Pick Up Post: Jam TE

My birthday just passed yesterday. While I’m past the point of gift-hording from everyone I know, my girlfriend was wonderful enough to spoil me on my special day. I got a few CDs, a 13-month subscription to XBOX Live and the piece of awesome picture above that you can read about if you hit the link.

I’ve had my eyes on a MadCatz TE Fightstick for over a year now. Ever since I seriously got into Street Fighter IV, I’ve been thinking about investing in a joystick for a long time. My skills have plateaued on a regular controller because there are certain button combos that I can’t do consistently or I can’t do at all on a regular controller. Most recently, I sprained my index finger playing Super Street Fighter IV, because I was mashing the bumper buttons to throw and tech grabs.

With the release of Super, I felt that now was the time. However, I started out with a Hori EX 2, and that did not go well at all.

My girlfriend had to jump through a ton of hoops to get me this joystick on time for my birthday, as they are in extremely limited supply in this entire region of the world. I didn’t make matters any easier, by constantly flip-flopping on what I wanted. However, she really put in the effort to make this work out and I feel extremely loved knowing that she’d do this for me.

I haven’t put in too much time with it, though I have used it more than I did the EX 2 before it broke. MadCatz historically has been known for cheap peripherals that break very easily. However, they really turned the corner on their entire business philosophy with the TE series of joysticks. Starting off with the box: wow. The build quality on the box is spectacular. The front opens up and is magnet-locked, which reveals the stick on the inside and the official certificate of authenticity.

As for the stick itself, I’m not a stick expert, but this one feels a lot better than the Hori. The size and weight of it prevent it from slipping around on my lap. The buttons and the joystick also feel notably better, though I have a hard time quantifying how. Even my brother, who isn’t as big into fighting games as I am, was so impressed by the hardware, that he’s considering getting a TE stick of his own.

I’ll be sure to put in more time with this stick and I’ll write further impressions later on. It’s going to take a good amount of time to adjust to the interface having been a pad player all my life, but I look forward to the challenge and the potential to be better moving forward.

Let’s hope with a few months of practice on the TE that there will be less profound sadness in my game.

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