Well, I always loved the thought of playing on the arcades as a kid, but there just weren’t any arcades around (have only been to two in my entire life, sadly). As such, I wound up growing up on regular gaming pads.
Now, I consider myself a pretty hardcore gamer, but obviously we all have to be mindful about money these days (curse you, economy!). So, you can imagine my hesitating to drop money on a FightStick.
I mean, I’d say I’m kind of leaning towards getting one, simply because it seems like the way Fighters are meant to be played. And since I’m the only person I know who loved Fighting games, I imagine I’ll be spending a lot of time playing online, which is far more competitive than couch matches.
So, what would your advice be? Stick with the traditional controller layout (actually getting a Razer Onza on release, since my current controller got rage-broke’d by a friend), or spring for a FightStick? And if so, go budget or Tournement Edition? What kind of quality could I expect?
Well I don’t really know about quality but I have a MadCatz SE and I must have spent like 3-4 months on it hardcore use and it hasn’t failed me. However, Stick over pad? I’d say go for it any day. I don’t know what it is but with a stick I was instantly able to pull off shit I couldn’t dream of doing on the pad, the pad just has buttons weirdly set out. An arcade stick will really improve your game, and although you’ll be a noob the first couple of weeks you start trying to use it, it’s definitely worth it and you’ll not look back I assure you. Go for the stick, as for what stick to get, I have no idea
What I usually say is that you should try out a fightstick first - any friends would be useful here. Then you can kinda say to yourself “yeah i’ll try to learn this” or “no way i’m going to use this ever”.
Then you will train, at least a month - to relearn everything on stick. It is at this point people go “yay” or “nay”.
Very difficult to tell you whether a stick will be your cup of tea. The only way is to try it. Some people are better on stick, some people are better on pad (Vangief [Gief], Shizza [Chun], Wolfkrone [Viper] come to mind - e.g. character choice is irrelevant!)
In terms of what to get, I would probably say go with a TE - it’s great / no modding required to use; and if you somehow hate it, the resell value is still relatively high - you may lose a few dollars/pounds/euros/what have you, but they’re still quite in demand.
As opposed to an SE - low resale value; modding it and such isn’t worth it - at the prices TE’s are going for now.
I’d definitely say try one a friend has before you spend ~$100 on a TE or HRAP V3. If you don’t like it at first, give it some time before you decide to ditch it. The first time I used a stick outside of an arcade (which was a very rare occurrence) was up at PAX, against Justin Wong, he was doing a promo thing. I think we were using MadCatz 360 SE’s on a PC for Vanilla. Obviously I got trashed by him (him Sagat, me Viper), but I definitely felt like my execution was trash on the thing. Afterward I thought about it, it’s because I’m so used to US cabs having octo gates that I just instinctively rode the gate, which was square, thus my button inputs were too early (Not that that would’ve given me a chance to win against Wong :P). Next time I picked up a stick (over a year later) I’m already that much more comfortable with it and now I love it. I wish I had money to get a HRAP V3 (I like the look more than the TE). Point being that unless you love it instantly, give it some time before you decide to stick to pad or move on to stick, and think about what was holding you back.
Since you say your friends don’t really play fighting games, you may want to check out the regional section of the forum to see if you can find some people who are local (or close enough) to play with them and see if you can try out one of their sticks. Most people are pretty cool with letting others try out their stick, so long as you don’t brutalize the thing. Always respect people’s stuff. I think a SE would probably be fine too if you really wanted to go that route, they aren’t the greatest (so I’ve heard), but you can always upgrade it later easily. You can pay $40-50 for a SE, then buy new buttons ($2-3 a pop) to swap in, then ~$30 for the stick to put in. It may come out to be close to the cost of a TE (though almost always cheaper unless you get a good deal on a TE), but you can spread the cost out easier that way so it isn’t as taxing on your wallet. SE’s are pretty much designed to be modded later.
your not going to like playing on stick at first I can tell you that, especially if your used to playing fighters on pad. When I got my TE I used it for about a month, went back to pad for a little, and then back to the stick and now I will NEVER go back to playing on a pad. It just takes some getting used to, but once you do I can ALMOST guarantee you will like it much more.
Most people dislike stick at first because they don’t put the time into it and can’t execute as well as they can on pad. It’s a lot different and it’s not NECESSARILY better, but I think a vast majority of competitive players feel far more comfortable on a stick than a pad. Stick has several advantages over a pad, while a pad only has a few advantages over a stick. I’d recommend trying a stick out for a little bit before you make your decision.
It really depends from person to person. Learning stick will set your execution back, because you now have to re-teach muscle memory. Alot of players didn’t make the jump from pad to stick (Wolfkrone, Vangief, just to name a few) and you can still be successful. You may even have to adopt a new playstyle even. Stick and pad players see and adopt to things much differently.
For SF4 at least, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to make the jump, because my execution is still crap, and I was away from the controller long enough for my execution to drop there as well. Is it worth it? Yes and no. Are you committed enough to learn how to use the stick?
It helps alot more if there’s someone with you that’s either transitioned fully to stick, or just starting out. Reason being is that you can share your experiences together. It helps more if you have a buddy that is just as willing to learn stick too, because you now have a measuring gauge per-se.
In all honesty, either one that you choose will take time to adjust. For example, before I bought my TE, I had a ps3 and played MvC2 on pad and in my opinion I was decent. I later along the line bought SSF4, and played pad with it… It also depends what character you like to use and main… I started playing Makoto, and she didn’t require great execution… but when you learn how to do feints and such it helps. Also when people use characters like Dudley with countless 1-frame links it also helps that you can plink the buttons and make it in a sense 2 frames instead of 1. Some cancels would actually help work around that, such as super cancelling and using the negative edge technique. Another method that would really help is piano key linking (not plinking) into supers with the negative edge so your supers would come out in 6 chances instead of 1, or moves such as Chun’s lightning legs or Honda’s hands where you would use the method to get the move out on whim. Again it’s all on your preference because either one takes time to learn, but I would recommend if you could a stick because there are many many techniques that would help your execution so you can pull off either damaging combos a lot more frequently or even being creative with your own combos.
Hmm, well since nobody I knows has a Stick, I think I’m just gonna make the jump next time there’s a good deal on one (that, or one with a really nice design is released). Bummer that they’re backordered on the 20% off deal. I’m kicking myself now, that I didn’t order one when they were running a buy-one-get-one-free on Black Friday >_<
If anyone else happens to spot a good deal, be sure to let me know