My Street Fighter IV FightStick: An Odyssey - Destructoid

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I'm a 21 year old university student from Graz, Austria; studying Technical Physics at the Graz University of Technology.

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Sometime in January this year, I got really hyped for Street Fighter IV. So I thought: Hey, let‘s buy an arcade stick for SF IV. And so the story begins...

I have to admit, I knew SF was awesome before, but never got the chance to play it in the arcade. But I have got a good reason for not to play SF in the arcade: In Austria (where I live btw) arcades were or still are treated like casinos which means you are only allowed to get in there if you are over the age of 18(which I am now). So the only opportunities for me to play arcade games in an arcade were in Italy (when I was on vacation) where this subject was handled differently or the Italians just didn‘t care.

So back in January my brother and I thought about preordering the Madcatz Street Fighter IV FightStick Standard Edition. But in the end I didn‘t do it because it‘s Madcatz, you know. Perhaps they could screw it up (and they did).
Then in February SF IV was released and I bought the Collector‘s Edition for PS3. I unlocked all characters and played some of the challenges but it just didn‘t feel right. I came to the decision not to play SF IV again till I got an arcade stick.
The Madcatz sticks were sold out everywhere as was the Hori Real Arcade Pro Stick 3 for PS3. My brother bought a lower priced arcade stick, the Hori Fighting Stick 3, but I wanted something more awesome. I became a frequent visitor of, and, but the sticks were nowhere to find. Then I started searching on and for auctions of the above mentioned sticks, but the prices were horrendous. 170€ or 220$ for a Madcatz StandardEdition stick?? 300€ or 390$ for a Madcatz TournamentEdition stick?? WTF?? I thought I will never ever in my life pay that for a Madcatz product.
I also became a frequent visitor of the forums and read a lot about modding sticks and Sanwa parts and how easy it is to mod the Madcatz sticks. So I intended to buy a Madcatz stick + Sanwa buttons and a Sanwa JLF stick.

A few weeks without stick later: Boom! On a Saturday about 3 weeks ago on Madcatz Street Fighter IV FightStick StandardEdition for 90€!!! In stock!! I quickly made an account, put the stick into the 'shopping cart' and... no shipping to mainland Europe over a weight of blablabla! What?!?!?!?! So I tried 2 or 3 other british sites, but always the same result as on gamestation.
F*ck that, I thought.
In the end I bought a ‘slighty‘ overpriced Madcatz StandardEdition stick(125€) on from someone in Somerset.
The Sanwa OBSF-30 buttons (3 dark blue, 3 red and 2 white/black) and the Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT stick with white ball top were imported from Leipzig, Germany from THIS SITE.

After a f*cking long week of waiting I finally got my stick and the parts. MODDING-TIME!
I used THIS GUIDE from to mod my stick. First I was a little afraid that I couldn‘t mod the stick because I hadn‘t done something like this before, but I was really easy and took me about one and a half to two hours to do it.
To come to an end, the stick is sweet, I love it. The biggest difference for me between the standard Madcatz and the Sanwa parts is the stick, the buttons feel just a little bit better.
(The standard Madcatz stick got stuck after 5 minutes of playing. Oh Madcatz...)


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