This is the only way to play Marvel vs. Capcom 3

, | Games

I’m no fighting game aficionado, but I know what a compromise it is to play with a gamepad, particularly an Xbox 360 controller. So last year, I was delighted to get one of Mad Catz’ Tournament Edition FightSticks for a review I was writing. What a difference it makes slapping the buttons with your whole hand, and palming the ball on that stick, smacking it around as befits an arcade machine. Fighting games shouldn’t be polite fingerwork.

Well, I was mostly delighted. The problem is that you can’t have just one of these sticks. No one’s going to want to play a fighting game with you if you’ve got one of those beasts perched in your lap while you hand him a lousy gamepad.

So I ended up buying a second one. This means the Chick household has a Super Street Fighter IV branded stick and a Marvel vs. Capcom branded stick. None of us knows what we’re doing, but it sure is a tactile experience. And it forces me to play fighting games, because there’s no way I’m going to let something that costs $150 sit unused in a closet!

Now Mad Catz is releasing a stick specifically branded for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which comes out in two weeks. I don’t want to cast any aspersions on whatever aesthetic decisions Mad Catz and Capcom made, but that’s got to be the most downbeat Tournament Edition FightStick I’ve ever seen. It’s dark and somber, without colored buttons, which is the exact opposite of the cheery sticks I’ve got here and a really poor fit with the crazy splashy bright overbearing Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But, hey, it’s an Official Branded Product and if you’re going to spend $150 on a toy like this, you might as well have the faceplate of your choice on it.