With many Xbox 360 downloads on the marketplace, of course it was only a matter of time until a manufacture looked there for opportunity. Here we have MadCatz who is a fairly major accessories developer that deals with creating controllers on many of the systems, and they offer plenty of ways to mod your system with stickers and faceplates. Sometimes they even go to the length creating games like the MadCatz Real World Golf game. They are an established company and perhaps are even the best third party accessories company out there.
When I heard that MadCatz created a controller specifically for their Xbox 360 Live system I became a little excited. For the older games that are re-released on this online service -- in my opinion -- it simply does not feel right to use the general Xbox 360 controller, and this is mainly because the older games originally used a d-pad (specifically the ones used on the NES systems). The Xbox 360 controller is more so a rounded circle to point at directions on the d-pad, while the normal d-pad is a plus sign shape. This can make it a little difficult at times when wanting to move diagonally, though if you have played some of these games you probably agree with me.
The controller includes many different ways to control your players depending on the game. It has two analog sticks where one is more so a joystick and the other is a regular analog stick. The joystick has a button on the top that you can use to fire your A button attacks. The smaller analog stick also has a dial around it that you can turn, which is called a spinner, and it can be used on some other games. Most importantly though it includes a regular d-pad shaped like a + that gives you the best-styled d-pad yet on the Xbox 360. It also includes all the other buttons you would normally have on an Xbox 360 controller, but it also has a turbo button for those that wish to cheat.
The layout it quite nice, making it easy to reach all of the buttons. The top buttons on the controller responded like triggers, allowing you to vary the pressure you put on them, while the regular X, Y, B, and A are simple press buttons. The d-pad was placed a little awkwardly, as well as was the analog sticks, but it was still easy to play the games. Specifically with the knob analog stick, you will generally have your fingers resting on it while you press buttons. I did find that they were placed well enough that it did not impact gameplay negatively.
Overall I recommend the product since it is easy to use and plugs in and plays easily, while responding beautifully. The main issue that I personally have with it is the price since it retails for roughly $59.99, which is a lot to pay. The package I reviewed included Frogger, Timpilot & Astropop downloads, which reduces the sting, but it is still fairly pricey (Especially if you own Frogger like I do already). It is the best controller out there if you want the top scores on the Xbox Live classic games. It allows you to get the most out of the games in terms of enjoyment. I recommend this controller to those who are truly passionate about games. In the end Captain Gordon gives the MadCatz Xbox Live Arcade Retro Stick a B+.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? CaptainGordonEdward@Gmail.com