Top positive review
36 people found this helpful
One of the best that money can buy, and at a superb price, too.
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?