Razer Atrox Arcade Fightstick Review (Xbox 360)
Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: May 16, 2013
The folks over at Razer arent noobs when it comes to quality gaming peripherals. Making everything from mice and keyboards, to stereo headsets. This time around Razer has decided to step into the arena and battle it out with their Atrox Arcade Fightstick. Although there is already two major contenders in the fightstick market, Razer will definitely make an impact with their introductory offering.
Lets be honest. When has Razer ever let us down with the quality of their products. When I first received the Atrox, my initial impression of the packaging was very positive. The packaging is flat black with a few glossy details that highlight the image of the fighstick on the front of the box. Going with a very minimalist approach, Razer manages to effectively draw in your attention., and keep it! Upon opening the box, you’ll find that the quality doesn’t stop on the outside. The outside portion of the box slips over the actual box that holds the fightstick. Within this “slip cover” you’ll see Razer’s trademark green, covering the entire inside. Im not gonna lie, just seeing the green inside the slip cover got me super excited to open the second box, the box that actually contains the fightstick. Immediately upon opening the second box you are greeted with the standard Razer Quick Start Guide and stickers. The fightstick is housed between two sturdy foam pieces that cushion the fightstick perfectly inside the box.
The fightstick itself is absolutely gorgeous! The graphic that Razer decided to go with for their first stick was a great choice. Marked with their signature green snake, the artwork is simple, yet appealing. One thing that I immediately noticed and appreciated was the colored buttons. Aside from being color coded with the same color scheme as the Xbox 360 controller buttons, these color coded buttons actually serve a purpose deep down inside the fighstick, but we’ll get to that later. The Atrox has a really nice weight to it and is not too bulky. Whether you have the Atrox resting on your lap or placed on a surface, the stick maintains its position, due to the rubberized grip on the bottom of the stick. There is a port on the front of the stick that allows you to easily and conveniently plug in your Xbox 360 headset. The Start and Back buttons have been placed on the side of the stick, which makes it impossible to accidentally hit them during the heat of a battle. The Atrox features 4X and 8X Turbo options. When these are activated, it allows the assigned button to perform an action either 4 or 8 times every second. Directly next to the turbo buttons is a switch that allows you to designate the Joystick as either the D-PAD, Left Analog Stick, or Right Analog Stick. This is a great addition as it allows you to navigate through menus easily. There is also a switch that allows you to disable the Start, Back, Xbox Guide and Turbo buttons. Again, must have feature if you are a competitive player.
When the Atrox underwent development, the geniuses at Razer knew exactly what they wanted to achieve with the final product. Total customization. I am happy to say that they hit that goal spot on. Up until now, the MadCatz Fightsticks have always been my favorite fightsticks. They offered a fightstick that was superior in quality and also affordable. Today, the Razer Atrox takes the top spot as my new go to fightstick. This fightstick does everything you need it to do, and more. This baby is equipped with genuine Sanwa buttons, which give it that “true” arcade feel. Also included with the Atrox is a Sanwa bat top. This will give players the ability to swap between ball top and bat top joysticks as they please. Perhaps the greatest feature the Atrox has, which makes it truly stand out from the competitors fightstick, is the ability to open the top for customization. Now, when I first saw this product I wasn’t too sure about the quality of the hinged top. After all, Mortal Kombat had a fightstick with a hinged top that was absolute garbage. I was quite amazed at how well built this stick actually is, hinged top included. When you open the Atrox up you are greeted with the internals of the stick. It is at this exact moment that you realize you have a special item in your hands. Razer has made it immensely easy to customize the Atrox. They have included a small color coded chart which shows you where each button is going. This takes the guesswork out of seeing which buttons go where. Also included is a dual sided screwdriver. One end is used to replace your joystick top, the other end is used to remove the clear front panel, allowing you to insert your own custom artwork. That alone is worth the price of admission for the Atrox. Mechanically, the fightstick functions just as you would expect it to. The buttons have a nice click to them, and the joystick is buttery smooth. One thing that was a little odd to me at first was the placement of some of the buttons. This can easily be adjusted via in-game options or by physically rearranging the buttons. The games that were tested with this fightstick were: Street Fighter X Tekken, King of Fighters XIII, and Marvel Vs Capcom 3. The Atrox performed well across all three titles. There was no lag detected and I was able to pull off complex combos with ease.
Overall, the Razer Atrox is a fantastick fightstick that will satisfy all of your customization needs. The ease of mod-ability will have novice modders customizing this fightstick to their liking. The only drawbacks we had with this fightstick were the price and no PS3 support.