\r\nIf you\u2019ve been attending or watching on streams the latest fighting game events, you\u2019ve no doubt spotted more and more players from the United States and overseas carrying around these white, black, or blue joysticks, slowly creeping into the market of the ubiquitous Mad Catz Tournament Edition sticks. These wide, sturdy boxes are better known as the Eightarc Fusion, and why more players are switching to it is immediately apparent once you get a chance to play a few rounds.\r\n\r\nUsing the Japanese lollipop-style Sanwa joystick and eight Sanwa buttons, the heavy(almost 10 pounds) case of the Eightarc fits comfortably on a surface with rubber feet or in a lap with a soft, felt bottom.\u00a0 With all the amenities we\u2019re used to, the Fusion has a compartment to store its delightfully long eight-foot USB cable, turbo support with LEDs, and is responsive and tight. They took all the features that a stick needs to be successful on the market right now and presumably said \u201cWe can do better.\u201d\r\n\r\nFirst and foremost, and the importance of this can\u2019t be understated, the Eightarc Fusion requires no modifications to use on other current platforms. One stick is going to work with PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or PC, giving you the same familiar controls if you\u2019re at home, going to a friend\u2019s house or an event. No more do you have sit out or use a stick you don\u2019t like, because the Fusion takes care of all of it with a simple two-setting slider. On the front of the stick is a jack for a headset (one is included, as well) so you can make sure your opponents aren\u2019t just feeling their combos, they\u2019re hearing you tell them all about what\u2019s going to happen next.\r\n\r\nGetting into an issue preference, the joystick portion of this box uses a square gate as opposed to Mad Catz TE\u2019s octagonal gates. What this means is that when holding a diagonal direction, the stick will hold firmly in that spot, as opposed to the more circular, rolling motions of the octagon. Some people don\u2019t like square gates for their difficulty in learning some inputs, but personally, I think this offers a much tighter, confident control scheme. The buttons are sensitive but not overly so. You can mash them down or use a more subtle touch and either way you\u2019ll feel a responsive action.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe only real complaints I can say about the Eightarc Fusion I received is that the plexiglass cover raises up a bit higher than the ABS plastic housing, the slanted curve of the wrist rest was actually causing me a bit of a cramp, but by adjusting my posture the problem went away, and that the compartment door is much harder to open than on the Mad Catz TE when the cord is inside, but after working out the latch a couple of times, it became easier.\r\n\r\nBottom Line: The Eightarc Fusion is gaining more traction with fighting game players for its tight controls and full compatibility with the most popular platforms of the day. The stick even comes in a stylish, almost shoe-box style box which I use regularly as safe transportation for it. As with any fightstick, what works is almost always going to boil down to personal preference, but the quality of the manufacture, parts, and features of the Eightarc Fusion are incredibly difficult to argue with, and this absolutely serves as an excellent early chapter in a strong legacy of professional-grade peripherals.\r\nEditor\u2019s Rating\r\n[rating:5\/5]\r\n\r\nPerfect\r\nPros:\r\n\r\n \tStick is tight and precise, offering optimum control and performance\r\n \tCross-platform support out of the box makes this a great stick that promises not to create issues at public events or social gatherings\r\n \tSleek, attractive presentation all the way to the box it\u2019s packaged in, this fightstick catches the eye of anybody who appreciates craftsmanship\r\n\r\nCons:\r\n\r\n \tCord compartment door can be difficult to open\r\n \tCurvature of the wrist rest can be uncomfortable at certain playing angles\r\n \tTurbo LED only indicates when a single button has turbo activated, creating trial-and-error problems when trying to deactivate it\r\n\r\nThe Eightarc Fusion series of joysticks is available direct from Eightarc starting at $184.99.