Hori Fighting Edge Stick Review
|Product Name:||Hori Fighting Edge|
|Platform:||Xbox 360, PS3|
|Features:||Featuring HORI original "Hayabusa" stick and "Kuro" buttons Programmable buttons, Tournament Mode, and other settings on integrated touch screen Cable storage for easy transport|
Keeping up with the shortlist of sticks that you’d be fortunate to get, I wanted to talk about my personal favorite (because I own one), the Hori Fighting Edge Stick. Yes, it’s been 2 years since this product came out and HORI has done an amazing job bringing in top-notch products, but I felt that doing this review as a living tribute to an amazing stick will hopefully usher in more of its use for the current generation.
The hype on the Fighting Edge
Perhaps one of the brand’s more ambitious and prominent designs (aside from the equally prominent and beastly VLX series), the Hori Fighting Edge had brought along a great deal of hype and excitement when it was announced in 2013. Needless to say, I was one of those people who was eager to get one for myself – almost as if I would try to hold Hattori Hanzo steel and wield it as I dragon-punched and super-fireballed my way to epic fighting game happiness.
Thank goodness I did get one, and you may have noticed through my site how I’ve mentioned on occasion how well-built this stick was and how I do not regret getting it. This set Hori’s standard when it came to usability and craftsmanship for the sticks that were next to come.
Building on the Fighting Edge’s sharpness
The Hori Fighting Edge has a sleek frame with the front panel slanted, perfect for resting your forearms as you play. It is noticeably lighter than the VLX series (which could essentially, hold down a pair of legs plus 1) but still provides a good amount of weight at its base.
The rubberized strips at the bottom allow for better protection for the stick’s underbody, not to mention prevents floor scratching. There are also 2 compartments on the wider end of the stick which houses the stick’s cable as well as a cleaning cloth – perfect for trying to get rid of the grime that can be found on top when playing.
The fact that it has a slanted side gives it an almost sword-like feel – the brand was inspired from the ancient Japanese sword Yaiba (hence the symbol/logo on the top surface), and claims that the stick embodied the fighting spirit that translated to the world of fighting games. But we’re merely scratching the surface when it comes to the unique features of this product.
And to add a greater effect of coolness to the stick, it comes with a strip of LED lights on either end of the stick’s surface, which flashes red for feedback when vibration is enabled, and glows a bright blue when you press and hold one the Tournament button on the touchscreen (which I’ll explain in the next section) – very cool!
The parts that make the Fighting Edge truly whole
The Hori Fighting Edge stood out for 3 unique parts to handle inputs and controls – the stick, the buttons and the touchscreen panel. The brand chose to tug on innovation by putting in these parts which they designed and built in-house.
The Hayabusa Stick is the most notable piece from these 3 – after numerous attempts to create a stock item that could go head-to-head with the Sanwa JLF’s, the Hayabusa Stick boasts of a square gate and a V-Cut Housing Structure – what this does is provide a more defined movement of the stick around the gated area, but at the same time brings input feedback with the least amount of surface touching the housing.
Because of this, the gamer is able to push the joystick in a direction and get a fully-pressed input without moving the stick all the way to the end. And with minimal internal parts of the stick touching the housing (an effect of how the housing “v” shape provides just enough contact area for the stick’s input to be recognized), the Hayabusa is meant to be more durable.
I will speak for this – I’ve had my 2 toddlers play around with my Fighting Edge’s stick and I still get the accurate motion inputs as I had gotten on the first day!
The Kuro buttons, also built internally by the brand, has a unique feel to it – the button’s plastic interiors have just enough spring and return travel that gives accurate input even with the lightest of presses. They also prove to be just as durable as Sanwa’s pushbuttons, which means the gamer does not have to press too hard to get a response, plus the buttons will last for a longer period of time.
To be honest, though, I did not feel any difference compared to the Sanwa buttons, but then again if the Kuro buttons were meant to replace the Sanwa ones, then I feel assured that the quality of the buttons will be intact for the years to come.
The final piece, and perhaps the most innovative part would be the touchscreen panel located on the right side of the stick – This part is comprised has 4 touch-buttons (Start, Back/Pause, Tournament Mode and Configuration Mode.) which can be enabled by press/holding on the illuminated symbols that represent these functions on the touchscreen.
While first 2 represent default buttons on a controller, Configuration mode acts a full disable of all stick controls in order to map buttons separately from the game being played. You can do this can be done by holding a button then moving up or down on the stick. Small letters will appear on the side of the touchscreen panel to indicate which button is currently being mapped to the one being held (like assigning B command to the “A” button on the stick) – while this feature is very dandy in not relying on the in-game control settings, compared to button configuration is done in other games this is a tad more tasking. Nonetheless, a good feature to have.
Tournament mode is the one feature that I’ve used often. Pressing this disables the touchscreen panel, which prevents gamers from accidentally hitting pause during a game (a definite no-no for tournament play as this automatically merits a lost round or match). And to further project your tournament play, the LED lights turn a bright blue while this mode is on! Who wouldn’t want to look extra fierce with those lights on? I will say, though, that this feature doesn’t play nice when hooked up to a USB hub (nevermind if it’s USB 3.0) as it take up to much current to keep on, thus messing up other wired connections to the hub. But other than that, extremely cool feature!
A stick that guarantees a fighting chance
Let’s face it – the transition from controller to stick is a very intimidating one, since you would be using a device that provides you more range of control and access to all buttons in a manner that doesn’t stress your grip. This larger liberty of movement and input also requires precision and dexterity to pull off moves and long combos, which means playing on stick has a very punishable margin of error that is reached constantly (even more for beginners).
I generally feel that way when I use other arcade sticks, but with the Hori Fighting Edge, I honestly believe that they’ve curbed technology in a way that helps improve your execution significantly.
I honestly feel more at ease pulling off moves when I play on the Fighting Edge, as it’s easier to find the thresholds for movement with the Hayabusa stick compared to others where you have to drive the stick to the maximum extent then guide it back. This puts a good strain for input control and develops bad muscle memory.
The feedback from the Kuro buttons, while not as sellingly effective as the Sanwa pushbuttons, are marginably better than other buttons manufactured out there. For someone who’s constantly trying to improve his fighting game skills on an average joe’s wallet, the Fighting Edge really stands out – it’s an arcade stick that not just grows on you, but more importantly grows with you.
I highly recommend the Hori Fighting Edge for anyone who’s either wanting to start out in fighting games, or have been around and are looking for a stick that has “subtle” features that can improve your execution. Yes, it can be modded as well with other sticks/buttons, not to mention the newer arcade stick PCB’s also support LED/touchscreen controls. Do check out this item at Amazon for the best deals and shipping conveniences!
Liking the Hori Fighting Edge as much as I do? Did you have any questions about the product? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be glad to answer them!Get a Fighting Edge While Supplies Last!