Street Fighter IV Round 2 Arcade Fightstick Tournament Edition Review


 

Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about arcade fightsticks. Most notably, the difference between an entry-level fightstick and a premium one. Having two fightsticks wear out in a matter of months and one break within an hour has made me weary of ever buying an entry-level fightstick again.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve found that playing fighting games on a premium fightstick is a beautiful thing. I love my first-generation TE for the weight, sturdiness and responsive input mechanisms. I’ve used my TE for well over 100 hours and it still feels as good as new.

When my PS3 Hori fightstick died and the Round 2 fightsticks went on sale, I did not hesitate to pick one up.

(not my image)

Outside of cosmetic differences, the Round 2 fightstick is virtually identical to its predecessor. It features the same Sanwa parts and casing. The only thing I noticed different between my original XBOX 360 TE and this PS3 Round 2 is the weight. The Round 2 stick is slightly lighter and more dense, but I don’t know if that’s because the stick is actually lighter, or it’s simply a difference between the PS3 and 360 builds. Either way, they both feel solid and won’t slip around your lap.

Having spent the last few months playing PS3 Super Street Fighter IV on the Tekken 6 stick, using this TE felt like a dream come true. Head-to-head, the Round 2 TE stomps the Hori fightstick into the ground. With the TE, I never had any issues with the fightstick sliding around my lap, nor did I have any issues with the buttons. I love the feel of the Sanwa buttons, which feel like they have practically 0 travel time.

The one thing that initially gave me pause was the joystick. Out of the box, it almost felt like the stick was getting caught on something inside the casing. It would click extra loud in certain spots and offer the slightest extra bit of resistance. However, after a few hours of play, it felt just like my original TE. Maybe the fightstick just needed to be worked in. I’ll let you know if anything goes awry.

Pending any mishaps with the joystick, the PS3 Round 2 TE fightstick is about as good as the original, which is to say that it’s great. I went with the Round 2 this time because it was the cheapest TE available on Amazon. However, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the fightsticks in the TE line. I still plan on doing most of my Street Fighter on the XBOX 360 with my original TE, but I’m glad to have a PS3 TE in my arsenal ready for when my coworkers come online to play.

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