Another nice feature of the Tournament Edition FightStick is the included storage compartment for the cord its decorative storage box. The stick is corded and not wireless, ensuring that no lag is visible in its input or performance. The cord, which measures roughly 13 feet, is enclosed behind a small door on the top edge of the controller. There isn’t a ton of extra space and it is occasionally a challenge to fit the cord back in after using it but it is a welcome feature to the standard sticks which require you to deal with a dangling cord with no place to go. The packaging that the stick comes is meant to be kept and doubles as a nice display case for the controller if you are into that sort of thing. The doors are magnetic, keeping it secured in a closed position during storage.
In addition to the standard joystick functions, the FightStick also features turbo abilities as well as a locking mechanism to ensure they aren’t triggered accidentally. Granted, these won’t be used in regulated competition, but it is a nice feature to have when using the stick for other games such as the various arcade / retro titles. The start and select buttons have been placed on the top of the case, well out of the way of the normal playing field. Mad Catz has used the same Sanwa Denchi pushbuttons that appear on the face of the stick for these functions on this controller in contrast to the smaller, plastic buttons used on the standard sticks. This makes them larger and easier to find blindly without have to physically turn the stick and locate them during gameplay.
This all sounds good but how does the stick perform? Three words: Like. A. Charm.
The controller is easily the best home controller that I have used yet, including a couple of Mad Catz’s other offerings and competitors such as Hori and X-Arcade’s various products. The joystick itself feels much tighter and has a great “spring” to it which restores it to a centered position quickly upon release. Each of the pushbuttons responds to even the slightest touch and their spacing is near perfect. This stick was designed for the serious player and will definitely suit their needs. I put the stick through a litany of trials on games such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter IV, Mortal Kombat (2011 demo), Mortal Kombat 2, Puzzle Fighter (PSN), Street Fighter Alpha 2, and WWE All Stars. I walked away from almost every game vowing to never play them with a standard controller again. The only exception was WWE All Stars but that was due to the control setup of the game which was based purely on personal preference for the control scheme.
There are only two complaints that I have about the stick and both are simply personal gripes rather than performance issues. First off, the edges on the face of the stick should be rounded more than they are; instead of using the rounded edges of the standard stick, the Tournament Edition’s are sharper and less comfortable when resting your arm across them. This isn’t a huge deal and doesn’t hamper the performance in any manner but in trying them side by side, I prefer the rounded edges over the sharper ones hands down. The Tournament Edition stick isn’t exactly “lap friendly” either. This stick is meant to be played on a flat surface such as a table, which is evident from its size and weight. I can deal with both of those factors when placing it on my lap but the base is solid metal and doesn’t sit comfortably... then again, it isn’t supposed to be.
Long story short, the Mad Catz MvC3 Tournament Edition FightStick is arguably the best stick I have seen for the home market. It is perfectly sized to be portable while maintaining a solid build and feel that is unmatched by anything else on the market. I own quite a few other sticks including my own custom builds but don’t see myself using any of them now that I have this stick. If you are considering taking your fighting game “career” to the next level and contemplating making the push toward the competitive level, this stick is a must.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
It is no secret that Mad Catz has upped its game with its products over the past couple of years and the MvC3 Tournament Edition FightStick is no exception. The stick offers an extremely solid build design with excellent responsiveness. While I would have liked to see it a little more “lap friendly”, I cannot argue with the overall product and its performance.
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