Fight fans that love a good uppercut or spinning back kick in their favourite fighting games usually have to contend with using a controller, and whether it’s a controller that can let you map out the buttons/moves the way you want, it’s tough to get that true arcade feeling like when we were kids playing them down your local arcade centre.
Thankfully, Venom has you covered with their new Arcade Fight Stick, a controller in a way to replicate that good old feeling of being in your local arcade, without having to leave the house. The only thing that is missing is the coin slot and nostalgia would really set in.
I got to try out the Arcade Fight Stick on my Xbox One X with Killer Instinct and it does make a hell of difference when playing the game. I was pleasantly surprised on how well it worked with the game and how responsive I found everything, from the buttons to the stick itself. With it’s simple black and red colour scheme, it’s not going to win anything in the looks department and why should it have to? It does the job beautifully enough as it is. You also are not stuck with a cumbersome controller on your lap, but while its not uncomfortable using the Arcade Stick on my laptop, it was a better experience using it on a table sitting in front of you. There are four little padded feet on the bottom of the base for a reason and it’s the best place to have it for the full arcade effect.
The Arcade Stick design has a premium feel to it, with its slightly slanted front, which allows you to rest your wrist on it as well for extra comfort. The reason for the table becomes even more apparent when you start bashing those 8 big red buttons as you try to hammer down your opponent. What you realise after you used it for quite a while, is that you’re able to give the sticks and buttons a real hammering without the worry of it breaking it. It doesn’t have that flimsy or cheap feel to it.
Setting up the Arcade Stick is fairly straight-forward if you want to use it on your PC or older gen consoles like PS3/Xbox 360. However, when it comes to your PS4 and Xbox One, there’s a little bit more work to it that just plugging it in and playing. While the Arcade Stick is a multi-platform arcade stick, there is an extra step needed for it to be compatible with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you want to use it with your Xbox One, you will need to connect your Xbox One controller to the back of the stick using the Micro USB cable that’s included with it. This is the only way the Arcade Stick can work with your Xbox One console.
The Venom Arcade Fight Stick is a great, useful piece hardware, but it’s a bit of a pain that it has to be used via pass-through the controller for Xbox One gaming. It works fantastic on the PC and while it works well on your Xbox One, I was hoping it would work more natively than was expected. The Fight Stick doesn’t just come with the 8-button layout to mash your fingers on, Venom have also decided to add some extra helpfully buttons too. You can some helpfully buttons like your Start/Menu button and a smaller Select/Share button that sits beside the Turbo options, which many fight fans know is always a plus to have.
With the Arcade Stick, Venom has definitely delivered on a controller that fans of fighting games like Injustice 2 or Killer Instinct would be a fool to pass up on. While there is an issue in regard to how its setup on the Xbox One or even PS4 or the fact that the cables could be slightly longer, Venom has done an amazing job with it as a whole.
The Venom Arcade Fight Stick does what its designed to do and while the price point will never leave you too much out of pocket, it’s hard to recommend it to everyone, unless you are a hardened fight fan that loves the Arcade experience in your home. If you are a fan, then grab it and grab it today! You won’t be disappointed, but if you are a casual fighting gamer, then it may not be the purchase for you.
GoG Rating: 8/10