When it comes to why players use a fight stick, I feel like I finally get it.
While I do enjoy a good scrap in a fighting game, I've not really been one to use an arcade stick. As someone who doesn't have all of his fingers, it was always easier to just use my thumbs and forefingers for button presses. This made me somewhat hesitant when I first unwrapped the Daija Arcade Stick. Yet, after using this beast for the past couple of weeks, I can see why the die-hard veterans of this genre swear by arcade sticks.
The Daija Arcade Stick is impressive right out of the box. You're greeted by a sleek, professional design on the front, and while you can change the face plate out for something more suited to your liking, I found the default design to be tremendously appealing. Understated, polished, it is a beauty just to look at. This is the type of kit the pros use, and it's clear from just a first glance.
On the face of the stick, you get eight buttons, two different heads to place on your stick, a profile button to switch between four options, and a PlayStation logo button to return to the home screen and switch it on. There are also switches and extra buttons at the side for L3, R3, changing the platform you're using the Daija Arcade Stick with, and more. All of the face buttons are neatly packed together, and they're made by Sanwa. Satisfying to press, and with a great level of sensitivity, it's incredibly rewarding to play with. The only thing I will raise is that the buttons might be too sensitive for some.
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Customisation is the name of the game with the Daija Arcade Stick. Physically, you can pop open the hood of the arcade stick to reveal the underbelly, which is quite cool on its own but it also lets you access the small screwdriver included in the box, which you can use to change the face plate as mentioned. There's also the swappable stick heads, and in terms of software, you can make your own button profiles if the default setup isn't to your liking. A tremendous amount of thought has been put into how to make this arcade stick work for every fighting game player.
The cost of the Daija Arcade Stick is €279.90/£249.99. This is a good chunk of money, but the quality that you get is reflected in the product. Each mechanical click of the stick, each precise push of a button sings with luxury. It's a specialist item, for the fighting game enthusiast who really wants to take their game up to the next level.
There's a good heft to the Daija Arcade Stick. Not enough weight to make it uncomfortable on your knee, but a good sturdiness to it. It's very comfortable to use, thanks in no small part to the textured palm rest. It's not padded, which I actually prefer, as it doesn't sacrifice anything in the look of this fight stick while allowing you to keep playing your favourite fighter for hours at a time.
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As someone who'd never really got used to an arcade stick before, I'm going to find it hard to go back to controller after experiencing the precision and swiftness of the Daija. It took a bit of getting used to, but it was clear to me from the minute I opened the box that this product was something impressive. A great, sturdy design, precise and comfortable buttons alongside a brilliant stick and plenty of customisation options. You might find the buttons too sensitive, or the price slightly high, but those are very minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things. Overall, it's very hard to think of what more you could ask for in a fighting stick when you're using the Daija.