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Do you drive (arcade) stick?


Benny
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I even played a bit of SNES Smash TV on it. It doesn't quite work for the directional shooting because the button layout isn't in a diamond formation, but it makes me want to buy another one just to play twin stick arcade shooters...

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Using a stick is the only way I can make any sort of progress in shmups (Mushihimesama, Dodonpachi, Crimzon Clover, Deathsmiles etc.). My (fugly but slick) stick is connected on USB but I'd be super interested to try one of these 8bitdo sticks. I've got one of their bluetooth pads for Switch and it's wonderful (better than the Pro Controller IMO).

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Better than a Switch Pro would take some doing.

 

I played several retro shmups on it last night. The stick made navigating around enemies feel smooth and natural. It felt really fantastic for R-Type III for example.

 

I would caution with this stick though that the movement does feel quite "loose" as it doesn't click particularly perceptibly, which I'm not sure if that's true of all sticks just going by vague arcade memories. Though mind you all those old arcades I played were probably gummed up with scum.

 

The loose feel was exactly what I needed though as I can still move it easily with a damaged hand. Street Fighter 2 was a bit tricky though, had to learn how to do fireballs again, and I don't think I can flick it fast enough yet for DPs, as I couldn't do them for the life of me. Got on okay with Guile when I realised you just had to be quick.

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8 minutes ago, Benny said:

I would caution with this stick though that the movement does feel quite "loose" as it doesn't click particularly perceptibly, which I'm not sure if that's true of all sticks just going by vague arcade memories. Though mind you all those old arcades I played were probably gummed up with scum.

 

It can definitely be that, although it can also be just the parts that are in the cabinet overall - your typical 90s wooden UK/European cabinet usually had a Suzo bat-top joystick in it, which required a lot more force. American cabinets had Happ, which is similar.

 

A fair few candy cabinets had Seimitsu parts, and any Japanese styled ball-top joysticks in wooden cabinet refurbs are probably clones from Chinese manufacturers like Zippy - both of which were firmer to actuate, as well.

 

I won't go into Korean parts, as that's Tekken territory and that's a lecture in itself about wavedash technique and rubber bands. And, well, you won't see them unless you specifically order that shit from Korea - every other example is floating around in the UK in one way or the other.

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Yeah there's huge variance in sticks, even from same ranges. My personal favourite for shooters is the Sanwa JLF TM-8T, which is really mushy feeling. It's actually quite different feeling to the Sanwa JLF TP-8YT, my favoured stick for fighters, which is surprising as it looks like the TP-8YT is the same stick but with a PCB which means you only need a single ground wire. The Sanwa JLW is different again, that was designed for wooden cabinets rather than candy cabs and is a fair bit tighter.

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One thing I did notice is that the stick "rattles" a little in the chassis, that would of course be death for an analogue stick, but for this one it obviously doesn't matter as it's digital and just gives it more travel. Again though, no idea if that is normal. The stick itself arrive in an unsealed box, in that it didn't have a seal or anything over the closing tab, but didn't see any obvious signs of it being a return (something I always get suspicious about in an unsealed box.)

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3 hours ago, Beezer said:

I finished Hollow Knight with a stick. Highly recommended.

 

That's tempting. Does it not require analogue or analogue and d-pad at the same time then?

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29 minutes ago, Benny said:

One thing I did notice is that the stick "rattles" a little in the chassis, that would of course be death for an analogue stick, but for this one it obviously doesn't matter as it's digital and just gives it more travel. Again though, no idea if that is normal. The stick itself arrive in an unsealed box, in that it didn't have a seal or anything over the closing tab, but didn't see any obvious signs of it being a return (something I always get suspicious about in an unsealed box.)

 

It's fairly normal to have a bit of give - normally, a Japanese-style ball-top joystick is held under a bit of tension with a small central vertical spring and c-clip as part of the actuator housing, but the actual feel comes from the tension when the actuator hits a microswitch in a particular direction (as well as the plastic gate to make sure you feel a defined end to the throw - usually a square gate to define corners, can be a cross gate to feel just four directions linearly or an octagon gate for more fluid rotation motions).

 

Of course, it'll rattle as you thrash it and it eventually compresses over time, too. You could stretch the spring out to alleviate it or mod it entirely for a different spring.

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What's interesting is this one is a square gate and it feels great for Streets of Rage 4, but I'd imagine an octagonal gate would be a lot better for fighting games with a lot of quarter and half circle motions, and maybe that's why I was struggling with SF2 initially as you can mash through the movement on a d-pad.

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Give it a few days and you'll be smashing out hadoukens and shoryukens in no time. Transitioning from pad to stick especially for fighters isn't instantaneous and you will get used to the amount of travel, force and timing of the buttons presses with practice.

 

I can play really well on a stick but nothing I can't do on a Sega Saturn controller which is the GOAT input method for 2D games, IMO :) 

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The only sticks I regularly use are the Megadrive Arcade Power Stick if I'm playing a shoot 'em up (I find I do better on the likes of Hellfire using the stick) and the Astro City Mini Arcade Stick. Some games, like Shinobi, are only really playable with the stick on that system as far as I'm concerned. There are points in Shinobi where you have to turn around super quick and shoot behind you and I just can't do it on the pad. 

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seimitsu sticks used to be recommended for shmups, because of a shorter throw or something, not sure if that's still a thing, i tried but didn't get on with it. saturn pad all the way for me too.

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I think I've got Seimitsu in my main arcade stick - primarily because I prefer the shorter throw, and the buttons have a rather defined press to them that Sanwa buttons lack. Basically, I smash inputs like a neanderthal and the Seimitsu is a bit more rugged.

 

But honestly, the only reason I like using a stick these days is because it's universally accepted - I'm not really a fan of pad converters to get a nice controller working on a certain console, but I know I can revert back to an arcade stick with a decent multiformat pcb to push buttons if a particular format has a crap controller.

 

It's been less of an issue with newer consoles, thankfully, but I'll still drag it out for a bit of VF, as that's how I learnt to play on stick in the bloody first place.

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

 

That's tempting. Does it not require analogue or analogue and d-pad at the same time then?

I don’t think there is any analogue control. I think you’ll need an 8 button stick though. I had it mapped as jump, attack, dash, magic along the bottom row, then nail, super dash, quick cast and map along the top. To get to the inventory, double tap the map button and zoom out (fine once you get used to it).

 

The controls are very responsive. I thought it felt great and now I’m praying that Silksong doesn’t introduce analogue controls so I can play that the same way.

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Yeah, I use the brook universal fighting board for the pcb, seimitsu ls-40-1 for the stick, and seimitsu PS-14-GN buttons.

Qanba q4 is my favourite shell, though the pcb's they come with can be temperamental, so best to go with something else if you're not planning on swapping that out.

 

ls-40 is very similar to the ls-32 but it gets rid of the "jumping" issue if you ride the gate too hard, and it feels a little tighter and more precise.

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3 hours ago, Kryptonian said:

I'm surprised no one suggested (unless I missed it) buying the stick/buttons and usb zero delay board and a nice case to put them in.

 

2 hours ago, ImmaculateClump said:

Yeah, I use the brook universal fighting board for the pcb, seimitsu ls-40-1 for the stick, and seimitsu PS-14-GN buttons.

Qanba q4 is my favourite shell, though the pcb's they come with can be temperamental, so best to go with something else if you're not planning on swapping that out.

 

ls-40 is very similar to the ls-32 but it gets rid of the "jumping" issue if you ride the gate too hard, and it feels a little tighter and more precise.


I rather fancy a little project of building an arcade stick. I don’t want to spend loads of money, I do want a little craft project, So is there a good guide to read through on what sort of things I need for this?

 

I would primarily want it to work on Xbox series X, but it’d be great to be universal, to work on Switch , Mac and PC.

 

I Had a venom PS3/4 stick which was ok enough, but while it just about worked on pc I don’t think it works on Xbox and an adapter doesn’t seem to be cheap enough.

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Played a bit of Huntdown on it. It's a somewhat brilliant way to play it, only the way the controls work is maybe not quite as well suited as far as buttons go. But it does make it feel like you've found the best arcade game ever in Arcade mode.

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On 14/06/2022 at 16:51, Benny said:

I'm eyeing up the current complete Capcom Arcade Collection on Steam now for £15...

 

Worth it?

 

one of the packs has progear and gigawing, so definitely worth it for those, on the other hand apparently there were some problems with it on launch, some stuttering or something on some games iirc, so not sure if they've fixed that.

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