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The Wheel of Fate is Turning. Rebel 1…

Well, this has proven rather annoying. For the first time I find myself with the desire to write about a certain something but am not allowed to. Embargo style!!! Actually, it’s self imposed but I don’t want anyone to get into trouble for it so everyone will just have to wait for my impressions of the 5th tale of souls and swords (actually, technically, it’s the 6th but that’s just being petty!)

So for now, I get to talk about something which is kinda related and also something which has been a while coming. A long time (well, not that long, but still…) ago, I purchased a Super Streetfighter IV TE fightstick round 2 and with help from Gahling over at neo empire, I was able to get it dual modded to work on both PS3 and 360 and while I was at it, I also replaced 6 of the original buttons.

But… that wasn’t enough. You see, I’m a rather vain SOB and I like having things which are different from the rest. That’s one of the big reasons why I work on garage kits instead of just buying PVC figures afterall. So after I got my stick, I played with the idea of getting some custom artwork done for it. Then I started talking with good friend and illustrator Radiant Dreamer about it. Early on, I decided on a Blazblue art as it was, and still is, my fave fighting game so it just seemed to fit. I also knew that Radiant was familiar with the game as he worked on the graffiti cover for the UK release of Calamity Trigger (which was almost universally reviled, even by himself to some degree but lets not go there…) so I asked about it and things started from there. In the end, I opted for a completely original work instead of just photoshopping some artwork you can find on the net into something usable and asked Radiant to do the deed as I knew what he was able to do by looking at some of his other works (not to mention some pretty cool Blazblue art which didn’t get used for covers, but should have!)!

Now, I received the finished piece last week and got it on my stick! You’re curious now, aren’t you?

And here it is!

Adding the art wasn’t actually that difficult. Just a little time consuming. Just a little warning, the rest of this post might get a little technical with stuff about various parts and whatnot. Don’t worry if you don’t understand. Just enjoy the pic!

Opening up the stick was easy compared to the Hori sticks and everything was colour coded so I could remember which switches needed to go to which buttons! Eagle eyed stick users may also see that I have an octagonal gate on the stick. I swapped it from the original square gate a while back and I can’t see myself going back!

The original streetfighter artwork was printed on card and laminated. Not something I could do easily on my stuff so I just got a perspex cover for mine. Not quite as elegant but you’d be hard pressed to see the difference.

And the whole thing was held in place by this metal plate. On the plus side, if I want to, it’s easy to put the original artwork back on.

Now, everyone who has bought a high quality arcade stick will know the name Sanwa. They are pretty much the de facto go-to company for parts. All the high end sticks are made with Sanwa sticks and buttons. But I’m not a huge fan of them. I find that they’re too “soft” and easy to press in. The Xbox arcade sticks are also forced to have coloured buttons to match the button colourings on their pads, which SUCKS!!! So, I replaced 6 of them with seimetsu buttons. The Sanwa button is on the left of the above pic and the right is the seimetsu.

There are a few differences, notably that the seimetsu button is a screw-on button which makes it easier to remove. As for use, they’re “stiffer” when pressed and give some resistance so you know that you’ve pressed it as it gives a better click! There’s also another reason why I went for seimetsu buttons…

At first glance, you may have thought that the buttons were white, but that would be incorrect. They are actually clear! What that means is that I am able to put cuttings of the artwork into the buttons so there’s less of a disconnect when you view the art as a whole!

As for the artwork, I just got it printed full sized and cut out the various sections with my modelling knife. Cutting the parts for the buttons was a little tricky as it doesn’t fit completely so you need to cut off a little extra around the outside before you can put it on the button. Nendo Noel also watched along to see the progress.

Very nearly there now. The buttons have been put on and rotated to try and line up with the rest of the artwork as best it can.

In the above pic, you can see some black rings around the 6 buttons where I couldn’t put the artwork in. A minor niggle but not much I can do about it.

The only thing left was that, after putting the stick back together, I didn’t think that the black ball on top of the stick went well with the rest of it so I swapped it out with a light blue ball from the blazblue Hori Arcade stick I also have.

Which brings us back to the first image. And lets not forget…

my stick has been signed by Ono Yoshinori (the producer of Streetfighter IV)…

And Harada Katsuhiro (the producer of Tekken)!! The signature on the left was another one by Ono, but was damaged so when I saw him again, I asked him to re-sign the stick, which he gladly did!!

Pretty unique now, right?

It’s not perfect, but that’s nothing to do with the skills of radiant. I would have liked to have put in an updated version of the chibi Makoto in her fighting costume on the stick but they’re simply not available yet! Radiant was kind enough to give me the original .psd file so if she does turn up later, I can swap them out and print another version but we’ll just wait and see. but for now, It’s time for the stick to get some usage as I battle demon swords, and hooded assassins!

 

  • http://pantherrh.tumblr.com/ Panther

    asdf you got to play SC5 before the rest of us? WTF lucky. Since I love both series (was a competitive SC2 player for some time), F YOU.

    Also the stick design with the clear buttons is a nice touch. I am getting Mad Catz’s SC5 stick though, primarily because I cannot stand Hori’s base and the Mad Catz one looks cool already. Customizing a good stick would probably mean the cost of the stick being driven up to the same price as that one anyway so I might as well, as I am not good at all with customization technicalities. Nice stick you have there but I prefer Makoto kthx.

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    When I think about it, despite not actually being that interested in the game when it was announced, I’ve been keeping a rather close tab on it!! I got my first taste soon after the announcement when I got the chance to go to the Namco-Bandai office. That was when there were only 5 characters set up (Pyrrah, Natsu, Ivy, Tira and (I think) Voldo), 1 stage, no music, no menus and the game was very early build and it really showed. Didn’t think much of it then…
    Then I got to play it again at a fight club event in December. Much more complete this time around and they even had Ezio in it (albeit overpowered). That had most of the regular cast set up but not all the stages and no create mode.
    And now I have a copy at home!

    Also, I got to use both fight sticks for SC5 and I have to say that I think I preferred the Hori. The spacings just felt better to me. But the Mad Catz one did look much cooler with the smoke look.

    Customising a stick isn’t too expensive. It depends on what you want to have done. A custom artwork job like mine will exceed the price of the base stick but the buttons are relatively cheap and easy to replace. Hori sticks tend to be more annoying to swap parts out though and a lot of their special editions have parts welded to the board which makes replacing parts nigh on impossible. Just a warning!!

    And I tried so hard to use Makoto. She’s fun but I couldn’t get the timings on her drive, which makes her almost useless. My characters for BB are Noel for main (naturally!), Litchi as secondary and Tsubaki/jin to break things up a little. I used to use nu-13 but she got cut and I can’t use lambda too well.

  • subaruhess

    I guess I wasn’t imagining it when I saw you online last night, dammit the wait is killing my excitement but I least I’m getting the collectors edition.

    Anyway about your stick mod I found the octagonal gate off-centered the up,down,left,right movements and I ended up having to shift the black tabs a bit. Also are those seimetsu buttons noisy or do they have a silent click?

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Yeah, I was playing it but I don’t get Dhampierre. No loss there!!

    I never had any problem with the stick being off center though… That would be annoying! And the seimetsu buttons are noisier than Sanwa, or should I say clearer? When I press the sanwa buttons, the click sounds more muffled than the seimetsu but the difference in audible noise is very small, especially when you get into the thick of things.

  • Hazama

    Your awesome custom Blazblue fightstick gave me a boner…is that bad? .///.

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Yes… Yes that is bad! Do you have any idea how hard it is to clean something like that???
    Glad you liked it though! I still have the original artwork so I can replace it if anything really bad happens (But I can only get mad catz sticks now…) but I can’t give it to anyone, otherwise the artist will get mad at me!