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on December 12, 2010
Sporting a full Sanwa set-up (stick + buttons), the RAP V3 SA is one of the best arcade sticks that money can buy, and is extremely affordable as well (off Amazon, at least). For those not in the know, Sanwa is the company that manufactures the joysticks and buttons commonly found on Japanese arcade gaming cabinets. They're very reputable for being durable, responsive, and long lasting, and with the V3 SA, Hori brings that set-up right to your gaming room.

As someone with some experiences with other arcade sticks, I can safely say that the V3 SA is LIGHT. Really light. This can be taken either way. Some people prefer a heavier stick so that it doesn't move around much. Personally, I've never had a problem with lighter sticks. I prefer them that way to ease the weight of my lap while playing. For those who prefer playing on a tabletop or the floor, rest assured, the V3 SA comes with rubber grips below to ensure that it won't slide around even if you're rough with movement.

The stick and buttons are, needless to say, very responsive and top-notch. The stick is loose enough for easy execution, yet not too loose. The square gate makes it easer to tell when you're hitting those diagonals, and the shaft below the balltop (and I love balltops, by the way, it's the Japanese standard) is covered with a thin tube of plastic, protecting the metal shaft within from moisture and sweat, ensuring that it won't get rusty, and that YOU won't be touching dangerous rusty bits. The buttons are lighter in touch than I'm used to, but this makes them no less responsive, and requires less effort when pulling out a major combo.

The V3 SA also comes with turbo settings for all the buttons, as well as a switch that allows you to swap the stick's input from D-Pad, to either analog stick. Frankly, I use my stick for fighting games exclusively and thus never use any of these features, but if they matter to you, it's there.

The finishing of the product is done very well. As the pictures show, it's a simplistic, minimal design with some markings around the stick/buttons, and nothing more. I like this choice of design, because it means the surface panel won't show signs of aging/use so easily. In comparison, my BlazBlue HRAP 3 shows discoloration and a myriad of scratch marks on the surface. My custom stick is protected by an acrylic panel, but that's not an option for Hori's sticks, I guess. Also, the screws are located on the base, as opposed to the top panel. This helps them avoid sweating hands from longer periods of playing, and once again, slows down the settling in of rust.

At the end of the day, if you're looking for a full Sanwa stick, there aren't many choices on the market if you don't get a custom made piece. The V3 SA is way more affordable than Hori's VLX (which, whilst a pure work of art, is way beyond my budget at $299 USD), more reputable than Madcatz's Tournament Edition (if you care about brand name, plus I've heard some negative reviews about particular pieces of the TE, although I stress that I've never owned one before), and looks better than the standard HRAP 3 (which also uses Hori parts instead of Sanwa parts). For me, it's the perfect combination of looks, quality, and price. And it's slightly over $50 cheaper on Amazon than where I live, so why not?
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on December 6, 2010
I purchased the import version earlier this year & loved it (although I sold it & broke even because I knew it was going to be released here in the states for a lower price)! I love my other arcade sticks but there's a reason why I purchased another V3-SA. I use this stick as my primary/daily one since it's reliable, comfy & durable.

Not much to say if you know about Sanwa products besides what has already been said (responsive, accurate & precision). If they're too sensitive for you then I suggest swapping them out for Seimitsu products. It's very easy to get to the internals (6-screws on the bottom). Compared to my Madcatz Tournament Edition (TE; multiple versions) sticks, while it doesn't have a big surface area to rest your palms, I actually prefer the much more angled wrist rest area on this stick compared to a TE stick. It just feels that much more comfy after an extended duration (30+ mins). Only thing negative is that it's lighter (4.8-pounds) compared to a TE stick (~6.25-pounds) & it's previous model the Real Arcade Pro SA (5.7-pounds). Since I prefer to play on a flat surface (versus on my lap), it's not that big of a deal. The artwork looks pretty nice but then again, I could care less about that. For those that want to replace the artwork and/or want to have a plastic panel, it's easy to replace & there are quite a few vendors that make these parts. Also, the overhangs (aka side handles) are great when lifting & storing it away. In terms of mass production sticks, here are my favs in this order:

1) Hori VLX: Real deal hefty weight (12.1-pounds) to it.
2) Hori V3-SA series: Same qualities as the VLX minus the longer metal panel & weight.
3) Madcatz TE series: Love the big surface area to lay my big hands on & good looking transparent cases on some models (TE-S Chun-Li & SC5 sticks).
4) Qanba Q4 series: PS3/360/PC compatiblity right out of the box with a good looking design especially the translucent cases.

Honestly, you can't go wrong w/any of these 4 sticks since they're all great especially since they all use the same Sanwa buttons & joystick lever. It's just really about personal preference.
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on March 3, 2011
Now where I grew up in America we have a lot of asian influence and we even have an Asian celebration once a year so as you can expect the arcade machines I played with where lolly pop square gates.

I can tell you its not 100% like the arcade ones but its damn well close enough, but there is one thing I should mention. This thing is HYPER SENSITIVE, which is a good thing. I had to actually get used to it as I was inputting commands way faster than the game could read resulting in me not able to do forward, down, angle turns. Now I pull'em off a 'okay without a sweat.

Pros

+ Good weight to it, a bit light, but good.

+ Very solid stick and responsive to movement, so take it slow. Tip to hold for those new to lolly pop sticks. I hold it with my left hand inverted (back of my hand to the floor) with the stick between my middle and ring finger with my thumb on top for added stability. Hold it how you like, but that for me is how I've done it since I was a kid and is the most comfortable.

+ Buttons look like what I had in the arcade all nice and convex shaped. Very sensitive too, which I'm still getting used to as a simple light accidental tap is enough to set them off. Like I said I like sensitivity because it makes you a faster player. Keep your right hand angled so you don't get carpal tunnel syndrome.

+ Made of metal with solid construction that feels like you could drop it off your roof (don't do this) and would still operate well. As another reviewer stated all the metal parts are hidden and screws are on the bottom so no worry of rust.

+ Has good rubber feet so it won't slide on the table, but I like it in my lap better, but if I could...you know know already right? I'd get a podium stand put it up their and stand while I play SF and MVC to really live the old days. It really does feel that authentic (96%).

+ Good long cord to hook up to the PS3 so don't worry about length. I like cords to cause I don't have to worry about batteries dying on me or interference from other wireless devices. As I said I'm old school.

Cons

- You cannot turn on the PS3 remotely with it. Yes I'm that lazy.

- The R1, L1, R2, and L2 buttons are switched so the R buttons are on the "Left side" while the L buttons are on the "Right side." A minor annoyance as you can customize your button layout to your personal taste and preference in game.

I haven't tried using it on my PC but I expect I could with the USB cord as others seem to have done it.

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edit January 8th 2012
I've just tried it recently with my PC and it does work. No lights show up so you'd think it isn't on but low and behold it started punching and kicking and moving when I played with it so yeah it works :3. Hmmm, I wonder if it works with Wii U fighting games. It has the same symptoms as the PC (lack of lights and desktop control) but maybe when there's a game in it like with the PC...
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Its a great stick at a great price. The only thing better is that 300 dollar Real Arcade Pro: 3 Premium VLX made by the same company (go figure) but I'm not forking that much cash over for something that will be slightly better due to a "few" tweaks.
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on June 21, 2011
I, along with many others - although not all - feel that the pads that come with each system (PS3's DualShock 3, for example) are not the most ideal controller when it comes to fighting games. Xbox 360's pad doubly so.

For those of us who feel this way, there is the HRAP to satisfy your cravings for arcade authenticity, reliability, and performance. Now, I didn't intend on bringing the MadCatz TE into this, but the fact of the matter is that the HRAP V3 SA and the MadCatz TE (herein referred to as the MCTE) are very similar - at least when it comes to the buttons and the stick.

The stick on the HRAP and the MCTE is the very responsive and accurate Sanwa JLF(which has a square gate), and the buttons on both are Sanwa OSBF-30's, so if you're looking for quality parts, you get them in either controller. These components should last you a long time.

The button layout on the HRAP is the same as the Vewlix SSFIV cabinets you see in arcades, so if you play on an HRAP, you're pretty close to the real thing, layout wise. The start button is on the front(unlike the MCTE, which has a slightly different button layout, and the start button on the back of the unit, out of the way) although only the most frantic button mashers would even come close to pressing it during play.

The rests for your wrists are also perfectly placed. A marathon gaming session of 7 hours saw no hand fatigue or discomfort.

There's a little door to hold the cable in (the stick is wired). The cable is about 10 feet and allows for lag-free inputs. There are also two handle-like wings on the side to allow for hassle free carrying, and although they might seem silly, it actually works pretty well carrying it around.

The HRAP is also lighter than the MCTE, although that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're planning on lugging it to and from tournaments, it's perfect, really; Light enough to not be a bother to carry, but heavy enough to be stationary in your lap as well as on a table, even under the most strenuous play.

Keep in mind that the switches in the buttons and stick are audible. Every Hadoken you do (for example) will make a noise as the switches in the buttons and stick are actuated. This is a good thing - it isn't terribly loud, and you'll have some feedback on what buttons you're pressing and what motions you're making on the stick.

Build quality is also top notch. The case is solid, and the stick, all buttons, turbo switches(of which there are 8, one for each button) and the PS button work flawlessly. Some say build quality is what makes the HRAP better than the MCTE, but longevity of either will likely be determined by your play style.

All in all, the HRAP V3 SA is a great stick for anyone looking to bust into the fighting game scene, or for seasoned veterans looking to replace their old stick. If you're torn about whether you should get this stick or the MCTE, I would say go to your nearest tournament and see if someone will let you try theirs. If that's impossible, then go for whichever one you find more appealing, price and looks-wise. I went with the HRAP, and I couldn't be happier.
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on April 1, 2011
Intro:
As the title says this arcade stick was incredibly worth the price. Not to mention $4 one day shipping thanks to Prime. I received it today (4/1/11) in the mail while I was out and I got a text from my roommate to let me know I got it in. Now this may be my first home arcade stick but I know a few things or two since I did do a lot of research on this and other good sticks (Mainly Hori's and MadCatz TE), not to mention I use to play at arcades before they closed down all of them around me. This was going to be my first choice to begin with since it had Sanwa buttons and a Sanwa stick. Sure the TE's did as well but they were all $20+ more just for a different casing and visual artwork did not seem worth it to me.

Build:
As expected Hori did an excellent job IMO. It does not feel cheap or shoddy, buttons and stick feel extremely arcade authentic (They are Sanwa's after all) and I did not have to mod anything at all. The stick feels excellent but could be longer to me. However this is only something that would comfort me since it still functions incredibly for me. Also, the restrictor/gate is a square, like any other stick sold in the US and most arcade machines. Modding is possible with this stick, though that's only if you want to change the gate to an octagon or circle if you don't prefer the square gate. I plan on doing it someday but I am use to the square gate from playing on arcade machines.

Use:
The stick I got to test out with Marvel vs Capcom 3 and I'm enjoying it as much as I anticipated, since before I had 2 regular controllers to play from. (A DS3 which had 2 sticky buttons, Square and X; and a Pro EX Controller for PS3 which is mainly for FPS games since it switches out the D-Pad and Left Analog Stick positions [I play FPS's on Xbox or PC's, rarely on PS3]) I noticed an improved control for me right away, I mean sure I was not immediately adapted to it, but it did allow me to play smoother. Combos and Hyper Combos were easier to control and pull off. 8 Buttons which I easily mapped (Refer to Control Map to see) to be MvC3 standard with the two furthest right (L1 + L2) as extra buttons that I would find useful to use which can just be easily pulled off with the standard 6 button scheme. The stick felt a little loose, but in a good way which made it easier to move, but not too loose where leaving it to rest would cause you to move. The stick also has 3 settings to either be the D-Pad, Left Stick, or Right Stick. I also did test it on my PC and runs well on my PSX Emulator. The lightness people complain about it I really don't see as a problem. However I don't have any other stick to compare it to I see no problem in it at all. The functioning PS Button is another great perk about it since it can be used to navigate the menu's on the XML or easily turn off the system. The turbo feature is also nice, but unnecessary for me especially when trying to hit certain buttons to pull off combos. The start button to the right is also nice and does not get in the way at all for me.

Control Map:
L | M | H | P1+P2
S | P1 | P2 | L+M+H

Pro's:
+ Authentic Arcade Stick experience at the comfort of your home
+ Sanwa Stick and Buttons
+ PS Button
+ Nice Casing

Con's:
- $130 price tag only can be bought if you have the spare money or save for it

Either/Or:
* Square Gate (This is if you don't prefer or aren't use to it)
* Light (I find it adequate, then again I don't have another stick like a TE to compare it to)
* Button Layout/Spacing (I find it good but others may differ since the TE's put the start button on the top side of the casing)

Overall:
If your willing to spend $130 for an arcade stick to use and a square gate, this is one to definitely consider. To me it competes well against MadCatz and their TE brand sticks. I will consider picking up another Hori for guests/friends to play against me if they want. (Not the same, but most likely the HRAP3 and mod the Buttons to Sanwa since the stick is already Sanwa and the Buttons are Hori).

I give this arcade stick a 10/10.
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on August 13, 2011
After using this stick for a little while... Daily... xD I would have to say that I love this stick. It's got great parts and works well with both my PC and PS3. I do play SSFIV AE competatively so a good stick is what I needed, and I much preferred this one over the madcatz TE one.
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on August 20, 2011
I own a Mad Catz TE, Mad Catz SE, and this V3 SA and this is by far my favorite arcade stick that I own. When comparing this to the TE the parts are primarily the same the joystick and buttons are all genuine Japanese Sanwa Denshi parts. The only thing that seperates this from the TE is the start and select button placement. The start button placement is very much like how it is set up on Japanese arcade cabinets.

I'm not sure but I think that the button layout is slightly different on the lp lk mp mk layout that the TE. In my opinion, I think this layout is less cramped.

This stick is very minimalistic and somewhat light compared to it's TE counterpart. However, it's much harder to customize the art on the V3 SA because the top panel has no bolt to sandwich art underneath a plexi like the TE. It is possible but much more work is involved.

The side panels on the stick make it very easy to carry around when moving while sitting and it's pretty easy to carry around. Lastly the cord compartment is very spacious and made with a better plastic than the TE. The clip on the cord compartment cover on my TE broke off because there wasn't enough space to put in the cord and it would always bulge out but this won't happen with the V3 SA.

I would recommend this for anyone thinking about getting an arcade stick that's on the cheap(er) side and still quality.
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on April 27, 2011
So happy with this fight stick. Will probably buy another one. Good weight, not too heavy, not too light. Side handles to carry it is pretty cool. It is a square gate and clicks in every direction. Everything is compact where buttons and stick are very closely positioned together. At first I thought the stick was too close to the buttons, but for some reason it is easier to execute moves compare to the other fight sticks I had. Not really sure why is that...hehe. If there is one way I can describe it, it almost feels like my hands are combined into one creating one swift motion.
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VINE VOICEon May 30, 2011
Perhaps I've been spoiled by the Hori VLX, but the Hori V3 SA, while a fantastic stick, is a bit light for me. Again, I'm slightly biased, but I had to sell off my VLX because, since I'm getting married and moved into a smaller apartment from my parents' place, it wouldn't fit in my newer pad. I then had to downgrade to the V3 SA to accommodate space difference. As such, I felt that the Hori VLX should be how all sticks should feel, and that no moving around from the base should happen. I should've known better. You get what you pay for!

Again, I'm not saying the V3 SA is bad; it's incredible, in fact, for the price range. The buttons and stick feel awesome, and I'm able to pull off moves and combos with ease and finesse. The "wings" at the side of the stick also make it easier for portability, and the built-in compartment for the cable is awesome. I've heard some people complain that the stick isn't wireless, but that just seems silly. Sure, it's a step backward in wireless technology, but the fact is that the stick uses so much electricity that it's dumb to make it wireless and have to charge it all the time.
Now, my gripe--and only gripe--is that it's light. Because I'm more of an "aggressive" fighter, I tend to move the stick all over the place. It has a light bottom so it tends to move around. It isn't too much to make me dock it less than four stars, but it does become a minor annoyance. Still, considering it's less than half of the VLX, it's not that large of a downer.

I highly recommend stick. If you can mod it to add some weight to the base, I strongly recommend that too, but be aware that that'll probably void Hori's warranty.
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on September 1, 2011
This is simply the best arcade stick that I have used. I'm extremely happy with the Hori RAP V3 SA. I own the following arcade sticks to compare with:

- Nubytech PS2 Streetfighter Anniversary arcade stick
- Hori wireless Tekken 6 PS3 arcade stick fully modded with Sanwa buttons, Sanwa Stick & octagonal gate & bat
- Madcatz SE PS3 arcade stick fully modded with Sanwa buttons, Sanwa Stick & octagonal gate & bat
- Interact Alloy arcade stick for Dreamcast

Looking at these arcade sticks, the Hori RAP V3 SA beats them all. Its well made, a great size (both width and weight),very comfortable, very senstive & just an awesome stick. When the warranty runs out I will be changing the ball top to a bat and replacing the square gate/restrictor plate with an octagonal one.

Now I was on the hunt for a good quality arcade stick and was looking at the Madcatz Streetfighter TE arcade stick and the Hori RAP V3 SA. I ended up going with the Hori for the following reasons:

- I didn't like the graphics template on any of the Madcatz TE variants
- The PCB in the Madcatz TE stick is apparently not that reliable (from stories on certain forums)
- This Hori stick was quite a bit cheaper than the Madcatz TE
- Both Hori RAP V3 SA and Madcatz TE have exactly the same Sanwa components

The only real negative is the rather short 3m cable. If this cable was 4m or greater, this would be the ultimate arcade stick for the price range....although nothing a cheap $5 USB extension cable can't fix.

Also I have to thank Amazon for their excellent services. I ordered this stick on a Monday and received it the following Thursday...and I'm in Australia => simply fantastic, well done Amazon
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