Fighting sticks are once again becoming a huge part of our gaming culture. With the resurgence of the genre, fans are once again discarding their traditional d-pads for clicky joysticks. It can get confusing knowing which ones are worth buying, especially with how expensive they are. Genius has released a sort of budget-inspired stick for those maybe not wanting to invest a small fortune. While it gets the job done, there are a few setbacks that define the phrase, “you get what you pay for”.
The Genius F-1000 Gaming Arcade Stick is probably one of the worst names for a piece of hardware I have ever heard. The stick is compatible with both PS3 and PC, but not Xbox 360 due to its proprietary input design. The button layouts on the stick showcase both numbers (to map for PC) and the standard PS3 square, circle, triangle etc. Plugging the controller into the PC, I was greeted by a quick device install and was off to the races. Booting up any game allowed me to configure my buttons, or I could set them up in the Control Panel just as easily; no software required.
For reference I tested out Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter x Tekken and Street Fighter IV on PC. Mostly because these are the few fighting games available on PC. On PS3, I tested out Injustice, King of Fighters XIII and Street Fighter IV. All worked great, and having an arcade stick always brings back memories of playing in dark arcades as a youth for me. I also tested out some classic arcade titles such as Altered Beast and Streets of Rage for PSN, which worked out extremely well. The Genius Arcade Stick definitely delivers what it advertises.
That said, it is worth noting that this stick will run you $60, which comes with some setbacks. The most notable is that customizing it for tournament play is not an option. The default buttons and stick are not the best, and for serious fighting game players this will be a deal breaker. I cannot see this stick being used at tournaments, but for those looking more for casual play, it serves its purpose.
The build of the stick feels good. It has a solid weight to it, and runs about the same size as the Street Fighter IV stick from Mad Catz (12” x 9” x 2.5”). It sits nice on my lap and the joystick clicks to give that feedback of movement. I felt the stick itself was a little loose for my liking, but it never manifested issues when performing quarter-circle motions, or even the fabled dragon punch motion. The buttons are fairly noisy and loose. I am not a fan, but sadly they cannot be replaced.
The F-1000 also comes with turbo functionality for those that use it and a three meter cable, with a one meter extension for larger areas. The overall package is nice, and for $60 it is hard to argue the value. Serious fighting game players will likely never give it a second glance, but if you are in the market for a cheap alternative Genius’ F-1000 delivers enough to make it worthwhile.
Recommendation: Only for those PC/PS3 players on a tight budget.
Review copy of fight stick provided by publisher.