Saturday, March 28, 2009

Madcatz Street Fighter IV Fightpad and Street Fighter IV (XBOX 360)

- I picked one up from gamestop for $40
- Sucks that it is wired. Why won't microsoft license out the wireless stuff to any 3rd party controllers except for fake musical instruments??!!?? Cable is pretty long but I added a usb extension cable.
- The size and shape of the pad is just right. It feels really good in the hands.
- The d-pad is very responsive and works great for SF IV. It feels a bit loose and the travel distance is a bit more than I would have liked but it doesn't seem to have any negative impact.
- The buttons are pretty responsive though I find the X and A buttons a bit harder to reach depending on the size of your hands.
- The turbo feature works well and lets you toggle turbo on/off for each of the buttons on the fly. Settings are not persisted between power cycles of the xbox 360.
- Pulling off special moves, typical 3-4 hit combos, ex's, super's, and ultra's are all easily done with this pad.
- Pulling off more complex combos like ones that use focus cancel are pretty difficult to do mostly due to the buttons. I usually like to play with using my right thumb to press the buttons but switching to using your right fingers helps a bit if not quite as comfortable (and you can't hold the pad as steady). I think you really need an arcade stick with nice big buttons to play at that level consistently.

Street Fighter IV
- I am by no means an expert. I'm pretty limited in skill though I played a bunch of SF II back in college. I haven't really touched the series since then.
- I've unlocked all the characters including Seth (which is pretty nerfed as a playable character).
- The graphics and animation are great. It all runs smoothly even over xbox live (well most of the time). The network code really is pretty amazing.
- I love how they stuck mostly to the old school gameplay with an added level of depth if you wish to explore it.
- It took me a while to get use to the two button throws but I really like how you can counter/cancel them now.
- EX, super, ultra moves are a nice addition. I'm not sure how I feel about focus attacks though. It changes things quite a bit, and so far it's one of the harder new aspects for me to grasp and use effectively.
- Characters for the most part seem balanced with a few exceptions.
- Inviting friends over live works great.
- Quick match/player match is mostly broken. If you feel like playing random people just set it so people can challenge you during single player arcade mode. That way you are always playing either against the cpu while you wait for a challenger or some random internet person. I find this works much better than trying to go through quick/player match.
- No quarter mode.
- Being able to map the bumper buttons to all punches or kicks sure helps with some of the special moves.

Both are highly recommended. They really go great together. Once you play SFIV it's really hard to go back to SF II Turbo HD remix which I though was great before but is a bit of an eyesore in comparison. With the pretty much broken d-pad on the original xbox 360 controller, I can't imagine getting one without the other.

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