Mad Catz has primarily been making fight sticks with the Capcom fighters in mind up to this point. And while they've been doing a fine job of that, Soulcalibur V has provided them with a prime opportunity to reach further in bringing arcade experiences into homes.
Their new Soulcalibur V Arcade Fightstick: SOUL Edition has all of the elements that make their other arcade-style controllers great. It's the same Sanwa hardware on the inside of the chassis and offers the same level of customization, whether you're replacing your buttons or the artwork.
The real difference lies in the layout of the controls. Mad Catz has endeavored to recreate the Namco design, which features attack buttons arranged in an arc instead of flat across. Additionally, the stick itself has been moved closer to the buttons to conform with their standard cabinet panel layout.
While I'm not a particularly active player of fighting games, I've always preferred the Namco arcade design over that of Capcom's. That's probably because I just wind up mashing buttons and having that little curve makes it easier to hit a bunch at once and feel like I'm doing something. For someone who actually knows what they're doing on a Tekken or Soulcalibur arcade machine, it's great to see Mad Catz deliver another solid product to take care of those players. The Arcade Fightstick: SOUL Edition stick will launch alongside Soulcalibur V when it drops at the end of this month.