Mad Catz Brawl Stick & Brawl Pad Review

Mad Catz Brawl Stick & Brawl Pad
Manufacturer: Mad Catz
Review By: Illmatic

Mad Catz is known for releasing quality Fight Sticks and Fight Pads for huge profile fighting games. With WWE ALLSTARS stepping into the ring to join these titles with its own “Brawl Pad” and “Brawl Stick”, can Mad Catz deliver another set of quality fighting peripherals?

Brawl Stick

Quality: The Brawl Stick from Mad Catz is a very sturdy entry level Arcade Stick. The bottom of the stick is metal so it has added weight and durability. This was a feature previously seen only on the Tournament Edition Fight Sticks. The rest of the stick is made out of plastic, but this does not make the stick feel cheap. This stick is actually a step up from the previous entry level sticks that Mad Catz has to offer. The new buttons on the stick are also a welcomed addition. While they may not be Sanwa buttons, they are still very responsive. The joystick felt a bit unresponsive to me. I played WWE ALLSTARS and Marvel vs Capcom 3 with this stick and although I had no problems with ALLSTARS, MvC3 felt a little unresponsive in the movement area. It seemed like it was hard to pull off certain combos while using the joystick. WWE ALLSTARS players wont find any un-responsiveness with the joystick, as the fighting style in ALLSTARS is a lot less complex than MvC3’s fight style.

Functionality: The Brawlstick has a turbo feature that allows you to toggle which buttons you want to use the turbo feature on. You can assign turbo to all 8 face buttons. There is also a switch that allows you to assign either the D-Pad, Left Thumbstick, or Right Thumbstick to the joystick. For most people using this stick for fighting games, they are going to assign the D-Pad to the joystick. Another nice addition to this stick is the hidden START and SELECT buttons. These buttons are located on the back of the Brawlstick, which is perfect because they never get in the way. The Brawlstick offers a super long cord (13 ft) so that you have enough space to position the stick wherever you would like.

Wishes: This is a very good entry level stick, almost on par with the Tournament Edition, but it does have its flaws. The one thing that is noticed right away is the stiffness of the joystick. Its hard to explain the way the joystick feels, but it has almost a gummy sticky feeling. I did have a little bit of trouble executing certain combos in MvC3, but like I said, players of ALLSTARS shouldn’t have any problems with this stick.

TQ Bottom Line: If you don’t own a fightstick yet, I suggest you pick this one up. Its relatively inexpensive in comparison to the Tournament Edition stick and with a few mods, it will perform like one.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 Michelas!

MSRP: $79.99

Brawl Pad

Quality: The Brawl Pad is the alternative to the Brawl Stick. This one is for fans who prefer a controller, rather than a joystick. The quality of the Brawl Pad is ok, but it does feel a little cheaply made. It feels incredibly hollow and almost seems somewhat fragile. However, this does not take away from the experience that can be had with it. The buttons on the Brawl Pad are very responsive, as is the 8 way directional pad. Im not a huge fan of using controllers for fighting games, but this controller is by far one of the better controllers to use for fighting games. During my playtime, I was able to pull off all of the combos that I had trouble pulling off with the Brawl Stick.

Functionality: The Brawl Pad has a turbo feature that works exactly as it does on the Brawl Stick. You can assign turbo to any of the face buttons as well as the two shoulder buttons. The Xbox Guide button has been relocated to the bottom of the controller, as was the START and SELECT buttons. This was a good move because you wont have to worry about hitting these buttons when your laying the smack down on your opponent. The cord length is very generous, coming in at about 13 feet!

Wishes: As I mentioned before, this controller feels a little on the cheap side. It almost feels like it is lacking some weight. Another cool feature would be the inclusion of rumble.

TQ Bottom Line: If you are looking for a better way to experience your fighting games then the Brawl Pad is definitely a great alternative to the Xbox Controller.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 Michelas!

MSRP: $39.99