Category Archives: Review

Hori Real Arcade Pro v3 review

Just in time for the Christmas holiday, old faithful, my modded HRAP3, started to show signs of wear. The main issue was the USB cable was starting to tear at the point it enters the case. I’ve had this stick for about 4 years and it has been heavily used in that time frame so it’s demise was not too surprising. After looking into all of the available sticks, I decided to stick with Hori and bought a Real Arcade Pro v3.

The first thing you’ll notice upon taking the v3 out of the box is the weight. It is much lighter than the HRAP3, MadCatz TE or any other large stick on the market. In fact, it’s only slightly heavier than the MadCatz SE stick. The other point that I immediately checked out is the wiring into the case. The USB cord is reinforced and sits on the base of the stick inside the compartment that houses the cable, reducing stress at that point and eliminating the possibility of the same fault as the HRAP3.

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Eightarc PS3 Pearl Review by The Answer

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.
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Qanba Q4RAF triple mod joystick review Part 1

Qanba Q4RAF 3 in 1 stick

Today I take a look at the Q4 Real Arcade Fighting stick. Qanba, originating from Shenzhen China, is a new manufacturer to the Joystick scene. For their first real effort to break into the international market for fighting sticks, the Q4RAF is an amazing entry.

$149.99 for a dual modded (plus PC) stick is a bargain. In comparison, I bought my Hori HRAP3 V3 SA, which I still use today, for about $120. The Hori is only compatible with the PS3 and if you were to dual mod most sticks, it’ll cost you $50+ and if you want to do it correctly, it’ll be $100+ at the very least.

Right out of the box, the stick is aesthetically pleasing. With a slick black piano finish on top, metal plate to house four buttons and the switch to swap between PS3, and XBOX360 and dual LED lights to indicate which controller you’re sync as– the Q4 instantly oozes class and let’s you know it’s not messing around. All buttons are label with both PS3 and XBOX corresponding buttons. On the front of the stick is a carrying handle which at first may seem odd, but after using it you wonder why they never made it standard any sooner. Since the handle is on the front, the compartment to store your cord is located on the left side. The actual top panel, which can be customize to your liking, is flush with the entire top surface which reinforces a high quality of fit and finish.

The Q4 is roughly the same size as the original Mad Catz TE stick give or take a little. It weighs in around 13lbs giving it a nice sturdy feel especially compared to my lighter HRAP3. Qanba did not slack in the attention to detail department either as they added a felt bottom for players who like resting their joysticks on their lap (another one of those can’t-believe-they-didn’t-do-this-in-the-first-place features). All the buttons are Sanwa (minus the start button) and so is the stick itself. The start button is located to the right of the eight buttons and is ever so slightly elevated, enough so that you should not accidentally press it (once again, a testament to Qanba’s attention to detail).

For $149.99, the Q4RAF comes with two button caps for those who choose to disable buttons, headset for XBOX360 users and a microfiber cloth to wipe your stick.

After using the stick for more than a week of playing, including a tournament session, here are my thoughts:

+ Good weight coupled with felt bottom makes stick incredibly sturdy to play on your lap
+ Sanwa parts
+ Dual modded
+ $149.99
+ Quick disconnects to replace buttons or install button plugs makes it convenient

– Start button on top surface
– Cable on the side sometimes gets in your way
– Cable only 2.8meters

Stay tuned for my video summary wrap up, but in the meantime take a gander over some photos below.

Administrator with Dream Cancel reviews KOF XIII

Oops, we did a boo-boo. In our excitement of the release of KOF XIII, we completely forgot to post up this review written by none other than iPlaywinner’s CEO/Founder, @haunts, himself:

“In a day where matches can’t seem to be won without the use of some crazy comeback mechanic, one has to wonder what happened to all the real honest fighting games. I miss the days when you’re down to your last sliver of life, and nothing was going to save you except flawless execution and the will to win. While we’ve seen some old classics come back on XBLA/PSN, for the most part I had given up hope on ever seeing a game that didn’t have some gameplay mechanic that resulted in easy-mode comebacks.

That is, until I laid my hands on King of Fighters XIII”

Head on over to read the full review:
Real Honest Fighting Never Looked so Good as it Does in The King of Fighters XIII

PDP Marvel controller review

PDP Versus fighting pad for Xbox 360 and the NeoGeo pad for PS3

PDP, formerly Pelican, has released a Marvel themed “Versus fighting game controller.” Since the pad seems to take a lot of inspiration from the NeoGeo pads and, unlike the NeoGeo pad, is available for the Xbox 360 I thought I should review it.

Let’s get this out of the way: This pad feels pretty much on par with the NeoGeo pad. If you play on 360 and want this sort of pad, go forth and spend the $40.

The stick itself feels very similar to the NeoGeo pad but is a tiny bit more sensitive. There’s a nice click whenever the stick is moved in one of the eight directions. The clicks easily mark each directional position to the player. It only took me a few seconds to be able to cancel Kyo’s Fireball into his super with the PDP pad in 2002UM. The best part about the stick is the covering. Whereas the NeoGeo pad has a 2 part stick cover which will eventually lead to ground plastic in the stick innards, the PDP pad has a single cover which should provide excellent protection against dust and other abrasive elements.

The buttons on the PDP pad are hard to figure out. They are as sensitive as Sanwas and have a nice click when activated. These buttons feel much more crisp and precise than the spongy buttons on the NeoGeo pad. That said, the row of buttons on the PDP pad are in a straight diagonal row as opposed to the soft arc of the NeoGeo pad buttons. The PDP buttons are also much closer together than the buttons on the NeoGeo pad. I love the feel of the PDP buttons but wish they were as ergonomic as the NeoGeo pad buttons.

The NeoGeo pad is slightly heavier than the PDP pad but both feel equally solid. The slightly textured backing on the PDP pad feels really good, maybe even a bit better than the NeoGeo pad ABS plastic finish. The cord on the PDP pad is about 6 inches longer than the NeoGeo pad. The Start and Select buttons on the PDP pad are out of the way and are somewhat hard to activate so there are no worries about accidentally pressing those during a match. I’ve never really had a problem with those buttons on the NeoGeo pad but I know most players are quite concerned with the placement of these potential round enders.

In the end, the PDP pad is quite equivalent to the NeoGeo pad. I prefer the NeoGeo pad’s button layout, finish and weight. The PDP pad has nicer buttons and a stick that seems less vulnerable to problems resulting from dust. It’s about time someone has taken the NeoGeo CD/Pocket stick and attempted to improve upon the design and market it to fighting game players. The question will be the durability of the controller in the long run. Will the PDP pad end up being another flimsy piece of tech or has PDP, aka Pelican, pulled a Mad Catz and turned themselves around. Only time will tell.

NeoGeo Station impressions

SNKP released the NeoGeo Station on the Playstation Network last night. There’s been a lot of conjecture on what exactly NeoGeo Station is. It’s not an application or anything of the sort; it’s actually just the publisher’s page on the PSN. All of the games are listed on this page as they are released. The games do share a common settings file which contains user-defined options such as graphic settings. I downloaded Samurai Shodown last night and King of Fighters 94 this morning to test them out.

The emulation is great and has a lot of features that justify the $9 purchase price. Under the Screen Setting tab, players can define display mode, scanlines, smoothing and 1 of 4 wallpapers. Display mode offers the choice of normal and fit, which fits the height of the screen. On my 42″ television, normal mode was 410% and fit is about 500%. I prefer the normal view. Scanlines can be turned on or off with off as the default. The smoothing feature is very subtle and looks great on my HDTV. It’s not a drastic change, like the filter in KoFXI, but a slight reduction in the sharpness of the edges of the sprite. The 4 wallpapers are made up of 1 game specific and 3 general system wallpapers – a NeoGeo console, a G-Mantle image and the old school blue and yellow logo. Any preferences changed under Screen Settings will be applied to all titles in the NeoGeo Station series.

Under the Etc. tab, players can turn Quick start on/off and Game Save State can be set to on/off as well. Players can turn Original Bugs on or off here. Lots of people expressed concern over the original bugs being present but it seems SNKP has addressed this. The default setting for all 3 of these preferences is off. The region can be set to either ENG or JPN at this screen.

Each game can have 8 replays saved to it. A replay is not a single game but a session. I’ve saved a few online sessions that were 7 or 8 minutes long.

Finally, there is the Online Mode. This tab allows players to choose Quick Match, Search Matches, Create Matches or Check Invitations. There are no lobbies or ranked matches in these games. In the Search Matches menu, the player can choose search parameters such as Ping, Region and Player Side. Ping can be set as Any, 5 bars only or any range between 0 and 5 bars, i.e. 1-5, 2-5, etc. The region can be set as either JPN or ENG. Once the criteria are filled in and the search function is ready to start, the player can choose to play the game while the search is conducted. I’ve found that my games are more quickly connected through the quick matching service; still, the choice is nice.

There seems to be mixed reviews on the netcode. I’ve played roughly 20 matches of Samurai Shodown, some via wireless but most through a wired connection and I’ve had nothing but great connections. I spent 30 minutes getting acclimated to the game again before playing any online games. So far, I’ve had 1 instance of stutter during the knock out animation at the end of a round. For comparison, my PS3 is connected via a wired connection with forwarded ports and my connection generally runs 20 down/4 up.

In closing, I find myself extremely excited about the NeoGeo Station. The NeoGeo is one of my favorite all-time game libraries and I look forward to the release of the classics – SamSho II, IV; KoF 98, 2002; Real Bout Fatal Fury 2; Garou; and others. In the press release announcing NGS, SNKP promised to release some games that have never been available outside of Japan before, so here’s hoping for SamSho V Special.

NeoGeo Pad USB review

I ordered a couple of the NeoGeo Pads expecting them to be exact replicas of the NeoGeo 2 Pad for PS2. I received the controllers today and found this assumption to be false.

The box is a mat black coated cardboard and is branded with the NeoGeo 20th Anniversary logo, clearly tying in with the NeoGeo Station being released next week on the PlayStation Network. The back of the box indicates that the button configuration can be changed to the classic, straight button layout instead of the standard PlayStation layout.

The stick is tighter and requires a slightly heavier touch to activate the directional switch. This gives the stick a more solid feel but I found it made hopping and hyper hopping harder to perform. The upside is that this likely means the stick will wear better in the long run. The stick feels as precise as any of the NeoGeo CD pads I’ve used and that’s a good thing.

The controller body has a slightly satin finish and is textured allowing a good grip on the controller. The buttons also have a slight texture to them which is an improvement over the slicker feeling finish on the PS2 pads. The buttons require less pressure to activate than the PS2 version. I find that to feel much better for faster moving games in the NeoGeo library. The cord is much thicker than the USB cord on the NeoGeo 2 USB stick (Version 1). The select and start buttons are identical to those on the PS2 pad. The home button is countersunk with the top of the controller and is rather hard to press. This is very convenient for tournament play but is not so good for casual play at home. I had to use the edge of my fingernail to activate the home button. As expected, this pad does not work with PS2 games on backwards compatible PS3 systems. The pad works perfectly with Windows.

If you prefer pad or are nostalgic for the NeoGeo CD controller, this pad is a great option. It’s precise, solid and works very well for fighters.