Most helpful critical review
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
At least it's a solid platform-
on May 12, 2011
This stick is decent for the price, but it certainly has its problems. It's more a matter of getting what you pay for, but I'll get to that later.
Certain features work as advertised. The lock/unlock switch is nice, but you have to do some wild mashing to hit that guide button, as it's pretty far removed from the stick and buttons. I've never had to use this feature, but it's nice if you mash it out to a serious degree. I personally haven't used the turbo-function, as using turbo anything is typically frowned upon. The stick is also pretty weighty. They aren't joking when they say that the Brawl stick sports a "heavy metal base." It gives the Brawl stick a very solid feel, and it won't move in your lap during heated, mash-tastic gameplay.
My gripe lies with the buttons. I will say that the stock stick is fairly responsive and accurate, but I had problems with the buttons after about a week of normal play. The buttons were responsive and sensitive at first (though perhaps a bit mushy), but soon a couple of the buttons began getting stuck. While I'm sure that some people will get a lot of life out of the stock buttons, I imagine that just as many will encounter problems with the buttons eventually, and these problems may arise sooner than expected.
I've never modded a fight stick before, so this gave me an excuse to try a small mod. I purchased some Seimitsu screw-in buttons and got them in without any problems whatsoever. There's plenty of videos and forums online that have instructions for modding this stick. The only tools I needed to swap the buttons were a screwdriver and a cloth to help me with gripping the quick disconnects on the stock buttons. Modding takes a slight bit of bravery though, as it voids your warranty, so you shouldn't mod if you don't feel too good about breaking the rules, or if you don't think that you're capable of pulling the mod off without damaging your fight stick.
Still, this stick is widely regarded as being very easy to mod, and it's perfect for people who don't want to pay TE prices, yet want to have the option of dropping TE quality parts down the road.
With that said, modding out one of these sticks can get expensive. I purchased this stick when it was being sold for $60, and the buttons cost me another $30. I also recently purchased a Sanwa joystick and ball-top, which is another $30. I'm basically spending $120 dollars on this stick. So, compared to the Mad Catz TE, I'm really only saving about $20-$30 dollars.
If you're a casual player and you're looking for a stick for some light play, then this stick fits the part. If you're looking to save a few bucks, and are handy with a screwdriver, then you have a solid platform that can be made into a TE-quality stick. But if you're looking for a stick that will take a lot of abuse over the long-term, then this probably isn't the stick for you. If you want a stick that's high-quality out of the box, without any modding required, you may want to consider dropping a few extra bucks for a TE, or perhaps one of the pricier Hori sticks.