Mad Catz has a lot coming for the fighting game fan in the near future in terms of fight sticks but they haven't forgotten the player who loves to play with a fightpad. At CES this week, Mad Catz also revealed the brand new Street Fighter x Tekken Fightpad S.D. and, once again, it's a winner.
The S.D. stands for "Super Deformed," a reference to the Japanese style of drawing characters in a diminutive fashion. It's a good fit, as the gamepad sees a 15% reduction in size from the Street Fighter IV pad, an expressed request of Yoshinori Ono himself.
Not that I would ever doubt the wisdom of Ono-san, but I'm happy to say that the adjustment really does make a huge difference. My little man-hands are perfectly capable of using a standard pad, but this smaller version nestles more comfortably and reminds me of the SEGA Saturn pad from long ago and far away. The button layout is nice and tight, everything accessible with very little movement of the thumb necessary. In particular, I liked the shoulder buttons which feel firm enough to prevent any accidental press from a tight grip yet click down in a very satisfying manner.
Even outside of fighting games, this is a pad that I'd give some thought to picking up for some of the more pixel-perfect platformers I play. It's another solid offering from Madcatz, who continue to impress with their ability to design based on the needs of an increasing variety of gamers.
You can grab the Street Fighter x Tekken Fightpad SD for $39.99 when it releases in early March.