With Street Fighter 4 becoming a huge success on every format it’s released on, and with the latest ‘Championship’ DLC just becoming available, it’s no wonder that I have managed to sink 45 hours of my life into it since its launch. This is an unprecedented amount of time for me to sink into a game, unless of course it is Advanced Wars!
I shall not go into detail about the flaws of the Xbox ‘D-Pad’, suffice to say I’d rather play Street Fighter with an ‘Arcade’ style joystick. The buttons are laid out in front of you and the stick is easier to perfect special moves on. Anyway, it’s how they play it in the arcades, so that’s how I want to play it at home.
Do you think I can get my hands on an Xbox 360 Arcade Stick at the moment?
Not a chance. Not only is there a shortage of Arcade Sticks, but there is also a shortage of components to make them with!!!
There was only one thing to do…
When I found out that the Madcatz ‘Tournament Edition’ stick had been developed with Capcom, and was super expensive, I started to question why this was so?
It turns out, as far as I can tell, that it uses the same ‘Sanwa’ components as the Street Fighter 4 arcade machine. Heavy duty joysticks and buttons, rather than the ‘cheaper’ parts that my ‘Hori EX2’ stick comprises of. I wanted one – but not enough to pay upwards of £150.
Could I make one for less money?
I found a superb website, detailing instructions of how to build your very own custom stick. This site has everything, even down to where to source products to help with the build. It can be found here. http://slagcoin.com/joystick.html
I had some old wired controllers that I didn’t use. I just needed to buy some ‘Sanwa’ arcade joysticks and buttons, which I found on a UK arcade suppliers site, but I had to go on a two week waiting list while stocks were replenished.
As I waited for the parts to turn up, and to the dismay of my girlfriend, I turned the dining room table into a test lab. If I thought I learned a few things on the first attempt, I learned a lot more on the second, but by the time the parts turned up, I had it all working and ready to go. It was just a simple case of wiring it all up in my home-made box and plugging it in.
It may not look like much, but it plays like a dream. The ‘Sanwa JLF’ stick with its ‘Octagonal Gate’ is, in my opinion, leagues ahead of my old joystick – you can really feel the difference.
Now, as I bought two sets of joysticks and buttons, I just need to start building the second stick, and perhaps tidy up the cabling inside this one.
That’s not going to happen just yet though. For now it’s time to defeat Sheng Long!