Okay, confession time. The other day when I mentioned that I hadn’t bought a joystick from the 1995 to 2011 isn’t quite true. I actually did jump back into the fighting game arena a few months earlier than that, with the Hori EX2 fighting stick.
I was still pretty new at the whole XBox 360 thing (I was a hardcore Nintendo guy for a long time), so I was a little bit behind the times when it came to games and controllers for the thing. But, when Street Fighter IV became a thing, I knew I had to have it. And since it played a lot like Street Fighter II in the arcades, a game I spent hundreds of hours on, I decided that I wanted to try and replicate that experience.
And finding them on clearance at my local Toys ‘R’ Us didn’t hurt, either.
So I had a controller that was better than the Super Advantage (by a long shot), and sort-of arcade-like, but I had a lot of problems with it. My biggest problem was with the ‘gate‘ that the joystick used. The ‘gate’ is the hole that the joystick goes through, and it can be square, circular, octagonal, or something else entirely, I guess. But this one is square, and for some reason, I couldn’t get the hang of it. I’d try to press ‘back’ and my hand would find ‘back-up’ and my character would jump, usually directly into a face-crushing combo. That kind of thing. That’s not too hard to get around. What is harder to get around is the breakaway cable.
This joystick, like a lot of joysticks, has a breakaway cable that keeps your Xbox on the table when someone walks through the room without paying attention and gets his foot wrapped around the cable. This is usually a good thing, but on this one for whatever reason, I had a lot of trouble keeping the thing plugged in. It kind of seemed like the cable would break away just from the weight of itself.
I fought with it for a while (in every sense of the word) until I just kind of petered out with Street Fighter IV. Since the arcade scene here dried up, it’s tough to find folks who want to play fighting games, and the people on the Internet are way too good for me to have much fun there. So, after a few months, I put this away and didn’t think about it again until I moved a few months later.