Thursday, April 16, 2009

The CD-R King USB Arcade Stick on the Playstation 3 - An Honest (But Not Cynical) Opinion

(*Pictures included below. I also have a picture of the BUTTON CONFIGURATION Screen for Street Fighter IV for the Playstation 3, configured for use with the CDR-King USB Arcade Stick. This will surely be useful for anyone considering to buy the CD-R King USB Arcade Stick. Mapping the buttons on the CD-R King stick can be quite tedious, with the way SFIV is set up for button mapping.)

I spent a (relatively) small amount of money on one of those generic USB Arcade Sticks that they're selling over in CD-R King (the stick cost PHP 550). The thing is, arcade sticks for the Playstation 3 have become extremely rare now that Street Fighter IV is out. Playing on the PS3 controller is workable, but gives me a sore left thumb.

It's one of the hassles of living in an 'unsupported' country that I haven't got any easy access to peripherals for game consoles. Even before SFIV came out, arcade sticks for any console here in the Philippines is extremely rare, and even if they do come out, they're a bit expensive and you don't have that many sticks to choose from. Usually I've seen the regular Hori sticks being offered in some game stores. I've never, ever seen any store offer the high end HRAP3 or the Hori Pro.EX arcade sticks.

As I mentioned before, I already have a Hori EX2 stick for my Xbox 360, which I used for WCG last year and I'm continuing to use for online gaming with SF4 on the Xbox 360. Having picked up SF4 for the PS3, playing on the pad just isn't as satisfying as playing with an arcade stick. So when I found this stick at CD-R King, I thought, why not? It's inexpensive, and even if it turns out to be a bust I could just use this occasionally for any PC games I come across which use it.

I remember in my early days I had this horrific arcade stick for the SNES, which you had to stick on the floor with suction cups. It was even more expensive than this CD-R King Stick (I recall it was about 2,500 or more....). It wasn't made by Hori at all; it was a no-name brand and the build quality was horrendous. The stick was so light that would still slide off the table/ground easily, and playing fighting games with it was a pain at times. But for me, back then, it was enough to prepare for the trip to the arcade; at least my hands got used to the motions for special moves in fighting games. The important thing is to get into the habit of hitting BACK to block, positioning the stick properly when starting up a combo, and so on. This was what that old SNES stick taught me, despite all its shortcomings.

And besides, I didn't really have much of a choice, being here in the Philippines, with no official support for any game console.

So I thought, if I could live with a really shabby fighting stick before, when I was around 12 years old, why can't I do the same today? Considering that I don't really have a choice....I could order online again, but knowing how Philippine customs taxes can be EXTREMELY expensive here in the Philippines, I really don't want that kind of hassle. I paid a lot for customs duties just to get the Hori EX2 stick from Play Asia. Luckily the EX2 isn't that heavy. Imagine if I ordered the Hori Pro.EX. I'd probably be taxed 50% the purchase price or even more....Ouch!

Besides, 550 for a very plain fighting stick doesn't seem to be much. I already tried searching online for info on the CD-R King stick, and there really isn't that much info on it available. So I thought, maybe I should talk about it so that people thinking of buying it will have a better idea (on whether or not to get one of these things). I don't know if there's any other source of information on the CD-R King stick online, anywhere, so maybe this will be a bit helpful.

I tried the stick on the Playstation 3. It also works for the PC but it does NOT work for the Xbox 360. At the PS3's XMB interface, for some reason I had some trouble using the stick in moving the directional pad around the XMB. So I used the PS3 controller to start the game.

When Street Fighter IV eventually loaded, all the functions on the stick started working again. The 8 way directional stick started working again and the buttons didn't seem to have any problems. The stick itself feels much more loose than my Hori EX2 stick. It seems to have a square gate, so diagonals aren't a problem for me in using it. (I prefer a square gate so I can easily tell if I'm hitting a diagonal direction. It's just a preference of mine.)

For the most part, I haven't encountered that many problems with it. Compared to my Hori EX2 stick, of course the EX2 feels better, but the USB Arcade Stick feels like a practical solution. You won't be spending much when you buy this stick, and you won't be expecting much out of the package. But honestly, I didn't have problems doing special moves, moving around the map, etc....the USB arcade stick from CD-R King is pretty responsive. Just note that the USB cord on this CD-R King stick is quite short; you'll have to get something to make it longer if your couch is far away from your TV.

After two hours of play, the only issue I noticed was that you have to push forward a bit more when you're executing a QCF/Hadoken motion. Also, I had a few issues in executing Ultras (Ryu's Metsu Hadoken); sometimes an EX Shoryuken would come out instead of the Ultra. I rarely have this issue with the Hori EX2. There's a slight timing difference in pressing the buttons on this CDR-King stick. If you do it wrong, it will only register one button hit and then register the three button hits right after, so I end up getting the EX Shoryuken instead. I know this because I looked at the input display in training mode; it seems it has a bit of a tough time getting my simultaneous button presses. But then, there are times when I can do it flawlessly.....so overall, the issue is there, but it can be ignored. If you hate the issue, you could always map the three button input to one other button so that you don't have to press all three buttons at once. I don't do that, though; I'm a purist, I suppose.

I had my brother try out the stick; he uses Zangief, and he tells me it's ok....again, it's not like the Hori stick in terms of build quality, but considering the price, you get exactly what you pay for. He said at the very least, it's less painful to execute the Ultimate Atomic Buster on the USB Arcade Stick than it is to execute it with the Playstation 3 controller's D-Pad (the move is executed by spinning the stick 360 degrees 2 times, and then pressing 3 punch buttons).

As for longevity....well, we'll have to wait on that one. I just bought this stick yesterday. Of course, costing 550 it isn't fair to expect this stick will last a long time...If ever it does break I will be sure to post here about that. But for now, after playing with it at the same level of intensity that I do with the Hori stick, it seems to be sturdy enough. I played a few local matches and player matches with this USB Arcade Stick, and for the most part, it seemed to hold up well.

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The picture below is a comparison pic with the HORI FIGHTING STICK EX2 which I own for the Xbox 360.
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CDR-King USB Arcade Stick Button Configuration Mapping for STREET FIGHTER IV.
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2 comments:

  1. how or what to do to be able to detect an arcade stick from cdr king on my ps3!! cause it doesnt work?? is there any configuration or costumizing??

    pls help me!
    tnx,

    ReplyDelete
  2. I spent several days or months trying to find a high quality arcade stick to play Tekken. I never liked anything from CDR-King, since 99% of its wares were all Chinese crap. But it seems to me there isn't much too choose from.

    ReplyDelete