I recently picked up the Eightarc Fusion Synthesis joystick as an early birthday present to me. Beforehand, I had the Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Tournament Edition “S”. With the new stick, I wanted to do a Eightarc Fusion Synthesis review on my personal thoughts on the new hardware for fighting games such as Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Eightarc Fusion Synthesis Appearance
What can’t be said about the Synthesis from Eightarc? It’s absolutely stunning to look at with the lights turned on. It’s got a semi-transparent matte (dull without a shine) finished case that provide subtle hints of the hardware inside, a clear ball on a Sanwa JLF joystick and matching 8 Sanwa OBSC-30 clear buttons.
The faceplate is nothing to be too proud of, but it does add a nice touch to the stick. The sleek design and branding of the Eightarc logo built into the base of the joystick and japanese lettering add a nice touch to the look. But, the lack of any real lighting sort of makes the stick almost disappear into the darkness when the lights go out. You are left with a dim blue light for the player indicator in the top right corner of the stick that does add a nice touch to that particular side.
The feel of the stick is what I look for the most. Take away all the glitter and glam of a stick. All that matters is how it feels and how it performs. The Synthesis has a good feel when resting on the lap and when wrists are laying parallel across the base.
The Sanwa JLF joystick has a especially good feel that was pretty familiar to the Madcatz Arcade Fightstick, but with a little more noise during interactions. Both are very similar in sound, but the Synthesis has a little more crackle to it’s pop versus the other. Maybe that will fade in time, but for now, it’s kind of alerting when you first hone in to the sound.
The Sanwa OBSC-30 clear buttons on the other hand is the most disappointing feature of the stick for me. They are especially sensitive, which is an improvement to my previous stick. However, the feel of the clear buttons is what really brings the stick down for me. They have a very noticeable rattle at the slightest touch. This makes the buttons feel loose and adds additional noise just by resting fingers on the buttons or in execution.
The performance of the stick is rather good. The sensitive Sanwa buttons combined with the Sanwa joystick make the hardware a tool of precision. My only qualm with the performance is the fact that all the buttons have the slight rattle, which doesn’t impact the performance as much as the feeling of the performance. It’s like shooting a basketball with bad form, but the ball still swishes every time. Something just doesn’t feel right even though you just bodied your opponent in Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Now, you might say that the feel of the buttons has no place here, but I would say otherwise. The feel also impacts performance. Not so much in the hardware, but in the person using the hardware. Good feeling hardware is like a moral booster to the body and mind.
Without putting to many words here, these are some other good bonuses:
- The weight of the stick is not too heavy and not too light. It’s just right. (9.5 lbs)
- Smooth curvature wrist rest is nice if you use it.
- XBOX, PS3 and PC compatible out the box, which is also why I purchased the stick.
- USB cord built in the side, not the top with a compartment/latch for storage.
- Felt bottom with rubber feet for stability.
- Very cool packaging both for the shipping box and the case box.
I give the stick a good 8/10 with the case look, style, compatibility and Sanwa joystick taking the cake. However, the buttons, although stylish and sexy, really bring down the rating 2 points due to the rattling and the aftertaste in your mouth after said rattling.
Other than that, I feel happy about the buy and will continue to use the stick. Check it out directly on Eightarc website.