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Playing with a standard DualShock joystick is less beneficial, therefore, many decide to get an arcade stick. Although that offers difficulties for those who has played with a controller ever since… Getting used to an arcade stick requires immense patience and determination, and buying the right one for you is even more complicated, Check out: Arcade Stick Buyer’s Guide for more details. The arcade stick users have advantageous features that normal pads doesn’t include, for example that all the action buttons are laid flat from left to right, with extra buttons. HORI made a smart decision when developing the fighting commander series. Hori decided to release their Fighting Commander series for those who enjoy fighting games and yet lack the persistence to play on an arcade stick. The Fighting Commander 4 is the closest you can get to a controller suitable for fighting games, and it offers relatively the same beneficial advantages as the arcade stick.
The Fighting Commander 4 is a best seller and it is compatible with PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It has almost the same layout as a normal Dualshock controller. However, they removed the analog stick since they are considered insignificant for fighting games. It also comes with an asymmetric design. The grip on the right side of the controller is unusual, since it is wide and narrow, making it comfortable for your knee or other surfaces. The asymmetric design requires adaptability, but once comprehended it is very comfortable. The joystick contains the normal control buttons (Select, Start) and a few extra features, a share button, a turbo button, a slider going from DP, LS, and RS, and on the front side of the joystick, there is a slider that can change the location of the LR buttons. Uniquely there is a lock/free slider, that gains you access to rotate the D-pad of the joystick for your personal needs. Lastly, there is a switch on the controller, that adjusts the sensitivity of the inputs.
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The controller by itself acts like a very small arcade stick, obviously without the handle. Fighting Commander 4 has very precise and accurate inputs. The buttons are very responsive with great sensitivity that can be adjusted. You would have thought that it would be troublesome to execute quarter circles and half circles, however, they are effortlessly easy. For games that require quarter circles and half circles, this controller turns out to be excellent. For most controllers it becomes painful for the thumb to execute these moves, but Hori Fighting Commander 4 somehow managed to withdraw that pain and made this motion easier to master.
The HORI Fighting Commander 4 comes with a few Cons as well. Firstly it doesn’t come with a headset port since they couldn’t fit that feature in. Secondly, the controller is not wireless, this is due to the latency of the inputs. Since many games depend on the small fraction of frames it is, therefore, best to keep it wired. Making the controller wired also ensures you that you don’t have any battery problems or bad connectivity, so it’s not actually considered a con. And as we mentioned before, the controller needs adaptability, especially for your right thumb. Your right thumb is most likely used to 4 buttons, and many misclicks can happen during gameplay the first few days. Lastly, the controller doesn’t, unfortunately, come to Xbox players.
Finally, we’ll sum everything up in this review. The HORI Fighting Commander 4 is a quality controller for competitive and casual players. If you’re the type of guy who just can’t/won’t get used to an arcade stick then ‘stick’ with the Fighting Commander 4, it is an replacement. It offers almost the same advantages and it can efficiently be played on a competitive level. The controller is conveniently inexpensive and definitely profitable for the price of 40-50 $. You can check the current price here.