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Pro Shock Arcade
Score: 93%
Developer: Blaze
Device Type: Controller


The Pro Shock Arcade is an arcade stick -- a digital arcade stick. As you would expect, an analog controller would give you better precision. However, arcade sticks are rarely about precision, but instead are for games that focus more on button slapping mayhem. The ? inch buttons are smaller than full scale arcade buttons, but provide an easy-to-reach layout while giving your fingers a little bit of ?frenzied attack? breathing room. The stick itself appears to be fresh out of an arcade, having a nice weight and feel to it, and excellent centering action (important). This centering action is often what renders an otherwise great arcade stick into an oversized, yet attractive, paperweight. The Pro Shock Arcade stick takes no chances, having a quick, strong return to center. (Joy!) The base is also a well designed feature, being a nice, heavy plate of metal with rubber feet. This means that when you set it down, it tends to stay put. This is a lesson that should be learned by all game hardware manufacturers, but the only other place I?ve seen this concept to date is the Act Labs? RS steering wheel. This ?stay-put-itiveness? and the strong centering mechanism actually help to make up for its digital nature, improving its overall control -- at least keeping it off of the bottom of the list. (To check out the results, check my "Control Freaks" feature...).


There is a certain amount of ?getting used to? required for arcade sticks, especially since Sony?s original button layout does not lend itself to direct translation to an arcade style. Blaze adopted a modified layout, ?forcing? the buttons into a ?fighter-style? layout that will require a little bit of practice to get a firm grasp on. But this layout allows for easy access to all of the buttons in a fairly ergonomic layout. Once you get past that, you?re set. There is a Slow feature and a Turbo feature which may be used, if desired. However, since the Slow feature is based off of the Pause button, most of the newer games won?t be able to use this feature. The Turbo feature is more useful, simple to use, and won?t increase the learning time required by any significant amount.

The Pro Shock Arcade stick is a very well designed arcade stick, and provides a solid, ?old-school? controller which is a natural complement to the resurgence of ?retro games? that are flooding the market. If you?re looking for a home arcade stick which is a good approximation of a real arcade stick, the Pro Shock Arcade is an excellent choice. It combines high quality arcade components with a compact design that gives you that arcade feel (and doesn?t go scooting across your table top) while maintaining a relatively small size (read ?reasonably portable?).

  • Dual Shock compatible
  • Slow Motion feature (pause based)
  • Arcade quality joystick with excellent centering
  • Independent Turbo button with LED indicator
  • Unique, innovative ergonomic design
  • 6?7? cord

Drawbacks & Problems::

The only problem I have with the Pro Shock Arcade stick is the button layout. The layout is in a ?fighter-style? configuration, which takes a little getting used to as it puts the X and O buttons side by side. This setup does, however, allow quick and easy access to the eight buttons (X, O, Triangle, Square, and the four shoulder buttons). The ?shock? is not as strong as some, either, but the feedback does help keep you ?in-touch? with the game without being distracting. Also, since Blaze?s Pro Shock Arcade stick is the first arcade controller (to my knowledge) to have any form of force feedback (and that includes actual arcade games, as well), they have some liberty in deciding how much ?kick? an arcade stick should have. I would have probably enjoyed a little more kick, but then again, they have essentially created a genre of controllers, so time will tell if more is better.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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