With the recent release of KOF XIII, I’m sure a lot of you guys are looking for a new joystick, with so many choices to choose from today it might be tough to decide on one. To ease your hunt for the perfect fight stick, I’m reviewing the Eightarc PS3 Pearl, which is the same as the Onyx except white.
Some of you might be wondering who is Eightarc? Well Eightarc is a company based in the U.S. – more specifically, in Northern California. Their joysticks are designed by Qanba who is another company relatively new to the fighting game scene, located in Asia so you will find the Qanba logo in a few places in these sticks. With that aside, let’s get into the stick itself.
First and most important is the parts: The Eightarc Pearl uses all Sanwa Denshi parts for the 8 face buttons and joystick. I’m sure this is no surprise as Sanwa has become the standard for competitive fighting games and has been adopted by many companies across the board.
Another noticeable difference between this joystick and the EightArc Fusion or Qanba Q4RAF is that the “START”, “SELECT”, “HOME”, “TURBO” AND “MODE” are on the sides of the joystick, unlike the other two that have it on the face, as well as using standard size Sanwa buttons as opposed to the tiny, pad like, buttons the Q4RAF and Eightarc Fusion use.
The button layout use is the now popular “Viewlix” layout. This efficient design is used in many arcades in Japan and now in America. This layout was designed to put less stress in your hands, causing less fatigue over long periods of game play. For this stick, it has eight buttons, four on top, and four on bottom. The first buttons on each row are lowered slightly, while the remaining six are all straightly lined up. This is so that one can play with the Japanese style layout using the lowered buttons with the straighter buttons, the American straight style without using the lowered ones, or set it up however you like.
This stick comes with a removable 10ft USB cord. This is a great feature as I’ve used sticks with compartments to store the USB cord, but find too much of a hassle to be putting it away again and again in tournaments, to the point of not doing it at all and I find myself dragging the USB cord all over the place. With the removable cable, I can simply unplug it from the console and my stick, then simply roll it up and put it in my pocket or bag.
The best feature about this stick has got to be the Velvet/Felt bottom. I play with the stick on my lap, so this felt bottom creates some friction to prevent unnecessary movement that might reposition the joystick, possibly causing input errors. I’ve used the MadCatz TE in the past, and there are times when I find myself repositioning the stick on my lap in between every round.
Replacing a broken button is very simple. All you have to do is unscrew the bottom of the stick and you will have access to the buttons and stick. Face buttons are Sanwa 30mm snap-in buttons so they can quickly be replaced in a tournament if needed. If you prefer American style buttons, you can replace the stock buttons with 30mm Seimitsu, Happ, or IL buttons.
One of the nice features about this stick is that you are able to customize it. Let’s face it, no one wants to have the exact same stick your buddy does. You can purchase a clear faceplate to replace the stock graphics that come with the stick to give it your own personal touch. As you can see in the pictures below, I have already done that and replaced the stock graphics with a neat Saiki design. Disclaimer: Opening your stick to replace the graphic or parts WILL void your warranty.
However I will warn you this might not be the easiest tasks to do especially if it’s the first time you customize a joystick. I have some experience moding and customizing the Madcatz TE stick and even I had some difficulties figuring it out. After an hour or so, I was able to replace the stock graphics only to find out that the replacement faceplate issued by Eightarc doesn’t fit properly. Without modding it, the plexi was up about 1mm all around above the rest of the stick’s plastic. With the replacement art, I could not get the top of the plexi to lower back to this point, and now it is rasied up by about 3mm above the rest of the stick. Not a major issue, but one that is noticable.
I will highly recommend this joystick to anybody who is looking for a good out of the box stick, I’ve personally have put it to the test taking it to several events in my area and even across the country to Philadelphia where I used it at NEC 12. Whether you need a stick for casual use or for competitive gaming this stick will meet your needs.
• PS3, PC compatible
• Qanba PCB
• Sanwa JLF joystick
• 8 Sanwa OBSF-30 buttons
• Turbo, Mode, Select, Home, Start buttons flush mount Qanba brand
• LED indicators for player, Mode, Turbo (PS3 only)
• MDF wood construction
• Piano finish
• Smooth curvature wrist rest
• Detachable USB cord
• USB cord length 10’
• Rubber feet
• Felt bottom
• 10 lbs.
• 15.5” x 10” x 2.5” joystick dimensions
Where to buy it:
+ Removable cord
+ Felt/Velvet Bottom
+ Dual Mod capable
+ Cheaper than most available arcade sticks.
– Not easy to customize
– Plexi is higher than the rest of the stick, which may cause discomfort
– Plexi will not fit properly when customized
– Customization will void your warranty
– No dual-modded option that has the exact same design or features of the Pearl/Onyx