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The Best Home Arcade Sticks Of All Time

NES Advantage Even though the video game arcade market is basically dead in North America, the arcade stick lives on at home.  Many companies have tried to reproduce the arcade control experience for home consoles over the years, but leave it to Kombo's Lucas DeWoody to break through the tangle of peripherals and come up with the ten best sticks designed for home use.  You get all of the concise arcade control with none of the terrible exposure to germs that public sticks promise.  Here's a bit from the list that features everyone's favorite home stick of the 1980s, the NES Advantage:

After the industry crash of 1983, we bid farewell to the stiff and rubbery Atari 2600 sticks in favor of Nintendo's revolutionary D-Pad (now an industry standard). The D-Pad was beyond comparison for usability and comfort, but there were still certain arcade game ports for the NES that demanded the use of a real arcade stick. Up to that point, nobody ever considered being able to use something similar to a real arcade stick like that which you would find on a Pac-Man or Galagamachine -- that is until Nintendo made one. The NES Advantage was the first home arcade stick to feel like the real deal with its heavy metal construction, tight pressable buttons, and on-board variable speed turbo (for when you get tired of mashing the fire buttons in games like Gradius) and slo-mo (aka rapid pause trigger) buttons. The NES Advantage set the basic standard for home arcade sticks that all later sticks would follow. And besides, it's the stick of choice that Ray and Egon used to Hulk Smash Vigo the Carpathian with the Statue of Liberty. That alone deserves instant list placement.

After painful experiences with a certain Commodore 64 joystick at an early age, I gravitated to controllers with control pads & thumb-driven sticks and never really looked back.  However, I do see the value of a solid arcade stick when it comes to fighting games.  I reviewed Mad Catz's Wii fightstick earlier this year and it's become indispensable for certain Wii titles that feel as if they'd been born in an arcade.  It's a shame that solid sticks are so expensive or else I'd pick up a similar model for my Sony PlayStation 3.  I've already worn out one DualShock 3 controller with Street Fighter IV as it is.