanwa parts. Luckily, this controller can be modified with sanwa parts to increase the performance to a professional level for around $50 in parts and tools. I’ll be trying this sometime this month. Wish me luck! Price paid: $40 Est. value: $60 Overall: 7 (as is)
Hori Real Arcade Pro 2 (PS2)
And here it is: the best stick I own. This beast uses real sanwa buttons and a sanwa JLF stick. It has turbo switches for each button making Gradius V and other PS2 and PS1 shooters a snap. The controller is very very large and extremely well built. Words can’t express how good this stick is. You want it. you want it now. So….go buy one! Price paid: $150 Est. value: $150 Overall: 10
PS2 to Xbox and Gamecube adapter
If you get a RAP2 and have a Gamecube or Xbox, you’ll want to pick up one of these little gems so you can use the awesome PS2 stick on your other consoles. This handy adapter is plug-and-play and is a great alternative to the Gamecube’s semi-crappy controller design for its fighters. Price paid: $10 Est. value: $10 Overall: 9
I also have a youtube video detailing the same. Sorry for the shitty audio.