I can still remember walking into my usual haunt, the Pocket Change arcade in the Fox River Mall in Appleton, Wisconsin, expecting my usual rounds of Street Fighter II, when I saw a new fighting game from Capcom. It was like SF2, but faster, funnier, and…it was full of monsters. Darkstalkers had arrived, and unbeknownst to me, it was about to rocket up my personal favorite game chart with a silver bullet, and stay there to this day.
In this installment of my ongoing series about arcade-style joysticks for home consoles, I’m going to talk about two very different sticks in my collection: The Capcom Fighter Power Stick, and…a struggle stick for the Atari 2600?! I also want to talk a little bit about the upcoming arcade stick units from Capcom and SNK. So join us, won’t you (sorry Karina), for Parte the Thirde of Joystickery on Retro Game SuperHyper!
I did a whole blog post a while back about how much I love joysticks/arcade sticks/fightsticks. (Actually, I don’t play a ton of fighters these days, so I guess for me they’re more “shmupsticks.”) Whatever you want to call that slab of arcade-perfect precision control, I have added them to most of my game consoles, and they’ve enhanced my enjoyment of shmups, fighters, and arcade classics immensely.
So when I realized that I had a handful of shmups on the PlayStation 4, I started to want to add an arcade stick to that platform as well. Then I picked up the Street Fighter II 30th Anniversary Collection, and remembered how much I HATE playing Street Fighter games with a pad, so that made up my mind in a hurry: time to shop for a PS4 stick.
But in this day and age of cool custom arcade sticks, I knew one thing: it couldn’t be just ANY arcade stick.
The recent release of an officially-Capcom-licensed, limited-edition Street Fighter II Super NES cartridge from iam8bit got me thinking about when SF2 originally came out on the SNES in 1992, and how crazy the hype over it was. SF2 mania was in high gear, both in arcades and at home on 16-bit consoles, and I was fully immersed in it, at one point even taking part in a local tournament — that came down to me and another competitor.