Phoenix Real Arcade

I said a few entries back I was doing my first ever Arcade Stick mod, using a broken Pelican Real Arcade Universal as the base. Long story short, I stuck a Suzo-Happ Ultimate joystick and some buttons (also Suzo-Happ) in there, ordered an MC Cthulhu from Godlike Controls) and stuck it in there too, wired it all up, and tested it out.

So far, the Cthulhu is a great device, and I don’t want to throw dirt on it, but one thing I will say is that its hype makes it sound easier to install than it really is. A lot of blogs will say it requires no soldering, but that’s not entirely true. Yeah, it has a built-on USB jack, so its only truly solderless if you’re gonna play just MAME all the time. If you want to make it work on a console, you’re gonna have to wire it up, and that takes soldering.

That being said though, I was surprised at how pathetically easy soldering actually is. It’s basically like gluing something, except that the glue is actually a sort of metal that liquifies if you touch it with a hot enough stick (and then solidifies again almost the exact moment you pull that stick away). Basically, I just stuck a bunch of copper wires in place using leftover pieces of the T-1000. I’m not saying the project was effortless–I pulled an all-nighter to get it done–but it wasn’t near as difficult as I went in expecting, either.

My only fear left is whether or not the Cthulhu will short out PS2s, just like the Pelican’s old circuit board used to. Nobody on Shoryuken or anywhere else has mentioned it doing so, but I doubt any of them are playing old-school games like I am, so its up to me to test it. I hope it works though, because so far I have created a great stick. I can now actually play Art of Fighting and fricking STRATEGIZE instead of worrying about whether or not I’ll pull off the move right…

… Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Some older fighting games (like Art of Fighting, the earlier Fatal Fury games and even the original Street Fighter) are very strict about command inputs. The Special Moves have to be done precisely right or they won’t work. I realized though, that this means they’re good training–if you can pull off the Shoryuken in Street Fighter 1, then you can pull it off in damn near anything else as well. I guess that means I’m gonna hit up the dojo now.

As for the stick, I now call it “the Phoenix Real Arcade.” And I have a second one too, that I’ll do as soon as I feel up to it.

Still trying to set up my review series by the way. I’m thinking of testing the waters with a pair of cartoon reviews, since for those all I need are clips from DVD releases.

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