A classic arcade stick returns to fight once again!
HORI’s Fighting Edge sticks are already well-known in the community, and much loved for their clean, classy design. The last available versions for the prior console generation still fetch a high price through third-party sellers. But now: the Fighting Edge is back for PlayStation 4 — and it looks better than ever.
Interesting note: on the current market, we’re quite accustomed to seeing a fightstick with built-in compatibility with both the last-gen and current-gen consoles, as well as PC; new sticks for PS4 typically include a PS3 setting. This stick breaks the pattern, being designated for PlayStation 4 only. It is still compatible with PC via XInput, however.
It only takes a quick glance to see how striking the simplistic design aesthetic of the prior Fighting Edges has been carried forward and updated for the new generation. The black plastic frames shining brushed aluminum and chromed edges — combined with the etched logos, it is a very, very pretty fightstick.
Note that, like the immediate predecessor the RAP.N, the pushbuttons are once again in the NOIR layout, not the more-common Vewlix style.
Components: like HORI’s other recent offerings, this stick packs in the Hayabusa lever and low-profile short-throw Hayabusa pushbuttons. I’ve covered these components multiple times before in prior reviews of other HORI sticks, and my opinion remains the same: I find the Hayabusa lever workable but a little loose for my taste, while I really like the short travel and matte surfacing on the Hayabusa buttons. These buttons are standard-sized and the joystick bracket is accommodating for replacement of other parts from other manufacturers, if you want to rock the Fighting Edge case with customized parts. And regarding customization — like the RAP series, this stick is easy to get into and mess around with as you feel inclined.
Much like the RAP.N, the top panel bolts don’t allow effective access to the interior — even less so, in this model. To get in, you need to remove the bottom panel(s).
In terms of performance, there is no discernible difference in responsiveness in-game between this stick and the other recent HORI models. Its size and weight make it comfortable for lap-based play, and it has two large rubber pads on the base to keep it from sliding around. The control panel is on the right side of the case, tucked under the top panel.
This stick has abandoned the turbo function — expendable for our genre, generally. You can still reassign buttons as desired. A new addition (for HORI) is the tournament mode switch, which cuts inputs from the PS button, and the OPTIONS and SHARE buttons. While I loved the RAP.N’s start button cover, this is a much more practical option — if a bit less fun. This version of the Fighting Edge also includes a headset jack, like other recent HORI models.
This stick is pretty big. That works to its advantage for vigorous fighting game play, though it’ll take up a lot of backpack space if you want to take it to your weekly. It will fit in Splitframe’s carrier bags, and the Qanba Aegis too, if you’ve got one of these on hand. The “handle” grooves make the fairly hefty stick easy to grab and go.
There is one glaring flaw to the Fighting Edge’s build: the bolts that hold down the metal top panel are only half-threaded, almost certainly to ensure that they cannot be over-tightened, to prevent the plastic parts of the case from being damaged. This protects the case from overzealous modders, but prevents the bolts from holding the top panel completely flush to the base, allowing it to slide around nearly 1 mm in all directions; this might not sound like much — until you really get into the game and notice the metal plate and bolts rattling around from the force of your inputs. The movement isn’t as bad as the plastic top sheet on the Mad Catz TE2 could be, but it will annoy some players — and frankly makes the Fighting Edge feel a bit lower-quality than it is. DIY solutions include adding washers to the bolts to fill the extra space, or using double-sided tape between the top plate and the plastic case. Still: this is an unfortunate flaw in an otherwise gorgeous fightstick.
For those in the market for a sleek, stylish, and comfortable arcade stick, you won’t go wrong with HORI’s new Fighting Edge — as long as that you don’t mind that slight looseness of the top panel, or are willing to make the mods to address it. It runs a little higher in price than the RAP family: that brushed metal elegance will run you $199.99 USD. It has just officially become available for purchase today; look for it at HORI’s website.
- Eye-grabbing, stylish visual design.
- Comfortable size and weight.
- Reliable and responsive Hayabusa components.
- Includes a tournament-lock switch.
- Bolts holding down metal top panel don’t hold it flush, allowing it to shift position and rattle.
- Not back-compatible with the PlayStation 3 console.