During the past few years we’ve seen a couple different brands of fightsticks pop up, most notably, the Mad Catz TE sticks. Newcomer to the scene -- at least in the US -- is Eightarc; they’ve partnered with Chinese manufacturer Quanba to bring high quality, premium sticks to the forefront. Quanba has been generous enough to ship an Eightarc Fusion stick for us to review.
The Fusion is a fantastic piece of hardware; calling it elegant would be an understatement. Just from looking at it, it’s easy to see that designers of the stick melded beauty with functionality. Weighing 10 lbs., it’s a bit heavier than other sticks, however, the Fusion has perfect heft on the lap, plus the extra weight just makes it feel like one of the more solidly built sticks in recent memory.
As far as parts go, you’ll only find pro-grade equipment in the Fusion. The stick and all eight play buttons are authentic Sanwa parts. For those who don’t know, Sanwa is pretty much the industry standard for arcade buttons and sticks, so you’re getting the best. Also, for those worried about cord length, the Fusion comes with an eight foot long cable, meaning it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
One small nitpick I have with the stick is the storage compartment on the left side. While it doesn’t get in the way of gameplay, it sometimes feels like you could accidentally rip the compartment door off by simply bumping into the bottom-left, or by moving it across your leg while playing. Sure, this will never happen, and it's not something huge to complain about, but with the overall build quality of the stick, this small issue is kind of glaring.
One of the more important features of the Fusion stick is the ability to switch between PS3, 360, and PC. Switching between the three is as easy as moving a little tab on top of the bezel before plugging it in. That’s a huge selling point considering the Fusion’s $185 asking price. Other manufacturers in the U.S. only support one console out of the box, and those sticks go for a mere $35 less.
If you're a gamer with friends across multiple systems, and play fighting games, Eightarc has what I would say is easily the most elegant solution to avoid having multiple sticks. Sure you'll be paying a small bit more to play on both consoles with ease, but you won't be buying any aftermarket boards that require modding them yourself. The Fusion fightstick is easily worth the money; it's beautiful to look at, has top of the line performance, and works on every console. If you're a fan of the genre, and are looking to buying your way in deep, the Eightarc Fusion is the only way to go.
What we like:
- Works on PS3, 360, and PC
- Felt bottom
- Hefty weight
What we dislike:
- Plastic storage door