Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai Review

Hori HRAP Pro KaiMy history with Hori fightsticks has been spotty at best. I’ve owned four of their entry-level level controllers; two of which broke within a matter of hours, and a third where the joystick wore down with no easy way of fixing it. That being said, durability is not a strong suit of any cheap fightstick from any manufacturer.

Though I have noodled with one of their higher-end fightsticks in the past, the Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai is my first extensive experience with a high-end Hori product. Does this have what it takes to wash away my negative perceptions of the brand? Better yet, can this stick hold its own against the TE line of Mad Catz products?

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Qanba Q4 RAF Review

Over the last few years, Mad Catz and Hori have done an excellent job of creating high-quality fightsticks. However, as officially licensed peripheral makers, neither company can provide a fightstick that supports all major platforms out of the box. It sucks to be in a situation where you’ve spent a large chunk of change on an XBOX 360 fightstick and your friends bought the latest fighting game on PlayStation 3. Or when you want to play in an XBOX 360 tournament when you only have a PlayStation 3 fightstick. To get around this, you can try your hand at modding your fightstick. Or you can try your out a sketchy adapter which could be obsolete with the next console patch. Or you could do what I’ve done to date, which is buy a high-quality fightstick for each system I play fighting games on. Regardless of the route you choose, the answer usually isn’t cheap or technically stable.

Aiming to address this need, the Qanba Q4 RAF is built to work on the XBOX 360, PlayStation 3 and PC right out of the box. For avid tournament goers or gamers who often play on different systems, having one fightstick that supports all platforms is truly a blessing. But does it work as advertised? And does the rest of this fightstick from an unknown manufacturer stack up with the best from Mad Catz and Hori?

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Unboxing the Qanba Q4 RAF Fightstick

The Qanba Q4 RAF is one of the most sought-after fightsticks on the market for its ability to work with the XBOX 360, PlayStation 3 and PC right out of the box. If you have fighting games across multiple systems or regularly play in tournaments, then having just one fightstick that works with everything sounds a lot better buying multiple fightsticks to do the same thing. However, because of that key feature, this fightstick isn’t licensed by Sony or Microsoft, which means you’ll never be able to buy this at a regular store. Even tracking these down online isn’t necessarily an easy task, as the few online retailers that carry it are often sold out.

Luckily for me, I was able to purchase one at a tournament I was recently at. Let’s open this bad boy up together.

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How-To Replace the Joystick on a Mad Catz TE

The last time I opened up my Mad Catz TE, I switched out a broken button with a brand new one. This time, I swapped out the joystick. After hundreds of hours of use, it didn’t feel as crisp as it used to. If you’re interested in trying the procedure yourself, I have documented my experience as a step-by-step manual, which may be helpful for you.

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About You: My Understanding of the In Third Person Readership Based on the Numbers

I love analytics. As someone who works in the online advertising industry, I find the process of analyzing numbers and deriving insights from those numbers to be very interesting. Although WordPress.com has a very limited analytics dashboard, I still check the numbers multiple times a day to see how everything is doing.

For the fun of it, I thought I’d write a mini-report of sorts to share with you some of the insights I’ve gathered about you and those who frequent this site. I sort of did this about a year ago, but I thought it’d be fun to try and make a persona model of you, the In Third Person reader. I understand that you’re all unique people, but the purpose of this exercise is to try and boil you down into one main archetype based on the numbers I have available to me. How does this match up to you?

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Let’s Talk About the Qanba Q4 RAF

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about fightsticks on my blog. Most of the conversation revolves around the Mad Catz TE (which I love) and the Hori line of fightsticks (which I’ve had mediocre experiences with outside of the V3-SA). However, there’s one particular brand of fighstick I haven’t talked about, which is Qanba. I don’t really know much about the brand, but I’ve seen a number of positive things about their Q4 RAF. What makes it so special?

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Button Dies on My Mad Catz TE

The other night, I was playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3 online. I was running with my main team of Wolverine/Storm/Sentinel when something went awry: nothing happened when I hit the Sentinel button. Sure enough, my right trigger button on my Mad Catz TE had died.

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Hands-On: Hori Real Arcade Pro V3-SA

One of the coolest aspects about the office culture at my work is that we’re really big into fighting games. We have an XBOX 360 in the lunch room, where many of us play Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 during lunch breaks. On special days, we even do double-elimination tournaments, where I’ll bring in my PS3 (office platform of choice) and everyone will bring in their own controllers and fightsticks so that we can battle it out.

At our most recent tournament, one of my coworkers brought in his Hori Real Arcade Pro V3-SA, which I’ve been anxious to get my hands on. Though my Hori experiences have been mixed at best, I have yet to try any of their high-end models. Having spent about 45 minutes putting it through its paces in Super Street Fighter IV matches and training mode, I thought it’d be worth sharing my experiences with anyone who is considering picking this particular fightstick up.

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Top 5 In Third Person Posts: February 2011 Edition


I hope your month of love was a good one. Despite me having to dial down the daily content (and the time I spend gaming) due to real life, it’s still awesome to see so many people hit this site on a monthly basis. I’ll still keep writing as often as possible.

This month’s top 5 posts are an interesting mix of evergreen posts that never seem to go away and older posts finding new life due to current events. Click through to see what was the hotness in February.

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In Third Person’s Newbie Buyer’s Guide to Arcade Fightsticks

Over the last few weeks, the traffic to my arcade fighstick posts have skyrocketed. With Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hitting store shelves, it appears as though you’re all looking for as much fightstick information as possible before you spend your hard-earned cash on a new fighting game weapon of choice.

As a public service to you (and as something I would find fun to write), I’ve put together a newbie buyer’s guide that covers my knowledge of arcade fightsticks. This post features some general things you should know, mini-reviews to a few of the major fightsticks on the market and links to my older posts where I go into more detail on each product. I’m by no means a fightstick connoisseur, but I do own a bunch of them and spend a ton of time using them.

If you’d like to learn more, click through to the rest of this post!

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