Topway USB Fightstick for PC

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Sicklyboy, Feb 20, 2013.

Feb 20, 2013
  1. Sicklyboy
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    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    I've been looking for a cheap fightstick for my computer lately, nothing too fancy but something to get me started. I was looking around Tmart.com, one of my go-to sites for electronic stuff and saw this USB fightstick controller, figured that for $20 I may as well give it a shot.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    It's interesting, to say the least. I ended up trying it out the day it came in, the four suction cups on the bottom are really nice because it stops it from sliding around on your desk, but you gotta wipe them off with something moist before using them, they're powdered at first so they don't stick.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    I opened it up first thing to see what I was getting myself into. The back is held on with six screws and inside is a metal weight, I'm gonna say roughly half a pound, but I didn't weigh it. I suppose it's there to just keep it from sliding around more?

    I was a little disappointed to see that instead of using switches, the entire thing uses rubber domes, just like on a keyboard. Switches provide a much better response when playing and they typically require less force to depress. The rubber dome keys needed a bit more pressure than I would have liked to use, but overall they're not too bad.

    I ended up putting it back together though and gave it a bit of a run through on a couple of Sega Genesis games, whether they were fighters, racers, or platformers.

    On Sonic, it worked pretty well. I'm not at all used to using a fightstick, let alone on a platformer, but I got the hang of it. Shinobi III - Return of the Ninja Master it was actually really nice for. I got a great feel out of the controller, it was super responsive, and felt pretty right for this kind of game. Come Road Rash 2, I started to realize the biggest issue with having a rubber dome stick. The stick doesn't have to be fully pressed to one side to activate the button. It takes just a slight push and the direction is engaged, making the stick super sensitive. In SF III Champion Edition I also noticed it's a bit hard to do quarter circle moves with the stick. I also noticed some resistance and a click when you pass the top of the stick in either direction while doing a half circle, this is the stick itself getting caught on part of the spring that keeps tension on it. I haven't figured out how to fix it yet. Did a short test in Test Drive: The Duel II, it wasn't easy to steer with it at all. Who drives a car with a joystick is beyond me though, I mainly wanted to fire the game up for nostalgia reasons while I tried the stick.

    I will say though, after being so used to using the Genesis 6 button for Street Fighter, using this stick I was able to pull off E. Honda's hard-punch Hundred Hand Slap like it's NOTHING. I could never do it on a normal gamepad, and even having tried it on a few arcade cabinets I couldn't do it reliably. I will say that that part is freaking awesome.

    Overall, it's neat. I wouldn't attempt any serious gaming on it as it can't hold a finger to a high quality (and thus prohibitively expensive, for me) stick, but it's nice to have it just to have in case you want something like it to play around with for a bit. Like I said, Shinobi III was actually pretty darn fun with it, and I might try to find some other games like it to play with. I think the best part of this is going to be if I ever decide to build my own stick, the board out of this is going to make a great base board that I can wire good switches to after building a custom box.

    Item - PC Laptop USB Joystick Joypad Gamepad Controller (SKU CW048)
    Seller - Tmart.com
    Current Price - $19.74 (USD)


    Looks - 7.5/10 - It looks like a basic 8 button fightstick. The lettering on the buttons is a bit tacky, but other than that, it doesn't get much simpler than blue on black.

    Functionality - 5/10 - Being that it's constructed with rubber domes instead of switches, response either lacks or is overly sensitive depending on how you are playing and how much force you apply when you play. However it does fully work, just not up to the standards that some might hold a fightstick. For $20 though you'd be foolish to expect something that is gold plated and diamond encrusted; the best thing since sliced bread.

    Construction - 8.5/10 - This thing is actually really solid. Once I got the powder cleaned off of the suction cups and stuck it to my desk, it would not budge regardless of how I played. The weight in it, albeit odd, does add a nice bit of weight to it so it doesn't feel like it will float away when you pick it up. The rubber domes require a bit more pressure to push than a switch would, but overall it's nothing terrible. It has about as much resistance as a computer keyboard does these days.

    Price - 9/10 - Seriously, a fightstick for $20, and one that functions properly, to boot. It might not have Sanwa parts in it, but for something to start out with on a computer, it'll definitely do the job at that price and help you figure out if you want to invest more money in higher end gear. I find this site to generally have better prices than some others, especially on console repair parts and some accessories, making it one of my go-to sites.

    Final Rating - 5.5/10 - Despite the fantastic value, the stick's enjoyment is hampered by its rubber dome keys instead of switches. It ends up making fighters a bit unenjoyable at times, though some platformers are quite a blast with it. Racing games, from what I tried, are more or less out of the question, though most people don't typically play them with fightsticks in the first place. For a base as a PC only custom fightstick or as something to kill time with, though, it's pretty neat and fun to have on hand. I don't regret the purchase one bit.
     
  2. Nah3DS

    Member Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

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    thanks for the detailed review!
    I'm looking for a fighting stick too, I need one for Neo-Geo and Mame emulation (mostly fighting games).
    This one always pop up during my searches... but now I know that it doesn't work well with fighting games.
     
  3. Sicklyboy
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    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    Yeah I think for stuff that doesn't need a lot of quick action this would be great. RPGs for example this would be pretty boss. Some sidescrolling platformers work well (Shinobi was awesome with this)

    But the diagonals are just kinda hard to hit properly with this making fighters kinda hard.

    Edit: Protip - Test Drive: The Duel II is not nearly as awesome as it was when I was 7 years old.
     

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