Street Fighter X Tekken Fightpad S.D Review
It takes a long time to master gamepads.
So now that you have bought Street Fighter X Tekken, you want the proper equipment to play it. Granted, some may be satisfied with the standard console controllers to play the game, but those looking for a more competitive experience with the game would look for specialized equipment for complete control over their game.
This is where Mad Catz’s Street Fighter X Tekken Fightpad S.D. comes in. It was released alongside the SxT Fightstick Pro, also from Mad Catz. To the uninitiated, the Fightpad controllers are modeled after the basic console gamepad, but with a number of modifications implemented specifically for fighting games.
The first thing you would notice in the Fightpad is the button scheme, where the right shoulder buttons (RB and RT) are positioned next to the face buttons, and the left shoulder buttons (LB and LT) take the shoulder buttons position. There is no analog stick, and the D-pad is enlarged and more elevated than regular D-Pads, allowing for better control and improved execution.
The S.D. in the device’s name stands for “Super Deformed”, which refers to the fact that this Fightpad is 15% smaller than previous Fightpads. Furthermore, the controller is wired. This might be an inconvenience for some players, but this is actually great news for tournament players, as wireless are known to cause some lag, and any lag, no matter how minimal, is a big no-no in tournament play.
In general, the gamepad is really comfortable to use. It is small and light, allowing for a firm grip, assuring that nothing comes in the way of your game.
To those who play fighting games with D-pads, Fightpad S.D. is a great tool. All the new features and modifications elevate the player’s performance substantially. The modified button layout makes pulling off moves a lot more intiuitive that the standard control. Furthermore, The buttons are large and comfortable to the press, with very little travel between them.
The enlarged D-pad may take a while to get used to, but one would find that it is now a lot more responsive to the player’s moves, and very well suited for pulling off combos. And as mentioned before, the wire is a great addition, and the response time is excellent, with no discernable lag during play.
But does this Fightpad rival an arcade stick? Not really. There are some inconveniences inherent to gamepads that are still present in the Fightpad S.D. For example, despite how well the D-pad is implemented here, it still doesn’t compare to the Arcade stick. There still some directional moves that are tough to pull off with a D-pad (particularly the circular moves). Another issue I usually have with gamepads is the left shoulder button. The left shoulder button is needed to pull of some Super combos in tandem with the D-pad, and sometimes pulling off intricate combos using only the left hand can get somewhat difficult and clumsy.
Granted, hardened D-pad players won’t face such problems, and if you play fighting games with gamepads regularly, then those issue are behind you now. However, newcomers will find some issues with gamepads in general, and while the Fightpad S.D. manges to deliver a host of improvements, they still suffer from some of the issues that have traditionally plagued gamepads
The Fightpad S.D. is a great piece of hardware to accompany to a great game, and pretty much at the top of the heap as far as Fightpads go. If you are a pad user, then this device is as good as it gets. However, if you are a newcomer to fighting games and willing to invest in a specialized controller, our advice is to go with the Mad Catz Fightstick Pro. Seriously, nothing beats a fightstick.