There are a lot of choices when it comes to playing fighting games at home. You could go with the full Arcade experience and buy your own Street Fighter cabinet, or maybe you just want the joystick portion.
Maybe though you’re more like me; too cheap even for the MadCatz fighting sticks. Though most of the Street Fighter community seems to consider sticks to be the only option, I only play for fun. So that’s why I went with the FightPad.
You might be surprised to find that the fightpad is wireless since MadCatz goes out of their way to hide the USB wireless dongle in the bottom of the packaging. It doesn’t even use bluetooth, opting instead for the el cheapo 2.4 Ghz RF technology. More importantly, it is still extremely responsive despite all that.
Playing with Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix and Street Fighter 4; I didn’t notice any lag. So, maybe they are right to hide the dongle, I wouldn’t have bought it if I had known. The battery solution for the pad is a standard battery AA housing on the back like the MS 360 gamepads. However, this gamepad doesn’t include contacts for the 360’s rechargeable battery pack. So you are on your own for that.
The directional pad and saturn-esque button layout is a tremendous upgrade from the Dual Shock 3. Just like the original fightpads you can still swap the dpad’s toggle to control either the left or right analog sticks if you’re trying to work with a game that doesn’t support one or the other. The turbo functionality works just like it should, tap the turbo button once and then the button you want to repeat; then tap that button again and it’ll repeat.
It probably wouldn’t be too surprising if I told you that the build quality isn’t great. I’m not even sure it suits the $40 price tag at most retailers. The buttons feel loose, and the noise they make while the pad is in motion isn’t reassuring. Though that probably doesn’t impact their accuracy, the quality is going to impact the controller’s lifespan. Moreover it makes it me wish for a “tournament edition” of the fightpad with higher-quality parts. I don’t like wasting space in landfills. You can tell already that this pad is going to end up broken and sent to one within a few months of dedicated playing.
This FightPad isn’t limited to fighting either, it also works really well with emulated games. Though the dpad shows up as a joystick hat, which is kind of strange. I tried out Sunset Riders with it, and can say that this is perhaps the ultimate way to play Sunset Riders.
Overall it is easy to recommend the pad to folks like me, casual players who are too cheap or don’t have the room for the larger arcade-style fighting sticks. Dedicated players will wear it out in time, but even they should enjoy it while it lasts. My understanding is that the 360 version is similar, but wired.