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?
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.
(Me [right] vs. Rikir [left] on the Toryuken main stage and live stream of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
The ability to excel in a high-pressure situation does not come naturally to most. I, for one, have found this to be the case with everything I do in life – especially in my foray into competitive gaming. I’ve suffered from a seemingly unshakable case of tournament nerves, which has plagued my ability to play to my full potential. It’s hard not to let the nerves get to you when playing for your tournament life in front of a large crowd that is judging your every action.
The cure for shaking nerves? Practice. If you put yourself in a high-pressure situation enough times, you body and mind should get accustomed to the situation. Going into Toryuken – my third tournament to date – I was hoping that this would be the tournament where I could shake off my tournament nerves once and for all.
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?
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!