Monday, July 3, 2017

I'll Get You This Time, Gadget

I think my search for the perfect joystick may finally be over. I've had my eye on a MadCatz TE2 at a pawn shop in Sierra Vista for a while now... but apparently I was the only one interested, because it had been there for over a year without any takers. The manager cut the price from $130 to $90, and I was able to whittle that down to $75 after a little negotiation. I generally don't pay that kind of dosh for a controller, but after my past (often frustrating) experiences with cheap arcade sticks, it seemed like a wise decision to finally do things right, no matter the price.

Here it is in the box. Aside from some tearing on the box cover, the package is in excellent condition... the stick looks great and there are no missing pieces. There's even a screwdriver included so I can remove the plexiglass plate and replace the artwork... something I might actually do, because the lenticular Chun Li on the front is a little distracting.

And here it is out of the box. Not sure I'm down with the textured blue plastic along the edges, but past that, this is clearly a premium stick, outclassing anything else I've ever owned. (Or built. D'oh.) It's fully compatible with the Playstation 4, so I can finally play Namco's arcade series with a proper controller. The joystick is responsive, with minimal clicking, and the buttons have low actuating force, so even a light tap registers as a press. The control panel rests on a hinge, so you can open it up and swap button positions if you like (and I might; I'm not fond of the factory defaults). Start and select are set on the back of the stick, making it unlikely that you'll press them by accident. The USB cable screws into the back and can be stored inside the stick when you're not using it. 

In short, the TE2 is a class act all the way, and the fact that we no longer have Mad Catz making these should be distressing to fighting game fans. If it's any consolation, though, they're still ripe for the picking on eBay. Let's check out a few listings, shall we?

$369? Oh...kay. Surely there's an auction with a better price!

Five... hundred and fifteen dollars. Excuse me for a minute.

Wait, wait... all right, I'm good. Seriously. So like I was saying before... WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! You're paying FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a damn joystick?! Look, I get it. This has never been a cheap hobby, and the prices have risen exponentially in the last five years, but still! It's a JOYSTICK. You could buy a game system for that! Like, one of those fancy Xbox One Xbox One Xbox One Xs, or a Switch, or maybe even an NES Classic! Unless you're doing this professionally- and even that notion mystifies me- there is absolutely no reason to pay FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a joystick.

Five hundred dollars.

Five. Hundred. Dollars. Think about it.

I'll be back later, once I clean the drool off my shirt.

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