How do you make Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars for the Nintendo Wii more enjoyable? Play it with an arcade fightstick. Peripheral creator Mad Catz sent over their new Wii fightstick for me to review and my thoughts on the product have been published over at Kombo. If you're in the market for a solid stick and buttons that your Wii will register as a Classic Controller, then this fightstick is the way to go.
Emblazened with Tatsunoko vs Capcom artwork created by Japanese artist Shinkiro, the Mad Catz fightstick plugs into the Wii remote's expansion port just like a Classic Controller or nunchuk. Any Wii game that supports the Classic will work with the fightstick, so it's not just meant for its signature game (so if you've ever wanted to experience or relive the Street Fighter II years of arcade dominance or the PlayChoice-10 days of Super Mario Bros. 3, here's your chance). The hardware itself feels sturdy, sets nicely in one's lap, has enough weight to it that it won't slide around during play, and can take a little rapid-combo abuse, bringing the L, R, Z1, and Z2 buttons into line with the A, B, X, and Y buttons for a 2 x 4 grid. There's only one stick, of course, but it's possible to send controls for both the control pad and right control stick through the use of a toggle switch on the fightstick's upper-left corner. Programmable turbo controls with LED indicator lights allow individual buttons to be configured for turbo use, and an additional switch toggles the Home and turbo buttons to prevent a stray button push in the middle of a round. Finally, the Wii remote's + and - buttons are found on the backside of the unit where they stay safely away from the action.
Incidentally, I want to thank Mad Catz for sending not just one fightstick, but also sending a replacement unit when the first one was apparently stolen from my doorstep before I could pick it up. You got it for free, thief. Are you proud of yourself? Enjoy your ill-gotten gains and be sure to tell your friends that you stole it from Press The Buttons and Kombo. If you're going to take my stuff, you should at least plug my projects.