At the London MCM Expo, there were a many cosplayers about showing off their costumes and indulging in the anime themed stands with all their merchandise and digital media. One area of the expo that has been gaining ground for a while now is the videogames side of things as many publishers were out to show their recently released or upcoming titles to the public.
One company who do not publish games but make great peripherals for them is Razer, a group which have created headphones, controllers and other components to make your gaming experience that much better so when I was able to visit the Razer stand to see their latest arcade stick, I was full of excitement and joy not from the fact that I like using that control style for most fighting games but that this was an arcade stick that was looking to do things that have never been put forward before.
The new arcade stick is called the Razer Atrox and in simple terms it’s a beast not only because of its size but also in its ease of customisation and options available to you, however before we get into all of that, the one thing I noticed immediately was how heavy it actually was. It doesn't way a ton however I came to the conclusion that if you were carrying this around at a tournament or casuals, it could become a pain and very tiring to hold on to in the long run.
There isn’t much on the top that makes the Atrox different from most other high quality arcade sticks out there. As for the joystick itself, I used a ball top however a bat top can be used via some simple modding. It also uses Sanwa Denshi buttons which are colour coded to match what’s shown on the Xbox 360 controller. While it may be a small feature, I found it cool that you can lock the actual start button so you don’t accidentally press it and somehow, forfeit a match due to your obsession with pressing buttons constantly. Finally the rubber on the bottom will make sure the stick stays in place no matter how much you move it around.
So the coolest part is the inside of the stick and in an almost slick way, it can be accessed from a button on the top of the stick which opens it. It’s a huge space that allows for ease of customisation and also includes compartments where you can store any spare parts such as a joystick or tools should you need to make any modifications on the fly. There is also space for the USB cable which goes as far as 3 metres along with being detachable. The base is a honeycomb structure so should you wish to install a PlayStation 3 brain in there, you can do it pretty easily.
In the past, changing buttons used to be a pain… but not anymore. The Atrox uses quick disconnects that allow you to map the buttons any way you like, so no more solder this and solder that. A very helpful addition for those who switch between multiple fighting games and wish to have things set up quickly.
Lastly I was able to give the Atrox a run on Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition 2012 and to make a long story short, it performed amazingly. The buttons were easy to press and didn’t make much of a sound at all and the response felt great too. To wrap things up, it would have been awesome to see the Atrox be compatible with both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from the get go however with the ability to sort that out pretty easily, it may not be such a problem.
I look forward to spending and testing the Razer Atrox across a multitude of games in the long run however the arcade stick is available now in the US for $199.99 and in the UK for £179.99 head on over to their website for more info – http://www.razerzone.com/gb-en/gaming-controllers/razer-atrox
Had a chance to give the stick a run? Maybe you have a different opinion of it? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet me - @wkg_liban