ASCII Stick FT

The Dreamcast is one of the greatest systems for fans of 2D fighting games and shooters. Luckily any fan looking to replicate the arcade experience at home has a variety of options to choose from including Sega's official offering the infamous "green goblin" arcade stick as well as the Saturn inspired ASCII FT controllers. ASCII, the official supplier for third party Dreamcast peripherals in Japan also released custom "Capcom" and "SNK" versions as well as a standard "Stick FT" arcade stick to coincide with the release of Capcom vs SNK. The SNK stick I own is blue and white to represent the colors of SNK and it is a beauty. As soon as you pick it up, you can feel its quality. The the stick ball, buttons and plate around them are made from very hard plastic that feels smooth and strong enough to take a good pounding. It also has a decent weight to it to ensure the stick doesn't slip during gameplay.



Overall, the arcade stick is more compact than the Green Goblin and the stick itself is shorter, but I like smaller area which gives you more grip. Something you will also notice straightaway is that it doesn't make that clicking sound which some sticks do. Still, it doesn't bother me (in fact I prefer not having to listen to what sounds like a swarm of cicadas in your living room while you play) and the motion is very smooth with a light spring that stops dead in the middle when released. This ensures that the action is smooth but positive. I also like the curved design of the unit which feels really easy on the old forearms which I find a problem with some sticks. I also like how the VMU can be inserted vertically into the system so it sits on a slant and is clearly visible during gameplay which is something that I couldn't do with the Green Goblin. In fact, the only thing I could knock the stick for is the "rumble" feature  which is just not very good at all. It is just not strong enough, and is just a noisy annoyance but anyway there's a switch on the base to turn it off so it is not a huge issue.



Just like with the ASCII FT Fighting Pad, there are three standard variations of the stick to choose from. The SNK one above, a black and yellow Capcom edition, and a white and sky blue standard variations. They all have their own charm but I think the SNK one matches the aesthetics of the standard Dreamcast and that's why I went for this edition. It also comes with  the same packet of large Capcom vs SNK character cards complete with the character's moves list, the fighting pads do and there are tiny little brackets at the top of the stick to pin them to so you can looking  them while playing which is a cool novelty.

Overall, while they are both excellent peripherals I actually prefer this stick to the official Dreamcast one. It is slightly more compact but more comfortable as result and its the one I will go to for bouts of Capcom vs. SNK.

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