Quest for the perfect arcade stick, Chapter 2: The Ugly Duckling of Joysticks
At this point, I would like to introduce the X-Arcade. A few years back, I ordered the two-player version of this stick (pictured below).
Shoryuken.com forums if you bring it up there. The more seasoned fighter vets hate the thing due to its use of sub-par, IMITATION Happ parts, and the fact that the multi-console adapters for it are unreliable at best.
Of course, ignorance was bliss for me when I first bought it. And to any CASUAL gamer friends of mine who used it, the X-arcade was the bees knees. I dismissed the wide criticism of the stick as inconsequential nerdy elitism, and did my best to enjoy it.
But I hit a wall once I got an Xbox 360. Unsurprisingly, the stick's parent company was not allowed to make a console adapter that would work on the 360. In hindsight, I realize that this was a blessing in disguise - because if there was a $20 adapter available, my CAGish instincts would have pushed me to just buy that, tolerate its inadequacies, and continue to tune out the critics.
So with no way to use my beloved X-arcade on the 360, I simply did without. Over the next two years, I begrudgingly got accustomed to using a pad for UMK3 (shudder). But the impending releases of Street Fighter II HD Remix and Street Fighter IV made me unable to ignore the issue any longer! I NEEDED a stick, pronto.
This led to the dilemma I addressed in my previous blog - my only option, it turned out, was to get a CUSTOM stick!
A friendly CAG pointed out that Arcade In A Box makes UMK3 sticks for Xbox 360. This was actually one of the first custom options that I investigated. Impressively, you can actually order a stick with a perfect UMK3 layout:
The problem was that, as much as I loved UMK3, I didn't want to invest in a stick that ONLY worked for that game. I needed a button layout that worked with ALL my favorite fighting games. Something, well... something like this:
I did some more research, and it turns out that AIAB does offer a button layout in the X-arcade style - it's not listed on their site, but you can email them about it. Aha! So at that point, I was just about set to order two of those.
But then, a funny thing happened. I was having a party at my apartment, and I figured I'd throw together a little makeshift arcade setup. A PS2 running Street Fighter Collection, the X-arcade with its feeble-but-functional Playstation adapter, and a bed stand that was juuuuuuust the right width for the controller. It was a pretty ghetto rig, to be sure - but it ended up attracting a crowd! There were non-gamers playing Rock Band in the living room, which is no surprise - but there were random people playing Street Fighter in my apartment. THAT, right there, was an image that stuck with me.
As impractical as it is, there's something about a 2-player control panel, in particular, that catches people's attention and makes them think "I wanna play with that!" Now that I had witnessed an old-school arcade vibe spontaneously break out under my own roof, I realized just how attached I was to the whole "2-player stick" concept. My course of action was now clear!
Yes - the death, rebirth, and redemption of my X-arcade was at hand. Time to take that CASE and do something better with it! MarkMan, CAG fighting thread regular and joystick guru extraordinaire, referred me to an expert modder who would be up to the task. Real progress was about to begin!
NEXT: gathering the elements!
|Comments (Total Comments: 6)|
|gunm - 01-14-2009, 04:00 PM|
|GF_Eric - 01-14-2009, 04:14 PM|
|MSUHitman - 01-14-2009, 04:48 PM|
|BustaUppa - 01-14-2009, 05:07 PM|
|woodcan - 01-14-2009, 05:58 PM|
|BustaUppa - 01-15-2009, 10:45 AM|
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