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Hands-on with the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Tournament Edition FightStick from Mad Catz

Submitted by on Monday, 21 March 2011No Comment

Third party peripherals generally fall into one of two categories; they’re either cheap renditions that pale in comparison to their first party counterparts or high quality pieces that may cost a bit more but are worth every penny. The Mad Catz Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds – Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition happens to be one of the latter.

Mad Catz has a successful line of premium fight sticks (among other products) that cover any fighting game fan. Play Street Fighter IV? There’s a stick for that. The same can be said for Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Super Street Fighter IV. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the latest edition available, and if you’re familiar with any past products from Mad Catz then you know the great quality you’ll be receiving.

Made specifically for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Tournament Edition FightStick uses high quality Sanwa buttons and ball-handed joystick. These are the exact parts you’ll find in Japanese arcade cabinets and are laid out in the same familiar 8-button configuration. The Start and Select buttons are located on the side of the stick so as to prevent any accidental pauses during play. If you’re a fan of taunting, you’ll be doing it a lot less playing with a fightstick because you won’t want to take your hands off the buttons for that long.

The frame is made of a heavy duty plastic that features a solid black finish. There’s weight to the fightstick and never does it feel cheap or poorly assembled. On top you’re greeted by 16 of the famous Marvel and Capcom characters you’ll be playing as. Not everyone is featured so don’t be disappointed if your favorite character isn’t there. If you’re reading this Mad Catz, a Zero-themed faceplate would be much appreciated. Thanks.

That being said, players can customize faceplates or switch out parts with others if they so choose. Doing so requires you to unscrew the metal plate located on the bottom and fiddling with the insides. It can be a little daunting for beginners but luckily there are plenty of tutorials online that are more than capable of walking you through the steps.

The fightstick connects to your system of choice by way of a 13ft. USB cable so you don’t have to worry about sitting too close to your TV. It can be conveniently stored in a side compartment when the controller is not in use. Unfortunately, the space is a little bit too small and proves to be a tight fit for the cable. It’s a minor design issue in an otherwise flawless piece of equipment.

So it’s obvious that the controller looks great and is made from some high quality materials. The main question though is, how well does it play?

I can safely say that once you play any fighting game with a fightstick, you won’t want to go back to a regular controller. Gameplay feels more natural and responsive. Part of that is thanks to the 30mm response time but most of it is due to the ease of use. You try pulling off a Mission 10 combo with a Dualshock 3. It’s no easy task. Granted the MvC3 Tournament Edition Fightstick won’t make you an expert overnight either. It’s going to take some adjusting to.

The trigger buttons are located on the far outside of the controller so pulling off team assists/switches and hyper combos are a little more difficult at first as you have to get your hand placement just right. You can always configure the controls to fit whatever your liking may be so it’s an easily solvable problem. I did find that after repeated use, grime can build up on the buttons so you’re going to want to give them a good wipe down every once in a while.

The Tournament Edition Fightstick also features a control panel where multi-speed turbo functionality can be mapped to any of the action buttons. This is where you can also change the joystick functions; from the left or right analog stick to the D-Pad. All these settings can be locked in place as well so there’s no need to worry about accidentally adjusting them by mistake.

The Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds – Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition is more than just another controller. At a hefty pricetag of $159.99 it’s an investment. Casual players will get by fine with just a regular controller but if you want to take your game to the next level or tournament play, you’ll most likely want to get a fightstick and there isn’t a better one on the market than the ones made by Mad Catz.

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